Front cover - Whose mind is it anyway book review

WHOSE MIND IS IT ANYWAY?: Get out of your head and into your life

Lisa Esile, Franco Esile

[TarcherPerigee, 178 pages]

We’ve probably all heard the saying, “Sometimes good things come in small packages,” and that’s certainly true when it comes to the husband-wife team Lisa and Franco Esile’s recently-released title, Whose Mind Is it Anyway?: Get Out of Your Head and Into Your Life. The pocket-sized paperback is only about a half-inch (1.27 cm) thick, and contains more pictures than it does words, but the words it does include pack a powerful punch.

The seven beliefs

This easy-to-read guide to finding peace and contentment presents seven so-called truths that our minds often trick us into believing, which can get in the way of our ability to live as happily as possible. These “truths” are:

  1. Our minds are super-wise—the wisest part of every one of us—and we need to listen to them above all else, including the heart and intuition.
  2. After we achieve all our goals, we will then (and only then) be calm and contented.
  3. It’s best to attempt to control yourself and your circumstances at all times—that’s the key to happiness and success.
  4. The mind loves learning; studying and memorizing facts to form a firmly-entrenched belief system is the best kind of learning to do.
  5. Our bad feelings come from bad things that happen to us, or bad things that others say to us—in other words, the external world.
  6. Letting the mind constantly work and achieve, with little or no time to relax and do nothing, can be advantageous.
  7. Criticizing and judging yourself, dwelling on worries about what you’ve done in the past and what you might do in the future, will lead you towards self-improvement.

Following these beliefs to the letter sounds like a kind of tedious way to live, right? Well, rest assured, the Esiles manage to slay these so-called “truths” one by one, pointing out ways they’re faulty and offering, in a non-judgmental and friendly manner, alternative ways of thinking and behaving that’ll actually set you on a pathway towards contentment. Franco and Lisa even give readers “permission” to lounge on the couch in sweats while the house fills up with clutter, if that’s something a person feels they really need to do.

A funny read with the potential for widespread appeal

There’s nothing about this book that’s strikingly negative, but one strikingly positive aspect of it is the funny, yet non-offensive humour used throughout. For instance, one of the first few images features a person reclining on the toilet while reading, and in each chapter, the mind is consistently portrayed as a little critter running around in high-heeled boots who contemplates things such as whether or not to try cheese toast from a food truck. Occasionally, the authors will interrupt the book’s flow to good-naturedly laugh at the reader, and get the reader to laugh at themselves in the same way, too. If you start to tune out while reading, an entire page of “ha ha ha” will likely snap you back to the present moment pretty quickly!

Because of the prominent humour and all the cute, quirky little pictures that’ll have you smiling, even if you’re not the type to laugh out loud while reading, this book is bound to be a fun read for almost anyone, including people who don’t normally enjoy the written word at all. The concepts within it are explained in such a straightforward, non-pretentious way that not only adults, but young teens and school-age children, too, will be able to understand and relate to them. If you’re looking for a self-help book to explore with a diverse group of people—whether that’s a small- to medium-sized family or a larger community group—you may find that Whose Mind Is It Anyway? is the perfect choice.

image: Young girl thinking via Shutterstock

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