A debut motivational guide challenges readers to gain a new perspective.
Though the world may appear full of roadblocks that keep people from success and productivity, it is actually their mindsets that cause them to register these events as problems in the first place, according to Egan. “The crucial first step in creating sustainable growth and lasting change is to examine the limitations of your internal mindset,” writes the author in the manual’s introduction. “Shifting your viewpoint can enable you to use your perceived external limitations as catalysts for personal and organizational progress.” Influenced by modern psychology and Tibetan Buddhism, Egan seeks to help his readers initiate this shift in their own lives, thereby viewing the world in a way that is more beneficial to their contentment. Using anecdotes from his experiences as an educator, the author demonstrates how the way people see their lives is simply one possible interpretation, a tale that could be told from any number of perspectives. There is no need for readers to live forever in the stories they inherited from society or people in their past. Egan argues that readers can rewrite their narratives, alter their assumptions, find opportunities in the obstacles they face, and otherwise build new outlooks. Each chapter tackles a different area of life that is subject to transformation—difficulty, panic, attachment—and provides an exercise to help the audience recalibrate. The author’s prose is encouraging and plainspoken, more akin to a monk than a booster with a megaphone: “In Japanese martial arts, there is the concept of kuzushi, or disrupting the root or balance of the opponent….The secret to this is understanding what unbalances your opponent, and the only way to gain this understanding is, again, by staying connected to them.” While the book does not offer much that isn’t available in the many similar works in the motivational genre, Egan brings a self-awareness to the topic that imbues it with a sense of sincerity. That and the clean, simple structure should help this guide stand out from the crowd.
A fresh take on well-trod self-improvement territory.