Top positive review
16 people found this helpful
will the real path to the good life stand up?
on November 14, 2007
If I had to hear that old saw, "doing the best (s)he could" one more time, I was going to scream. Was Hitler doing the best he could? I hardly think so. Too many people seem to hide behind support groups, addictions, inner children running rampant, and myriad rationalizations why they can't or won't actually get down to it and just grow into mature, responsible, loving/lovable people. I found this book while sifting through my library for books to sell, and am delighted with it. To put it simply, it is a relief to read a book that is not a typical self-help book.
Dr. Paul Pearsall is "an internationally recognized neuropsychologist." He isn't Oprah, Dr. Phil, Carolyn Myss, he didn't write "The Secret" or any one of the number of mind-stunting books that flood the marketplace and populate the bookshelves of too many people. He has genuine credentials in his field and actually writes about productive actions for a new way of looking at yourself that don't involve psychobabble. He isn't touchy-feely, feelgood, co-dependency, addiction counseling, or bromide based. He's hilarious, challenging, and can back up what he says with common sense. He's the skeptics' guide to growth. For example, in chapter 2, he offers his alternative "facts of life": lose hope, give up, think sad thoughts, settle for second (or third or sixth) best, don't "work through" your grief, be a pessimist, don't try to discover your personal power, don't believe in yourself, men aren't from Mars women aren't from Venus, and most important to me personally, you're not a victim. He presents many more anti-bromides that came as a big relief to me. He reminds us that intuitiion can be wrong, a "prove it" mindset separates us from the herd, and becoming a contrarian makes a lot of sense. One of his better suggestions was to seek out someone who would never purchase the book you're looking at and ask them to review it. Sticking with those who are fanatics for an author, idea, or philosophy usually leads to handicapped thinking.
There are so many "what a relief" moments in this book - it's refreshing, mindful, (he discusses briefly the Buddhist Four Noble Truths to illustrate how to be a realist and what causes our suffering), and straight shooting. Not for the easily offended or those who use words like "resonate" outside of physics.