‘Self-help’ books are a dime a dozen on the shelves and probably always will be – not because us humans are a collective and consistently blathering mess, but because the human condition is one that inherently questions, perennially voyages inward, ceaselessly strives to understand the self.
Of course, self-knowledge helps build confidence, direction and understanding that can vastly improve our lives and those of the people around us. Self-awareness, mindfulness, value-setting – these are all things that deepen our capacity for happiness – and form the classic and time-honoured psychological basis of the human temperament.
We all go through stages when diving into enlightening, supportive and often confronting books is just the tonic we need, but we don’t need to be going through a crisis to self-evaluate and learn more about what makes us tick.
In The 1000 Most Important Questions You Will Ever Ask Yourself, psychotherapist Alyss Thomas takes a self-exploratory approach to helping us understand ourselves. That, and . . . let’s face it – how much fun it a good quiz?
If you’re looking to work out what you want, where you’re going or even where you’ve been, this book provides a thoroughly entertaining but deeply satisfying and fascinating psychological breakdown. The book is not heavy nor filled with psychobabble. It is written with a warm, clear, practical and plain speak voice – in her introduction, Thomas says:
“…it’s unhelpful to assume that there is something wrong with you that needs fixing [however] sometimes another person’s feedback is essential to help you see yourself more accurately and clearly.”
And how can seeing yourself more accurately improve your life? As the author says in her introduction, self-awareness is self-transformative. Although she provides a highly professional basis for the outline of this book, Thomas has provided a series of quizzes that feature a ‘soft’ format in that they don’t provide routine psychological answers. Rather, they act as a springboard to refresh the mind and provide answers long after the book is put down.
Covering such topics as anxiety, values, relaxation, stress, relationships, happiness, creativity, communication and the past, 1000 Questions is invaluable for those seeking to stretch, clarify, develop and move ahead on the path of self-understanding.
The questions are not only fun, they are also lightbulb-pinging and incredibly helpful for anyone wanting to explore a better future. Coupled with case studies, helpful diagrams and quotes, and room for note taking, this is a book that combines hefty psychological substance with a feather-light touch that won’t bog you down, bore you or scare you away. The information you will learn is incredibly enlightening not depressingly confronting and what I love most about this book is that it’s been penned in a way that allows total personalization of the content. Frankly, it’s like it’s been written just for you.
Although this book may may help you discover some parts of yourself that need serious overhauling, the overriding feeling after working through 1000 Questions was, for me, one of hope and happiness.
Thank you, Ms Thomas. Very clever stuff.
Title: The 1000 Most Important Questions You Will Ever Ask Yourself
Author: Alison Thompson
Publisher: Exile Publishing
Publication Date: May 2011