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Non Fiction

The Mind Gym : Wake your mind up

10 years ago, I was a self-help buff. There wasn’t a self help book in the market that I didn’t know of. How to live our life and stop worrying, Men from Mars and Women from Venus, Why nice girls don’t get the corner office blah, blah..  you name it, I know it. (Actually I still hold on to the principle of the last book! i.e. Why nice girls don’t get the corner office). My interest in those books had waned, life poses its own unique set of challenge in every way and every time it seems I need a different skills to pull through.

The point is if we are not consciously aware of our own habitual programming, and made a conscious effort to change our own ineffective ways, we will go on living as we always do, not knowing what levers to pull. The key is having a high self-awareness and practice, practice, practice.

Once I started reading this book, I quickly realized it’s a book I should have read years ago. It’s so much more than the title suggests. But if you ever need one book for self-development, just one book to help you be a better person. This might be it. 😀

The book is laid out in 5 sections with sub-chapters.

  • Taking Control of your life
  • Making the right impression
  • Managing tough conversation
  • Stress and relaxation
  • Creative Juices

So you either read the book back to back, or you can do a quick little quiz and find out which programme is tailored to your urgent needs. I recommend to do it both ways. Read what you need to fix it and also read the books back to back to learn a thing or two, because this book is a gem.

The one thing I find very profound was the refreshing way to look at optimism and pessimism. Most books will tell you to read the book about positive thinking, go away and live a positive life! Instead here it defines what is the “Best kind of Optimism”:

It was believed that optimists took responsibility for positive events and put the responsibility on external factors for negative events. There is however a danger that if someone gets carried away with their optimism, they end up ducking responsibility or they ignore a problem until it grew out of proportion.

The attentive optimist is the sort who treads a careful path between taking too much responsibiltiy and too little. But you can be sure they will recognise and be pleased with what they have accomplished.

It goes on to say there are circumstances when it actually pays to be pessimistic. Something that I am all too familiar with, but good to know it does pay to be pessimistic at time.

This book doesn’t propose to be using techniques that have never been thought of before. It is informative, easier to use with succinct explanation. It presents a different way of looking at things. It didn’t fall into the trap of other self-help books reiterating the same concept over and over again. It adopts a no-nonense, cut to the chase sort of advice and then put you through actionable plan. There’s just the right combination of interaction, anecdotes and explanation; and it’s structured as a book you can dip into and get ideas straight away for any particular life challenge you face.

 The exercises and the very workable step-by-step approach really make it easier for reader to take what they read into actions, especially useful for inaction person like me who don’t exactly know what I should do next after reading so many self-help books filled with advice and tips. I grapple my way trying to find a way to de-programme my bad habits without actually fixing it.

Rating: 5/5 

If you buy one self-development book buy this one. You also get access to their website for even more useful tools to support your development. 65% of Amazon readers rate it 5 star, 19% rate it 4-star. It is exceptional value. Unlike most books in this genre, it delivers much, much more than the title suggests.


About JoV

A bookaholic that went out of control.... I eat, sleep and breathe books. Well, lately I do other stuff.


3 thoughts on “The Mind Gym : Wake your mind up

  1. A 5/5 from you!
    Now I know which one to look for when I needed a self-help kinda book. 🙂

    Posted by Marvin Lee | February 1, 2010, 1:12 am
  2. Okay that’s eerie. My husband just bought this book a few weeks ago at some book sale. I don’t usually read self-help books (hubby does), so any other books I wouldn’t recognize, but I do this one! I’m gonna share this review to him 🙂

    Posted by mee | February 1, 2010, 10:17 am
  3. I’d say your hubby has good taste. This is a straight talk, lets get down to action self-help book!

    Thanks for spreading the word around. 🙂

    Posted by JoV | February 1, 2010, 9:23 pm

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Ratings Defined

0 = Abandon the book after first chapter

1 = Waste of paper, we will see what the environmentalist say about this!

2 = Skip it, read the book if you have got nothing better to do

2.5 = An average book, easily forgettable.

3 = A good read.

3.5 = A good entertaining read, a page-turner

4 = So glad that I read the book, a book with substance and invaluable for future reference

4.5 = So glad that I read the book, would pester everyone to read it, invaluable, I would want to own it and wouldn't mind a second read (something that I seldom do)

5 = The book is so good that I feel like I am on scale 4 and 4.5, and more, it blew me away and lingers on my head for weeks!

Books Read

JoV's bookshelf: read
Hold Tight
The Fault in Our Stars
The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon
The Thief
Catching Fire
A Tale for the Time Being
Into the Darkest Corner
The Liars' Gospel
Goat Mountain
Strange Weather In Tokyo
Strange Shores
And the Mountains Echoed
Ten White Geese
One Step Too Far
The Innocents
The General: The ordinary man who became one of the bravest prisoners in Guantanamo
White Dog Fell from the Sky
A Virtual Love
The Fall of the Stone City

JoV's favorite books »
Share book reviews and ratings with JoV, and even join a book club on Goodreads.

Reading, after a certain age, diverts the mind too much from its creative pursuits. Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking. - Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)

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