Friday, August 4, 2017

The Perfect You by Caroline Leaf

The Perfect You: A Blueprint For Identity by Dr. Caroline Leaf is a very unique personal assessment tool. Dr. Leaf has formulated a method by which to discover your own uniqueness as God's masterpiece and to help yourself become more in alignment with that uniqueness in everyday situations.

Not for those seeking easy answers, quick fixes, and simple "to do" lists, this book is a very thorough scientific exploration of what makes each of us unique in the way that we create and store knowledge to gain our own perspective and interpretation of life as we perceive it. Dr. Leaf reveals seven metacognitive modules which we use in order to constantly interpret information as it is presented to us throughout our day. These modules are Interpersonal, Kinesthetic, Linguistic, Logical / Mathematical, Spatial / Visual, Musical, and Intrapersonal.

The first two parts of the book are a detailed analysis of how the brain works in conjunction with our mental / emotional state, how we can discover and unlock our potential to control and boost our mental awareness, and an explanation of what is meant by "The Perfect You", as well as how to achieve it.

The third part of the book is "The Unique Qualitative (UQ) Assessment Tool", which is a series of 34-50 questions for each of the metacognitive modules discussed in parts 1 and 2. These are not "yes / no" or Likert scale (1-10) questions. Instead, these are all short answer questions, with 5+ lines provided for each answer. These are questions like "Do you enjoy learning and using new vocabulary? If yes, describe the what, how, when, and why. If no, describe the what, how, when, and why." The point isn't to get a final tally or pass some test, but rather, to be honest and open with yourself about who you are and how you process and interpret your surroundings in everyday mundane moments. This part of the book also includes a checklist and exercise to help you stay focused on changing your thought patterns in order to alter your current state.

Dr. Leaf states "Your UQ profile has a threefold purpose: to help you understand how you uniquely think, feel, and choose; to increase your ability to mindfully and deliberately self-regulate your thinking, feeling, and choosing to keep you in alignment with the Holy Spirit; and to help you understand how you think, feel, and choose when you are operating in your Perfect You so that you can recognize when you are operating outside of it."

Part four of The Perfect You has examples and tips to help you get through those times when you find yourself not following the assessment of your unique Perfect You.

Overall, I found this book to be a very interesting study of how we interpret and respond to our surroundings, and how we can adjust our thinking in order to change our world - both inside and out. However, as stated, this book is deeply scientific and could be very confusing and hard to read for a lot of people. Also, while the in-depth short answer questions are designed to probe your specific reasons behind your actions, I could see this as being a problem area for people that don't have an analytical mindset and have a hard time objectively assessing their own behaviors. For those of us that are more scientific and analytical, this book is a masterpiece and can connect the dots to raise your personal awareness of why you think, feel, and choose the things you do on a daily basis - as well as how to have better control in order to become more in alignment with God's design for your being. 4/5 stars.

*Disclaimer: I received a complimentary print copy of this book from Baker Books for the purpose of this honest review. All opinions are my own.*

About The Author (copied from back inside flap):
Dr. Caroline Leaf is the author of Switch On Your Brain and Think and Eat Yourself Smart, among many other books and journal articles. Since 1981, she has researched the science of thought and mind-body connection as it relates to thinking, learning, emotions, renewing the mind, healing from TBI and other neurological and mind issues, potential, and education. Dr. Leaf practiced clinically for twenty-five years while simultaneously working in impoverished areas in South Africa and doing research. She has worked in education for as many years. She is currently still doing research on the mind-body connection and is an international and national conference speaker on topics relating to optimal mind and brain performance such as stress, toxic thoughts, male/female brain differences, thinking and learning, controlling our thought lives, and how to identify and use our uniqueness. She is frequently interviewed on TV stations and media around the globe, has published many books and scientific journal articles, and has her own TV show, The Dr. Leaf Show. Leaf and her husband, Mac, live with their four children in California.
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