Top critical review
31 July 2018
First, the good stuff, I love the presentation of this book; the colours, the texture of the high-quality paper and the premise of the whole thing and I identified with the intent of Andy Gibb’s endeavour so much so I just wanted to offer my voice of support before I’d even read a page.
However, having worked with, and through, some challenging mental health issues, I have to say I didn’t find anything of any real substance here. It starts promisingly enough with a nod to the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (a personality questionnaire which is very robust even if you don’t answer all the questions) but it then never really got into a deeper appreciation of it, it remained more of an overview and rarely dipped below a superficial level.
Then, as I continued to read I couldn’t help comparing this to a hypothetical collection of psychology Flash Cards that someone had gathered together from their undergraduate degree and called a book and, if you are new to psychology or self-help media and you’re looking for an introduction then this may serve some use for whetting your appetite to know more.
But that was not what I was looking for; I was seeking some meaningful or even novel psychological insights but sadly I couldn’t find any in here (that’s not to stay there’s nothing at all, but rather there’s just nothing that’s new for me) and certainly nothing substantial enough to merit continued reading as what there is gets pretty condescending and pretty tedious pretty quickly.
Therefore, I think in order to best describe what this book is really like, imagine comparing it to driving somewhere and stopping to ask someone for directions… and they reply with a clear set of instructions and you think ‘great, I know exactly how to get where I want to be!’ But… before you have the chance to thank them… they then give you the complete opposite set of instructions, they then smile, pass you a note and head off on their way. I dare say, like most folk, you would be somewhat puzzled, especially when you open the note and all it says is “Find what works for you”… how do you now feel about that first set of instructions? …Well, the chances are, you’ll now know how I feel about this book.
It's too wishy-washy and ultimately I found it too irritating to finish but in looking over a sample of what other reviewers have written I saw a description that resonated deeply in me (and in something I’ve never done before) I’d like to quote that reviewer, Patrick Løye, who back in January described this book neatly, saying:
“The bad news is that about 80% of the book is simply: "If you want success in productivity / stress / relationships / crocodile wrestling / happiness then you need balance and moderation. Do one thing, but not too much because this other thing is also important and research has shown that the other thing is also important. Find what works for you!"”
I don’t think anyone else has summed it better.