Web to Success by Jo Bird
|Web to Success by Jo Bird|
|Reviewer: Ani Johnson|
|Summary: This is the sort of self-help book we wish for but rarely get: not preachy or intellectualising but encouraging, inspiring and… well… helpful! In fact it's a veritable rainbow of great ideas for doing and feeling better.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 128||Date: November 2016|
|External links: Author's website|
Jo Bird (illustrator, designer and… errr.. .wall tattooist) had a lightbulb moment about positive thinking, self-improvement and success. The road to an improved self isn't linear in a 'change this thing and all will be fine' way; it's a web that connects and intersects several paths and subjects that can be summarised under three headings. All successful people (socially as much as professionally) know about self-awareness, personal development and emotional awareness. After having a shot at principles of self-improvement herself, Jo shares the fruit of her experience across a wealth of fields to make one heck of a self-help book.
The proof of the 'one heck of...' statement is that I'm generally cynical about the self-help genre. Normally I read them with an accompanying mind soundtrack consisting of a combination of 'Really?!' and 'You reckon?!!' with the odd hmmmph noise as I battle through the generally preachy, lecturing tone that makes me feel put down rather than urged on. This time it's different. Jo's approach ensured my mind was eureka-ed out of cynicism and actually (hold onto a firm surface) enthused!
For a start Jo isn't supercilious or superior in tone or expectation. This is over-a-cuppa 'Look what I've found!' chatty. She shows us what she's discovered, why it would work, what has actually worked for her and (with admirable honesty) the areas with which she still struggles. The other great thing is the range of subjects the 'whats' cover, creating an encyclopaedia of ideas in one, compact volume.
How to nurture a sense of humour, time management, stress reduction, being able to forgive (yourself as well as others), developing a sense of compassion for and interest in others (a way of banishing shyness I'd never thought about), developing self-confidence, work/life balance… it's all there in practical bite-sized chunks. The logical reasoning and ethos is also there alongside the ideas and exercises embedded in Jo's encouraging banter.
I soon realised that the best way to read it isn't the way that we reviewers need to, i.e. in one lump. Amidst the literary smiles and examples, Jo suggests that we absorb and practice one section before moving on to the next and so has written it in the best order to build on our skills and abilities, be they existing or newly-found. We may encounter some things we've seen elsewhere (e.g. making prioritisation lists for time management) but I bet there are moments that either take on new meaning as you read them or are completely new to you. My new encounters included the permission to not try to be perfect. Good enough is, as it states, good enough and a lot less stressful… unless you're a brain surgeon of course. Jo encourages brain surgeons to continue the quest for perfection for all our sakes!
Like all self-help books, helpfulness is in the eye of the reader. Personally I've never really wanted to be a Success (with the capital S) but the ideas and suggestions around working more effectively while being more available for people we care about, reducing stress on the way, makes this a little gem. This is a dose of friendly inspiration I'm definitely looking forward to working through in 2017… Anyone want to join me?
(Special thanks to the author for providing us with a copy for review.)
Further Reading: Having dipped a foot into the world of lifestyle assistance, fancy trying other areas of improvement? We heartily recommend both A Food Guide to Lowering Blood Pressure: 6 Simple Steps by Yuchi Yang for ideas for sustained health and The No Black Project by Numba Pinkerton for confidence in your wardrobe. (Clothes for your wardrobe that is… not actually getting in it.)
You can read more book reviews or buy Web to Success by Jo Bird at Amazon.com.
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