My mum, being a primary school teacher, lent me the book ‘The art of being brilliant’ by Andy Cope and Andy Whittaker. The book looks at the traits that happy, energetic people have – the so-called 2%ers and then looks at ways we all can try and be more positive, optimistic and happy in our lives. To do this, ‘The art of being brilliant’ touches upon the dangers of routine, who taught you to think, our belief systems, the benefits of playing to our strengths and a few basics from Neurolingustic programming (NLP) and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).
There are also questions designed to make you think such as: ‘What would you do if the world was going to end one week from today?’, ‘What is success to you?’ and ‘Who are you at your best?’. My answer to the first of those questions included ‘tell the people I love, that I love them more, eat pizza, drink wine and go to the beach’ (big goals there!)
The book didn’t take anything (or itself) too seriously. There were humorous examples and funny diagrams which made it easy to read. The book also makes good use of quotes from famous people, books or films. My favourite quote in the book (which actually made me cry) was: ‘When we are old and withered we will have nothing but experiences and memories, most of these are created by the people we come into contact with throughout our lives’. Obvious yes, but sometimes we can all get so bogged down in chasing material things that we can overlook that human connection is one of the best (and free) gifts of life.
Another simple quote that resonated with me was: ‘A very basic rule of human interaction is that you impact on everyone that you ever meet. In fact you cannot NOT have an impact’. I liked this quote as I often worry about my life meaning something, and actually, if you think about it in the context of this quote, just by our influence on others every single day, our lives CAN mean something in terms of how we interact with others.
I didn’t find too much new material in here that I hadn’t already read elsewhere but I think the books light hearted tone makes it an easy, quick and uplifting read. My advice would be to dip in and read a chapter (complete with humerous illustrations) when you are feeling not on top form and it will soon cheer you up and leave you feeling happier and more in control. The book also has an interesting 'Recommended books and DVDs’ section at the back which was interesting to look through which led to me ordering ‘Oh the places you’ll go’ by Dr. Seuss- a book I scoffed at as a child, but actually on adulthood reflection contains an awful lot of grown up wisdom.