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Recently, I read a book that is getting a lot of traction. It’s called 101 Essays That Will Change the Way You Think, by Brianna Wiest. 

If the title itself doesn’t sound enticing enough, check out the titles of some of the chapters.

I challenge you -how can you not turn the page?

Chapter 1: Subconscious Behaviors That Are Keeping You from Having the Life You Want. 

What??? Where has this been all my life?

Chapter 14: Expectations You Must Let Go of In Your 20s.

 Wow, I can’t wait until I turn twenty to read this chapter!

Chapter 15: Read This If You Don’t Know What You Are Doing with Your Life.

Honestly, do they have a camera in my house?

Chapter 21: 102 Ways to Not Let Irrational Thoughts Ruin Your Life.

Only 102? What do I do about the other eight thousand thoughts in my head?

Chapter 28: Questions That Will Show You Who You Are and What You’re Meant to Do.

Finally, someone gets it! That I am meant to be a supermodel. Okay, a Buffalo supermodel but still!

Chapter 49: How To (Actually) Change Your Life This Year.

Oh, good. I still have a lot of time left because, you know, I’m only twenty years-old. 

Anyway, as the title of the book suggests, there are one hundred and one chapters. 

A quick side note though.  Not all of the chapters are written in a typical essay format. Many chapters are written using a bullet style format. Personally, I like this because I have the attention span of a goldfish or worse, Donald Trump. 

By the way, the chapters are not meant to be read in any particular order. That means you can jump back and forth or read whatever speaks to you on a particular day. 

Regarding content, not every chapter might grab you but personally, I think there is enough stuff in here to peak a lot of people’s interest.  Also, I’ve certainly heard some of the messages in this book echoed before by other authors, but sometimes a takeaway can be worded a little differently in order to resonate. 

So, here is a sampling of my favourite takeaways:

More is not better. Happiness is not experiencing something else; it’s continually experiencing what you already have in new and different ways.’ (p. 18)

The fact is the way to change your life is to change the way you think, and the way to change the way you think is to change what you read. (p. 74)

You cannot be whatever you want, but if you work hard and don’t give up and happen to be born to circumstances that facilitate it, you can maybe do something that crosses your abilities with your interests. And if you’re really smart, you’ll figure out how to be grateful for it, even on the difficult days. (p. 78)

The author also has some fun chapter topics. 

For example, Experiences We Don’t Have English Words for Yet.

Wiest goes on to describe those experiences. 

“What is the word or words forThe frustration you feel when somebody is mad or upset over completely false things that they’ve made up in their mind, a complete lack of understanding on a situation?’”

Okay, I would like to interject here Brianna Wiest. I’ve got this one. It’s called Tuesday!

All joking aside, I found 101 Essays That Will Change the Way You Think an uplifting combination of ideas, philosophies and life hacks. 

I really enjoyed reading it. It’s one of those dog-eared books that I think I will have for a long time.

The title is very catchy and the chapters are even catchier.

It’s like the movie The Godfather – just as you try to put the book down, it pulls you back in!

But isn’t that what a good book is supposed to do?

I would like to leave you with two last feel-good quotes from Wiest that fall along the lines of the Golden Rule. Quite frankly, I don’t think we can be reminded enough. 

“How you treat others is how you will be remembered.”

Start appreciating how rare and beautiful it is to even just have one close friend in life. Not everybody is so lucky.”

Well said, Brianna. 

If you like to catch on this particular podcast on any of my other Laugh Long and Prosper episodes, voted by CTV as one of the best podcasts of 2021 in Canada, check me out!  Judy Croon on most of your streaming sources. 

Until next time, Laugh Long and Prosper!