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The Chimp Paradox: The Acclaimed Mind Management Programme to Help You Achieve Success, Confidence and Happiness
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The Chimp Paradox: The Acclaimed Mind Management Programme to Help You Achieve Success, Confidence and Happiness

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  14,498 ratings  ·  852 reviews
Leading consultant psychiatrist Steve Peters knows more than anyone how impulsive behaviour or nagging self-doubt can impact negatively on our professional and personal lives. In this, his first book, Steve shares his phenomenally successful mind-management programme that has been used to help elite athletes and senior managers alike to conquer their fears and operate with ...more
Paperback, 346 pages
Published January 5th 2012 by Vermilion (first published January 1st 2012)
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Shivan Sivakumaran Despite using the trivial chimp, human and computer to representanatomical brain and functions of the psychological mind, Prof. Peters writes in forma…moreDespite using the trivial chimp, human and computer to representanatomical brain and functions of the psychological mind, Prof. Peters writes in formal English.(less)

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 ·  14,498 ratings  ·  852 reviews

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Bernard O'Leary
Feb 24, 2014 rated it did not like it
This is a great book for those who have never engaged in any kind of self-appraisal whatsoever, especially if you are also unfamiliar with even the most basic elements of psychology. And I mean really, really basic. In The Chimp Paradox, Steve Peters presents his radical theory that there are two parts to the mind: a rational part and a emotional part. Wow. And that the emotional part sometimes interferes with the decision-making ability of the rational part. Hey, slow down brainiac!

And slow dow
May 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Great great book. I am well aware in martial arts and in sport the mental game is paramount. So why would it be any different in life? I had read a number of elite lever athletes who swore by Professor Steve Peters' Chimp model. Which was my main inspiration in getting this book. After waiting ages and finally reading it I truly understand why.

The metaphorical Chimp in the book represents our emotional side, and the areas of brain these emotions are stored. The science is based in facts, but hav
Will Once
May 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is a Jennifer Lopez of a book - fabulous in many ways but with a big "but".

It's yet another self-help book (groan). Yes, but this one is actually pretty helpful. It is based on some solid science and the author does know what he is talking about.

The main thesis of the book is that our minds are made up of two separate parts - the human and the chimp. The human is rational and intelligent, the chimp is emotional and instinctive. Our problems come when the chimp dominates the human, because
Apr 22, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: performance
Having had this book recommended to me by multiple people, I went in with high expectations. Even taking this into consideration, I found myself underwhelmed. The science behind it seemed basic, the writing style was pretty painful, and I was not impressed with the applicable lessons.

To summarise the premise: Peters proposes the model that the average person's actions are a result of the struggle between the Chimp and the Human portions of the brain, representing base and considered actions resp
Andrea James
Jan 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: decision-making
Most of the criticisms of the book seem to be that it is overly simplistic. It definitely pares down neuroscience and psychology concepts to a very simplistic model. However, I think be keeping it simple it might achieve its aims of getting people to change their behaviour. So maybe it's debatable whether it is "overly" simplistic or not.

I know a lot of people - I used to be (still sometimes am) one of those people - who would amass a ton of information and because the world is complex and under
Rachel Holloway
Apr 02, 2019 rated it did not like it
I found this 'acclaimed mind management programme' quite patronising and VASTLY generalised. It made me worried that people with mental health issues such as anxiety or PTSD related symptoms would read this book as some sort of way of coping rather than seeking actual medical support. This book seemed to promote unhealthy ideas of confidence and completely ignored the contexts which shape our relationships with ourselves and the outside world, for example 'it's healthy to have a strong sex drive ...more
Jan 19, 2017 rated it did not like it
Someone at work recommended this to me. They will be making their own tea and coffee in future.

I got to the end of disc 2 before my inner Chimp tried to make me drive me off the road in a vain attempt to end it all. Luckily he failed but once I got home he did make me repeatedly stick a sharp stick in my eye, which to be fair, was more fun than listening to the author babbling on.

This book is an amazing map to know and understand how we function, how we get programmed by life and the people we get across, but sometimes the programming can work against us by leaving certain "gremlins" or "goblins" or making us act under certain belief systems that simply take us away from the life we want to live.
This is the stuff that should be taught in school, to prepare each of us for the "big bad world" and develop the positive capabilities of dealing with the set backs and hardship
on a scale of one to ten how patronised do you feel?

steve bloody peters
Oct 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book could be described as an instruction manual for the brain.

The author divides the brain into 3 parts – the human brain, the chimp brain and the computer brain.

The book explains, in easy to understand terms, the qualities of each part so that you can begin to notice which part is dominating and how to re-balance.

This book is for anyone who frequently gets “hi-jacked” by their chimp – meaning overtaken by their emotions, or aware of negative self-talk and self-sabotaging thoughts or beh
Apr 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Life changing mind management book written by a psychiatrist. Through an easy to follow/remember analogy it explains understand how the mind works. If your moods, eating, anger, fear, anxiety, stress etc are out of control then this will help you to easily recognise the behaviour and take steps to change it. I'd give this ten stars if I could. ...more
Gary Heilbronn
May 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
Highly recommended. This is not a scientific or academic book so criticisms from professionals in the field may well be a bit misplaced. But to call it just a self-help book with a solid scientific basis would perhaps be to undervalue it. Most importantly, like other readers, I have found that it has changed the way I look at my interactions with other people as well as my own actions and reactions to others. I'd like to think that I'm getting to be a more tolerant and therefore happier person f ...more
Jan 17, 2020 rated it liked it
Recommended to Anna by: Jilly
I always have mixed feelings when reading self-help books. Their style usually grates on me, tending to be full of generalisations, anecdata, and cutesy graphics. My academic side wants citations to support each point and I grind my teeth at any lazy gendered assumptions. On the other hand, I know only too well that it's wilfully arrogant to dismiss the whole genre. Self-help books have been useful to me before. Indeed, if I'd been more willing to read them earlier in my life, it could have real ...more
Oct 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Life-changing is over used hyperbole in the self-help 'new you' book market but that's exactly what this book is. Written in a very simple style it walks us through an intuitive model of how our minds work that's linked to what we know about the physical structure of the brain. If you read it carefully and do the exercises at the back of each chapter it will absolutely change your life.

The genius of the book is that Peters takes complex information about the physical structure of our brain and b
May 18, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: could-not-finish
I got to about page 50. At first, the idea of thinking of the limbic section of the brain as a chimp was quite interesting, but that analogy was soon taken too far, and people were being talked about as if we all react and act in identical ways for identical reasons. Also, the book was quite dictatorial.

I snooped ahead to see if there were tantalising things ahead that I should stay with the book to get to, and hit p. 220. This is where the the Proff explains that working mothers who feel overs
Jul 20, 2018 rated it it was ok
I've heard such great things about this book. I thought it would be revolutionary. But I found it repetitive and not as helpful as other books. ...more
Maciej Siwek
Jul 15, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audible
At first my intuition was to rate this book as one star but finally, I decided it has some value that cannot be left out. In my opinion it's aimed only for people that just started their journey of self-discovery and trying to learn retrospective and analytical thinking. For people as such, there are interesting concepts and techniques in this book, that may help to navigate through the hard beginnings.

For the more advanced or just simply more experienced psychology readers it's an eye-roller i
Martin Rusev
Oct 30, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014, psychology
Before buying this book I spend a lot of time reading through the reviews and most of them sounded really enthusiastic about it. It is #1 Best seller on Amazon in the Job hunting category. How bad could it be :)

The main theme in the book is obviously the Chimp which we all have inside and it tries to teach us how to control it. From my own perspective the whole book sounds naive, definitely looks like it is targeting younger audience - it has illustrations and the tone is somewhere between an ad
Apr 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
Not a very well written book, but the ideas are presented clearly and should have a profound effect on anyone who is looking to quit something or start something.

Dr Peters has a great pedigree but his skill is in reducing complex ideas laid out by academics into simple propositions that anyone can access.

This book will annoy snobs, like me, who think that knowledge like this should be sacred rather than shared.

I would recommend everyone to read it, from teachers to salesmen to scout leaders. Jus
May 21, 2018 rated it liked it
A poor man's 'Thinking Fast and Slow' ...more
Jan 03, 2014 rated it liked it
So, last year I decided to broaden my pallet by reading more science fiction and fantasy books. Frankly I’ve enjoyed it immensely and find my mind broadened by the phenomenal vistas of space. And now, because life is all about growing, this year I seem to be widening my perspective even further by moving onto self-help books.

Actually I can’t see myself reading much more in the way of self-help this year (not that I consider myself perfect, but I’m more of the school that you learn and develop t
Jamie Jagpal
Dec 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book really is life changing. Such a simple, yet effective process to help shape a better life. Easy and fun to read. Would recommend.
Dec 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
An excellent book on analysing our behaviours and how they affect our lives. Based on the usual evolution basis that we come from an animal background and have parts of our brain that are controlled by emotions and we find hard to control. This book explains the details of the different parts of the brain and the way they interact to form and control our emotions. It provides strategies on dealing with situations and how to not react to the 'Chimp' part of our brain but to control the chimp and ...more
Tori Hodges
Jun 20, 2020 rated it liked it
It was good, just wasn’t for me. Would definitely be a good read for highly sensitive people or people who struggle with understanding and controlling their emotions. My problem is more that I hardly experience any emotions in the first place, so the advice and model weren’t really useful for me.

Also the model just became more and more far fetched and stretched out the metaphor too much. The point I lost it was when I saw “The Moon of Carrots” actually written on a page in a published book
Feb 22, 2013 rated it liked it
Another 'Mind Coach' book, this time from the coach to the British Olympic and Sky Sports cycling teams. Some interesting stuff, summarised as 'Try your best and be ready to deal with anything that is less than your perceived version of perfection'. ...more
Ali Hussein
Nov 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A Great life changing book. Uses some of the principles from Daniel Goleman’s Emotional Intelligence book however presents them in a much more interesting and precise way. This book can Change your perspective if you follow it correctly. A certain 5/5 for me. Great read.
Owen Townend
Jan 21, 2021 rated it really liked it
I've dabbled with self-help books in the past but this one came recommended to me.

The Chimp Paradox is a great read for putting one's life into perspective, especially through analogy. The core concept is that we all contain within our brains a 'Human' who is rational and does not jump to conclusions and a 'Chimp' who does just that and is generally primeval in its approach to life. It is the Human's duty to exercise and sooth the Chimp when it is at it's most irrational, which is no easy task.
Dec 09, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: self-help
From the reviews, I can see this is a very marmitey book. Some love it, some hate it. My own opinion is that, for a self help book, it isn't that bad.

It does, of course, suffer from being a self help book. I don't know why I keep reading them! My advice to anyone going into (any) self help book is not to expect it to drastically change your life. Take the bits you like, learn from them and skim over the rest.

I'll bullet what I liked and didn't like about The Chimp Paradox:


- The core concep
Justin Murphy
Jun 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: school, 2020
Originally recommended to me by my High School rowing Coach Jeremy Michalitsianost. After years of delaying, I picked up The Chimp Paradox during the COVID-19 Pandemic to develop strategies for managing my emotions.

I found the book to be immediately helpful. One notable example is changing our expectations for what others "should" do to what they "could" do. This has helped reduce my frustration with some of the difficult actors in my life.

I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking t
Jul 07, 2021 rated it really liked it
Great book, I actually think everybody should read this! It’s interesting to learn about how our brains work and how we react to other humans and their chimp brains.

The inclusion of various planets is a bit unnecessary/pointless and I almost lost the will to live in the middle of the book but it picked up and this thoroughly deserves 4 stars.
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Professor Steve Peters is a consultant psychiatrist and has worked in the clinical field of psychiatry for over 20 years. He specialises in optimising the functioning of the mind and also holds degrees in mathematics and medicine. Prof Peters is Undergraduate Dean at Sheffield University Medical School and resident psychiatrist with Sky ProCycling. He is also the consultant psychiatrist for Liverp ...more

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“If you wake during the night, any thoughts and feelings you might have are from your Chimp and they are often very disturbing, catastrophic and lacking in perspective. In the morning you are likely to regret engaging with these thoughts and feelings because you will see things differently.” 8 likes
“When you decide to do something, remind yourself that it is commitment not motivation that matters.” 8 likes
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