Usually I stray away from book reviews unless I am sure of their benefits for the readers of this blog. This particular one I thought was different from the usual fluff, and deserved a special mention. Bear in mind I have no monetary affiliation with the product, so this is the genuine article if you’ll pardon the pun.
Wisdom is seen at esoteric and mysterious, to quote “Already Wise”. As is promised in the preface of the book, Douglas McKee elegantly articulates how wisdom is not only merely within the reach of the ordinary man or woman, but something he or she has lived with throughout life. Liken it to living with a wisdom “seed” that can suddenly sprout and grow if given the correct balance of water, warmth and light. “Already Wise” represents not only these vital factors, but also carries the individual level of care that the author manages to communicate to the reader.
In a nutshell, the book takes the reader on a journey of self discovery to better apply the wisdom that is inherent in all us to everyday situations and thoughts. The ideas that are demonstrated within the easily digestible 93 pages act to collate and refine the principles of wisdom we stand by. This includes principles which are biased by our emotions, making possible the learning of rationality.
What Is Unique About the Book
The format reminds one of a teacher helping a struggling student with a maths problem. The teacher reminds the student of fundamental patterns and donates subtle clues, letting the student complete the bulk of the work himself.
The author Douglas McKee is not telling us anything completely new, but taking the reader on the journey of self discovery, taking him or her under his wing.
As a consequence of the style, the book is extremely engaging. Each reader will take home a slightly different message. Just like the short stories that are integrated into the text, the reader injects his own stories, and interprets for himself what the underlying message is. As the result the book feels very personal; almost as if it was written just for you. At no point when the author introduces his ideas does the reader feel pressured. I felt free to choose what to make of his opinions; the reader is under no obligation to do anything the author says. Moreover, we feel the desire to just try it.
My ideas that were changed, abandoned or reinforced:
The most surprising idea to me was the concept of taking a step back from all of your habits, and learning the merits of being wise in a way that rationalises your emotions. Settling into habits is identified as a key reason why we might continue to make unwise choices. The book then goes on to encourage us to consider changing the habits we like to hold on to, in order to separate strong emotions from making wise decisions.
What I personally Liked:
Many times throughout the book are short paragraphs and lists that are ideal to write down on post-it notes and keep with you. You will always have concise wisdom wherever you go. Many formats such as lists, shot stories and quotes are used together, this makes the page appear interesting even before it’s been read. Certainly a lot of effort has gone into it. The book feels very well researched. especially as the author tells us that he’s been formulating his ideas on wisdom for 20 years, and this book is the result of his journey, so his passion comes through undeniably. Care and attention is present in every sentence, which is such a breath of fresh air in a market already saturated with personal growth fluff. This is not fluff.
Ease of Reading:
The book has clarity in it’s intended message, and achieves it’s purpose extraordinarily well. The format is almost like a conversation where you are talking to a very knowledgable, perceptive friend; probably this feeling comes from the overall flow and natural feel of the text. Style-wise the text is friendly and approachable, but has an air of sincerity about it, which is an extremely admirable balance for a written work, and indicates a quality that is rarely seen. This book is available to everyone. The lack of technical language and the comprehensive explanations make the content completely understandable.
Would I recommend?
For it’s clarity, sincerity and strong message, “Already Wise” is well worth the read. Once finished, you immediately start to think in a different way, so to get the most out of it you will want to read it a second time. The book will continue giving to you, because there are so many snippets of advice and suggestions for new ways to think, that it takes a significant amount of time to begin implementing those changes in your everyday life, even on a trial basis, let alone living like that every day.
The personal and slightly ambiguous nature of the revelations presented means that the reader will always be able to find his own unique message, and always come away feeling that the book has been written only for him. Such a quality is not one I have found in any other book, probably it will be a long time before I find another.
You may reach Douglas McKee’s website at http://mentalmechanics.blogspot.com/
For a direct link to his book “Already Wise” click here