A friend, who I didn't realize at the time was a friend, gave me a copy of "The Road Less Traveled" in 2007. I say I didn't know he was a friend because, at the time, I was too full of myself to think that anyone could do something really nice for me without a hidden agenda. He gave me the book because he obviously could tell I was full of myself. He highlighted the first sentence of the book.
You see I had (and still have) the best life anyone could ask for. But there was always a reason I was unhappy. Somebody else's fault, I thought. So I threw the book on a shelf and assumed that this was just another dude trying to make my life harder. I really read the book in 2013. I mean REALLY read it. I really enjoyed it and I recommend you read it too. But....if you just want my quick-take on it, here are the main points from the first couple of chapters.
1. We do ourselves no favors when we avoid walking through the painful times in life.
2. There is value in suffering. There is value in facing problems and there is value in feeling pain.
3. Delaying gratification can be almost spiritual. It builds so much inside of us that is of value we cannot understand.
4. (Now this.....this is my favorite one.) If we don't challenge and truly re-evaluate in an honest way what we believe periodically we are....just.....just.......cheating ourselves.
I'd love to talk to you about any or all of these points sometime. This book changed my perspective and thusly changed my life.