a field guide to quiet courage

literary inklings

literary inklings

notes from a bohemian library

Review: Cultivating the Fine Art of Selfishness by Dr. Forrest Beck, N.D.

In today’s hectic world we are constantly motivated to fit as much into a day as possible, and we often do so in the pursuit of satisfying others regardless of our own physical or mental health. But could it be possible that the recipe for our most successful and empowering selves begins with focusing on our own needs first? This is the question naturopathic doctor Forrest Beck poses to readers in his book, Cultivating the Fine Art of Selfishness. You read that correctly: we’re talking about selfishness rather than selflessness. The premise Dr. Beck has founded his book on completely alters our view of the word from an unattractive, vain, often greedy quality to a simply more self-aware lifestyle that, he believes, will create a chain reaction in how we treat others and thereby change the quality of help we can offer them.

Other readers may relate to me when I say that I, at first, struggled to align myself with the concept of the word “selfish” as a positive purely because I was brought up on its negative connotation, but Dr. Beck sets the groundwork for his theory so well that the unusualness of the word’s new meaning is quite brief. Instead, I found myself catching on the word every time it was used, and it reminded me anew of the possibility for enriching my life through the ideas and inspiration Dr. Beck presents. In Cultivating the Fine Art of Selfishness Dr. Beck explores the way we live now and unearths the less obvious, though entirely dangerous, habits we fall into on a daily basis. He divides his book between four parts – on our personal connectivity, our habits, our health, and our financial awareness – and within each part he allots chapters dedicated to further exploring each topic under the premise of selfishness. I related especially to the first part of the book and its discussion of managing “me time”, highlighting the importance of daily solitude in order to reflect, meditate, energize, dream, and otherwise center ourselves. Here Dr. Beck offers tools for finding the most convenient hours of the day to be alone and how we should spend them. True to current technology, he even examines in detail our use of social media and how our internet habits can affect our outlook. (If you spend a lot of time online as I do, this chapter will be especially telling.) Additionally, his chapters on achieving our best possible individual health goals was enlightening, wherein he offers some unique and time-tested ideas for managing eating and exercise habits. As soon as I finished reading I felt inspired and motivated to make smart choices in my life; but I also felt accepting of myself in the moment, as well. I think that’s a great uniqueness of Dr. Beck’s premise, that giving our own needs top priority in our lives will ultimately lead us toward a much more superior level of self-esteem.

Perhaps the best component of Dr. Beck’s book is the confident voice with which he delivers his ideas. He writes with warmth, compassion, and sensibility, making every new chapter read as naturally as a conversation. It’s often easy to feel overwhelmed by such primary lifestyle topics – perhaps because we can all relate to them, and we’re all familiar with our own bad habits – but Dr. Beck’s approach takes the scare factor out of making a lifestyle change, and indeed he makes being “selfish” sound fun. After all, is it really selfish to give our all to the physical and mental place that we call home?

Title: Cultivating the Fine Art of Selfishness Author: Dr. Forrest Beck, N.D. Genre: self-improvement Publisher: Advantage Media Group Available Formats: paperback, ebook Release date: October 24, 2012 Provided by: Dr. Forrest Beck (c/o) Buy the book: Amazon | Kindle | Barnes & Noble Connect with the author: Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Google +

Cultivating The Fine Art of SELFISHNESS: IMPROVING community by EMPOWERING individuals

Casee Marie