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The Undefeated Mind: On the Science of Constructing an Indestructible Self

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3.95  ·  Rating Details ·  557 Ratings  ·  41 Reviews
Legions of self-help authors rightly urge personal development as the key to happiness, but they typically fail to focus on its most important objective: "hardiness." Though that which doesn't kill us can make us stronger, as Nietzsche tells us, few authors today offer any insight into just "how" to springboard from adversity to strength.
It doesn't just happen automatical
...more
ebook, 288 pages
Published November 1st 2012 by Health Communications
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Andrecrabtree
May 28, 2013 Andrecrabtree rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I bought this title when going through the toughest time of my life (so far). I thought it might provide some good advice. As it turns out I didn't get to read it until after I was "back on my feet" so to speak. Nonetheless I found this book very helpful, not because it gave me many new strategies to try (it did a few) but because in many, many instance it provided the background, medical and philosophic, to strategies I had stumbled upon on my own. As I often find when this happens it brings in ...more
University of Chicago Magazine
Alex Lickerman, AB'88, MD'92
Author

Legions of self-help authors rightly urge personal development as the key to happiness, but they typically fail to focus on its most important objective: hardiness. Though that which doesn't kill us can make us stronger, as Nietzsche tells us, few authors today offer any insight into just how to springboard from adversity to strength.

It doesn't just happen automatically, and it takes practice. New scientific research suggests that resilience isn't something wit
...more
Joe
Dec 30, 2012 Joe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An extremely interesting read. Dr. Lickerman reminds us that resilence is not an intrinsic quality, at least not entirely. We can supplement our capacity to respond to difficulty by developing more effective habits. Through his practice of Nichiren Buddhist chanting, Dr. Lickerman arrived at insights about his outlook that helped shape him into a stronger and more insightful physician and person. And while he tells us that we needn't necessarily chant a million mantras to find our center, he poi ...more
Fei
Apr 12, 2014 Fei rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Bought me to tears on chapter 7 "Letting Go" when the author states this:

“So if an event from your past remains painful to think about,” I told Ravi, “you should understand that pain as an indication you have unfinished business, not with whomever or whatever else was involved in the event, but with yourself.”

In that moment I was bought back to 2 highly sought-after relationships (one with my grandma and another with a best girlfriend) I had where I was full of regrets, and there is now one per
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David
Jan 07, 2013 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not too sure what to make of this book... I like the idea that the teachings are coming from a qualified Physician fully trained in rational thought but then I draw back a bit when it comes to chanting Nam Myoho Renge Kyo! I am not sure if that says more about me or about the book but there you go! I certainly like the idea of developing resilience so for that I recommend it and I will look further into this Nichiren Buddhism. I have ordered a few books on it from Amazon so will let you know how ...more
Jason , etc.
This struck me as being more of a marketing campaign for Nichiren Buddhism (NB) than anything else, given the page- saturation of NB's name and principles. NB is super. NB is the search for wisdom in adversity. NB is the one arm of Buddhism that eschews quiet meditation for chanting. NB works. NB.

The chapters approach the subject of perseverance (abstractly) by revisiting former patients' problems and using them as the canvas on which to paint a picture of resolution in the form of their overcom
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L
Apr 13, 2015 L rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Insightful and absolutely brilliant!
Jesper Mosegaard
Amazing.
This book was well-written, and well-documented throughout.
Panashe M.
Oct 18, 2016 Panashe M. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-help
A book that had been sitting in my "Save for Later" bucket on Amazon for about 3 years. Dr. Lickerman gives anecdotes about his own life and those of his patients and how they developed "undefeated minds". Good read, despite (because of?) of all the Bhuddist stuff.
ORAN
Mar 11, 2017 ORAN rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pop-non-fiction
Alex Lickerman, a doctor, shares his stories about patients who overcome their mental and physical obstacles. The stories range from learning to cope with loss, developing compassion, and rationalizing our fears. Overall this book is well written, and contains good advice. I would recommend this book to people interested in psychology, or philosophy. His book is written from a Buddhist perspective, while avoiding the typical Buddhist tropes you'd expect in a self help book (AKA "just like, medit ...more
Hans
Feb 15, 2016 Hans rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I expected more out of this book. The author most intrigued me with his use of Buddhist mantras to make key self-discoveries about himself and through that new level of self-awareness be able to overcome whatever psychological obstacles were in his path. I wanted to learn more about how this chanting of Mantras might actually work.

He goes on to list a variety of techniques that people can employ to make themselves more resilient and capable to coping and thriving in adversity. He is a Physician
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Dave B.
The undefeated mind was a very solid nonfictional account of Dr. Lickerman’s exploration into use of his belief in Nichiren Buddhism while dealing with a select few patients. I selected this book based on the it’s title and learning about the personal strength needed to overcome some of my own character issues such as procrastination, integrity and strong work ethics. Likerman was able to present some very helpful points on developing a mission statement and accepting situations that we are not ...more
S
Aug 21, 2015 S rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lickerman has a clear and distinct voice that is evident as the reader completes page after page of this book. Well established strategies and skills are handled in a manner that makes them fresh instead of trite or trope-like.

For me, his effectiveness and freshness came from his personal perspective. As a reader, you are on a journey with the author instead of receiving a lecture on good ways to handle life's most challenging situations. His spirituality adds to, and is surrounded by, well res
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David
Nov 28, 2013 David rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Although this book has some great insight, some of it is just too preachy. The thing that bugged me the most was that this book follows the same formula the entire time: intro topic, tell a personal story about the topic, relate topic to Nichirin Buddhism, end story on a positive note, and conclude by discussing why topic is important.

In addition, it is VERY evident that these stories are made up. Dialogue is one sided and minor details are described thoroughly. If a patient came in to your offi
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William Schram
This book is pretty good, it's just not phenomenal. The author combines recent findings in neuroscience (by recent I mean circa 2012) with some teachings of Nichiren Buddhism to give an Eastern flavor to the messages and help it offers.

The author says he's an MD, but I don't know his specialty at all. He seems to be a general practitioner of some kind. Along the way, we are told many good messages. Accept failure, find a goal, make a vow and other such things.

It's very uplifting, and I do enjoy
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MásterBanda
Jun 20, 2016 MásterBanda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
En este libro el autor promueve, en cierta medida, la práctica búdica influenciada por Nietzsche en la que se realiza un canto (a manera de mantra) y que acompaña la reflexión de un problema en cuestión. Dicha práctica resulta en inspiradoras reflexiones acerca de temas importantes como el perdón, la motivación, el fin último del ser humano y el amor, dando así pie a que se compartan experiencias personales del autor que muy bien pudieran identificarse con situaciones cotidianas de cualquier hom ...more
Julian Haigh
Jun 23, 2014 Julian Haigh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As far as self-help books go, this is the best and doesn't effect regurgitation. Lickerman applies principles of Nichean Buddhism and his work as a general practitioner to describe how to develop a resilient mind. Success is about getting back on your feet with determination. Essentially, it's about establishing a mission and being realistic about your expectations to expect to overcome.
Diane
Oct 15, 2012 Diane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
A concise, practical toolbox of coping mechanisms and a strategy for living a happy, fulfilling life based on the principle of helping others to help ourselves. Developed from the principles of Nichiren Buddhism but tailored for the Western mind and lifestyle The Undefeated Mind is a valuable resource for anyone interested in developing their inner strength.
kamal robinson
Mar 19, 2014 kamal robinson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant!!

I gave this book (which is an understatement) five stars because I believe it is brilliant. Brilliantly written, brilliantly enlightening and thought provoking, uplifting and charismatic. I recommend this book for all who wish to better themselves in every spectrum of life.
Shemeice Ashmore
Oct 21, 2015 Shemeice Ashmore rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This by far is one of the best books to help you see what seems like life setbacks as just another challenge that you can overcome by just by changing how we think about the challenges...I recommend this to any and everyone as we all will be faced with things will will throw our way and we will need to have an undefeated mind.
Denys Percheklii
Nov 02, 2014 Denys Percheklii rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-book, russian
Some interesting piece of reading. I would not say that the ideas are absolutely new for me, but it was quite interesting to read about human behaviour from the therapist and Nichiren Buddhist point of view.

The stories of real people make it easier to understand the theory, which sometimes is extremely tedious. Many thanks to the author for sharing his experience.
Nelson007
The content of the book is simply amazing. It's a wealth of information that can help anyone. The bad part is that the writing skills of the author are a little subpar, so it actually takes willpower to go through the book.
Lucy
Jan 28, 2016 Lucy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
After slowly struggling through this book, at halfway I've decided to quit. Too many too long sentences starting with 'studies show..' 'research shows..' Although I am very interested in this topic, for some reason I found it quite a bore.
Michele Mcdermott
Jan 26, 2016 Michele Mcdermott rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book about training your mind to overcome obstacles such as fear and stress. A lot of people have difficult situations they are dealing with and the author goes through methods for dealing with them naturally.
Anushri Thanedar
This is an EXCELLENT BOOK! If you are going through hard times, and need simple ways to feel motivated. THIS IS THE BOOK you need :) It really has simple life lessons, full of interesting concepts. I highly recommend this book! One of the beat books I have read.
Janice
Mar 03, 2013 Janice rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cant-even
I really didn't like his inaccurate information about pharmacology relating to the brain. He lost me there. I don't trust people who are so misinformed.
Teal
Dec 30, 2014 Teal rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2015
Gave a lot of insight into people's minds and how to overcome obstacles in the process of achieving long-lasting and deep-rooted happiness.
Dbfsee
Apr 07, 2014 Dbfsee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not bad; I expected it to center more on dealing with everything life throws at you.
Chris
Jun 10, 2013 Chris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
To state the obvious, "constructing an indestructible self" is an ironic subtitle for a book with a Buddha on the cover.
Mark Melendez
May 31, 2015 Mark Melendez rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing book on what it is to keep going, on not giving up.

If you're trying to cultivate a persevering mind (an undefeated mind), you cannot go wrong with this book. Highly recommend it.
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How the repeated mentioning of Nichiren Buddhism affect your reading? 2 8 Mar 15, 2017 02:32PM  
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Alex Lickerman is a physician, former assistant professor of medicine and director of primary care, current assistant vice president for Student Health and Counseling Services at the University of Chicago, and currently leads a direct primary care private practice called ImagineMD in downtown Chicago.

Alex has extensive speaking experience, having given talks at medical conferences throughout his c
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“But our determination is what creates the path—our determination to make use of adversity rather than escape it.” 2 likes
“From a Buddhist perspective, however, this means neither denying our problems exist nor denying they make us suffer. Rather, it means learning to use suffering as a springboard for creating benefit.” 1 likes
More quotes…