I read this super short book in an afternoon on audio while I cleaned my house. Which is, interestingly enough, something I often need someone screaming motivational phrases in my ear in order to accomplish. How very appropriate was this book, in that case. This is a very simple book. Gary John Bishop, a personal development expert from Glasgow, Scotland, takes off the kid gloves and offers readers a very no-nonsense in-your-face approach to fixing your shitty life. In saying that, he’s really telling you to fix your shitty attitude. Frankly, this is a lesson I need on a pretty much daily basis.
Throughout the book, he introduces readers to seven “personal assertions” that every human should implement in their lives. Honestly, many of these were extremely important. Though the book is really not much more than a pep talk, it is very helpful to be reminded of such things as “I am not my thoughts: I am what I do.” That’s so true. How many of us want to accomplish something and know we CAN accomplish something, but we give up in the face of self doubt and wind up accomplishing nothing? Being able to do something and actually doing it are two different things. On the reverse of that, how many people are actually grossly incompetent but have the audacity and the relentless drive to… oh, I don’t know… maybe become President? I can name at least one of those. Though, maybe Bishop needs to write a new book telling those people to go back home and binge watch Criminal Minds and snack on cheetos to save the world a little headache.
Nothing in this book is revolutionary. It’s a helpful tool for motivation, but it’s not going to really provide anything truly useful by way of exercises or techniques. It is very helpful as a reminder to continually attempt to alter your thought process so that you aren’t your worst enemy, but it’s really up to you to take what you glean from this book and really put it into practice in a way that’s meaningful for you. I do recommend listening to the audio if having a frustrated Scotsman bootcamp-style yell in your ear is your jam. Trust me, it’s actually quite pleasant, because everything, even anger, is better with a Scottish accent. At times, I did sort of feel like the kid in detention for the 15th time while the teacher at the end of his wits rails at me about how he knows I can do better but I’m just not trying, and that’s ridiculous because I’m smart and worthwhile and… you get the gist.
Frankly, when it comes to self help books, I think each reader has a style that’s going to speak to them more. With this book, Bishop offers something fairly unique. It’s a tough love approach, and that works better with some people. For someone who just needs a little boost, this may be perfect for them. But I probably wouldn’t recommend it for someone with crippling anxiety and depression who needs real psychological help to pull them out of the abyss of self-loathing and personal stasis. It might be helpful as a supplement, but it would take a lot more than this book in such situations. And the tone might actually be off-putting to some. Overall, I say 3 stars for this.
Published Aug 1, 2017 by HarperAudio. ISBN: 0062819496. Runtime 3 hrs 24 mins. Read by the Author.