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The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem: The Definitive Work on Self-Esteem by the Leading Pioneer in the Field Paperback – May 1, 1995
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From Publishers Weekly
Self-esteem expert Branden outlines the six characteristics that define his guide to better living, emphasizing personal responsibility and self-reliance.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
Branden, who has already explored issues of self-esteem in The Psychology of Self-Esteem , LJ 2/1/70, and How To Raise Your Self-Esteem, LJ 3/15/87, argues that acquiring high self-esteem is essential to a person's survival in the world. His core assertions are believable enough , but he does not outline the six pillars until well into the book, which is too late to hook the reader. Ultimately, this is a repetitive, verbose, and somewhat rambling book. Better choices would be Richard Bednar's more scholarly Self-Esteem: Paradoxes and Innovations in Clinical Theory and Practice (American Psychological Assn., 1989) or, for public libraries, Matthew McKay, Self-Esteem (New Harbinger, 1992). Not recommended. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 10/15/93.
- Jennifer Amador, Central State Hosp. Medical Lib., Petersburg, Va.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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The first half of the book is life changing. I bolted through it in a few hours. It gave me a realization that pulled me out of a 9 month on and off depression. Since reviewing some of the material whenever I feel down, along with other resources, it gave me insight and clarity in my life that has sustained joy in the past 3 months. I hope it continues. The most significant part that brought me to awareness was his quote about his dog, that I have shared with many others. He says his dog is focused on enjoying the outdoors, chasing squirrels and sniffing flowers, not worried at all about being "happier" than the other dogs. I don't know if it impacts others the way it did for me, because it was incredibly applicable to my own situation. I realized the significance and potential of this book to impact my life after reading that, and began taking notes seriously.
The second half of the book, in contrast to the first half... took quite a while to finish. It was dry, convoluted, and many of the same ideas are restated. It's his observations, theories and philosophy, and not really applicable to me. I finished it at last today. Just read the first half where it introduces the concept of self esteem, and MAYBE the last few pages on "The Seventh Pillar" and the appendices.
* The six pillars section, which is Part 2 in the book. The six pillars are the practice of living consciously, of self-acceptance, of self-responsibility, of self-assertiveness, of living purposefully, and of personal integrity.
* Too long and tedious. Part 1 drags some, Part 3 becomes pretty boring by the end.
* Sentence completion gets old fast. Same exercise for each section.
* Author falls into same trap as the "fundamenta religionists" that he protests against. There is much too gain from self-esteem work in religion, and vice versa as well.
* Not very practical. Could have been more focused on applied psychology.
* All in all, could have been a great book at 100 pages.
While this is a book worth reading, I would not recommend reading the entire work. Read the Intro and Part 2, skim the rest if you have to. Recommended.
The book is vague, and aside from the examples (which a person may or may not identify with), the advice he gives is very abstract. Take responsibility for your life. Accept yourself. Be conscious. I'm having a very hard time wrapping my head around these concepts because there are obviously a lot more steps needed to fully understand them. Especially "be conscious." The author falls short at explaining the idea of consciousness and how it relates to self esteem.
The book is a difficult read. At first I questioned my own intelligence because I felt that I was reading certain sentences repeatedly without understanding what the author was getting at. Then I realized that Branden is a long-winded and sometimes contradictory writer, who doesn't fully respect the process of logical reasoning. This all became 100% clear to me when I realized he was a former lover of Ayn Rand. His writing is a worse version of Rand's writing. It's all the long-windedness and "what's-he-getting-at"s Rand is notorious for, but with less insights per page.
Positive & pragmatic.
Not a shallow pop-culture approach, but rather deep, intellectual, meaningful.
This is not one of those self-help books you read in a day, this is a serious piece of work.
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