First of all, and speaking as the ex owner of a publishing company, Random House should be beaten with a very, very large stick for this. Or a big, old fish. HARD.
Ok, so the cover is really nice but - DO YOU KNOW THERE IS A FULL ON HYPNOSIS CD that comes with this rock cheap book??? Tucked into the back sleeve in such a way that I never EVEN SUSPECTED IT WAS THERE, even though I briefly browsed the book in the shop, held it, flicked it, opened it, bought it and had half read the first chapter before there's a mention of it and I started to look ... and finally found it!
I paid the miserable sum of £7.99 for this and it comes with a FREE HYPNOSIS CD by one of England's best known, or THE best known hypnotist?!
Is that something that should be on the front cover? As a unique sales proposition, as a special bonus?????
But anyway, now that I found it I was well pleased and settled down with the book itself.
It has seven major chapters, one for each day of the week, not long, not convoluted but REALLY GOOD. Concise and to the point, VERY well worded and very well explained in Paul's elegant, calm, well practised radio and TV style.
In spite of this, I didn't feel at all talked down to and I had a real sense that he was trying to be sincere, honest, and helpful.
That is already enough for me to be very grateful that I picked it up in the first place, because believe it or not, it is rather rare in personal development products.
He has picked 7 major NLP patterns and put them out for easy use; encouraging the reader all the way through most positively, with the use of really memorable examples, solid short teaching stories and supported by quotes from well known folk.
I started reading it with the dual head of both the hypnotherapist, ok, three heads then, author as well, and self help user, because a bit more life changing can never hurt, right?
But half way through the first chapter I decided to put that other stuff aside and instead, to DO the programme just as he suggests.
I think that was really helped along by various suggestions along the way which ended in a role call to the effect that "people who commit themselves to do something properly get the benefits".
Haha! I was nodding as I read it because of course, that is completely correct and nice to hear someone else say it for a change. So I actually said, "Yes, Paul, let's do it. Tell me what to do and I'll have a jolly good old go at it." And went on to do the warm up visualisation exercise (and sure, it's a standard "if your life was as you wanted it to be, what would you see, hear, feel ..." pattern but never mind! It's been YEARS since I've actually done it for myself and it was wonderful to do it for myself for a change. Man, I've gotten so much better at hallucinating since I first learned NLP ... LOL!)
Then I did the "first day" exercise set and just now, I have listened to the CD. Very nice. Paul's a very good hypnotist, and don't believe people who say that he isn't. He may not be some Nietzschian Genius-Lunatic but that can have its merits too and definitely a place. He knows what he is doing, he is very experienced and that gives great confidence and the listener a good sense of security.
Will my life change in 7 days?
I don't know but I suspect this has come around for me just at the right time. I would recommend that book and the CD (yes, there really is one, check the BACK COVER CAREFULLY!!!) to anyone at all, from the absolute beginners as well as to very experienced folk. I really liked some of his examples, metaphors and teaching stories and thought they were very useful, and a very useful addition to one's repertoire of such things.
At the end of the day it is of course up to the reader to DO the exercises. Once the book is written, the die is cast and there's nothing else the author can then do other than pray and cast spells in the hope that their work WILL BE USED by those who paid for it.
Paul McKenna really did his very best to make sure the reader will at least have a go, and many people will most likely finish the programme because it is only ONE WEEK. And the CD will help too.
This is an excellent book that a more experienced person can certainly use at the meta-level for self help and learning something about delivery and pacing for THE GENERAL PUBLIC at which Paul is the expert. That's something a great many otherwise great hypnotists/changeworkers/healers et al don't know how to do properly and it really limits "public appeal" in many ways.
So there's a full house five stars for this very nice little book at a very, very reasonable price of £7.99 - a bargain even without a CD. With it, a brilliant learning/change tool if you allow yourself to just let go and "get with the programme".
Silvia Hartmann, PhD
Author, HypnoDreams & Project Sanctuary
Member, The Society of Authors