A debut spiritual guide challenges readers to improve their lives by changing their perspectives.
As the self-help book’s subtitle suggests, Hodgson’s focus is on perception, perspective, and problems. Readers’ problems are caused by their perspectives—how they see the world. “Your life is a reflection of what you believe about yourself, others and the world around you,” writes the author in her introduction. “If you believe that you can accomplish great things, you will. If you believe that you can’t do anything right, then you won’t accomplish very much.” Readers’ perspectives, in turn, are formed by their past perceptions: interpretations of the world that they have filed away and which their minds continue to return to. Hodgson argues that, in order for readers to change their lives for the better, they have to find a way to separate themselves from these perceptions—emotional baggage, essentially—and form new perspectives. The author walks readers through this process, explaining how patterns of behavior are formed unintentionally by the way emotional reactions to things are processed and stored in the mind. She claims that by jettisoning these stockpiled associations and returning their minds to a state of clarity, readers can open themselves up to spiritual guidance, which will lead them to healthier ways of viewing the world. Hodgson writes in a precise but accessible prose, illustrating her points with frequent examples: “Certain feelings will get attached to a certain word or a group of words, and the combination of those words along with the feelings can end up carrying a great deal of weight. For example, suppose as a young child your mother hugs you every time she tells you she loves you.” The author includes worthy tips and exercises like journaling to help readers break down old barriers. While the spiritual aspect of the book is nondenominational, Hodgson argues that it is necessary for achieving the new, desired perspective. But this spiritual facet fits rather incongruously alongside the rest of the material, which is written in the secular language of pop psychology. Although the book is compact and professionally executed, much of the information in these pages is not especially insightful or innovative within the self-improvement genre.
A fairly standard self-help work with a theistic component.