The Blurb On The Back:
Fed up with trying to get ahead in business by working longer hours and continually racing your brain at a hundred miles an hour? Unfortunately, success in business is spelled M-O-R-E: better results, faster growth, more revenue, greater efficiency. Do more. Make more. Achieve more. And do it now. Master Your Mind offers an antidote to the endless (and pointless) cycle of “doing more” in order to succeed. Throughout the book, Roger Seip and Robb Zbierski – Seip is the author of the bestselling book Train Your Brain For Success – explain how the counterintuitive approach of slowing down can help optimise your performance and get you the positive results you’ve been searching for.
Master Your Mind reveals the tactics and methods that lead to increased energy, revenue, and good health in a self-sustaining way. The approaches presented are not pie-in-the-sky but have proven to be effective with the authors’ thousands of clients. The book shows how to stop thinking your success relies on quantity, and start on the road to improving the quality of your effort. The book clearly demonstrates what it takes to up-your-game by combining the right amount of effort (after all, it takes work) with a high degree of presence, focus, intentionality, and being in the “Zone”. Filled with illustrative examples, Master Your Mind shows why slowing down your brain gives you a much better understanding of what is really going on in your head that will get your desired results. The book also explores the obstacles that are holding you back.
Drawing on discoveries in neuroscience (the authors don’t claim to be scientists), Master Your Mind offers a basic understanding of the root causes and benefits of slowing down and includes techniques for applying the scientific lessons. The approaches and tactics outlined in Master Your Mind work because they align with what’s most deeply important to you and they are done in a way that actually works for your brain.
Once you apply the book’s lessons and put the winning strategies into practice, you will be amazed that success will come your way with little or no extra effort.
The Review (Cut For Spoilers):
Roger Seip is a personal development trainer and Robb Zbierski is a public speaker and personal coach. In this so-so book that aims to help improve productivity by helping the reader learn to slow down and refocus your effort on what actually matters, they combine some woo-woo cod science and psychology with some interesting practical tips but, as ever, there isn’t much new here and you will only take from it what you think is relevant to you.
The book is divided into two parts. Part 1 purports to set down a foundation that’s “both scientific and anecdotal in nature” and draws on the latest research in neuroscience and quantum physics combined with practical experience from Seip and Zbierski’s clients. Part 2 then aims to set out tactics that you can deploy to slow down, e.g. by saying no sometimes, working less, having a less detailed plan etc.
Part 1 basically boils down to setting out how and why you should listen to your subconscious combined with positive thinking and avoiding overthinking issues. I didn’t disagree with any of the fundamental principles here (and, to be honest, I thought it was all a bit obvious and a matter of common sense). However I was really uncomfortable with the way Seip and Zbierski try to dress it up with cod science and psychology. This is most apparent when they discuss vibrational frequencies and how it ties to the law of attraction (if anyone here watches FAMILY GUY then it reminded me of Brian’s book WISH IT, WANT IT, DO IT). Neither of the authors represents themselves as a scientist and that’s a good thing as they offer up zero scientific support of this notion and the only writers referred to within the book are basically other self-help authors (although some of them do appear to have a scientific or psychological background). For me, these sections were an absolute turn off in terms of being both grandiose and baloney and there were moments when I considered not finishing the book.
Part 2 is more useful though in terms of giving you techniques for working out how to slow down and refocus. There is nothing earth-shattering here and a lot of it comes down to common sense but if you’re looking at ways of reviewing how you do things, it forms a good jumping off point and sometimes you do just need to have the obvious pointed out to you.
The authors are American and this is a very US-focused book in terms of case studies and aspirations. There’s nothing wrong with that, but I do wonder how it plays with a British readership. It also has a particular focus on how this can be used to focus on sales and winning business, which won’t necessarily be relevant to all potential readers (e.g. people who manage HR functions or IT support). I also found the authors a bit too star struck with exclusive groups (the Seattle Study Group gets name checked) and given the nature of the authors’ own businesses, it’s not surprising that they use the book to sell their own services or previous books. I know that some readers aren’t struck on that but I think it’s just the nature of the self-help market – every book that comes out is there to hustle the author’s own brand and this is no different.
Ultimately what matters is what you’re looking to take away from the read and notwithstanding my reservations on some of the “science”, I did take away a couple of techniques that I’m applying in my everyday life but I’d question how useful it would be for many readers.
Thanks to the Amazon Vine Programme for the review copy of this book.