Mindless Behaviors is a self-improvement book written by Beatrice Adenodi. In this first book, she seeks to raise awareness to the toxic behaviors we have and enable in others, by not being our authentic self. Through a series of seven short stories, she illustrates different kinds of these mindless behaviors and explains how to identify and overcome them. Informed by her own experiences, she hopes to help others reflect on their lives and even find their own path, both in their professional and personal life.
This question is one of the questions at the core of this book. In the introduction, the author explains how she first started to question her own life and what led her to write this book. She felt increasing disinterest and weariness in her job, to the point of asking herself “Why am I here?” and not finding a worthy answer. That’s when she realized her life was neither fulfilling nor healthy and she needed to change it.
“Mindless behaviors”: what are they?
By reflecting on her life, Adenodi identified what she calls “mindless behaviors”. She defines them as behaviors, actions, choices people do that prevents them from living an authentic life. They are inherited from upbringing, education or provoked by social norms, other people’s behaviors, etc. She argues that too many people have these behaviors or enable them in others and thus live a life they secretly resent, a life that drains them physically and emotionally.
The Seven Behaviors
Adenodi identifies seven types of mindless behaviors, which can show up in different ways or have different consequences for each individual. At the heart of each behavior is a struggle between what is better to do and what we end up doing (out of fear, pain, safety, etc.). The behaviors are: being unaware of the masks we wear, trying to satisfy unrealistic expectations, enabling bad behaviors in others, not following your intuition, seeking a quick fix, letting past experiences affect the present, and living in chaos.
Fiction at the service of self-improvement
Instead of simply describing the different types of mindless behaviors, Adenodi had the idea of using short stories to better illustrate them. In this way, the readers are able to see real-life, concrete examples, life stories that could be their own, or those of people they know. The stories and characters are relatable: people with names, jobs, loved ones, problems and passions.
Using fictional short stories is a great way to illustrate the behaviors and retain the interest of the reader, making it easy to read and understand.
Being your own agent of change
All throughout the book, the author explains that change can and must come from oneself. The tools and methods she gives are only efficient if one is truly motivated and is ready to reflect on their own behaviors. For example, she explains the importance of taking accountability in issues: others can be at fault but it’s necessary to look at our own actions to identify what we could have done better. Being honest with oneself is also essential: being honest about our wants, needs, intuition, passions.
In short, Adenodi’s book is a really interesting read that can no doubt help people become more aware of their life. The integration of short stories for each type of behavior gives flesh to her explanations and advices. Through this book, she delivers a hopeful message that, as humans, we cannot avoid every trial or pain but we can overcome them and grow from them, that we’re in charge of our life.
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