Book Review: Live Your Dreams Let Reality Catch Up: NLP and Common Sense for Coaches, Managers and You
Reviewed by Harvey Stuart. Reprinted with permission of the publisher. Originally published in Ottawa Natural, December 2009.
Whoever named NLP (Neuro-linguistic Programming) was probably not elected into the Public Relations Hall of Fame. The name has always been a turn off for me. I was, in effect, judging a body of knowledge by its name, a variation on judging a book by its cover.
A friend gave me a copy of Roger Ellerton's book Live Your Dreams Let Reality Catch Up: NLP and Common Sense for Coaches, Managers and You and one more old belief has dropped by the way side. This book presents NLP as a very common sense approach to growth and change. And while there is always effort involved in growth and change, it becomes obvious, as I read the book and began to apply some of the information, that this effort had fast acting benefits and, it appears to me, change that I sense will be long lasting.
The book goes through the basic knowledge of NLP and, while some of the information clearly takes practice to master, some can be learned and applied quickly for results. The eight chapters are in a logical order: The Introduction, Establishing the Foundation, Getting to Know Yourself and Others, Improving Your Communication, Making Personal Improvements, Freeing Yourself from the Past, Achieving What You Want in Life, and Making a Difference in Business.
The author, in understandable terms, explains how we can - by using this information - have more successful interactions with others. For example, in Improving Your Communication, the concept of Rapport is introduced. As I began to apply what was written, I noticed much more effective communication. While that alone was good, it was truly satisfying to have connection with another. Rapport, Harmony, Connectedness, these are essential qualities in enjoying personal interactions. I know I want these qualities in my relationships with others. This new quality was evident when I needed to deal with a rather unpleasant person. I found I was able - in a way never before - to separate their behaviour from who they were as a person, act appropriately, have a successful interaction and leave the situation with my personal emotional state in peace.
The book is also a manual for people who wish to be practitioners of NLP. Clearly some of the exercises and concepts will take a while to master, but as one is rewarded with value there is a definite sense of desire to learn more.
All the information is not unique. Forgiveness, Goal Setting, Spirituality and Values, for example, are some of the concepts personal growth advocates have seen before. This book however is not just a rehash. These ideas, looked at from the rest of the NLP body of knowledge, gave yet more understanding to these important ideas. There is also a great deal of information that is original or, at least, I had not been aware of previously.
This reviewer is much more empowered to monitor and adjust his thinking in situations. I know I am much more able to examine my behaviour to assess if my actions are producing the results I want. And, when necessary, there seems to be an internal resiliency to find a method that does work without the mental and emotional turmoil I have known before.
This is an effective book. One that it gives an intellectual understanding of NLP and one that gives the reader tools to begin making effective use of the information for enjoyment, effectiveness and personal Spiritual Growth.