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Wednesday, Sep 18, 2019

Book review: Are you reducing your own chances of success?

Do you feel stuck in a rut, thwarted by fate? Author Zoe McKey’s analysis of how people deal with challenges could help you deal with them better.

books Updated: Jul 29, 2017 16:53 IST
Anonna Dutt
Anonna Dutt
Hindustan Times
Are you missing the mark more often than not? Chances are the element lacking is not luck or other people... but discipline,says author Zoe McKey.
Are you missing the mark more often than not? Chances are the element lacking is not luck or other people... but discipline,says author Zoe McKey.
Discipline Your Mind
  • Author: Zoe McKey
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing
  • E-book: Rs 257; Paperback: Rs 656

Did you sleep in for ‘five more minutes’ and end up losing an hour, get stuck in a long queue on your way to work and swipe in late?

Instead of blaming the universe for your misfortunes, take responsibility for your actions, says Zoe McKey, in her book, Discipline Your Mind.

The author asks her readers to plan ahead, even for hypothetical situations, so that the mind does not ‘stress out when stuff happens’. She also has tips on how not to let your brain’s empty rationalisation (‘There will be no queues at the supermarket’) derail you.

Do you feel like you aren’t able to achieve all that you set out to despite your best intentions? Is your weak willpower coming in the way of the life you dream of?

McKey’s books aims to help you take control of your mind and train it to identify and handle challenges, lead a stress-free, balanced life and set realistic priorities and work goals for productive results.

Her mantra is a slightly rephrased version of Reinhold Niebuhr Serenity Prayer: “Grant me the serenity to accept things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference”. She explains how this works through her experience when she left her home in Romania to study in a boarding school in Hungary on a scholarship. The scholarship offered free accommodation, but not food. And McKay’s family, not very well off, let the 14-year-old girl tackle the problem herself. For three days, McKay sat in the canteen, hoping to eat the leftovers from someone’s plate before the lunch lady cleared it.

That didn’t happen. But, she then saw the solution right in front of her. She started helping the lunch lady with the dishes in return for food from the kitchen.

“I thought about what I had in my own power to make the change myself. So many people get stuck in a position because they want a solution that is out of their control when every solution they can hope for lies within them,” the author says.

The choice is with you, but she warns that whatever you choose will come at a price. So prioritise, choose, and take responsibility for that choice.

First Published: Jul 29, 2017 16:53 IST