Why, Oh Why Don’t People Make Their Lives Better?

This is a mystery to me. Last year, between May and December*, I did full day workshops for young (and not so young) women, in 12 districts around the country. The average audience was around 100.

I covered a variety of topics such as the following,on the request of my client:

  • Finding your dream – What do you want in life?
  • Cultivating positive attitudes
  • Planning for life, defining priorities…
  • Choosing a career path
  • Facing an interview; writing a CV
  • Are you suited for entrepreneurship?

And in the course of it, I would ask them whether they watched TV programmes on positive thinking and progressive programs that teach life skills, like the Illakkaya.

Less than five in a hundred (and more like three) will raise their hands. Then, in response I’d ask, “So you watch the tele dramas instead?” and most of the faces will sport a guilty smile! Mind you, some of these people were mothers with teens, pre teens and toddlers.

Now this is my question: why do people ignore what is so good, even when its free, and fill their lives with what is not good;or meaningless?

What actually prompted this question in my mind is the fact that I have put quite a number of positive thinking books online, in Sinhala, and the response to them is not as I expected them to be.

I put them there because I know their value. I serialize some of them, by Daya Rohana Atukorala in the Athwela Business Journal, and they are very popular. But what matters more is that the very fact that I am compelled to read a few pages every month from such books makes my life better. It lifts up my spirits by those few pages. And I am generally swimming in positive thinking all the time. Even then, those few pages, coming right in the midst of a working week for my approval make me feel good; more positive and refreshed than before.


Check out the book Gehenu Lova Pirimi Lova available on SriLankaBookChapters (in Sinhala) for instance. It is a superb relationship guide by Priyanga de Zoysa.

Then take a look at Yes! You Can Do it and Yes! You Can Win (in Sinhala), both by Daya Rohana Atukorala. These are two great books. You can take my word for it because I have lived with positive thinking and psychology since I was 13 years old.

The first chapter of Yes! You Can Do it sets out six qualities that make you a psychologically well balanced person. Read and see how you fare on these aspects of:

  • Self acceptance
  • Purpose in life
  • Environmental Mastery
  • Personal growth
  • Positive relationships with others and
  • Autonomy

The first chapter of Yes! You Can Win similarly sets out qualities of a positive personality.

First give these a read. And if you have loved ones who read in Sinhala, why not get them a copy? As I said right at the outset, I am not here to sell books. But, when I need to give presents, especially to young people, I buy these and similar books. I’ve given dozens and dozens in the past few years. I give them because The Power of Positive Thinking for Young People by Norman Vincent Peale that was lying about my house changed my whole life. And such a book in gift form will be a very appropriate gift indeed.

And the book on relationships by Priyanga de Zoysa is a great book for your friends, especially if they are having relationship trouble or just starting out. Or merely trying to bring the magic of a relationship back to life.

Happy browsing!

* This was originally published on my Brought to Book Blog on smallbusiness.lk which was part of the First Chapters project.


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