Top positive review
18 people found this helpful
Can't recommend it more
on 4 November 2012
If you are interested in the science of growth, mastery, and personal power, this book is a must read.
It covers in detail all the recent findings in psychology and neuroscience on the topic of personal development under one cover. Some of the hot topics addressed include: mindfulness training, the relationship between physical activity and mental function, neuroplasticity, neurobiology of stress, anxiety and arousal. The authors do a beautiful job of putting all these diverse ideas into an easy to read narrative.
What is also amazing is that all the key points on each topic are addressed fully in such a short book. Most of the material in "Resilience" has already been written about in other books but it would take at least 10 of them to get to the same level of understanding on all the relevant topics.
The book has been a pleasure to read because the authors have found a perfect balance between a dry academic text and meaningless motivational waffle. The science is real and backed up by references. The personal accounts are well picked and demonstrate the key arguments in real life. However, this is not an instruction manual - there is no bullet list of "10 funky steps to become super resilient" anywhere in the book. If you want to apply any of the principles to your own life you will have to work that out for yourself. Some advice is given in the last chapter but it is very open ended.
If you need to read up on the science of personal strength, either for yourself or for professional research, this book is a great starting point. Throughout the text you will find references to other books, research papers, and websites where you can find more information on a given topic.
One final note, I really admired how the book handled the subject of religion. Typically, with such books, the topic is either awkwardly skipped, or half the book feels like a sales pitch for the author's favourite faith. Being a strict atheist, I initially cringed when I saw the word "Religion" in the table of contents. However, the subject was treated very gracefully, without avoiding or forcing it on the reader. The chapter on religion focuses on the psychological effects of faith as a coping strategy without trying to prove or disprove the existence of any deities.