3 out of 4 stars
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Have you ever had a situation in your life when you wished you could take back an action? An unkind word? Did you ever react in such a way that, when remembered at a later time, you cringed? In life, there are no do-overs. However, we do have other chances to act differently, but we may need help to do better.
How to Define Yourself: Taking Control of Your Life is a non-fiction book written by Chuck Clifton. At under one hundred pages, it is a short self-help book. Although it is a quick read, it is full of information that could help you change your behavior for the better.
The idea of changing how you respond to a situation sounds simple, but sometimes people need help in making that change. This book is here to walk you through making those changes. The book starts by explaining its purpose and the language that it will use, simple concepts like Defining Yourself and Predefining Yourself. Clifton walks you through specific life situations (smoking, anxiety, speaking with friends, etc.) then suggests a proper and healthier response, then gives the reader a specific example of someone in the situation. Finally, the readers are given experiments to try, actions that will help you to integrate this response process in your life.
This is not a book I would recommend reading in one sitting. While the language is simple and clear so that the reader can understand it, it can feel a bit redundant as the ideas of better responses and actions are somewhat similar across the various situations. This is not necessarily a bad thing as people can learn from repetition, but reading this book in small chunks will make it feel less repetitive and it will also give the reader time to reflect and apply the ideas.
I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. There were no grammatical errors, though I did notice a few places where the formatting was inconsistent (no extra spaces between paragraphs or chunks of paragraphs that had an extra indent, for example). But because of the simplicity and redundancy, I could not rate this a four. I think the language could be more varied and I myself did not agree with some of the situations that were presented as problematic. For example, there is one chapter suggesting that booing while watching a sports game is a behavior that should be changed. While I do not think of the behavior as negative as Clifton explains it to be, other readers may agree with his reasoning. However, there are things that can be learned and used to help make positive changes in your daily thoughts and actions. If you like self help books or need to make a change in your life, this book is for you.
How to Define Yourself
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