• Peter Nobes

How your smartphone can change your life.

Updated: Oct 26, 2018

** Originally posted on Blogger... **

I’ve been re-reading “How Proust can Change your Life” by Alain de Botton. It’s an enjoyable, thought-provoking book, and you can benefit from it even if you haven’t read any Proust. It inspired me to make a video about how your phone can change your life.

Interestingly, de Botton says that Proust’s father was a successful physician who wrote 34 books on health, one of which contained advice for young women on the importance of good posture. One of the complaints about my book is that it doesn’t have enough illustrations of “correct and incorrect postures.” My answer to that is – I have no idea what correct posture is. I teach the Alexander Technique – it’s not about posture! Maybe people who want good posture should read Dr Proust’s book instead of mine.

How can Proust change your life? Proust is misquoted as saying that the true voyage of discovery lies not in seeing new worlds but in seeing your world through new eyes. I have read the whole of “In Search of Lost Time” and so I know he rarely wrote sentences that short or easy to understand. But he was talking about getting off autopilot; becoming more conscious and making fresh choices. Which is what FM Alexander was talking about in his books.

The title of Proust’s masterpiece « A la Recherche du Temps Perdu » has been translated as “The Remembrance of Things Past.” In my opinion, anyone who can call it that hasn’t read it – it really is about the search for lost time. Similarly, FM Alexander’s most important book, “Constructive Conscious Control of the Individual” has been interpreted as being about conscious control of the body. Anyone who thinks that, in my opinion, hasn’t read it. It really is about making new, constructive conscious choices in your life instead of doing things habitually, or on autopilot. About seeing your world through new eyes.


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I teach the Alexander Technique at the
South Bank Alexander Technique Centre, Blackfriars Rd, London SE1.

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