Top critical review
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Easy to read, positive, but bland
on 23 November 2012
I found this an undeniably positive but rather bland book, offering tips that were a mix of common sense, the pretty obvious and the utterly banal - e.g. "Play to your strengths", "Choose to be positive", "Your mind is beautiful thing. But, oh boy, it's also very complex".
I didn't think it offered anything new, and the design suggests it is a children's book (which it is not), especially the illustrations.
Some examples of the sort of thing found inside:
- An invitation to write down twenty things you want to do before you die
- Inspirational quotations (Mark Twain saying "the best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up", an anonymous source claiming that "the average child laughs about 400 times per day, the average adult laughs only 15 times per day. What happened to the other 385 laughs?')
- Instructions for how to create a "happy button" on your hand that you can press in an emotional emergency
- A story about a performing elephant that won't run away from the circus because it is suffering from "learned helplessness" (a good phrase, but not the authors'; they take it from Martin Seligman, as they readily acknowledge)
- Advice to go on a favourite walk and notice ten things you haven't noticed before.
Undoubtedly some of this could be useful in focusing the mind on more positive thoughts, and the tone of the book is genial and inoffensive, so it is hard to dislike, but it's not likely to make anyone "brilliant" and I dispute the claim on the cover that "humour and wisdom drip from every page". It strikes me as a sane, sensible book but in no way revelatory.