BOOK RECOMMENDATION: Awaken(ed) by Patrick Baird

Awaken(ed) by Patrick Baird is a self-help book for people in a hurry. The book is only 77 pages long yet jammed with enough wisdom to pack the semester of any Spirituality and Self-Improvement 101 class. Baird takes pride in being the healthy-bodied executive chef of an unnamed New York City restaurant. He’s figured out that the path to success and happiness doesn’t have to be so abstract. So complicated. According to Baird, it’s truly as simple as caring for your health, focusing your mind, being nice to be people, not pissing away free time, and hawk-watching those finances. How come so few people do this though? 

Baird writes: ”A vast majority of people never do anything extraordinary and then fade into a corner and die.” Harsh words, but hard to argue with. In other words, people are unhappy because they’re too lazy to do anything about it. As you can imagine, much of the book’s message is common sense. Still good to be reminded though that all we have to do is TRY. 

The book is divided into sections, each concerning a different facet of good practice for good living. The sections are prefaced with quotes from the likes of Anthony Bourdain to Thich Nhat Hanh. These quotes are so impressively picked they’re worth the price of the book alone. However, the book’s most enjoyable trait is the dressed down style of the writing, sounding more like the dialogue of a friend, rather than some pedantic know-it-all. Baird writes: “…if you finish 30 days of anything, you’ve already achieved a goal. Look at you, crushing it!” Hard to argue with that, either.   

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