Thanks for another self-help book, Mom--I love these things. This is the first of the most recent trilogy bestowed upon me. Why did I read this? The b...moreThanks for another self-help book, Mom--I love these things. This is the first of the most recent trilogy bestowed upon me. Why did I read this? The book successfully provoked its intended change in me by making me feel so worthless I had to do something.
The reader is assumed to be a woman. I thought for a while that Felton's use of "she" and "her" when referring to the prototypical "messie" person was perhaps a feminist thing, that perhaps this is what it is like to be female and always reading "he" and "his". But no, there are plenty of points that make it obvious Felton's intended reader is a woman. Appendix B about messiness and makeup removed all doubt from my mind.
The reader is also assumed to be religious. I felt this was the case for purposes of increased sales.
The first part of any self-help book is the author convincing the reader of his/her authority on the subject. Some people have degrees or have done extensive research. Others have pulled themselves up by their bootstraps or have talked to a million people with whatever condition. Felton is the latter. She self-describes as "The Organizer Lady" and has written no fewer than 10 volumes on the subject! She continually advertises those volumes you are not currently reading throughout the book, including a complete listing before the last two chapters.
She knows the problem of messiness and lack of organization well enough, but there is something annoying about the sort of person she has in mind for me to become. She is correct that most of my chronic disorganization is self-imposed by my own mindset. An exploration of the various mindsets that lead to disorganization is the subject of Part I. None of it was really enlightening; I never thought, oh, I didn't realize I was thinking that way and it was manifesting as this or that. It was just extraordinarily soul-crushing to read page after page of anecdotes about dysfunctional people realizing all the while that she is just talking about me in a veiled manner and all the while reading about change rather than being change/doing something. Felton was successful in embarrassing me in front of myself and provoking me to some action.
Part II is her tips on how to change. She seems not satisfied in changing enough to cure dysfunctionality. I get the idea that I should not stop changing until I achieve some level of normalcy, and with that I disagree. Thus, the second half of the book was rather unbearable, especially considering that it is all rather obvious conclusions following from Part I, plus the female audience, religion, and advertising angles all get worse.
The worst part about it is that the book itself is an overflowing disorganization of material that could be boiled down to the length of a long magazine article. Has the author truly conquered her messiness to the point of authority?(less)
I finished Getting Things Done. What is my next action?
After realizing I have more to do than I can mentally manage and that whatever I was doing was...moreI finished Getting Things Done. What is my next action?
After realizing I have more to do than I can mentally manage and that whatever I was doing was not working, I decided to join the cult of GTD. After all, any system is better than no system in that it can evolve. David Allen has written self-help books on other subjects, but he shows good restraint in staying focused on the subject matter. I was introduced to GTD by lifehacker.com, and some of the ideas have already oozed into my habits, but I think good things are going to come of my efforts to implement this system. Which I am off to do now--first step is to evaluate the GTD software available, then the comprehensive inventory of open loops and stuff that needs done.(less)
Practically: spot-on treatment of the ego as problem source. Lots of advice that would be beneficial for most people.
Philosophically: not rigorous, de...morePractically: spot-on treatment of the ego as problem source. Lots of advice that would be beneficial for most people.
Philosophically: not rigorous, despite an implicit claim to be the next step following the path from Descartes through Sartre. Equivocal vocabulary lets him subtly draw questionable logical connections. Some metaphysical foundations are implicitly assumed. Notably missing is any treatment of ethics, or much in the way of implications at all. All in all, I am probably giving him too much credit considering one section is titled "Incontrovertible Proof of Immortality".
Stylistically: too verbose and repetitive. Since he does a remarkable job of making a coherent case, some anecdotes could go missing or are off-the-mark. Reads like a self-help book.
Spiritually: matches my own beliefs closely and in some cases explained myself to me. Reading such a verbose description of them provided me with tremendous food for thought. Tolle does not examine his premise that consciousness is inevitable, that it is woven into the fabric of the universe. Is this different from intelligent design? Finally, there wasn't much in the way of new ideas for me. I wish I was more knowledgable on the subject so I could tell what material here is distinct from a so-called "Eastern Spirituality 101 for Christians".(less)