In a world filled with so many books, it's rare to come across one that is truly a work of art. It's rare to come across a book where you can feel the reader's love and emotion spilling out of the pages. It's rare that you come across a book where you can tell the author left nothing on the table.
I'm reminded of James Altechur who described good writing as bleeding on the page. As he said, "Say it with blood. If your blood stops, you have a heart attack. You die. If your blood doesn't leak onto the page, your post will have a heart attack. It will die."
Similarly, Seth Godin described true "art" as personal, very personal. Here's what Seth said:
"Art isn't only a painting. Art is anything that's creative, passionate, and personal. An artist is someone who uses bravery, insight, creativity, and boldness to challenge the status quo. Art is a personal gift that changes the recipient. The medium doesn't matter. The intent does. Art is a personal act of courage, something one human does that creates change in another."
With that backdrop, I want to tell you about a book I read that touched my soul. The book is called, The Hidden Gifts Within the Trauma of Sexual Abuse, by Keira Poulsen. Trauma is something I've spent a lot of time studying, as it relates and connects to addiction as well as personality development.
I believe every person on this planet has some form of trauma that they have buried down in their soul. Their trauma is informing their personality and their comfort zone. It's "freezing" their personality as Bessel van der Kolk M.D. explains in The Body Keeps The Score.
Dr. Gabor Maté explains how painful experiences can go on to shape a person's approach to life:
"Through no conscious will of your own, and for perfectly understandable reasons that had to do with your own emotional survival and thus were valid at the time, you have developed a personality style that has turned out to be bad for your health in the long run."
In The Hidden Gifts Within the Trauma of Sexual Abuse, Keira Poulsen showed me how to truly love myself. Now, I must be frank, I'm not a woman. I've never been sexually abused. However, I am a husband and a father of two people who have been abused in prior relationships.
I know what abuse can do to a person.
And I know through a lot of deep work I've gone through myself how much it can take a person to reach a place where they love themselves and can move forward. I've never come across a more heartfelt and passionate book on the subject of trauma.
A Powerful Reminder For Artists And Entrepreneurs
If you or anyone you know is dealing with trauma or pain in the realm of sexual abuse, this book is a powerful resource.
But even if you are not, this book will teach you a thing or two. For instance, this book reminded me what it really takes to have a mission that pulls you forward. Keira Poulsen clearly is someone who believes in what she's doing. She put her heart and soul on the line in this book. She wasn't chasing bestseller status or fame. She is doing work that she truly believes in.
I believe this is a good reminder for all artists and entrepreneurs. The bigger the why, the easier the how... as Jim Rohn said.
There comes a problem with success or seeking "success," and that is that you can lose the fearlessness of doing something for the sake of it. You can lose the sense of having absolutely nothing to lose and nothing to prove.
That's another thing I got from this book. That I need to deepen my own WHY and do everything I can to serve and help those who need my help the most. As Viktor Frankl said it best in Man's Search for Meaning:
"Don't aim at success. The more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side effect of one's personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one's surrender to a person other than oneself. Happiness must happen, and the same holds for success: you have to let it happen by not caring about it. I want you to listen to what your conscience commands you to do and go on to carry it out to the best of your knowledge. Then you will live to see that in the long-run--in the long-run, I say!--success will follow you precisely because you had forgotten to think about it"