The Chimp Paradox (Random House, 2012)

This is my first completed book of 2016. I want to start making book reviews a bigger feature of the website – so here goes…

Image courtesy ©Random House Publishing

Image courtesy ©Random House Publishing

Title:

The Chimp Paradox

Subtitle:

The Acclaimed Mind Management Programme to Help you Achieve Success, Confidence and Happiness

Author:

Prof. Steve Peters

Opinion in short:  

Star rating 3.5

Overall, a book well worth reading. A bit too long – the main juicy stuff is in the first 3 or 4 chapters, but there are some helpful application sections later on.

Very good for illustrating the difference between different parts of the human psyche, with tons of examples and illustrations on how to apply it all.

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Review…

Essentially, the chimp paradox is the idea that our emotional self (the chimp) can either be our closest friend or our greatest enemy. How we understand and deal with this aspect of our functioning will determine which it is.

The book outlines the chimp and the other two aspects: the Human (our rational self) and the Computer (our memory and autopilot).

Strengths:

  • Accessible language throughout – it successfully avoids the pitfalls of overly difficult or academic language. Uses very clear and simple terms for complex processes.
  • Useful and succinct account of the different aspects of the brain and how they affect our everyday functioning.
  • Some sensible and clear exercises (throughout) to help readers apply the principles taught in ways that are practically useful.
  • May be of particular use to people looking to overcome fears, a lack of confidence, communication difficulties or relationship problems – common issues that we could all do with some help on from time to time!

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Weaknesses:

  • Too long – most of the benefit (for me at least) was in the first few chapters with the definitions and functions of the different aspects of our thinking.
  • Complex labelling – once the book moves beyond the simple three elements of the psyche, it became a little complicated in its use of terms to describe different functions and ideas. I got my gremlins and my goblins mixed up!

p.s. The audio version is worth listening to as well, as the author reads it and his Northern accent is strangely comforting (though I’m biased, of course!).

Disclosure of material connection: Some of the links in this post are “affiliate links.” This means that if you click the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers.

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Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above may be “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. Cheers, JM.

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