A self-help book about using nature’s lessons to achieve an optimal way of life.
Bryan (The BestPossible Enterprise, 2013, etc.) presents a highly optimistic guide to “living with purpose and defining our goals to be the best we believe we can achieve.” The lessons that he shares are drawn from his observation of nature—including human nature. Unlike many authors, who see the human condition as being carnal or evil, Bryan asserts its goodness and positivity, claiming that “we all came into this world as pure moral creatures.” By mixing philosophical commentary with his own personal stories, starting from when he became a young entrepreneur in the 1940s, the author touches on dozens of principles that lead to what he calls “BestPossible” living. These include developing one’s cognition and reasoning abilities by applying them to events regularly, adding depth and color to one’s character by pursuing a diversity of experiences, and “seek[ing] to develop friends…where stress-free win-win situations are likely to prevail.” The topics themselves aren’t tightly organized, but the chapter separators and plenty of subheadings will keep readers oriented. From the very beginning, Bryan shows an air of confidence, both in himself and in his audience, which instills trust in his message. Unfortunately, for a self-help book, it’s very heavy on theory and scanty on application, much like a recipe book that specifies all the necessary ingredients but lacks cooking directions. This won’t be a problem for self-motivated readers, but some might have appreciated more concrete methods for applying the author’s wisdom to their lives, through clear directives and introspective questions. Also, although tying everything back to nature gives the book a nice solidarity, this topical umbrella eventually becomes so wide that it’s difficult to remember what “in tune with nature” means in context. Nevertheless, the principles are solid and eloquently expressed, and there’s certainly a wealth of them.
This guide shares plenty of principles for success, but it will be up to readers to figure out what to do with them.