I’ve always thought that more people should think like me, and by reading my book, you can do just that! I’m not going to say that I’ve got it all figured out, but I do well know one fundamental truth: there are some things that I can change, and there are some things I can’t. That makes sense, doesn’t it? See, that’s the point I’m trying to make—I believe that I’m a logical person, and in my opinion, the things that I’ve written in this book are both logical and rational. But I wouldn’t go so far as to say that what I’ve written is common sense. If it was common sense, then most people would already think like me, and there’d be no need for this book!
People are funny. People who are worked up over something they can’t control are even funnier. The enjoyment I get from traveling is heightened because of how funny people are. I love flying, not only because it allows me to visit different cities around the world, but I just love watching travelers showing out because of lost baggage or a delayed or missed flight.
The delayed flight people are my favorites. I just love watching them rant and rave about the flight not taking off on time. Is it disappointing? Sure it is. But, can you do anything about it? Nope! So, times like that, it’s best to take on my motto: “It is what it is.” When things are out of my control, the plane delays, lost bags or traffic occur, I tell myself: “It is what it is, and it’s going to have to stay that way.”
Yet, there are much more important situations, situations that involve you and your actions that are under your control, and it’s at those times that you realize: “It is what it is, but it doesn’t have to stay that way.”
I can honestly say that when I sit down to read a book, I always start at the first chapter. If you're like me, then you skip the introduction. If the book is fancy, there is a preface. I know I shouldn’t admit this, but I have yet to determine the difference between an introduction and a preface. The only real difference I can come up with is that the fancier the book, the more likely they are going to call the opening pages "preface" as opposed to calling it the introduction. And since I don't really read introductions or prefaces, I have really no idea what to put in one. I suppose that it boils down to what one of my professors told me, "The introduction is where the author lays out the purpose of the book, as well as gives the theme of the work." I used quotation marks as if it's a literal quotation, but did you really expect me to remember word for word what my professor said?
All that being said, I guess I should tell you my purpose of writing of this book. Honestly? I am writing this book because I think that the things I have to say are worth listening to. (Well, worth reading at least.) Countless friends I’ve given advice to have told me that I should write a book. So I figured, who am I to let them down? If what I have to say can help somebody, so be it. If you read this book and do not find my words to be profound, then I suggest you look up the definition of profound and give this book another read. (Now’s as good a time as any to let you know that I am sarcastic. For some people, sarcasm is right up their alley, and for those who are not fans of sarcasm, it's a good joke wasted.)
Somewhere in the introduction, the author lets the reader know why he or she is qualified to write about such a topic. My qualifications? I am currently a high school English teacher. I have had the pleasure of meeting, teaching, and working with some interesting characters. In addition to teaching English in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, I've also taught English in Kobe, Japan. Educationally, I've got a few degrees and such, but a degree doesn't make you qualified to write a book. There are many people with degrees that shouldn't even write a memo, let alone a book, and there are many that have no degree, but have wisdom and insight that could fill volumes. I'm not quite sure where I fit in. I do know that I am taking advantage of the American culture. Here in the good ol' U S of A we allow any and everybody to write a book. From what I can understand, Paris Hilton even has a book! I figure if she can write a book, and she doesn't have a real job, nor is she known for her level of good judgment—if she can write a book, then who really is going to deny me the privilege—no, the right to write a book?
Since I majored in literature in college, I was forced to read things that were less than entertaining. Surely, not every literary work assigned proved to be mentally stimulating. I sat in countless classes in which the professor made us pore over the text and attempt to add meaning and depth to works that, in my opinion, don't warrant all the hype. (Now that I’ve said that, I just hope I can live up to the hype! I remember telling my professors that I could have written better--well, here goes nothing!)
How the book works:
I have a lot to say about a lot of things. That's no secret to anyone that really knows me or has ever taken one of my classes. What also is no secret is that I easily get off topic onto tangents, which, although interesting, deviate greatly from the intended topic. In graduate school, I had this professor, Kathy Froelich, which called such deviations "bird walks." That makes my proclivity to deviate sound so nice and cute. Cute or not, it is what it is, and apparently it’s going to stay that way. (I promise you I have some sort of attention deficit, and yes, I am aware that there is a fancy razzle dazzle name for such a disorder. And yes--I am aware that I have strayed from what I was originally discussing. But back to what I was saying.)
How this works:
So here is the breakdown of the book--I've written down principle and beliefs that I've managed to live my life by. It's weird, because when people think of a person of wisdom, no one ever really thinks that a person of such young years (I'm only 29) would have experienced enough things to have developed principles for others to live their lives by. I changed so much as a result of my experience in Japan. Things that I thought were important were not so important when I got back. Nor were the people I thought were guaranteed to be there in my life the people I gravitated toward when I returned. My life was different. My outlook on things was different—I was different. I found out that I didn't need to be as controlling as I originally had been for the majority of my life. There were few things in which the outcome actually mattered, so why worry about it? (I'm not sure how I got to this point. When I was physically in Japan, I wasn't this nonchalant person that I became after my experience. Some kind of way, between the time we took off and the landing of the plane, my outlook changed. I began to sit back and actually look at things, and it seems to me that these principles can be used and applied in almost any situation by any group of people.)
In an attempt to keep things in some sort of order, I have structured this book around a few main topics that I feel are very important. In each section, I have included my personal philosophies and opinions. As far as I know, I actually made these things up. (I read so much; I really hope I haven't lifted them from somewhere unknowingly. But for the sake of the book, I made them up. I often have rattled off some or all of them to students or friends over time as some sort of maxim to help them choose the proper course to take. I sometimes amaze myself at how easy I make problem-solving seem.)
But yes, how this works....There are principles and beliefs that run through out the book, and I share with you the events and circumstances that led me to learn the value of these principles and beliefs. You can read the book in order, or you can pick and choose which section appeals to you most. (For all of you non-readers out there, I do apologize that I couldn't get this book in some cool pamphlet format or on some video game. Maybe if I blow up I can get it sold on Audio Books! It'd be neat to have somebody read my book. I wonder who could I get to do the voiceover? Maybe I can get the guy from the Allstate commercials. He has a very prestigious sounding voice, and people will listen to just about anything he says. Or, better yet, someone like Oprah would do wonders for my book. Can you imagine Oprah doing a voice over for my book? People listen to and follow Oprah as if she penned the Ten Commandments personally. My book would become law. I've always thought the world would be a better place if people thought like I think or would simply do what I tell them.)
So back to how the book works. I suggest you read the book straight through. The order in which it appears is the order that my mind conceived it, and later portions of the book build on things discussed earlier. But it’s your book, you can read it how you want.