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Think and Make it Happen Hardcover – December 16, 2008
"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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Well, that sounds promising. I am a big believer in the power of our thoughts, although it's a constant struggle for me (hey, Eeyore isn't my favorite Disney character for nothing!). I was anxious to see what this book would hold.
First, a side story (it'll tie in, I promise): a few years ago, one of my girls' teachers shared this at a conference and I found helpful. She said that when facing challenges, we should think of ourselves not as victims, but as the hero of our story. I've done this a lot, and it is transformational.
So, I loved when this book said early on, "A correctly thinking mind uses its worst days as a story line ... to write the most important chapters of its life project." Hey - I've been doing that, and I agree!
Dr. Cury models his book on Jesus and how He would think in various situations. While I'm not totally on-board with this, since after Jesus was fully God as well as fully human, which would seemingly give him quite an advantage over us, as a Christian I appreciated the emphasis on Jesus.
A major technique Dr. Cury uses in the book is "DCD". He advises us to doubt negative feelings we may have, criticize the negative way we may have responded to those feelings, and finally determine to take charge of our lives and feelings, and move in a positive direction.
I liked his emphasis on taking charge of our thoughts ourselves, and his idea that we are not powerless in the face of thoughts and emotions that come our way. A quote I liked was When we are abandoned by the world, the loneliness is bearable; when we abandon ourselves, the loneliness is almost incurable.
I enjoyed the first 50 pages or so of the book most. After that, it seemed somewhat repetitive to me (or maybe I was just "getting it" at that point!). At times the pyschological jargon got to be a bit much, with various acronyms (AMR, ARP, etc.) and "killer windows" making frequent appearances.
But overall, I give this book a thumbs- up. It's always good to have reminders of how to think correctly, and I agree with Cury's assertion that thinking correctly is one skill most of us were never taught. It's never too late to learn, though, and this book is a good starting place.