BOOK REVIEW | "The Power of Positivity - Optimism and the 7th sense" by Namrata
One of the key aspects of personal development is optimism or the power of positive thinking. According to research, positive thinking is a way of life that can be adapted to bring about a huge change.
‘We become what we think about.’
Bringing together her two decades of experience as a thought leader, public speaker and life coach, author Padmakali Banerjee brings forth a brilliant concept of seventh sense and provides a model for cultivating the spirit of optimism in her book ‘The Power of Positivity – Optimism and the 7th Sense’.
The author begins by telling us how the word ‘optimism’ has a much deeper meaning than what we can see and how a driving force makes a huge impact on our actions. Having researched for years over finding that one thing which separates a successful person from others, the psychologist in her concluded that it is the attitude.
Neatly divided into seven chapters, this book begins by demystifying the ‘seventh sense’ and goes onto explain how one can develop a positive outlook towards life irrespective of the circumstances, with various examples and real life case studies to back the claims. Some examples date back to medieval times and also talk about the different strategies applied by Kings and Emperors to win wars.
“Overall, in broader perspective, one is only a decision away when it comes to the quality of our responses. It’s a choice we consciously make – to respond with hope instead of fearing the worst, with encouragement other than criticism and with indomitable belief rather than despair.” (Pg. 36, Passage 6)
This eventually leads us to question if optimism can actually be acquired merely by making some changes in the thought process and tuning the mindset accordingly. To which, she refers us to a study done in 2006 which went on to prove that it is actually possible and the results have been evident enough for everyone to witness.
This book also includes the Oi test (The Optimism Index test- You can take it HERE) which is used as a predictive test for success. Also known as PEROMA- Optimism Index, this is a combination of the psychometric tool to predict successful outcome with logical framework that deals with:
According to her, if one is able to imbibe these traits in their life by practising it daily then success is guaranteed. This test involves 60 random questions about personal and professional life with multiple choice answers to be answered in twenty seconds. There is no right or wrong answer, as the answers depend on your state of mind. This test also helps in identifying if your thoughts are negative and have a depressive trail in it. With timely intervention and proper guidance, one can not only recover but also work towards building immunity for better life ahead.
This brings us to the topic of Optimism Attitude Model (OAM) which has been developed for increasing the mental efficiency of individuals. It has proven to help individuals overcome emotional barriers while enabling them to deal with the complexities of life with ease. Along with the Oi test, these two are considered to be crucial analysers of selecting the right candidate for a job who will be beneficial to the company in long run. Towards the end of the book, the author also shares at length how to interpret your test results and analyse your optimism levels on the basis of your scores before guiding us on how to improve the scores.
Amongst the many ways of practising optimism, the most effective one is ‘Mindful Meditation’. The very fact that pain and suffering are important for one’s growth and the acceptance that nothing is permanent in life is enough to create a strong base for a positive mindset to thrive. Needless to add, there are many ways to practice Mindful meditation. Introducing us to the Labyrinth walk, she draws our attention to this ancient practice akin to a maze that helps clear one’s head when it is brimming with too many thoughts. The core objective of this exercise are the four Rs which are- Reflect, Reframe, Renew and Rebalance our thoughts. After every labyrinth walk, it is advisable to note down our thoughts as it helps in decoding the innermost thoughts and feelings well. The book talks about the different patterns of labyrinths practised for different goals and the benefits it provides with comprehensive diagrams, illustrations and pictures.
“We should never forget that the spirit of optimism is the lifeline of our inherent energy, just like the sun in the solar system and drives us all the way to higher levels of achievement.” (Pg. 165)
Spanning across diverse fields ranging from literature and politics to medicine and the corporate world, the importance of a positive attitude stands out in every field. Citing examples of successful people like Mark Zuckerberg, Rabindranath Tagore, Richard Branson, Bill Gates, Nelson Mandela, Oprah Winfrey and more, Padmakali Banerjee dissects their actions in great detail for a reader to understand the what, why and how of the difference between them and others.
Further, the author reiterates how optimism is the need of the hour and though it is advisable that parents start instilling these values from childhood, it is equally important for schools and organisations to make this a part of their culture. Including it in the curriculum could lead to positive results in students who in turn would grow up to extremely confident and positive individuals making a huge difference to the society.
Overall, this book promises to be a perfect handbook for everyone across age groups who want to practice optimism and live with a positive mindset.
Strongly recommended for its lucid language and reader friendly content.
About the Reviewer :Namrata is a lost wanderer who loves travelling the length and breadth of the world. She lives amidst sepia toned walls, fuchsia curtains, fairy lights and shelves full of books. When not buried between the pages of a book, she loves blowing soap bubbles. A published author she enjoys capturing the magic of life in her words and is always in pursuit of a new country and a new story.