Validation (Chapter VIII) was a very important chapter for me. Those pages really sum up who I am. And as I re-read the words (Which I do often depending on what I am dealing with) I realize this is a chapter that bears re-visiting not just to understand what motivates others, but also to take stock of how my own behavior may affect other people. I cannot stress this enough. I am constantly learning more about the world around me and about myself. With regard to my own personality, I am quite satisfied with who I am. I have my Mom to thank for that. While criticism does not disarm me, I try to keep an open mind, depending on the spirit in which the criticism is offered. It’s a delicate balance.
“Life Is Not Complicated” is not a “How to” it is a “why?” It is a “How can I improve?” It is a “How can I act, not react to the actions of others”. I want it to be a resource, not a one-time read. But mostly, as I talk about throughout the book, it should inspire introspection. For all of us. While we should never allow the actions or opinions of others to determine who we are, ignoring breaches of basic principles can put us in a position to be hurt, even if it is just for a short period of time. On page 96, I write “Bottom line is, nasty is nasty, rude is rude, disrespect is disrespect, any way you look at it. If you choose to engage those who conduct themselves in this manner, you have pretty much handed them the keys to your inner peace and declared ‘Please wreak havoc on my mental and emotional stability’”. You- and you alone- have the power to say I will not allow you to change me, cause me pain, frustrate me, make me second-guess myself. I do not need your validation, because I validate myself. I set my own bar.
Keep in mind, as with all the messages I share in “Life Is Not Complicated”, what you learn you should apply when dealing with others. For instance, if you demand respect and understanding, well it is only right you pay others the same deference. Never get so involved in your own self-interest you lost sight of the interest of others. There is a huge difference between being selfless and selfish. The transfer of strength I refer to when I discuss the book in interviews and during book-signings can best be summed up like running a relay race: You pass the baton to your teammate after you have run your leg of the race; after you have given your best. You did your part and now, as you transfer the power (transfer the strength) they must take what you have contributed, build on it, and in turn pass on the blessing.