What happens when a producer of 30-second commercials gets the itch to write? Mike X uses his skill at getting to the point fast and keeping readers entertained in his book, Your Best Life.
Instead of selling product, the author’s mission this time, he writes, is to encourage readers to challenge their key beliefs—especially those that continue to sabotage their ambitions and cherished dreams. He uses lots of images and illustrations as well as white space, a breezy tone and a broad range of topics to keep them turning pages.
Chapters (which he says can be read in any order) focus primarily on using positive self-talk, affirmations, and guided visualization to disrupt negative thinking habits –with a nod to techniques advocated by such self-help celebrity gurus as Tony Robbins and Oprah Winfrey. The author also draws inspiration from such academics as Harvard researcher Shawn Achor and the findings of the Harvard Happiness Study.
The text is comprised of short paragraphs – most a single sentence – with each chapter relatively short and punchy. Most advice is broad and basic. For example, Chapter 12 is titled “Ten Magic Words to Heal Any Relationship.” The words are: “I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you.”
Additionally, much of the advice will be familiar to regular readers of self-help fare. Suggesting a technique for improving dialogue with another person, he writes: “Say back to them what you’re hearing, using some of their own words,” advice common in books on communication. Still, he writes in a lively manner that might allow readers to absorb old material in new ways.
Those who prefer a linear narrative, where each chapter builds on the message of the prior chapter, won’t find that here. But for those who thrive on scatter-blasts of concepts, Your Best Life offers a steady drip of tactics that can be useful in achieving a better life.