3 Seconds

August 1, 2007 at 1:00 pm 2 comments

3seconds.gifAriel sponsored a free book drawing on his blog a couple weeks ago, and I was one of several readers to receive a copy of a new Zondervan title—3 Seconds: The Power of Thinking Twice. The only requirement was that recipients of said books were required to post a reflection of at least 100 words on one of the book’s themes–not a very tough condition, if you ask me!

(Hint: Read his blog. You might get free books too. 😉 )

Three seconds to empowered living

So anyway, 3 Seconds concentrates on dissecting six impulses that hinder people from achieving their full potential. For example: “there’s nothing I can do about it,” “it’s not my problem, somebody else is to blame.”

Parrott’s contention is that waiting three seconds after these first impulses and acting instead on the second impulses makes all the difference between a life of mediocrity and a life lived to its full potential.

The book falls into the self-help genre, which is not usually my genre of choice, and parts of it are predictable and unoriginal (i.e., brandish optimism, refuse to let criticism get you down). But while not exactly stunning, Parrott’s basic message is valid, and on the whole the book was worthwhile and enjoyable.

Too much ease will kill you

My favorite illustration in the book: In the chapter on embracing challenges, Parrott tells of researchers at the University of California at Berkeley who dramatically demonstrated the importance of having and overcoming opposition in life.

The researchers took an amoeba and transferred it into a perfectly stress-free environment: optimal temperature, steady food supply, and the ideal concentration of moisture. The little guy had it made.

Or not. Actually, he died. Apparently, the lack of any stimulating challenge was too much for him (her? it?).

So it appears that amoebas—and other living creatures as well—actually need challenges to be healthy. It’s not that we work hard for 65 years as a necessary evil so we can retire and live the good life. On the contrary: We were built for work and built for challenges, such that ease is bad for the soul.

In other words, work is the good life. (Of course, we already knew this, from Genesis 2:15.)

Makes me think I should turn off the A/C, get rid of all my electrical appliances, and take up cooking over a fire and washing clothes by hand. But even without going that far, I’m still inspired to roll up my sleeves and do something challenging today.


Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Ariel  |  August 1, 2007 at 6:13 pm

    Maybe you’re right and the amoeba was the best part. Like you say in the last paragraph, that story does make you look at the world a little differently. “What, you mean comfort could kill me? That’s not what I want to hear…”

    Thanks for the synopsis!

  • 2. Jamie  |  August 5, 2007 at 9:36 am

    Ariel: I decided in retrospect that it sounds bad (or morbid) to say the best illustration involved a dead amoeba, but what can I say: the illustration motivated me!


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profile.jpgI am working on my M.A. in Religion at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan. Besides having a big interest in theology, history, ethics, and the deep stuff of life, I am also very fond of Mediterranean food, snow, and the color red.

Email me: jamie.kiley@gmail.com

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