A motivational manual explains how readers can take back control of their lives 15 minutes at a time.
For many people, life has gotten so busy that they can’t afford to make time for a half-hour lunch break, let alone hours for meditation, exercise, rest, and leisure activities. This time crunch goes a long way in accounting for the amount of stress the average person feels in contemporary society. Burke (The Compass and the Clock, 2002, etc.) and debut author de Silva offer a simple solution: a pause. They define this pause “as a sacred time-out for ourselves. 15 minutes helps us to be present, in the moment. When we are present we are more self-aware and can make better choices.” The 15-minute pause, along with self-awareness and conscious choice, forms what the guide calls the “i-Matter Equation,” which, as the name suggests, reminds readers that they matter and helps get them on track to have the sort of lives they desire. The authors devote a section of the book to each element of the equation, explaining the importance of introspection, decision-making, and purposeful action, providing plenty of useful exercises and questionnaires to steer readers into the correct mindset. These activities are quick and fit easily into a 15-minute pause, allowing readers to take a break from the stresses of work and family to analyze the decisions they made in the previous 30 days or to take the Life Energy Inventory. Burke and de Silva write in a clear, soothing prose that always sounds reasonable: “When we don’t value ourselves enough to put us on our own to do list, or find time to prioritize our needs alongside our other demands, then stress levels invariably increase and wellbeing decreases.” As is often the case in books like these, the authors lean heavily on jargon and branding (the Life Energy Inventory is trademarked, of course). There isn’t much in the text that feels completely original. That said, all of the elements of the i-Matter Equation are worthy of pursuit and will likely help alleviate stress for those who incorporate them into their daily lives.
A well-executed, if somewhat derivative, motivational guide.