A debut manual offers a program to infuse an individual’s thinking with optimism.
Kirk and Linda Thomas present their work with a playful wink. The husband-and-wife team know what readers will inevitably be thinking when the term “dirty-minded” is used. Their own meaning is subtly but importantly different: They want readers to question how and to what extent they allow negativity to enter their thoughts. These pessimistic thoughts, the authors stress, are both universal and deeply damaging (“No one is immune from the obstacles created with negative self-talk”). They spend the bulk of their book explaining the program they’ve developed for dealing with such dirty thinking. The plan’s acronym, ADAPT2, is derived from a list of components: Attitude, Discipline, Action (“nothing is achieved without meaningful action to create change”), Patience, and Training. These are skills that readers need to develop just like any other. The added T—the “gold nugget” that squares the final letter—is Trust in God, the “real difference maker.” This final element pushes the work firmly into the Christian inspiration category, with the authors frequently reminding readers of the importance of “looking for God’s direction in having a strong, well-defined purpose.” Even so, the volume provides a multitude of rousing stories, many revolving around athletic triumphs and the importance of achieving small victories in order to gain a greater feeling of empowerment. The authors excel in breaking down their message into bullet points and stirring vignettes, always stressing to their readers that negativity “shouldn’t live rent-free” in their minds, whereas positivity should always be welcomed. The manual’s compartmentalized format can make the momentum of the overall narrative difficult to maintain, but the sequential breakdown of each component of ADAPT2 helps the work achieve coherence. Readers may find some of the nostrums championed in these pages a bit on the obvious side (bring a book to the waiting room of an appointment; make a mental note to call an old friend), but the underlying optimism remains infectious.
A worthy, step-by-step, Christianity-infused empowerment guide to clearing the dark thoughts out of your mind.