A smorgasbord of positivity and wisdom drawn from the author’s personal experiences.
The contemporary self-help movement has produced a raft of guides for personal improvement. This latest serving from life-coach Brooks (Choose Happiness Now, 2012, etc.) stirs her own opinions and experiences into a base of “universal laws,” including the teachings of Esther and Jerry Hicks (authors of The Law of Attraction, 2006), and other concepts common to the self-help genre. The result isn’t a mere rehash of ideas and techniques, however, but a stew of intriguing insights, with suggestions that aim to make them relevant and accessible to readers. Brooks attempts to include something for everybody, throwing in movie scenes, song lyrics and literary excerpts alongside tales from her own life, as she outlines and explores a five-step recipe for getting what you want out of life, including “Mix Your Ingredients (Take Action and Visualize What You Want to Manifest).” She has a penchant for anagrams that crystalize concepts memorably, such as “D.I.E.T.” for “Do I Enjoy This?” and “W.A.I.T.” for “What Am I Tweaking?” Her enthusiastic commentary, however, often wanders away from the five-star kitchen analogy that serves as the book’s framework; sometimes, she speaks in terms of stocking and running a kitchen, and at others, as if ordering a meal in a restaurant. Likewise, the subsections could serve as stand-alone inspirational talks, but they don’t consistently relate to their chapter titles; “Failing Your Way to Success,” for example, appears in the chapter titled “Telling a Better Story.” However, her unflagging exuberance and you-can-do-it attitude will encourage readers to remain at the buffet. This persistence pays off with nuggets of wisdom about turning one’s thinking around; for example, Brooks tells of how she learned the importance of rule-breaking by drinking from a “Coloreds Only” fountain as a child. Wisdom like this can change lives, and Brooks’ book serves up plenty.
A self-improvement recipe with plenty of ingredients worth nibbling on their own.