An anecdotal account details how the transformative power of language can make someone a virtual “superhero.”
This book is all about words, how they can either limit readers or set them free: “Words are the power within you.” The theme is that language is a potent tool that affects how individuals think and learn; the words they say to themselves and hear from others can change their lives if they let them. The text follows the author’s lifelong awakening to this concept, likening that stirring to a birth. The structure is loosely autobiographical, with ideas and arguments interwoven with Nold’s (Ten Steps to Effective Recognition, 2004) childhood experiences, her feelings of victimization, and her eventual metamorphosis and healing. Scientific principles are mentioned, with fields like neuroplasticity and epigenetics discussed briefly to explain how the brain adapts neural pathways based on thoughts and language, the different ways people process information, and how positive thoughts can even cure disease. In this volume, Nold mines her own experiences to make her points, basing her conclusions on insights gleaned from a bout with cancer, epiphanies from therapy, and reflections on certain life choices she’s made, such as caring for others at the expense of realizing her dreams. Part advice manual, part memoir, this work is highly personal, and the research cited is selective, somewhat eclectic, and necessarily scanty given the book’s brevity. It reads much like a carefully annotated letter to a friend, with a warm tone that underscores the author’s eagerness to share the lessons she’s learned: “My life has taught me that I have the power to craft my life how I want, to fulfill my hopes and dreams once I realized the key.” A quick read, this volume should prove useful to those who are trying to correct negative self-pronouncements and break self-defeating patterns in their lives. But parts of it may be too personal to be widely relatable.
An earnest self-help book that affirms the benefits of positive thinking yet barely explores the science behind the concept.