15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
"Xavier" (my Chimp) can't wait for the audio...,
This review is from: The Chimp Paradox: The Mind Management Programme to Help You Achieve Success, Confidence and Happiness (Paperback)The Chimp is Out the Cage
I've anticipated being able to buy this book and used my Christmas book token to make the purchase. Previous contact with the author and witnessing Britain take gold at the Beijing 2008 velodrome (discovering later that Dr Peters was there also and had coached the team) informed my choice of book, not-to-mention the excellent copy on front and back covers. Over the years I've heard the author described as many things ranging from "my 'dad' at medical school" to "an evil man" (although the evil man bloke was very ill at the time).
I have often found Dr Peters a supportive and helpful professional and have formerly asked him to offer such a product as "The Chimp Paradox" so that the masses can benefit from his knowledge, mentoring and coaching capabilities. So I very much welcome this contribution from the perspective that it would be beneficial to anyone seeking to be more fulfilled to be able to have Dr Peters' expert knowledge and support "on tap" so to speak.
The Positives: Pithy, Personal and Potent Paradigm
On the up-side, the book is not the least bit challenging to read. In fact, I'd describe it as a page-turner for anyone with the remotest interest in personal development. The simplified brain model is helpful and Peters' so-called Chimp Paradox Mind Model is generally highly original. While some processes presented are not entirely new, they are given new rationale, metaphor and presentation. The paradigm worked entirely for me, which may make such processes of higher practical value to other readers who have struggled to apply some of these processes as they may have been presented in other programmes.
Thankfully, the book is absolutely accessible to anyone regardless of age, race, creed, religion, etc and comes with no health warnings or disclaimers (apart from to not use the book as a replacement for medical treatment). Moreover, Dr Peters does well to avoid unnecessary intellectual masturbation we might find in a pop-psych book written by a non-medic or business guru. Even though such books can be practical and informative, they can arguably include too much fluff and filler and not enough substance.
On the contrary, Peters keeps both sensationalism and jargon to a absolute minimum and if a technical term is used, he is careful to employ parentheses (((brackets))) to explain the matter in layman's terms. The structure and style of the book have some degree of consistency with accelerated learning methodologies like those promulgated by Tony Buzan, for example: a sensible balance between bulleted points and "prose" and helpful pneumonics and humorous. Dr Steve elects to use simple-to-understand diagrams that even your child could comprehend. In particular, the summary points at the end of chapters are very concise indeed and capture the essence of what has just been read beautifully.
The Chimp Paradox Mind Model effectively presents two sorts of "archetype", one Human (whom we are told we identify with) and one primitive (whom we are told is independent from "us," particularly in its thinking, feeling and motives) and teaches us how we can become more happy, confident and successful by way of nurturing and managing the primitive personality which, according to Peters' simplified model, resides in the limbic system of the brain. The brain/mind also acts as a customisable storage and retrieval system with its own functions, like automating tasks, from making coffee, to how to react to a situation, based on how this system is programmed by either You and/or your primate companion. It's a brilliant model and one you'll discover you identify with throughout the book...GUARANTEED!
It would be ignorant and misleading to buyers if I were to post only the positives. My preference is for honest review mixed in with some good old emotionally appealing frothiness to get the finger on the trigger "buy this book" . I would like to have seen more of the following if I had to change the book:
1) Point of contact (like a website for worksheets, podcasts and live trainings).
2) A bit more of a conclusion with a tying together of the whole, although the Appendix did this is an esoteric way. The ending was abrupt...but again, finishing the book says something of the book surely?
3) More hilarious anecdotes from Dr Peters' field career.
If the fact that you will get past the first couple of chapters screams volumes in itself, then open your wallet, take out your credit card and BUY this book without hesitation - immediately.
On balance, The Chimp Paradox has to win my 5-starred recommendation with a whole heart
Overall, this is without a shadow of a doubt a book worth owning. It's the first time in ages that I've found a personal development/management book I want to read from cover to cover and employ the techniques on the journey toward excellence in every area of life. In addition, a complex theory is chunked into bitesized bits so that even my grandmother could easily understand it. When I buy a book like this, I like to think that I'm taking the author home to be my personal coach on an ongoing basis. Thus, I know I have the greats around to lend support and advice on a daily basis if required. Dr Peters' book has a definite integrity about it, it's certainly not a rehash of old information, which so many books in the "self help" section are.
On this basis alone it's worth a read. My chimp is making noises for me to impulsively buy the unabridged audio companion. On this occasion I would suspect "I" (my Human) will find a logical rationale to make the same decision. If you ever wanted to have an Olympic Coach and experienced Mind-Brain Doctor travel with you in your car each day, read you off to sleep or coach you to success, either look no further and take the action that feels right to you or simply buy this book. In the final analysis, I would go as far as to describe this book as the best manual for the human brain since Bandler's NLP processes - in short it's a Bible for emotional intelligence, personal development and daily self-maintainence. Dr Peters should definitely follow up with more products, support for customers.
[review edited 23/1]. I increased the star rating from 4/5 to 5/5 due to positive results achieved within 4 weeks of reading (improved concentration; increased sense of self-worth; positive relationships formed; increased commitment to good health; other benefits).