Book Review: The Promise: Never have another negative thought again

It’s World Book Day today, so it is high time we had another book review. Today it’s the turn of ‘The Promise: Never have another negative thought again‘, by Graham Price. It was originally on sale with a different title (What Is, Is: The power of positive acceptance), but perhaps the new marketing will bring it to a wider audience.

the promise

I confess that I rather liked the original title though. Meanwhile, it’s what’s inside the book that really counts. Graham Price is an experienced and well-qualified psychologist and therapist, and his background is in techniques such as CBT. That’s a good start as far as I’m concerned, because these are well-researched and evaluated therapies, and there’s a lot of clinical evidence that suggests they’re effective.

The crux of the book is that we can train ourselves to think and act differently, even under trying circumstances. The author calls the techniques he’s developed Acceptance-Action Training, and Positive Acceptance.

The original title (What Is, Is) is a good indicator of the book’s contents. If something bad has happened, it has already happened – there’s no point dwelling on it over and over, when you could acknowledge it and let it go instead, and perhaps also take positive action to improve things in the future. Or, to put it another way, it’s already happened so it serves no purpose wishing things that are now in the past were different.

That’s probably a bit of an oversimplification, but the main principle of the book is quite simple. And that’s not a criticism – it’s going to be accessible to just about everyone who reads it, and that’s admirable. The trick, though, is to take the simple idea, and turn it into something that can be used in a practical way on a regular basis. It needs to become a habit if you’re going to get the full benefit from it.

Fortunately all the remaining chapters of the book are filled with different exercises that show examples from everyday life, and give you useful tools. There are also reminders at the end of each chapter. The repetition serves as a reinforcement, and seems to work well.

Chapters include better ways to respond to difficult people and situations, observing and experiencing feelings, letting go of old thought patterns and unhealthy behaviours, dealing with stress, and taking more positive action in life. It’s…a sensible book, and I think it could be very helpful to a lot of different people. It’s nice to see some measured positive thinking where you don’t have to ‘send up a prayer and ask the universe for everything your heart desires’ – sensible and practical is where it’s at.

The Promise: Never have another negative thought again by Graham Price has an RRP of £10.99. It’s currently available from Amazon at £5.66 in Kindle format.

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