Book Review: The Things You Can Only See When You Slow Down by Haemin Sunim

Friday, 9 February 2018

book and tea on coffee table
I find it incredibly difficult to switch 'off' from life and the swirling stream of to do lists which constantly seem to be piling up inside my head. Sometimes it feels like the point of life is to spend as much time as possible ticking things off of those lists. Socially, we seem to have this idea drilled into our heads that the moments which we spend between getting 'important' things done are moments which we should feel guilty for. We're constantly patting ourselves on the back for sweeping ourselves off of our own feet, seeing how much we can balance on our busy schedules and exhausting ourselves in the process. We feel accomplished by that exhaustion. But what I know that I personally can often forget, is to take a moment every now and then to reflect. To 'be calm in a busy world'.

The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down by Haemin Sunim is a guide on how to do exactly that. The book is split up into multiple chapters, each with a different theme varying from relationships, to spirituality, to the future. Each chapter begins with a small essay on the topic, followed by a series of short quotes and life lessons, some from Sunim himself, and others from famous thinkers. Some of these quotes are short and sweet, and others will play in your head for days after you've turned the page. Each offers a brilliant lesson on how to be a better and kinder person, both to yourself and to others around you.

I've taken to writing some of my favourite quotes from this book down in my phone, so that I can always come back to them. The two which have been circling in my head the most since I finished reading are:

“Some say they don’t really know what they are looking for in life. This might be because, instead of getting in touch with how they feel, they have led their lives according to other people’s expectations. Live your life not to satisfy others, but to fulfill what your heart desires.”

“The more grateful we feel, the happier we become. This is because gratitude helps us realize we are all connected. Nobody feels like an island when feeling grateful. Gratitude awakens us to the truth of our interdependent nature.”

There are dozens more quotes which I could have chosen, which is why this book is the perfect one to keep by your bed to flick through whenever you need a word of encouragement. It offers the reminder that taking a little more time in your day to be appreciative of what you have and of the world around you are two of the most important things that you can do in order to achieve happiness.

The Things You Can Only See When You Slow down is now on paperback and is available to buy on Amazon.
This book was sent to me for review, however all opinions are my own.

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