Book Review – Psycho-cybernetics: A New Way to Get More Living Out of Life

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Psycho-cybernetics: A New Way to Get More Living Out of Life by Maxwell Maltz

Even in regard to tragic conditions, and the most adverse environment, we can usually manage to be happier, if not completely happy, by not adding to the misfortune our own feelings of self-pity, resentment, and our own adverse opinions.

Maxwell Maltz

Dr. Maltz is a little dated on his science in this 1960 piece on the psychology of success, but that’s bound to happen after more than 60 years. Happily, there are some powerful self-motivating resources in here for individuals who suffer from chronic failure, self esteem issues, or even toxic perceptions and beliefs.

The key to getting the most out of the text is to overlook the dated science. I would even suggest blasphemy—and skip the last chapter entirely as it is a little out of place with the rest of the author’s work and is a Frankenstein-esque combination of now recognized science fiction and religious credo.

Overall, I like the theme on how our perception can have both positive and negative impacts in our life by impacting our responses to the world. We are constantly motivated or inhibited by our personal beliefs and feelings. Maltz uses experiences from a collection of patients to show the reader just how we can overcome these mental traps and improve our lives by improving our perceptions.

That said, I did have difficulty appreciating the heavily Western religiosity present throughout the work. However, I tend to overlook that uncomfortableness in a text. I focus on whatever I find valuable in the book and allow some levity due to the historical context in which this work was authored.

Book Review – Fish! A Remarkable Way to Boost Morale and Improve Results

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Fish! A Remarkable Way to Boost Morale and Improve Results by Stephen C. Lundin, John Christensen and Harry Paul

There is always a choice about the way you do your work, even if there is not a choice about the work itself.

Fish!

There’s something to be said for writing with energy. I’m just not sure the authors delivered much more for me in this short text. Having the right energy—that fun, go get them attitude—makes a substantial difference in any workplace. That’s where this text can help. If you find yourself in a toxic work environment or surrounded by terrible co-workers, you just may find some relief in this tiny parable.

Though, I can’t say I was a huge fan of this storytelling method, I would still share this book with others in the workplace. I think it fills a very clever niche where middle management and knowledge workers sometimes get stuck in the doldrums of corporate America.

If you need an easy read to give you a fresh perspective on how you can choose to thrive or wallow in the workplace, then this is the book for you. It’s both highly approachable and practical. So, take a break in the office today, pull out this booklet, and enjoy this little treat.

Book Review – Answers for Aristotle: How Science and Philosophy Can Lead Us to a More Meaningful Life

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Answers for Aristotle: How Science and Philosophy Can Lead Us to a More Meaningful Life by Massimo Pigliucci

Science provides us with a perspective on the world, not with a God’s-eye view of things. It gives us an irreducibly human, and therefore to some extent subjective—yet certainly not arbitrary—view of the universe.

Massimo Pigliucci

I enjoyed Pigliucci’s piece on “how science and philosophy lead us to a more meaningful life” as a welcome counterattack against the rampant abuse of the psychology of positive thinking we find in the self-help books and guides of today.


If you approach the text with an open mind, I think you will be pleasantly surprised at the new perspective you can gain from his secular, science-based and arguably atheistic interpretation on the meaning of life. You may not agree with Massimo, but that’s okay. What he offers you is an acceptable, logic-based approach to defining the human condition and its search for ethical and moral reason as an innately human endeavor.


Overall, it’s worth the trouble you’ll tackle with some Greek language, semantic reclassifications and academic word choice that always leaves me a little exhausted. It’s still a keeper for my bookshelf.

Full disclosure—if you don’t care for religious criticism you’re not going to like the final chapters. My suggestion is to read this, like you should any book, as a means to learn more about those who don’t share your same views.


Finally, if you’re a fan of philosophy, logic, Stoicism and science as honorable pursuits in the development of character and purpose, add this to your reading list.