Sometimes you come across a book that changes your life and how you live. And if, by chance, this happens, you hold onto that book and carry it with you everywhere you go as the lessons it teaches live in your heart and mind forever.
A Higher Branch is one such book. I came across it by a chance of fate, if that's what one calls it. I read A Higher Branch fairly slowly because I was busy and had a tough year in 2012, but the book couldn't have come to me at a better time.
Written as a fable, the story is about a young boy, Tom, who gets lost in the woods and meets a mysteriously familiar, wise old man who guides him home by teaching him about the 8 Trees of Life. These tress of life are a metaphor for the areas of our lives that we should be focusing on if we are to live a complete, healthy and happy life. I personally believe that if this philosophy was implemented in our schools, workplaces and culture, we would be a much happier and healthier society.
The 8 Trees of Life are Health, Love, Family, Work, Friendship, Learning, Wealth and Charity. Most people know of these areas of their life, but what makes A Higher Branch such an amazing book, is that the author paints a clear picture of the importance of climbing each of these areas and what can happen if any one of them is neglected.
What did I learn?
The Tree of Health is the most important Tree of all: after all, if you aren't healthy, what good are you to your partner, family, job and life?
If you spend too much or too little time with your partner/spouse/boyfriend/girlfriend, your love may suffocate or die and that you have to love yourself first because how else can anyone else love you?
It is important of spend quality and quantity time with family,
We must love what we do just as much as we must do what we love because if we aren't happy with what we are doing, we won't put our heart into it,
To have friends it is important to be a friend first and also surround yourself with people who share your values and beliefs,
Questioning, curiosity and self-awareness are the three main teachers in life,
Wealth is a way of life: it is a state of your mind and not the balance of your bank account,
Charity is as simple as giving someone a helping hand or listening to them.
The lessons are practical, realistic, simple to understand and presented in a easy-to-read, beautifully written way.
However, the real magic of the book kicks in during the second part: The Circle of Positive Thinking. I absolutely loved this part of the book because it helped get me through some really, really low moments of my life. I've always been a believer and practitioner of positive thinking but never had an easy to use guideline to implement. In A Higher Branch, the author takes basic psychological principles and presents them so simply and practically. It's a 5 step pattern of thinking:
1. Focus on your goals and dreams,
2. Take action with courage, yet be motivated by love,
3. Accept what flows in life,
4. Be grateful and giving,
5. Be fearless and adventurous.
I recommend A Higher Branch to everyone and anyone who knows that something is wrong with their life but isn't sure what it is, or is interested in personal growth and development, enjoys a good book or just wants to learn how to be happy (or happier). I know that A Higher Branch has done more than just change my life; it has become the principles by which I live.
Simple. Beautiful. Practical. Timeless.
It is in my top 20 books of my personal library.
I am grateful that I crossed paths with it and I think once you read it, you will too.
Keep living from your heart and climbing higher,
Anna Krjatianshow more
by Anna Krjatian