4 out of 4 stars
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The Experiential Approach: A Fresh New Approach for Creating Immediate Personal Power is a self-help book by Dean Nelson. It is about 180 pages.
The book starts with a very personal and tragic story. When the author was a teenager, his father committed suicide. For decades he felt guilt surrounding this awful day, facing depression and suicidal thoughts. Fortunately, after spending a considerable amount of money on different seminars, books, and other media, he developed a means to live life in a more meaningful and positive way. Essentially, it all boils down to the power of belief. What we believe influences our experiences in life. Once we identify what our negative beliefs are, we can adjust them to be more positive and productive. This will affect the choices we make and empower us with the right attitude and intentions so that we can live a more fulfilling and rewarding life. It takes time and commitment to adjust how we view ourselves and to make changes for a better quality of life, but it’s incredibly worth it.
There are a few exercises in the book to put these ideas into practice, such as identifying what you would like to change about your life, what’s been holding you back in accomplishing specific goals, and finding the underlying beliefs that need to be altered. An example that the author uses is a person who wants to be a better public speaker. This person was the youngest of seven siblings and believed that what he had to say was not important. In order to be a better public speaker, that person would need to change his belief to be that what he says is important. I really liked how the author thoroughly explained these concepts, using specific examples and understandable terminology. There is a refreshing simplicity to his explanations that makes being happy seem achievable, even though the mind is a complex thing.
Another commendable aspect of this book is that there is the right balance of talking about his personal life to giving practical advice. It all flows well together, is very relatable and can be applied to any difficult situation that someone may have faced. For instance, the author states: “I unknowingly created a belief that my life was hard after my father’s suicide. Every negative event became an opportunity to reinforce that philosophy. Every difficult experience had control on what I believed.” The author also discusses his marriage, career, and hobbies, showing that this method applies to all realms of life.
I really appreciate the intent behind this book. The author really wants to help readers based on his own experiences. He reinforces the idea that it’s possible to overcome the darkness and devastation that traumatic events bring. He is also very realistic and honest. He’s not perfect. He’s human. Bad things will always happen; but we do have some control through the choices we make, our attitude, and our beliefs. I also really like his distinction between intentions and powerful intentions. It’s nice to want something, but we have to actually go after it. We also don’t have to completely neglect our past, no matter how bad it may have been. We can instead learn from it and let negative experiences empower us in the present.
I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. It was very convincing, well written and down to earth. I felt not only inspired but also incredibly motivated to put these ideas into action. I would recommend this book to anyone looking to make changes in their lives, overcome trauma, and be more focused on the present.
The Experiential Approach
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