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45 Reviews
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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars most helpful self-help book I ever read
After months of therapy, Prozac, and reading self-help books, I read this one. WOW. I finally understood what the other books were about. This book made it all clear to me at last- how to quiet my mind and be present in the moment! My life was transformed by this incredible book! For the first time in my adult life I know HOW to relax.I do not exagerate when I say that...
Published on November 3, 1998 by Pat Kellim (patkell@grnco.net)

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50 of 57 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too repetitive...needs more practical advice
Do not be mislead by the title. If you are looking for tactics you can use to simplfy your live, you will not find these here. This book talks more to what is happening in you mind. The author contends that we think about things in one of two ways. We either analyze a situation or thought to death or we let the thought come and go. It is when we allow free flow...
Published on July 18, 2000 by Keith F. Corso


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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars most helpful self-help book I ever read, November 3, 1998
After months of therapy, Prozac, and reading self-help books, I read this one. WOW. I finally understood what the other books were about. This book made it all clear to me at last- how to quiet my mind and be present in the moment! My life was transformed by this incredible book! For the first time in my adult life I know HOW to relax.I do not exagerate when I say that if everyone read this book, the world would be a very different place.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "A simple and concise way of life", April 11, 2001
By 
David G. Stokes (St. George, Utah, USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This book just plain made sense. I know, I know, the concepts in it borrow from Buddhism, and yet it was refreshing to read a book which did not have any religious connotations. It is the 'normal' thing to do to analyze everything that comes into our minds, but if we want to have inner peace in our lives and to have a sense of flow, we must not force our thoughts. I spent a long time reading this book because I enjoyed it so much. It is worth the effort to adopt this way of life in order to enjoy life to the fullest.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Reviewed by A. Ellingson, March 30, 2008
By 
Aaron S. Ellingson (Minneapolis, MN USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Personal Assessment
I am typically not a reader of self-help books or publications, but a colleague recommended this book to me after he continually heard me complain about how I can never seem to get ahead in my life with graduate school in the evenings, a stressful work environment with frequent travel, a 2-year old, while trying to maintain a healthy relationship with my wife. I was pleasantly surprised with the book. I always used to make lists, cross off items on the list which only resulted in new lists being made. I guess my (and everyone's) premise of making and completing lists was/is to hopefully realize a good feeling when all the items on the list are completed and crossed-off. Unfortunately, there is always another list to start and finish, so the good feeling, if one exists, will never last long, if you even get a good feeling...

The book is an easy read, but to completely grasp the basis of the philosophy presented in the book, as the book authors would say, requires a healthy, free-flowing state of mind to grasp the tools presented to the reader. In fact, the author states in the introduction of the book, to open/clear your mind in preparation for reading the book to allow the concepts to sink in.

I am agreeable to the general premise of the book. I believe in the Psychology of the Mind philosophy and in the presentation of said material in Carlson's and Bailey's Slowing down to the Speed of Life. The 2 forms of thinking identified in the book, Analytical and Free-Flowing modes, both seem to me to be realistic to me. I actually found myself recognizing processing thoughts that I was having both at home and work and was able to shift my mode of thinking away from these thoughts which may have prevented further unhealthy states of mind.

The book has 8 chapters, with the first 3 dedicated to understanding and learning to the philosophies and tools associated with Psychology of the Mind. The first 3 chapters are: Slowing Down to the Moment, Navigating your Thinking and Getting Back to the Moment. They discuss the 2 modes of thought, how to start recognizing your thoughts and how, after your realize your in a negative thought pattern, you can get back to the moment you are presently in. The final 5 chapters of the book apply the tools to the different facets of your everyday life. These chapters are titled, Stress and Your Innate Mental Health, Being Present in Relationships, Peaceful parenting Working Smarter, and Enjoying Life. Each of these chapters basically cover the same information but in a way relevant to each of these areas of our lives.

Working in an engineering capacity with my current employer, it was somewhat challenging to accept the book's view that shifting from an analytical thought mode to a free-flowing thought mode would result in a more efficient and productive use of my time. However, as the book states, there are times when being in the analytical mode are advantages and appropriate and there are times when being in the free-flowing mode is more advantages and appropriate. While working through problems at work, I've now realized that it is ok to step away from the project for an hour, day, or 3 days in hopes that staying in a more healthy state of mind will allow creative or innovative thoughts to replace fearful thoughts or thoughts rooted in an existing solution to a similar problems which may lead me astray or to dead-ends while trying to solve the problem at hand. This can be challenging given the ever increasing demands that the work environments can impose on technical employees, so a paradigm shift in thinking is required to accept the philosophies of the book.

In summary, I would recommend the `Slowing Down to the Speed of Life' to anyone willing to accept and practice a new paradigm in thinking. Having said this, I would also recommend the book to anyone who currently feels that they are always struggling to stay positive or feel they never get ahead in their personal or professional life. This book might be particularily helpful to persons with type A personalities or persons who are viewed as perfectionists, because it is typically these people that start the next to-do list just after completing their last to-do list or those people who tend to be perfectionists when completing tasks that would otherwise only require a minimal investment of time.
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50 of 57 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too repetitive...needs more practical advice, July 18, 2000
Do not be mislead by the title. If you are looking for tactics you can use to simplfy your live, you will not find these here. This book talks more to what is happening in you mind. The author contends that we think about things in one of two ways. We either analyze a situation or thought to death or we let the thought come and go. It is when we allow free flow thinking to guide us that we feel less rushed and more in control thus living a simpler life. The ideas in this book make a great deal of sense. However, after reading about three-quarters of the way through, you want solutions to the situations. You want to know what you can do to get into the free flow. There is a lot of theoretical stuff here that gets repeatred time and again, but very little practical advice about how to get to the desired place.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book with misleading title! Many uses., February 16, 1998
By A Customer
An excellent book with very practical resources for taking charge of your own life. The title is a bit misleading in that the principles discussed can be applied to many problem areas, e.g., depression, anger, communication, relationships, not just stress or anxiety as the title implies. Another odd thing about the book is that the principles described are, for the most part, lifted straight out of Buddhist teachings, but the words Buddha or Buddhism are never mentioned, nor is much other specific information as to the "school" or "philosophy" of the book's ideas. So, if you'd like to learn about the psychology/philosophy of Buddhism without wading through the dogma, rituals, and other religious trappings, this book is a wonderful and practical place to start!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Greatest Book I have ever read., April 22, 1998
This book should be read by every person. The world would be a better and happier place to live. Happines is now the rule, not the exception in my life since I read this book. They make it very easy to understand and put into practice the power of thought. I actually had stress withdraw for 2 weeks I was so stressed before I read this book and adopted their philosophy. I am discussing this book with as many small groups as possible. I am looking for a study guide. Please let me know if one is available. I would also like to contact Richard Carlson to thank him. Read This Book!
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the self help book to put all others out of print!, July 8, 1998
By A Customer
As a single parent with a demanding career and three active (athletic & academic) teen children I've taken stress to an art form. This is the first "how to de-stress" book that provides the solution to stress without suggesting that you move to the mountains of West Virginia and live on roots and berries. This book has truly allowed me to continue to live life at the 150% level and love every minute of it. The secret: live in the moment not the past or the future. Sound simple? The amazing secret is that it is simple -- and it works. It's really true that this very moment is called "the present" because it truly is a gift. So ENJOY!.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Helps me feel consistently joyful, May 10, 2008
By 
H.U. (Albuquerque) - See all my reviews
Another reviewer was saying that it's repetetive and doesn't give answers. I too was wanting more answers halfway through the book. Then I realized that the one thing not mentioned in the book is how to deal with GUILT. If you practice the concepts taught in the book then dealing with that too will come with time. You come to the realization that you can't get more answers because there aren't any. As others said, it's based on Buddhist concepts. There is no order or closure or answer to your life. That is really the whole point of the book. Trust me, read it if you are having trouble enjoying your life, and then read it again. It comes with time, but it really did start to help me immediately. The authors can't make you change your mind through telepathy, you just have to read the concepts and start to implement them and it makes more sense as you go forward, just like any other thing that you learn. Like others, I appreciated the absence of religious aspects and found it to be incredibly practical, easy to implement, enjoyable and refreshingly helpful.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Rehashed Buddhism, February 1, 2010
This review is from: Slowing Down to the Speed of Life: How to Create a More Peaceful, Simpler Life from the Inside Out (Paperback)
Rehashed Buddhist philosophy presented as a new arm of psychology. It's not that the advice isn't truthful, there's just no practicality in the book. No technique, no exercises to achieving a state of presence. My summary:

Every chapter is exactly the same...

- Statement: [a certain situation] will be better if you just "slow down to the speed of life"
- Examples of people that court stress messing up [said situation]
- Examples of people that take it easy thriving [in said situation]

That's basically it. Chapter after chapter encouraging you to slow down and enjoy life. Unfortunately, it never suggests how one can actually make that happen. The book basically expects Joe Stress to achieve a zen-like state by just willing it. It encourages you to put decisions "on the back burner" so that your creative mind has a chance to work - that's little help to people who face real world pressures. I don't see how the authors expect someone confronting a deadline to basically ignore their problems in the expectation that one morning in the shower the perfect solution will pop into their heads.

It's also very repetitive and will re-use their signature phrases ("slowing down to the speed of life") until they have no impact. The book showed a lot of promise in the first chapters, it just never delivered.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This book is worth reading, February 6, 2000
By A Customer
This book talks about living in the present. To do that, don't focus on planning your life away, and let go of the things in the past. It tells you that all stress in your life is a result of thoughts, and that sometimes you need to relax and let the "free flowing" mode of thinking take over. Nothing new, but it certainly shows you how to spot things and make the necessary adjustments. Overall, worth reading.
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Slowing Down to the Speed of Life: How to Create a More Peaceful, Simpler Life from the Inside Out
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