An inspirational manual aims to help readers through life’s difficulties.
In one form or another, Blalock’s nonfiction debut repeatedly asks readers the same question: “What are your solutions for sanity in a world of chaos and complexity?” In these pages, the author distills the lessons of a lifetime in business into his own answers to that question, delivered in bite-sized chapters that keep the book’s tempo swift. Chapter subjects range across a broad spectrum of issues, and the tips are supplied with a minimum of fuss or flourish. Readers are instructed on the value of mindful eating, on healthy ways of dealing with disappointment, on the importance of compromise, on methods of critical thinking, on the role of willpower in long-term planning, on the ability to know when to relinquish a stubborn but pointless hope (“Giving up hope is sometimes prudent in situations where your attention elsewhere is necessary to reach your goals in life” is a typical elaboration), and many other topics. The theme running through all of this lucid material and connecting it is the author’s insistence that being personally and spiritually grounded is the key to both happiness and success. The guide’s encouraging tone derives in large part from Blalock’s optimistic belief that the power to achieve that foundation rests in the hands of each person—this is a self-help book that places a refreshing emphasis on the “self” part. The writing often relies on clichéd thinking—embrace the moment, every day is a new day, change is constant, etc.—and many of the instructions in these brief chapters, however valuable, are truisms that scarcely bear repeating (things like “be kind,” “be honorable,” “be productive,” “be positive”). But the upbeat tone and positive self-improvement advice will make the manual a shot in the arm for despondent or distracted readers.
A clearly written and wide-ranging collection of lessons on becoming a more cheerful, centered, and successful person.