Self Help books come and go with great regularity, many of them falling on to the 'to be completed' shelf of the library after a few pages because the message is always the same. Enter Carl Taylor, a supersonic passionate enthusiast whose writing style could not fail to capture even the most critical of judges. What he offers in this terse but poignant book is a sense of actually caring about us as the reader: this is one of the most sincere guides to improving life as we live it out there on the choices of books to read while searching for meaning.
Based on the Japanese word 'Kaizen' which is translated as 'continuous improvement' and has been a philosophical torch for thousands of years in Japanese culture, Taylor pushes that concept a little further and instead defines Kaizen as continuous self-improvement. He hastens to remind us that 'continuous self-improvement' is "actually unachievable because you will never get to a point where you say 'I've achieved continuous self-improvement', because at that point, it would no longer be continuous." He stays with this lighthearted conversational approach throughout his book, using the example of our lives as cars! 'Look Under the Hood' delves into an examination of how the brain works, or, how we learn. 'Learning the Controls' studies how we think: 'The one great thing to also realize is that there is only one thing in the world that you have 100% complete unequivocal control over. And that, my friend, is the way you THINK.'
In 'What Mechanics Know' Taylor very wisely offers a brief synopsis of the sciences of learning - neuro-linguistic programming, hypnosis, and cognitive behavioral therapy - 'CBT, in a nutshell, is about making sensible assessments of your situation and making the most constructive choices that you can to improve or cope with that situation.' In 'Driver's Handbook' he offers how to create the life you want and deserve by revealing how to turn dreams into reality followed by the chapter on 'Set the GPS Navigation' to ensure you reach your ultimate destination - a very wise system of filtering out the inconsequential matter that blows in our path and concentrate on goal-seeking and finding. And finally in 'Don't Stop at Traffic Lights' he discusses FEAR and provides ways to not only dissect that word to make it understandable but also how to overcome the barriers that would hold us back -'Fear is nothing more than your mind finding False Expectations that Appear Real and then Finding Excuses And Reasons to avoid the situation.' And this cheerleader/coach finishes his accessible lessons with 'Floor it' - Life is Yours!
It may not seem on reading a review of such a book that there is anything you can't do on your own, but that is precisely the reason to buy this book. For it is with the electrifying and warmly caring presence of Carl Taylor so obvious on every page that provides the reassurance and the jumpstart to really get out there and start living the life that you want to live. Bravo! Grady Harp, May 11