Top critical review
Reviewed in the United States on April 25, 2019
This book has 200+ pages so you can read it in just a couple of days if you put the right amount of effort.
The font is not small, and chapters are relativelly short with around 15-20 pages each, so you can get a sense of
progressing quite fast through the text.
That being said, I expected more practical value from this book.
All reviews are at least in part about expectation fulfilment, so my rating has to reflect that.
Despite the title, I was expecting a book more focused on self-help and less on neuroscience.
I was expecting that after finishing the book I'd feel more empowered to improve myself with practical techniques.
If not that, then at least the book could be inspiring and motivational, but the neuroscience part is boring for a layman and has not depth enough for a scholar.
My main issue with the book is that it tries to achieve a healthy or reasonable balance between neuroscience and practical advice on meditation practices and how and why they could improve one's life, in other words, it tries at the same time to please both greeks and trojans by finding an equilibrium between useful information for helping readers to improve their lives while at the same time giving enough coverage on neuroscience.
In that regard the book was only partially successful, IMO.
For those like me who were more interested in the self-help aspect of how to improve one's life, It spends too much time for my taste trying to explain the several parts of our neural system. Too much scientific info for those like me that expected a more straight-to-the-point approach, but at the same time not enough scientific rigour for those expecting more emphasis in neuroscience.
The author gives superficial and sometimes abstract and non-inspiring explanations on the meditation practices which are quite frustrating.
It is quite annoying to read some practical exercices when the author says:
"you can modify this practice the way you want".
I mean... COME ON! What is the purpose of any exercise that can be modified the way anyone wants?
That kind of loose excessive flexibility leaves a person seeking for guidance completely lost.
Also annoying is the fact that even with superficial and frustrating explanations, the author many time says
something like: "Now that you've learned how to do X, now you can proceed and do Y". So one is faced with superficial and/or excessivelly abstract explanantions piling on top of eachother, effectivelly creating a frustrating mess.
This is a rather common pattern among self-help books, specially for the ones dealing with topics
rather difficult to convey in words. This is a challenge for the author, no doubt, a challenge he has not tackled in a complete successful manner IMO.
I have nothing personal against the author and I believe he has made a decent effort and had honorable intentions with this book, but because of the reasons explained above, the overall experience was below my expectations and Im not sure if I'd recommend this book to someone else.
On a more positive note, I found the last chapter to be more useful. It has more practical tips on how to live a better life and/or improve one's attitude towards life and others. Nothing that you couldnt find in other books, but useful nevertheless.
I will now proceed to read the author's other book called "Just One Thing" hoping that it will better fulfill my expectations.