A Whole New You

There are a plethora of self-help books out there, each with different angles, different methods. It's not that the information they present is new. It's that they use a specific point of view which might connect with you. That's fine. So it's important to know what the style of this book is, so you can see if it's going to be the one you relate to. Otherwise there are plenty of other options out there for you to choose from, that might match you better.

Brett Blumental went heavily for the "fill in list" technique to help you figure out your path. That is fine! Many people benefit from that technique. Others don't, and that's fine too. One thing to realize is that this is going to take time. It took me a solid month to go through the book, giving the lists the time and energy she recommends. That is, it doesn't help to race through the tasks. You want to take it slow, give them thought, and ponder them.

The entire back half of the book - pages 169 to 217 - are worksheets. So again, a substantial amount. On one hand this could mean you want to get the book in paperback so you can fill them in. However, even though I did have a paperback copy, I chose to journal my answers. That way I could do it again in a year or two and have a fresh set of answers, and compare them. I would recommend not writing in the book. You could even scan / xerox those worksheet pages. That way you could do this multiple times over the years and see how you change.

On one hand I found it annoying after each statement in the book that I had to go flipping to the back section to track down where the matching worksheet was. I would have preferred to have them integrated in the book so I could read the instructions and then see what the worksheet looked like. However, I do understand that for those who want to copy the forms that it's easier to do that with them all in one spot.

I disagree with some things she says. For example, Strengths are those things that you do well, seemingly effortlessly. They come very naturally to you and aren't a result of acquired knowledge or skill but instead are a result of your natural abilities." What? From my point of view, the reason I'm good at motivating people is that I've practiced it over the years. Just about every single thing we do well is because we have practiced it over the years. We are trained from birth by our family and friends to be a certain way. "Natural abilities" are abilities we were encouraged in and kept doing.

I don't like at all the "My Failures Worksheet" with a column labeled "Failures". How we word things makes a critical difference in our minds. How about "My hurdles" or "my learning experiences" for that page? Why label it as "failure"? Edison "failed" many times before he succeeded - and to him they were all important experiments which he learned from. A self-help book, in my mind, shouldn't have a chart called "failures".

There are other similar things. We work on good experiences, and then work on bad - so now it's the bad experiences which linger in our mind. A legacy page focuses on our children and grandchildren - why? Why exclude people who don't have any, either for choice or tragedy reasons? Why not leave more open the idea of legacy to explicitly encompass all forms of legacy?

I certainly appreciate a lot of what she teaches, and again it's what you're taught in pretty much every other self help book. Write down your goals. Be honest. Sharing them with others helps to make you accountable. Learn to say no to things which do not fit your own priorities.

But for me I didn't find the "six steps" to be clearly defined. There were lists after lists after lists and it often felt you were mired deep in a list-fest. There needed to be more connective tissue to keep the "theme" of the step alive. There also needed to be more examples and background supplied before each list was tackled. Sometimes it felt as if you barely got a paragraph of "this is what the list is, now go do it".

Still, again, some people thrive on lists, and this is definitely very list-intense. So if you're a lister by nature, give this a try. Be sure to critically think about what is being presented to you, so you can see for yourself which aspects fit with your point of view. Be honest in your lists. In the end, if you examine the issues honestly, and then plan out priorities which work well in your situation, you've achieved what the book has set out to help you with.

I received a review copy of this book via Amazon's Vine program.

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