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The Road Less Traveled Book Summary by M. Scott Peck

The Road Less Traveled by M. Scott Peck

The very first line of the book highlights one of the biggest truths we'll ever have to face life is difficult I guarantee you you'll never have a flawless life on the bright side you may find your passion or travel the world on the downside you may lose a friend or your job but once we truly understand and accept that life is difficult then life is no longer difficult this brings us to the first lesson.

Accept responsibility for your problems life is full of problems they cause us pain which is why we try to avoid them we procrastinate and make up excuses hoping that problems will go away they won't actually confronting and solving problems is what helps us grow but how many of us run away from maybe you avoid checking your bank account for fear that you have no money because you spent it all maybe you avoid going to the doctor's because deep down you're scared of accepting the reality of your injury or illness and maybe you avoid catching up with old friends because you have neglected them in the past whichever problem you are avoiding it will not fix itself.

The very first step to solving your problem is to accept that you have one you must take self responsibility as a psychiatrist Peck has faced many patients who were not willing to take responsibility for their illness they were looking for a quick fix as a result they dropped out of therapy and chose to remain sick instead accepting responsibility may not come straightaway but for those willing to take the time that's necessary will find themselves cured lesson two love is separateness genuine love is where each person respects one another's individuality and sees each other as someone with a separate identity this applies to your love for your intimate partner friends and family those who fail to see this can become narcissistic and clingy here's a classic example this is George George is athletic and passionate about basketball this is his son Kevin Kevin loves to read he pushes Kevin to play basketball instead he tells him to stop reading and get out on the court.

This causing Kevin to feel guilty and unnecessary pain when Peck is confronted by George saying that his son has a problem he tells him that Kevin is perfectly healthy and instead he should lessen the pressure on Kevin to be an exact copy of himself George ended up leaving in search for a new psychiatrist the lesson here is simple don't expect your child to be just like you I've left a link in the description below of a fantastic poem by Khalil Gibran on loving a child be sure to check it out in the case of intimate relationships I had an intense experience where I failed to see my ex-girlfriend as an individual I was extremely clingy and relied on her for my own happiness without realizing it.

I valued the relationship more than I valued her 7 months after the relationship ended I realized my mistakes it was a huge turning point in my life I'm now in a new relationship and I value my girlfriend's individuality I'm in full support of her dreams values and goals I value her more than I value the relationship by seeing her as separate from me it has led to a healthier relationship with less jealousy less arguments and happier lives for both of us this brings us to our last lesson honesty is freedom imagine I go into a job interview and the hiring manager asks me do you know how to use a 3d printer I lie and I say yes so that I'll get the job I get the job and on the first day I use the 3d printer and accidentally break it because I don't know what I'm doing when the boss finds out it's broken I lie and I say my coworker Mandy did it I now avoid Mandy to escape an awkward situation soon other co-workers hear that I know how to operate the 3d printer I am asked to help them operate it but lie and say that I have to go to the bathroom and then I avoid them for the rest of the day and so the chain of liars grows longer work soon becomes mentally draining having to avoid people and create new lies to hide old ones.

I should have been honest in the first place we tell lies to avoid pain in the moment at hand under estimating the chain of problems it will cause in the future Peck says it takes time and self-discipline to be honest there are no shortcuts but when is it okay to lie well imagine you are out for a walk one day and you see a man running towards you he looks stressed and frightened with tears in his eyes he says I am going to hide here I can't run anymore I didn't do anything wrong promise me you won't tell them where I am so you promise the man he hides and you keep walking seconds later for police officers head towards you they ask you if you've seen the man they were chasing what do you do do you lie the takeaway here is that sometimes the benefits of lying outweighs those of telling the truth but we often drastically underestimate them so be honest more often and you won't have to put on a disguise stress out or hold back your personal growth honesty is freedom.

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