Initial reaction: Oh, I have some very heavy negative emotional energies surrounding me at this moment, and they are directed quite firmly at this book. Suffice to say I will not stoop to express my discontent with caps locks of rage, but I have some choice words about this book. While I could say there are some sound principles surrounding behavioral change in this book, there’s too much slush to wade through to get to the better ideas, and it’s very hard to follow. Plus there were just things about this narrative that I did not appreciate at all, even found quite offensive. Hopefully I can expound upon this in the full review.
Where do I begin to describe what is wrong with this book? I haven’t felt so frustrated with a non-fiction read in quite some time, let alone a purported self-help book. I’m not going to say that the idea behind certain principles in this book aren’t sound, but this is one contradictory, mangled mess. It’s not very focused with its respective arguments at all, it was hard to follow, and I would argue the advice given isn’t very helpful at all, particularly with respect to the examples the author gives.
Ken Lindner proposes that emotions can get in the way of living one’s life to its fullest and “sabotage” opportunities and ability to live life to one’s potential. There are some sound examples to this at first, such as the gentleman who can’t control his anger at work and keeps falling into the same pattern in repeated context – so much that he has to settle for less than his respective performance abilities and can’t hold the job he wants. Lindner also starts the narrative out with some sound proposals, that the book is talking mostly about emotions and the physiology of them, and that by dealing with the triggers that elicit those emotions, you can change/manage them. I could see that argument as well, and agree with that.
But then when we get into the actual steps process and the measure of thinking in these steps, I started to have numerous problems with the approach/suggestions/backing arguments made. The book actually became more ridiculous as it went on, and I have to wonder – what exactly happened here? Why did the author give the examples this way, does he not understand that a good chunk of this is offensive and inaccurate?
I was actually fine on the explanation of the PETS expansion (Personal Emotional Triggers) and how that was comprised of two factors: Your Gold and Your Truth. Your Gold is supposed to comprise of one’s “mostly highly valued goals and dreams” while Your Truth is the “very personal vision of the life you most deeply want.”
So then why, if this is somewhat of a positive reinforcement measure, is it followed by the author’s personal example in an abstract negative fashion? For the record, people can’t always help being critically sick or being in an accident or having to go to the hospital for one reason or another. There are life choices we can make to keep us healthy (eating right, exercising, etc.) But having a fear of hospitals as a PETS measure from the author’s perspective didn’t make sense to me. It’s not a vision or a goal in a positive context. The positive context/life vision should be to stay healthy and assess ways of staying healthy, not “stay out of hospitals”.
I can understand identifying fears in a given situation and identifying those fears that inspire one to change in a situation (which is what Lindner does later with some of his examples), but that seemed very different than the explanation given in the initial definition for PETS. So that put a warning to me on how this was going to be a rather contradictory read. Yet, I gave it a shot and decided to see what else the author had to say.
The more I read onward in “Your Killer Emotions” – the more I saw attempts to try to be meaningful, but instead coming across as a convoluted expansion on thinking or trying to control things that aren’t necessarily in the control of the person in that situation. What was worse was the odd representation of Eastern/Western ideals and analogies that just didn’t come together. Add the ever present CAPS LOCK that the AUTHOR employs to MAKE HIS POINT. (I’m only using that as an example of how annoying it can get in text, but it bears mentioning because it’s peppered throughout the narrative in copious amounts where featured.)
Suffice to say, I wouldn’t recommend this. There are better narratives on this subject with more thorough comparisons and even presentation than this.
Overall score: 1/5 stars
Note: I received this as an ARC from NetGalley, from the publisher Greenleaf Book Press.