When I was in my late twenties, I discovered self-help books. The first book of this type that I read was called “Your Erroneous Zones” and was written by Dr. Wayne Dyer. To be honest, my friends had told me the title was “Your Erogenous Zones” and the title piqued my interest.
When I got to the chapter about guilt and worry (chapter 4), I was hooked. Dr. Dyer talked about how guilt and worry are two wasted and unproductive emotions. I soon realized that I had misunderstood the title of this great book. I found that the actual title was much more in line with my needs.
Dr. Dyer encouraged the reader to set these two areas of your life aside. He stated that guilt lived in the past. There was nothing positive that would come from rehashing an action or thought that you could do nothing about. He had similar thoughts about worry. He discussed the fact that 90% of all the things we worry about, never happen. He suggested that the time spent worrying about something that would never occur was a total waste of time. He went on to encourage us to live in the present moment. That is to live thoughtfully and mindfully. He felt strongly that the time spent on these two wasted emotions could be put to much better use.
I have continued to be a fan of Dr. Dyer for the past forty-five years. He also wrote “Pulling Your Own Strings” and “You’ll See It When You Believe It”. His no nonsense way of writing was just what I needed to motivate me. It helped me to understand for the first time in my life, that I was in control of my thoughts and emotions.
When you find an author that seems to be speaking just to you, it is important to pay attention. I had never had experience with the choice to give up feeling guilty and letting go of worry. The thought of it alone was freeing.
Coming from the Midwest, the emotions Dr. Dyer spoke about, were firmly engrained in my mind. I did not realize that happiness, self-esteem and rigidity were all emotions that were in our control. The lack of control demonstrated our “Erroneous Zones”.
As I incorporated these ideas into my daily life, I saw myself grow. Dr. Dyer went on to write twenty books about taking charge of our own lives. “Your Erroneous Zones” was one of the top selling books of all time. It spent 64 weeks on the New York Times Best Seller List.
Dr. Dyer passed away in August of 2015. I find myself reading and rereading his books. It seems impossible to absorb his messages in one reading. I will miss new writings by this great man. I am so grateful to him for having left his legacy for all of us to learn from.