Don't Let Others Rent Space in Your Head: Your Guide to Living Well, Overcoming Obstacles, and Winning at Everything in Life

Gary Coxe, Author . Wiley $24.95 (264p) ISBN 978-0-471-74693-5

In this argumentative, sometimes counterintuitive self-help book, first-time author Coxe declares that "positive thinking is a lie and it doesn't work!" It doesn't create lasting results; it is very difficult if you're emotionally spent; and when it fails, you just feel worse. Instead of avoiding negative thoughts and emotions, he says, you should acknowledge and manipulate them to attain success. The key to using negative feelings constructively is learning "to play games with our minds instead of our minds playing games with us." Coxe, who rails against other "pop-psychologists" and attributes his own expertise to life experience, offers a few basic tools, such as scenario planning, emotion control techniques and the book's centerpiece, "The 4-Step Process," a series of reframing exercises that identify readers' "empowering beliefs and thoughts" and their "limiting" ones. (Explaining why his 4-Step Process includes a step on positive thinking, Coxe does some reframing of his own, arguing that "it's not so much positive thinking itself that's the hoax, it's the way it is presented.") Coxe declares that his process can cure people of longtime phobias "in less than an hour." Readers intrigued by his multiple appearances on television's Maury Povich Show may want to pick up this book. (Dec.)

Reviewed on: 10/10/2005
Release date: 12/01/2005
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 256 pages - 978-0-471-78121-9
Ebook - 272 pages - 978-0-470-19448-5
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