In this debut self-improvement guide to practicing mindful living and self-awareness, Petitt combines active strategies with clear concepts.
While many other self-improvement titles touch generally on mindfulness, reevaluation of negative beliefs, and close attention to the body, this volume takes these topics to a place of greater depth. Using a multidisciplinary approach that combines philosophy, psychology, and biology, Petitt offers a road map to wellness through awareness, choice, autonomy, and mastery of the self. Her guide offers a five-part method to complete the book over a five-week period. The author begins with showing readers how to develop an “awake” life—one that avoids common “autopilot” traps such as listening to conditioned responses rather than proactively searching for more meaningful engagement with the world. For example, she presents a dichotomy between acting out of aspiration or desperation, encouraging readers to explore their intrinsic and extrinsic motivations. Often citing research and statistics, Petitt creates a persuasive, compelling case for active introspection that goes beyond merely validating one’s feelings and beliefs. The book’s visual diagrams also set it apart from others in its genre, such as a “Motivation Matrix” and “Triangle of Choice” to demonstrate subtle differences in the ways one interacts with the world. Using hypothetical situations, the author compares negative engagement with the world through “internal set points” with alternative approaches that can lead to new outcomes. One of the book’s most compelling sections is its chapter examining the differences between men and women: after highlighting common generalizations about genders, the author embarks on a scientific journey, citing studies and modern developments that distinguish the male and female experience. This segment is an invaluable tool for exploring personal relationships, conflict resolution, and group dynamics at work, in the family or among social groups. Overall, Petitt successfully adds a fresh perspective and smartly organized guide to the self-improvement genre.
An empowering tool kit for growth that offers a successful combination of strategies, research, and creative approaches.