You Unstuck (Audio)

You Are the Solution to Your Greatest Problem

Seth Adam Smith (Author)

Publication date: 02/01/2015

You Unstuck (Audio)
With his trademark wit and warmth, global superstar blogger Seth Adam Smith inspires readers to take ownership of their lives and turn their backs on the idea that they are ever helpless victims of circumstance.

Wildly popular blogger: Seth's website has 100,000 subscribers, and his posts, which have received over 30 million hits, have been featured in the national media and translated into over twenty languages.

Warm and encouraging: Seth takes the traditional message that we possess the tools to build our own happiness and strips it of its usual psychology-speak and aphorism-infused pep and addresses it on a foundational human level with humor, grace, and humility.

All of us feel trapped, stuck, or unable to move forward in life at some point. What is it that's holding us back? According to Seth, it's who, not what. Ultimately, the greatest obstacle to achieving your full potential is you.

But you are also the solution to your greatest problem.

This book combats a destructive mind-set that we all sometimes fall into: I can't change. I am the victim of my circumstances, and I am confined by my personal limitations. This philosophy, though intangible, destroys more dreams and limits more lives than any actual, physical obstacle.

To show us how to overcome this philosophy of fear, Smith draws on literature, history, and his personal experiences with chronic depression, as well as on encounters with remarkable "ordinary" people who've embraced a different philosophy: the belief that we possess the power to lift ourselves out of the abyss and into the light.

Smith inspires us to see that no matter how dire our circumstances may be, there is always a positive step you can take, however small it might be. He doesn't sugarcoat the difficulties or offer promises of overnight success. But he does promise that if you continue to see yourself as a victim you'll remain frozen and fearful. We may not be able to control what happens to us, but we can always control how we react.

Read more and meet author below

Read An Excerpt


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Overview

With his trademark wit and warmth, global superstar blogger Seth Adam Smith inspires readers to take ownership of their lives and turn their backs on the idea that they are ever helpless victims of circumstance.

Wildly popular blogger: Seth's website has 100,000 subscribers, and his posts, which have received over 30 million hits, have been featured in the national media and translated into over twenty languages.

Warm and encouraging: Seth takes the traditional message that we possess the tools to build our own happiness and strips it of its usual psychology-speak and aphorism-infused pep and addresses it on a foundational human level with humor, grace, and humility.

All of us feel trapped, stuck, or unable to move forward in life at some point. What is it that's holding us back? According to Seth, it's who, not what. Ultimately, the greatest obstacle to achieving your full potential is you.

But you are also the solution to your greatest problem.

This book combats a destructive mind-set that we all sometimes fall into: I can't change. I am the victim of my circumstances, and I am confined by my personal limitations. This philosophy, though intangible, destroys more dreams and limits more lives than any actual, physical obstacle.

To show us how to overcome this philosophy of fear, Smith draws on literature, history, and his personal experiences with chronic depression, as well as on encounters with remarkable "ordinary" people who've embraced a different philosophy: the belief that we possess the power to lift ourselves out of the abyss and into the light.

Smith inspires us to see that no matter how dire our circumstances may be, there is always a positive step you can take, however small it might be. He doesn't sugarcoat the difficulties or offer promises of overnight success. But he does promise that if you continue to see yourself as a victim you'll remain frozen and fearful. We may not be able to control what happens to us, but we can always control how we react.

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Meet the Author


Visit Author Page - Seth Adam Smith

Seth Adam Smith is an internationally acclaimed Alaskan-born writer. In 2013, his blog post "Marriage Isn't for You"; received over thirty million hits and was translated into over twenty languages. A survivor of a suicide attempt in 2006, Seth has learned that true healing comes from focusing on others and sharing "the northern lights of life." He frequently writes about these topics on his website, SethAdamSmith.com.

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Excerpt

You, Unstuck

1

By the Beating of Our Own Wings

Over seven hundred years ago, an Italian poet by the name of Dante Alighieri wrote an epic poem entitled Divine Comedy—an allegorical representation of the soul’s journey to (or away from) God.

The first part of the poem contains a chilling description of the nine circles of hell. As Dante figuratively descends these nine levels, he details the torture and agony of the souls he witnesses along the way.

In the ninth circle, the very depth and center of hell, Dante encounters Satan: a massive, terrifying beast with six wings and three nightmarish faces of different colors. Upon his back rests the entire vestibule of hell—and surrounding him is an element that we all fear and dread.

Hellfire?

No, there is no fire in Satan’s level of torment.

According to Dante, instead of standing in the midst of fire, Satan is standing waist deep in a lake of solid ice.

If you think that’s strange, wait until you read this:

The emperor of the realm of grief protruded
From mid-breast up above the surrounding ice…
.

If he was truly once as beautiful
As he is ugly now, and raised his brows
Against his Maker—then all sorrow may well…

Two wings spread forth from under [his head]…

Strong, and befitting such a bird, immense—
I have never seen at sea so broad a sail—
Unfeathered, batlike, and issuing three winds

That went forth as he beat them, to freeze the whole
Realm of [hell] that surrounded him.
He wept with all [eyes], and the tears fell…
1

Did you catch that?

Satan’s lake of ice—Satan’s prison—is kept frozen by the beating of his own wings.

This is one of the most impressive ironies in literature because it symbolically illustrates three things: the isolation of hell, the stagnation of hell, and the fact that the isolation and stagnation of hell are of our own making. In his anger, frustration, and bitterness, Satan has sunk to the lowest levels of isolation. There, by the beating of his own wings, this fallen angel is “trapped,” crushed under the weight of his own victims and mired in a frozen lake of victimhood.

You see, in Dante’s Inferno (one of the three parts of The Divine Comedy), Satan has embraced the most damning philosophy of all time. This philosophy is contemptible and destructive, crushing hope and freezing its followers in a lake of stagnation. Instead of ennobling and strengthening those who embrace it, this belief drags men and women down. It encourages isolation, fosters fear, and perpetuates resentment. It robs men and women of their strength and will to fight; it makes them give in and fall down instead of holding true and standing up. Like a pernicious plague, this belief—if embraced—will stunt our growth and limit our life.

The philosophy?

I can’t change. I am a victim of my circumstances.

And yet, for all its horrifying consequences, we nevertheless cling to this damning belief to one degree or another. To make it go down easier, we sugarcoat it with pleasing justifications and reassure ourselves that this belief will soothe our pains. And for a time, it does. Like the addict who self-medicates with drugs or the alcoholic who escapes life through drink, we run to victimhood to make ourselves feel better. The belief that we’re not responsible for our actions gives us a buzz, or a temporary relief, before dropping us down lower than before.

It’s like eating a chocolate-covered razor blade—it tastes sweet at first, but after you swallow it, the chocolate wears off and the razor is exposed.

You see, victimhood is a vicious thing; it takes and tortures its prisoners. Unaware that the belief is the thing that is hurting us and halting us, we will continue to blame anything and everything around us—even our own bodies—but certainly not ourselves.

And so it is with Dante’s Satan. Blaming others for his misfortune, he sits at the bottom level of hell, trapped in a prison of his own making.

Although we are certainly not like the “fallen angel” of Dante’s Inferno, we can pull some powerful, personal lessons from his imprisonment.

Often, we may feel trapped, isolated, beaten down, and defeated. We may feel like our lives are pure hell. But in those moments, we must realize this one, powerful truth: we do have the power to stop “beating our wings” (or fists) at our problems. Again, we cannot always control what happens to us, but we can always control how we react. And more often than not, it is our reaction to the situation that liberates us—or damns us.

To get out of your own personal hell, you must recognize that you are a person of worth and that you have an inherent power to persist and strength to move forward. No matter what you might be tempted to think, there is always someone out there who believes in you. Use that belief in you to light a fire of belief in yourself. Believing in yourself will free you from stagnation and light the way forward.

Use the following affirmation as encouragement:

I choose to live by choice, not by chance.
I choose to make changes, not excuses
.2

We are always free to choose—to act and not be acted upon. The sooner we embrace this belief and accept our responsibility, the sooner we will triumph over our circumstances and become a victor instead of a victim.

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