Book Reviews

Book Review: The Chimp Paradox by Steve Peters

the-chimp-paradoxI’m quite cynical about self-help books that fall under the life-changing category. But having heard good things about The Chimp Paradox, I decided to read this book with an open mind.

Dr Steve Peters has developed a mind management model called Chimp Management. In his book, he explains a simplified version of the human brain. The psychological mind has three separate brains: Human, Chimp and Computer. The Chimp uses emotional thinking whereas the Human uses logical thinking. The aim of this book is to help understand the Chimp brain and to effectively manage it.

So what is the Chimp Paradox? According to Dr Peters:

The Chimp is an emotional machine that will hijack you, if you allow it to. It is not good or bad: it is a Chimp. It can be your best friend or your worst enemy. This is the Chimp Paradox.

Essentially, this book is about recognising negative thought processes and not allowing them to dictate your life. Dr Peters provides examples and scenarios which put his action plans into practice. There are also suggested exercises to work through at the end of each chapter.

I did disagree with one point raised about people who turn up late all the time. Dr Peters argues that you can either accept someone for who they are or leave them. Whilst this is true, I think that consideration works both ways. I once heard someone say that if you always turn up late, you are in effect implying that your time is more important than the other person’s time.

Final thoughts

The Chimp Paradox offers helpful advice on how to maintain and reconcile the needs of the Human brain and Chimp brain. Mind management is not easy and takes time and effort, but the results are worthwhile.

My rating: ★★★★☆

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