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

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  8,700 ratings  ·  548 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
Audible Audio, 10 pages
Published January 9th 2012 by Random House AudioBooks (first published January 1st 2012)
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really liked it Average rating 4.00  · 
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 ·  8,700 ratings  ·  548 reviews


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Bernard O'Leary
Feb 24, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Khurram
May 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Will Once
May 03, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Cintia
Nov 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
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
...more
Andrea James
Jan 08, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Melanie
Oct 26, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Leeann
Apr 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Conor
Apr 22, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Gary Heilbronn
May 15, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Dean
Jan 19, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.

Andreww
Oct 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
c,
on a scale of one to ten how patronised do you feel?

steve bloody peters
Mark
Dec 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Rachel Holloway
Apr 02, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Mathew
Apr 05, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
...more
Tilly
Jul 20, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.
F.R.
Jan 03, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Sam
Jul 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If there is one thing our education system is missing it’s the focus on personal development and the control of our emotions in a society which places emphasis and value on logicality. Everyone in some way would benefit from reading this book. Whether you like the model or not the Chimp Paradox is based on empirical cognitive neuroscience and, when you really think about it, just makes sense; if nothing else it allows an often neglected avenue for introspection. Peters does an excellent job at ...more
Martin Rusev
Oct 30, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: psychology, 2014
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
...more
Ian
Feb 22, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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'.
Maria
May 21, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A poor man's 'Thinking Fast and Slow'
Mandy
May 18, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Daniel
Jan 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Brenda, shut the fuck up"
Cyrin Cyriac
Jul 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When it comes to investing understanding and controlling ones emotional bias is paramount. This book provides a clear path for the reader to make a sound decision.
Julia Doherty
Jun 29, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was a real eye opener for me. Not exactly life changing, but it certainly put my mind on a new track. The idea behind this book is that we all have three brains. A human brain, a computer /data brain and a chimp brain. The chimp brain is very emotional, defensive, territorial has strong desires and often takes over. It’s your chimp brain that keeps you in bed in the morning when you know you should get up, or makes you have that cream cake when you know you shouldn’t! The book deals ...more
Vera
Apr 05, 2019 marked it as dnf-will-start-again  ·  review of another edition
Ok, this is either not for me or I was just in a pissy mood - the latter being absolutely plausible.

Either way, I found the messaging great but also slightly repetitive and perhaps too dumbed down... I’m telling, it’s likely to be my mind, or rather chimp..

I’m likely to pick it up again though as I do like its concept. In hold for now though.
...more
Peter Kobryn
Sep 13, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: development
Normally I shy away from the kind of books that could be described as self help but I must say I found this book helpful at a time I was under particular stress at work.

The book has a pseudo-scientific air about it but also sets an early tone of informal descriptions encouraging the reader to think about their mind as being constituted of very different power bases, the slow and logical computer and the quick and emotional chimp.

Whether this has any firm grounding I really do not know but during
...more
Jordanne
Feb 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Giving Physical Form to Our Emotions and Practical Advice on How to Manage Them



I found this book interesting. I listened to the Audiobook but plan on getting the paperback so I can make notes and annotate it for future reference.

It is very simplistic but personally, I feel that any book focussed on personal development or introspection that is overly complicated or convoluted will go in one ear and out of the other because being self-aware shouldn't be complicated and making it so just turns
...more
Odi Shonga
This book is fine. The metaphor of your mind being made up of a chimp and a human is pretty useful. The chimp represents the irrational, emotional part of yourself and the human is the adult, considered part of yourself — the so-called ‘real you’ that the chimp disrupts. The chimp is more powerful, but the human is smarter and can corral the chimp.

It does touch on topics that are close to home and affect all our lives. And the practical tips are probably good, but, in my opinion, the way Steve
...more
George Timms
The main concepts of this book are great, and I think there are some helpful tips and approaches to take away.

As a book, my main issue was that it didn’t flow very well in my opinion, which meant I felt I couldn’t read it for very long without having to put down for a bit.

Some example scenarios really resonated with me, and I don’t expect to relate to all examples but, I found there were some that weren’t particularly powerful, especially when compared to analogies in similar books.

I would
...more
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Prof 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 Liverpool ...more
“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.” 7 likes
“When you decide to do something, remind yourself that it is commitment not motivation that matters.” 6 likes
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