In this debut self-improvement guide, the author uses his own tumultuous past and eventual redemption to counsel the reader toward betterment.
Abramson knows a thing or two about overcoming adversity. As a young, misguided teen, he found himself sinking into a group of troublemakers. With low self-esteem and little direction, he fell into the wrong crowd and, soon, the life of crime that went along with it. Before he was old enough to even legally drive, he made a fatal mistake one night of stealing a car. Like falling dominoes, one bad decision led to another, and the result was an event Abramson will never forget: a crash that killed an innocent driver and an arrest that left him imprisoned for 18 months. The author uses his own personal story as fuel to propel this positive reality check on what it means to be truly autonomous. Sure, most people believe they rule their own lives, but hidden narratives, repeated stories, and firm belief systems ingrained within all individuals direct their actions and choices more than they know. As Abramson explains, the notion that he wasn’t smart or capable became a catalyst for the insecurity that fueled his terrible deeds (“Based on what my father, teachers, and friends said and did, I began to believe I was not very intelligent. It is no wonder that I didn’t put much effort into school and cut classes in junior high and high school as much as I did. I had completely bought into the conversation that I was stupid”). The book offers useful suggestions for breaking out of “mental prisons,” such as participating in group work, tackling writing exercises to challenge inner beliefs, journaling, and list making. Each chapter offers a short set of questions at the end titled “Your Turn” that supplies an effective, private space for the reader to reflect. The book is concise, weaving personal narrative with lucid solutions and adept explanations of the tricky business of mindful awareness. In all, Abramson tells a powerful and eye-opening story that sets this book apart from other self-improvement titles. Infused with humility and self-awareness, his expertise feels hard-won, credible, and real.
A poignant and vivid personal story designed to help others recognize their mental roadblocks.