This single audiocassette version of yet another bestseller about caring for the soul is the Zeitgeist in a nutshell. The author's softly spoken message, aimed at people who feel that their lives have become overwhelmed by trivial demands and the shadow of stress, is a series of practical, homely tips on how to regain both perspective and control. The key is to remember--or rather, to learn to bear in mind--some simple truths that we already know. As Carlson observes, "when you die, your in-box won't be empty," so you should stress less about emptying it now. And a century from now we'll all be dead and gone--so things that seem blisteringly urgent now are really trivial, and will soon be forgotten. Carlson is particularly good on the importance of controlling self-pity, especially the sense that we are the ones doing all the hard work, which can be so damaging to our relationships with others.
Two kinds of people might be disappointed by this tape. Those who have already thought deeply about these issues are likely to be underwhelmed by advice such as "change what can be changed, and learn to accept what can't be changed." And those who expect a single cassette to transform their lives will find, not surprisingly, that Carlson is much better at saying what we should do than at explaining how we can do it. But he reads well, and for overtaxed people who don't expect a miracle cure, the message on this tape could be a small first step to a saner life. (Running time: 90 minutes, one cassette) --Richard Farr
From Library Journal
Stress consultant Carlson reads his self-help guide with conviction, his gentle voice clear and persuasive. He presents common-sense advice for living a less hectic and more meaningful, loving life. His essential message is that we get caught up in minutiae, "the small stuff," and never get around to doing what makes us or our loved ones happy. He advises readers to engage in such small acts as paying someone a compliment daily, putting a lid on keeping track of who does what around the house, and writing a letter to a friend. Carlson urges small daily changes and uses examples of improvement from his own life to show how the advice works, making the book ideally suited to the audio format. Tape quality is excellent. Recommended for public libraries.?Nancy R. Ives, SUNY at Geneseo
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