Tuesday, 28 August 2012

August Book Review

Personal Development Book Review

Welcome to my August book review.  A bit late in the month this time, but it is still August - just!

This month I am looking at books designed to help us change ourselves from within so that we can achieve what we want to achieve in life.  How to change the negatives within us into positives.  All three focus on this general topic, but each from a slightly different angle.

Click on the title of any book that particularly interests you and you can buy it right away from Amazon.

First up is:

Self-Defeating Behaviors: Free Yourself from the Habits, Compulsions, Feelings, and Attitudes That Hold You Back


Milton R. Cudney and Robert E. Hardy

The title of this book says it all, really!  It is not a new book, but still what it has to say is refreshingly up to day.  Have a look at what some readers who bought it have to say:

"What is your life like? Is it a relentless procession of empty days, an endless cycle of meaningless, frustrating work and unrelaxing sleep? Do you repeat the same pattern of joyless days and empty nights ad nauseam? Do you bounce out of bed eager to face another exciting day filled with opportunities for enjoyment, human contact and personal growth? Has the memory of the irrepressible you faded into dust? Has your life become an arduous and repetitive ordeal? Do you keep hurting yourself, and does this recognition keep haunting you, day and night? Are you acting on misguided choices, doing and saying things that virtually guarantee dissatisfaction and unhapppiness? If you answered ‘Yes’ (or even ‘Maybe’) to any of those questions, have I got good news for you!

The best book I have seen that specifically addresses how we can reclaim our mental, emotional and spiritual power from the traps we ourselves have built and continue to nourish is ‘Self-Defeating Behaviors’ by Cudney and Hardy. On second reading, it is a truly phenomenal work. I have already purchased and distributed over two dozen copies. It provides a dynamic model of the way we construct, defend and nurture our self-defeating behaviors, while we simultaneously minimize the real pain heaped upon us and the people around us, and abdicate responsibility for the whole thing!

We are each of us presented with a continuous stream of new moments of life, in which we exercise choices. Each of these choices can lead either to a self-defeating behavior or to a behavior that affirms and honors life. At certain times, we ‘learn’ (i.e. we make an invalid association) that we can avoid work/pain/criticism or other fear by choosing a certain escapist behaviors or thoughts. This choice, expressed through various internal and external techniques, results in various prices that we must pay. In order to continue avoiding our fears, we proceed to minimize the prices (by saying, for example, ‘It's not all that bad; I can stand the discomfort’), and finally, to disown the choice we made (‘It's not MY fault; it was my parents/teachers/bullies/social conditions/the government/ghosts/the voices/...’).

That cycle, from our choices of developing internal and external techniques to avoid some (mythical) fear(s), and then refusing to pay the price, results in a full-blown self-defeating cycle, which feeds on itself, getting worse and worse, engulfing more and more areas of our lives. Even when new techniques are learned (such as NLP!!) which appear to offer the promise of positive growth, they quickly and effortlessly become swallowed up in the seething vortex of self-defeating behaviors, making it even bigger than ever! This black hole effect can easily escalate from disappointment to depression, food/alcohol/drug abuse, violence, murder and ultimately, suicide. Unless we recognize and terminate this vicious cycle, ALL of our other efforts can lead to naught, mired in our old habits of thought and action."
-    Amazon Customer

"This book made a major difference in my life. We all have many kinds of relationships and roles to play in life, and one of those relationships lasts the longest -- from cradle to grave. That's the relationship I have with myself. In my case, that means John Prin's relationship with John Prin. I can be my worst enemy or my best friend. What the authors showed me was that it is my choice. I choose how I relate to me, whether I acknowledge it or not.

The main theme? When unhealthy choices are made, we choose self-defeating behaviors that separate us from our core attitudes, beliefs, feelings and values. When healthy choices are made, we choose 'life-enhancing behaviors' that fit or strengthen our core being. Over time, depending on the mix of choices, our lives are either headed for breakdowns or breakthroughs. Thanks to the wisdom and clarity in this book, along with the easy-to-understand charts and diagrams, breakthroughs in my life are happening on a scale I never dreamed possible.

The pace is methodical but not plodding. Every sentence and paragraph makes sense as you read it. The authors strive to help readers to define and to behave in ways that serve their own best interests, and to create better selves from the inside out -- as I have learned to do and described in my book STOLEN HOURS. For anyone who has dealt with puzzling failures or intense negative emotions, including addictions and crippling moods, the information and encouragement in this book are a godsend. "
-     John Howard Prin, author of STOLEN HOURS: Breaking Free From Secret Addictions, Syren Books 2004

The Power Of Being Different
John Paul Carinci

"John Carinci is an excellent writer who knows how to keep a reader's interest. I am an avid reader of self-help books, have read many of the books John recommends, and have already learned many of the life lessons that Mr. Carinci presents in this book, but his writing style is refreshing and the examples and quotes he uses are inspirational.

I particularly enjoyed the author's point that the odds of our birth are like winning the lottery. The one in a million chances that an egg would be fertilized coupled with the likelihood that the development of the embryo into the miniature person born in this time and place that perpetuated our personhood is phenomenal. Those coupled with the fact that we survived exposure to disease and accidents and live in an age of modern medicine; opportunity, education, and freedom that promote our longevity and ability to have a meaningful life are not an accident. We are here for a reason!

The author does an exception job laying out how people who work hard and think positively employing the gifts they are born with and those that they develop should not be satisfied with their accomplishments. Rather, they should strive to make a positive impact on the world and leave behind a legacy that will impact humanity through the ages. He gave numerous examples of such people who ignored ridicule and persevered to accomplish and make our world one of technological advancement. He encourages us to be different, to dream, to act and never be satisfied with what is, but strive for new and better ways to live, work and play.

The author encourages us to make time for ourselves and extend our waking alert hours living healthily and purposefully. Example after examples are provided of people who were either not born with certain physical attributes or have lost them, but nevertheless have used their minds and ingenuity to achieve great things that impact the world as we know it. He believes that those who have passed on their gifts look down at us and challenge us to improve upon their contributions.

I recommend this book to people of all ages and backgrounds. It is uplifting and enlightening. I am glad I read it and you will be too."
-    Tom McGee

"The Power of Being Different never leaves you bored. This book is filled with quotes, humor, and wonderful advice to get anyone up and moving and becoming all they can be. No room for procrastination here. Along with all the good advice, Carcini is obviously a spiritual person, writing a motivational book toward being your true self.

I believe that John Carcini should become a motivational speaker for I sense a gift for delivering wise advice to all. "
-    Mary Ann Johnston

The Power of Self-Coaching: The Five Essential Steps to Creating the Life You Want
Joseph J. Luciani

"This empowering book will teach, inspire, and coach you to break the habits of insecurity that prevent you from realizing your spontaneous inner potential for genuine happiness."
-    John Gray, Ph.D., author of Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus

"There is nothing more empowering than accepting responsibility. Taking responsibility is not about assuming fault; it is about re-taking the helm and control of your journey in life. This book will help you navigate through the difficulties of personality and behavioral change to more emotional peace."
-    Dr. Laura Schlessinger, author of The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands

"I don't have depression or anxiety and I swear I will never go to a psychologist or psychiatrist. I rarely even go to regular doctors, but am slightly more convinced of the importance of dentists.

Imagine my surprise when I found myself reading Dr. Luciani's book, realizing that many of the habits of insecurity and control could be found in my own life. I came across Dr. Luciani's philosophy of Self-Talk and his views on the habit-based nature of anxiety and depression on his website. Through reading his thoughtful and empathetic answers to truly troubled individuals seeking comfort and understanding, I was moved to read Dr. Luciani's articles and then to purchase The Power of Self-Coaching.

I still won't go to a doctor, but Dr. Luciani's book made me realize that my lifelong anxiousness and fear of failure are habits that I can break through sustained positive affirmation. Self-Coaching is a great tool for everyone struggling to deal with the stress of modern families and careers, regardless of whether you have a diagnosis of anxiety or depression, or are just feeling nervy all of the time."
-    M Long

No comments:

Post a Comment