Constructive Living by David K. Reynolds

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If you’re stuck ‘thinking’ or ‘feeling’. This book gets you ‘doing’.

Constructive Living is a quick read, and is incredibly potent for the small dose. I find myself telling people that this is my favorite book. I read it near the end of my senior year in college, and it rocked my world. It made SO much simple sense. It is all about behavior, being real with yourself, and understanding your emotions. It was also extremely practical. It put me on a motivational streak for two weeks and improved the social aspects of my life that needed a kick. It allowed me to go out and start being someone I had wanted to be.

I bought this book for my sister when she broke up with her boyfriend. I think it can be particularly beneficial to people who is going through something that feels like it will affect them forever (or a long time).

I attribute my current job, getting a personal trainer, asking girls out on dates, starting my investment career, and being a more loving person with my family to this book. It came along at a perfect time in my life.

Continue for notes.


  1. Feelings are uncontrollable directly by will
  2. Feelings must be recognized and accepted as they are
  3. Every feeling, however unpleasant, has it’s uses
  4. Feelings fade in time unless they are re-stimulated
  5. Feelings can be indirectly influenced by behavior

All I have to ‘work on’ is right here, right now. “That’s all any of us has.”

“Whether success or failure there is always something to be done next.”

“We are all time travelers”

The goal is not to ignore or suppress feelings, but to accept them as they happen to be at the moment. And then to get on to doing what is sensible and mature anyway.

That is the secret to overcoming shyness. It is really overcoming the interference of shyness in everyday life. That’s what maturity is all about. Not feeling confident all the time but doing what needs to be done anyway. Eventually the shy feelings will fade but you won’t have the ability to notice them because you will be too busy living.

If you get discouraged, remember discouragement is a feeling. Examine it, and see what can be done about it.

Fear is healthy. It’s caution. Fear, like pain, is unpleasant but the discomfort is an alarm that cals our attention to something needing our attention.

The emphasis in Constructive Living is on doing itself. Goals and purposes are directions for our actions. The real goal is in the achieving not the achievement itself. Success or failure, reality presents itself with something to do next.

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