3 out of 4 stars
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There's a lot to be said for potatoes, given how nutritious and cheap they are. However, this dietary staple was once not thought fit for human consumption. Frederick the Great of Prussia stationed armed guards around his potato fields in what turned out to be a successful bid to convince people of their value. The potatoes didn't change, but the peasants' perception of them did. This anecdote is cited by author Steven Aitchison in his book The Belief Principle: Seven Beliefs That Will Transform Your Life. He goes on to describe the impact of altering his own beliefs about his social skills.
The book contains many more illustrations of the transformative power of belief, drawn both from the author's own life and the experiences of prominent individuals. The author explores how beliefs are acquired and how they work. The book culminates in a practical section that gives detailed instructions on how to install a set of life-changing beliefs.
I appreciated both the practical and theoretical aspects of this book. As so much has already been written about the power of attitude, it seems important for authors in this genre to find a unique selling point. By choosing some interesting stories and including practical exercises based on his personal journey and coaching work, Aitchison does succeed in providing a fresh take on this subject.
One outstanding aspect was his suggested actions that were so simple there was no reason not to try them right away. For example, Aitchison suggests routinely transferring ten percent of earnings into a special online bank account. He notes that simple actions like this will add up over time. As I always try out the exercises in the self-help books I review, I started such a fund, and I am now well on the way to buying a family computer. I am thrilled that the book included advice that was so easy and effective. The other suggestions are working out well for me too.
So if you like self-help books based on mindset changes, you'd be likely to benefit from this one. I would recommend it to anyone who feels stuck or is struggling to reach goals. This book will give you the tools you need to vanquish your self-limiting beliefs. Its encouraging and straightforward tone makes for an inspiring read. Given the value of support groups, it is a boon that the book includes links to "belief principle" social media groups where readers can find their tribe. The anecdotes and theories also add depth and colour.
There is a slight shortcoming in this area, however, because research findings are mentioned but not referenced. For example, the author writes that young children mainly experience theta and alpha brainwave cycles. The book would feel more complete if some information were given about the source of these findings. The author may also wish to add a disclaimer stating that there are no guarantees or liability in connection with his advice; these often preface books of this type.
In addition to these areas for improvement, there are more than ten errors in the book. Although these were not particularly distracting, they did include misspellings of people's names, such as "Fredrick" instead of "Frederick" and "Johnston" instead of "Johnson". As this book still needs a little polishing but has outstanding content overall, I rate it three out of four stars. As well as being an enjoyable read, it provides an effective plan of action.
The Belief Principle
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