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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Undefeated Mind, November 10, 2012
This review is from: The Undefeated Mind: On the Science of Constructing an Indestructible Self (Paperback)
Many years ago, the renowned humorist and columnist Erma Bombeck wrote a book called, "If Life is a Bowl of Cherries, What Am I Doing in the Pits?" And while humor can be a great salve for life's challenges, when we are in the midst of adversities such as a physical illness or addiction, or the pain of losing a dear one, or facing financial devastation, it can feel like the "pits"-- far from being a laughing matter.

But when we experience powerlessness and defeat, things are only as bleak as they seem, says author Alex Lickerman, M.D. While the circumstances may be out of our control, the wisdom extracted from adverse experience can impart "an inner life state" of undefeated strength. More than just a good theory, he illuminates nine core principles that assuage suffering, interweaving them into actual dialogues with his patients, and reinforcing their efficacy through examples of scientific studies and tenets of Nichiren Buddhism. An undefeated mind is when the goal for achieving something is to is to keep trying--rather than achieving the goal itself: "Never giving up isn't just necessary for victory, it is victory."

The author turns some cherished notions on their head - such as embracing the pain rather than resisting it, or that resilience is the capacity to endure the pain that adversity causes, or that distraction is superior to willpower for delaying gratification. Seamlessly blending dialogue, narrative, science, and faith, he convincingly demonstrates how one can achieve an inner life state of undefeated inner strength in any circumstance.
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Location: Portland, OR

Top Reviewer Ranking: 3,937