Yesterday while walking past a book table at the institution where I'm auditing a class on the constitution and government, I saw a book called "Ordering Your Private World" by Gordon MacDonald. There were several passages that looked interesting, so I skimmed through it to see what was there. Then I bought it and read it in depth that afternoon.
MacDonald's words have definitely had an impact on my thoughts. His premise is that only when the inner self is organized, balanced, and kept in proper order will a person be able to live a life of public effectiveness. Many people who are in the public eye appear to be mature and wise, but if you look at their inner soul, it is empty or full of turmoil. So much emphasis is placed on having a shiny, clean looking outer life; what about what goes on in your mind, in the deepest places, when you are all alone without distractions of busyness, entertainment, people, or society? What do you have inside to sustain yourself through the hard times? What is your inner purpose, your motivation for getting up in the morning? Who are you, really?
Even though the next week and a half will be extremely busy for me (lots of preparation and performances for my students and myself, traveling before the holiday, etc.) I will be thinking hard about these questions. Maybe I'll write more about how the book is affecting my thoughts during the winter break.
In the meantime, I highly recommend MacDonald's book to everyone willing to ask hard questions of themselves.