How To Live: 1. How We Are
“Our deeds travel with us from afar, and what we have been makes us what we are.” This George Elliot quote, taken from Middlemarch, is included in the first volume of Vincent Deary’s How To Live trilogy, and is a neat summation of what this first volume - which I suppose will find its way onto the ‘self-help books’ shelf - is all about. Deary posits that our lives are dictated by the grooves we make for ourselves, grooves worn deep through duplication, and our repeated actions subsequently influence our moods and thoughts; or “what we have been makes us what we are”. These tracks we trundle along can become ruptured through, say, the death of somebody close to us, or the break-up of a relationship, and cause disorientation. Deary takes us through these changes – with the aim of also helping people who are simply stuck in a rut - and while he’s a professional health psychologist (at Northumbria University) his lyrical writing style make this an engrossing read.