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Perfectly Yourself
Cover of Perfectly Yourself
Perfectly Yourself
9 Lessons for Enduring Happiness

"Just be yourself!" People say it all the time, but how do we actually live it?

For more than a decade Matthew Kelly has been helping people discover the best version of themselves. Now, in Perfectly Yourself, he addresses the opportunities and obstacles that we encounter once we decide to ask life's big questions: Who am I? What am I here for? Focusing on nine powerful and practical lessons, Kelly shows us how to find lasting happiness in a changing world.

We all have an insatiable need to grow and improve: Every year millions of us buy books and attend workshops in the hope that we will lose weight, improve our relationships, conquer debt, accomplish more in our careers, achieve financial independence, reach spiritual enlightenment, become better parents or lovers--the list goes on. We yearn for progress. And yet, many of us fail to achieve the transformations we desire.

"People don't fail because they want to fail," Kelly explains. "People don't go on a diet because they want to get fat. People don't get married to get divorced. Whether we are dealing with health and wellness, relationships, finances, spirituality, or career, people want to advance. Personal development animates us, brings us to life. In many cases one diet is as good as the next. One financial plan is as good as another. People are smart enough to work out which are the best, but still so many fail. We have to ask ourselves: Why?

"Fundamental to all transformation is understanding the dynamics of change so that we can be aware of the obstacles and opportunities that await us when we attempt to transform an area of our lives."

Kelly teaches us how to find the balance between accepting ourselves for who we are and challenging ourselves to become all we are capable of being. He encourages us to unify the many aspects of our lives, and reveals how to move beyond other people's expectations of who and what we should be.

Perfectly Yourself is for anyone who has ever failed at a diet, survived the collapse of a relationship, or wondered if he or she will ever find a fulfilling career. It's a book for all of us who long to be at peace with who we are, where we are, and what we are doing, not in some distant tomorrow but here and now--today.

From the Hardcover edition.

"Just be yourself!" People say it all the time, but how do we actually live it?

For more than a decade Matthew Kelly has been helping people discover the best version of themselves. Now, in Perfectly Yourself, he addresses the opportunities and obstacles that we encounter once we decide to ask life's big questions: Who am I? What am I here for? Focusing on nine powerful and practical lessons, Kelly shows us how to find lasting happiness in a changing world.

We all have an insatiable need to grow and improve: Every year millions of us buy books and attend workshops in the hope that we will lose weight, improve our relationships, conquer debt, accomplish more in our careers, achieve financial independence, reach spiritual enlightenment, become better parents or lovers--the list goes on. We yearn for progress. And yet, many of us fail to achieve the transformations we desire.

"People don't fail because they want to fail," Kelly explains. "People don't go on a diet because they want to get fat. People don't get married to get divorced. Whether we are dealing with health and wellness, relationships, finances, spirituality, or career, people want to advance. Personal development animates us, brings us to life. In many cases one diet is as good as the next. One financial plan is as good as another. People are smart enough to work out which are the best, but still so many fail. We have to ask ourselves: Why?

"Fundamental to all transformation is understanding the dynamics of change so that we can be aware of the obstacles and opportunities that await us when we attempt to transform an area of our lives."

Kelly teaches us how to find the balance between accepting ourselves for who we are and challenging ourselves to become all we are capable of being. He encourages us to unify the many aspects of our lives, and reveals how to move beyond other people's expectations of who and what we should be.

Perfectly Yourself is for anyone who has ever failed at a diet, survived the collapse of a relationship, or wondered if he or she will ever find a fulfilling career. It's a book for all of us who long to be at peace with who we are, where we are, and what we are doing, not in some distant tomorrow but here and now--today.

From the Hardcover edition.

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  • Chapter One

    Are You Making Progress?

    Our differences as individuals are fascinating and wonderful, and this book is about exploring and celebrating what makes us unique. But I want to begin by identifying what drives our desire to become perfectly ourselves. In my work with more than three million people over the past decade, I have often stood in awe of how wonderfully unique we are as individuals, but I have also been intrigued by the astonishing similarities that exist between men and women of all ages and cultures, all countries and creeds. The greatest of these similarities is what I like to call "the hunger": a common yearning in people's hearts for something more or for something that has been lost, a yearning that seems to be growing stronger and deeper with every passing day.

    Some people associate this hunger with a desire for more money or more sex. Others respond to this hunger by seeking the perfect partner, thinking that this one person will calm the yearning once and for all. Others collect possessions or amass power in an attempt to quell the hunger. But it seems unquenchable, insatiable. There are some who associate the hunger with a need for more fulfillment in the workplace. Others sense that something is wrong but cannot quite put their finger on it, so they take journeys hoping to discover something about themselves.

    Sooner or later this hunger tends to lead most people to the area of personal development. Some people turn their attention to health and well-being, others to gaining financial independence, others to improving a relationship, and some to spirituality.

    The hunger is really a desire to be more perfectly yourself. It can express itself in hundreds of ways, but all are born from the single desire to feel more at home with who you are. Regardless of what area of personal development you choose to focus on at this time in your life, there are certain stages and pitfalls that are common to all. They all share a common psychology of change. This book is about understanding the dynamics of change, the change that we desire but that so often eludes us.

    Trying to lose weight is a perfect example.

    Every January, a slew of new diet books are published. Many people have gained weight over the holidays, and publishers know we will resolve at New Year's to slim down. One of these books will break out and hit the top of all the best-seller lists. Everyone will be talking about it. The diet will be presented as miraculous. People will flock to the book. Everybody will rave about it as if simply reading the book will cause weight to fall from bodies as effortlessly as beads of sweat.

    The thing is, you and I both know that twelve months ago they were talking about another book in the same way. And next year, there will be more new and amazing diet books. Editors in all the Manhattan publishing houses are sitting at their desks right now trying to figure out what will be the next big diet book.

    People seem obsessed with losing weight, and yet Americans are becoming more and more obese with every passing year. Is it just me, or is there a massive disconnect here?

    This book is about that disconnect. Regardless of what area of your life you would like to transform, I want to show you how we bridge the gap between our desire for change and actually creating real and sustainable change in our lives.

    A Moment of Truth

    From time to time my friend Meggie will get this look on her face, and I know exactly what she is about to say: "Matthew, get honest with yourself!" I love that about her. She doesn't say it that often, so when she does it means something.

    I think we all need moments of honesty...

About the Author-
  • Matthew Kelly is the author of several books, including The Rhythm of Life and The Seven Levels of Intimacy. His books have appeared on multiple bestseller lists including those of The New York Times, USA Today, and The Wall Street Journal. For more than a decade Kelly has been traveling the globe, and three million people in more than fifty countries have attended his seminars. One of the great emerging voices of our time, Kelly is the founder of The Matthew Kelly Foundation, whose major charitable work is to help young people discover their mission in life. Kelly is also the president of Dream Manager Consulting, a Chicago-based consulting company that helps corporations and individuals identify and live their dreams.

Reviews-
  • Dr. Stephen R. Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People "I loved this book! It provides significant insights into living a happier, healthier, more rewarding life."
  • Ken Blanchard, co-author of The One Minute Manager "The Rhythm of Life is a treasure for all those who dare to believe that there is a best-version-of-themselves. . . . Miss it at your peril!"
  • Hal Urban, author of Life's Greatest Lessons "Matthew Kelly shows us how to find lasting happiness in a changing world . . . and how to fall in love again . . . with life. His message is both timely and timeless."
  • Harville Hendrix, Ph.D., author of Getting the Love You Want: A Guide for Couples "A highly readable, well-written book that contains deep wisdom and practical guidance about relationships that will be useful to everyone seeking genuine and durable intimacy, especially couples. I highly recommend it."
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Perfectly Yourself
9 Lessons for Enduring Happiness
Matthew Kelly
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