GET WHAT YOU NEED: Skills to Build Your Destiny
Author: Anna Elena Berlin
Reviewed by Margaret Porter
Philosophers have debated the distinction of “fate” and “destiny” ever since Socrates held discourse in the Agora. In her book Get What You Need: Skills to Build Your Destiny (Wisen-Up Publishing; 200 pages), Ajijic resident and author Anna Elena Berlin offers her take on the two: Destiny is to choose the course of life; Fate is to remain at the mercy of events.
In the book, Berlin offers a practical path for changing the course of your life with the focus being the discovery of an individual’s true destiny as the way toward restoration and joy. After a short exploration on “needs and wants,” the book takes the reader through nine chapters, titled: Beliefs, Perceptions, Thoughts, Words, Actions, Habits, Values, Destiny and Power. Included in the narrative are insights into positive health habits and recovery from stress-related diseases, which Berlin suffered after performing care-giving for her husband of 33.5 years through his Alzheimer’s disease and death.
“I learned so much from the experience of living abroad while handling all the details of my husband’s illness and death. Doing so took a toll on my body, mind and spirit. I began to research ways to heal myself, and I wrote this book because I want to share with other people what I know about re-balancing these three elements in their lives. I didn’t go through all of this for nothing,” Berlin says.
As she began to write the book, her skills as a life coach increasingly came into play and the book expanded into Get What You Need. “I wrote this for the people in this community, but it is appropriate for all ages … and as a gift for your teen or adult children and grandchildren, or a friend who needs some guidance and encouragement.”
Berlin had a long career in the travel industry and has lived all over the world. She refers to herself as a “researcher,” a quality of all successful travel agents, and she’s employed these skills here. The book suffers somewhat from a lack of organization as some of the information seems to have been included at random, and referring back and forth in the book is sometimes difficult. Yet Get What You Need offers an approachable narrative that has the feel of a resourceful friend who cares enough to guide and help. It contains inspirational quotes from sources as diverse as the Buddha to Albert Einstein, and Berlin includes a bibliography of titles that inspired and helped her along the way.
A two-year resident of Ajijic, Berlin says that she chose the community because it has an active writers’ group (the first and third Friday group that meets at 10 a.m. at Nueva Posada). The group encouraged her to finish Get What You Need, and it has received three ‘passes’ of editing from various members. The book was also the impetus for creating Berlin’s own book imprint: Wisen-Up Publishing.
Get What You Need: Skills to Build Your Destiny can be purchased at Diane Pearl’s, from Kindle ebooks, and from the author. Anna.Elena.Berlin@gmail.com. (ISBN 978-1-942545-27-9; Selp-Help) www.Wisen-Up.info