Where do I begin? I have only recently come across the writings of Mike Donghia. I was quickly drawn to his message concerning simple living and more specifically minimalism because he is a great communicator. His style of writing is clear and makes me want to continue reading. I was also drawn to his writings because we share a common foundation for our lives - faith in Jesus Christ. When I discover a fellow minimalist (I use the term loosely when referring to myself), who is also a Christian, I am intrigued to discover how their faith fuels their lifestyle.
I certainly wasn't looking for more to do this week, and when Mike asked me to review his new ebook, I was inclined to say no. But then he mentioned that for the first week the book is on sale, 100% of the profits will be given to Hope International, a third world micro financing organization. This fact alone, is what propelled me to read this book. I am eager to whatever I can do to help generate donations that will potentially eliminate and alleviate poverty.
Without further ado, let me tell you a bit about this book. In Rise Above the Noise, Mike Donghia delivers an important message in a clear and concise manner. The message of the book is broken down and organized into sections that outline problems, explanations and solutions. Mike starts the book out by explaining the cost of freedom, by pointing out how our many, many choices in life come at a cost to us. He addresses the noises in our life that steal our time and takes time to show us what these noises look like. I love what he says about clutter....
"Clutter is like a black hole that pulls all the mass around it into decay. That's why clutter wants a piece of you too. It wants your time and focus and creative energy to slip by the wayside....that's where minimalism will become your greatest ally. By quieting the noise in certain areas of our lives, we'll be freeing up time and energy to do important work and utilize the other streams in an intelligent way."
The next section of the book outlines the attack and offers insight into what this noise in our lives is demanding from us. This list includes healthy relationships, time to create, restful sleep, personal growth, a sense of control, thriving business and contentment. The issue here that resonated most with me was that of personal growth. Mike suggests that we all need periods of rest (emptiness) for personal growth to happen. I have experienced this in my own life and this theme of incorporating rest or quiet in my life seems to be recurring.
Mike follows this with a counter-attack; a plan to rise above the noise. After realizing just how much the noise was taking from me, I was ready to fight back. Here you will find a list of strategies for fighting the noise including ideas like habits, focus, achievement, breathing, building trust and more.
The final section of this book four virtues that we could all use a little more of: restraint, responsibility, obsession and focus. In my opinion, this is where the true value and worth of this book lies. I love what he says about life...
"Life isn't about having fewer things to do and developing a beautifully minimalistic aesthetic. It's about doing remarkable things - both big and small. It's about stripping away all the non-essentials to gather your thoughts for a few supreme efforts. "
This was a refreshing read with an important message for all of us. We can all benefit from less noise in our lives. I'm thankful I took the time to read this and encourage you to do the same. Remember....if you buy the book (only $10) this week, you are supporting those who struggle with poverty in the developing world.
Please, go HERE to read more about the book and purchase your own copy.