Book Review of The Voice
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Book Review of: The Voice

Overcome Negative Self-Talk and Discover Your Inner Wisdom

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Review of The Voice, by Author (Hardcover, 2011)

(You can print this review in landscape mode, if you want a hardcopy)


Many of us are guided by a negative voice that undermines some of our best efforts. It tells us we aren't good enough, we're not deserving, we will fail, we don't deserve to give or receive respect, and other such negative ideas. This doesn't mean we are insane. It just means we are letting some doubt or criticism from the past overrule our inner wisdom and thus hold us back from achievement and happiness.

In this book, Dr. Altman shares techniques and philosophy you can use to change that message. Using these techniques, you can hear your true inner voice, not the one that was wrongly programmed in the past and keeps playing like an old endless loop recording.

I've dealt with this very issue, myself. Thus, I recognize most of the techniques Dr. Altman shares. Some I have merely read about, others I have used. If a layperson's opinion counts, then I endorse what he's teaching.

Of course, there are limits on how far self-help can take you. But if you are determined to fully realize your potential, this is a great place to start. If you've already worked with a talk therapist, counselor, mentor, or similar source of assistance, you have probably come to realize that there's no permanent fix. You occasionally have to revisit your inner voice to put it back on track. Dr. Altman provides good insight into doing this effectively.

Now, it's not (normally) the case that some voice in your head loudly announces, "You are a failure." Calling this a voice is just a way of referring to it. You may not actually "hear" this voice, but the evidence of it exists in self-defeating behaviors, self-sabotage, approval-seeking behavior, or some types of social problems.

Interestingly, the negative self-talk can also be evident in the futile attempt to counter it with overly positive self-talk. If you've met someone who is conceited, for example, this person is very likely overcompensating for low self-esteem. Perfectionism and certain obsessive compulsive behaviors also result from this condition. If you suffer in any of these ways, Dr. Altman's methods can probably help you replace the suffering with happiness.

The point of effective therapy is not to replace reality with delusion. If you suffer from low self-esteem because you're too fat, the answer isn't to come to terms with being too fat (that won't save you from the medical problems of this condition, anyhow). Good therapy treats the underlying condition, which in this case would be to solve for why you eat too much. Similarly, if you have other behaviors that you feel bad about, the goal isn't to make you feel good about them. The goal is to solve for the cause of those behaviors. Chances are very good there's an inner voice driving you to do them. Dr. Altman's methods will help you work through that.

This book runs 165 pages and consists of a detailed introduction and four chapters:

  1. Experience your challenge.
  2. Judge your challenge.
  3. Resolve your challenge.
  4. Voice coaching.

You may not find the answer to exactly your situation, in this book. But odds are that you will.




About these reviews

You may be wondering why the reviews here are any different from the hundreds of "reviews" posted online. Notice the quotation marks?

I've been reviewing books for sites like Amazon for many years now, and it dismays me that Amazon found it necessary to post a minimum word count for reviews. It further dismays me that it's only 20 words. If that's all you have to say about a book, why bother?

And why waste everyone else's time with such drivel? As a reader of such reviews, I feel like I am being told that I do not matter. The flippancy of people who write these terse "reviews" is insulting to the authors also, I would suspect.

This sound bite blathering taking the place of any actual communication is increasingly a problem in our mindless, blog-posting Webosphere. Sadly, Google rewards such pointlessness as "content" so we just get more if this inanity.

My reviews, contrary to current (non) standards, actually tell you about the book. I always got an "A" on a book review I did as a kid (that's how I remember it anyhow, and it's my story so I'm sticking to it). A book review contains certain elements and has a logical structure. It informs the reader about the book.

A book review may also tell the reader whether the reviewer liked it, but revealing a reviewer's personal taste is not necessary for an informative book review.

About your reviewer

  • Books are a passion of mine. I read dozens of them each year, plus I listen to audio books.
  • Most of my "reading diet" consists of nonfiction. I think life is too short to use your limited reading time on material that has little or no substance. That leads into my next point...
  • In 1990, I stopped watching television. I have not missed it. At all.
  • I was first published as a preteen. I wrote an essay, and my teacher submitted it to the local paper.
  • For six years, I worked as an editor for a trade publication. I left that job in 2002, and still do freelance editing and authoring for that publication (and for other publications).
  • No book has emerged from my mind onto the best-seller list. So maybe I'm presumptuous in judging the work of others. Then again, I do more describing than judging in my reviews. And I have so many articles now published that I stopped counting them at 6,000. When did I stop? Probably 20,000 articles ago! (It's been a while).
  • I have an engineering degree and an MBA, among other "quant" degrees. That helps explain my methodical approach toward reviews.
  • You probably don't know anybody who has made a perfect or near perfect score on a test of Standard Written English. I have. So, a credential for whatever it's worth.

About reading style

No, I do not "speed read" through these. That said, I do read at a fast rate. But, in contrast to speed reading, I read everything when I read a book for review.

Speed reading is a specialized type of reading that requires skipping text as you go. Using this technique, I've been able to consistently "max out" a speed reading machine at 2080 words per minute with 80% comprehension. This method is great if you are out to show how fast you can read. But I didn't use it in graduate school and I don't use it now. I think it takes the joy out of reading, and that pleasure is a big part of why I read.

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