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The Undefeated Mind: On the Science of Constructing an Indestructible Self [Kindle Edition]

Alex Lickerman

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Legions of self-help authors rightly urge personal development as the key to happiness, but they typically fail to focus on its most important objective: hardiness. Though that which doesn't kill us can make us stronger, as Nietzsche tells us, few authors today offer any insight into just how to springboard from adversity to strength.

It doesn't just happen automatically, and it takes practice. New scientific research suggests that resilience isn't something with which only a fortunate few of us have been born, but rather something we can all take specific action to develop. To build strength out of adversity, we need a catalyst. What we need, according to Dr. Alex Lickerman, is wisdom—wisdom that adversity has the potential to teach us.

Lickerman's underlying premise is that our ability to control what happens to us in life may be limited, but we have the ability to establish a life-state to surmount the suffering life brings us. The Undefeated Mind distills the wisdom we need to create true resilience into nine core principles, including:

-- A new definition of victory and its relevance to happiness
-- The concept of the changing of poison into medicine
-- A way to view prayer as a vow we make to ourselves.
-- A method of setting expectations that enhances our ability to endure disappointment and minimizes the likelihood of quitting
-- An approach to taking personal responsibility and moral action that enhances resilience
-- A process for managing pain—both physical and emotional—that enables us to push through obstacles that might otherwise prevent us from attaining our goals
-- A method of leveraging our relationships with others that helps us manifest our strongest selves

Through stories of patients who have used these principles to overcome suffering caused by unemployment, unwanted weight gain, addiction, rejection, chronic pain, retirement, illness, loss, and even death, Dr. Lickerman shows how we too can make these principles function within our own lives, enabling us to develop for ourselves the resilience we need to achieve indestructible happiness. At its core, The Undefeated Mind urges us to stop hoping for easy lives and focus instead on cultivating the inner strength we need to enjoy the difficult lives we all have.


  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Dateigröße: 1194 KB
  • Seitenzahl der Print-Ausgabe: 288 Seiten
  • Verlag: HCI; Auflage: 1 (6. November 2012)
  • Verkauf durch: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ASIN: B009NW9NYU
  • Text-to-Speech (Vorlesemodus): Aktiviert
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Aktiviert
  • Verbesserter Schriftsatz: Aktiviert
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: #262.143 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop (Siehe Top 100 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop)

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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 4.4 von 5 Sternen  108 Rezensionen
217 von 240 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Potentially Useful, But Not to Everyone 9. November 2012
Von Book-Movie-Music Lover - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
I rarely see the point in giving something a three-star review. It basically tells readers that the book, CD or movie is "average," so what's the point?
However, this book has a lot of plusses, as well as some "not-so-plusses," so I figured that a review might be of use to people to decide whether they would find the book to be of value or not.
On the "not so plus" side, the book is basically "Self-Help 101." In other words, if you are new to self-help books, then most of what is in this book will be new to you. However, if you are a "veteran" of such books, you will find very little new information or insights in this book. In fact, the author cites hundreds of journal studies. This isn't necessary a bad thing. The only problem is that, if you've read many self-help books before, you will recognize dozens of these studies. They are the exact same ones that hundreds of authors have cited before in hundreds of other books. (You probably have a lot of these studies memorized.)
On the plus side, there are a few new and interesting insights, most of which are contained in the first couple of chapters. After that, though, in the remaining chapters, it's pretty much "more of the same" that you've read in every other self-help book over the years.
Where the book really shines, though, is in the compassion that literally exudes from every page. It is obvious that this author is genuinely a caring and loving individual, with a great deal of compassion for his patients in specific, and people in general. As a result, by the time you are finished reading the book, you may not have learned anything intellectually, but you do end up with a really warm feeling - a true emotional high.
So, if you're new to self-help books, this book "clicks" on all counts.
If you are a veteran of self-help books, you may not learn much new information (no need to keep a pen and pad of paper handy), but you WILL feel really good by the end of the book.
89 von 97 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Very Insightful Path for Better Living 10. November 2012
Von Amazon Customer - Veröffentlicht auf
We all grew up listening to fairy tales. For the most part, the story plot provided a dilemma, a solution and usually ended with "and they all lived happily ever after." I think we came to believe that after reaching certain points in life, after completing school, getting married, establishing a career, we would enjoy the fairy tale of living happily ever after.

For most of us, it did not take too long to realize that was not the way life is. While our innate drive is to seek to maximize happiness, for the most part we are not given very good directions. For a time we were led to believe that achieving certain materialistic goals would bring the happiness we longed for. But we soon learned that no matter what material goals we achieve, we soon habituate to them - the new wears off and their ability to satisfy us diminishes.

Clearly we need a better approach to life and its ups and downs if we are going to lead a happy, productive life. Dr. Alex Lickerman, the author of The Undefeated Mind has provided us an exceptionally well written book which gives us the tools necessary for a better approach.

The first lesson we need to understand and accept is that we need to "... stop hoping for easy lives and instead to focus on cultivating the inner strength we need to enjoy the difficult lives we all have."

We have grown up thinking that things will bring us happiness. But the more things we acquire and the more attached we become to these things, the more vulnerable we become. Our attachment to things increases the possibility we will experience suffering.

According to Dr. Lickerman, what we need is the wisdom to deal with life the way life is. "Wisdom is so powerful, in fact, that it can even put a halt to suffering without changing the circumstances that cause it." If we learn to "turn poison into medicine" we can find a way to benefit from the suffering.

In the book Dr. Lickerman deals with ten different topics which will help us develop an undefeated mind. "An undefeated mind is not one which never feels discouraged or despairing; it's one that continues on in spite of it. An undefeated mind does not fill itself with false hope, but with hopes to find real solutions, even solutions it many not want or like. An undefeated mind is itself what grants us access to the creativity, strength, and courage necessary to find those real solutions."

The topics covered give us a blueprint for dealing with life's problems. The book is extremely well written and therefore easy to read and understand. There are plenty of examples from Dr. Lickerman's own life as well as his interaction with patients. There are also so lots of summaries or conclusions from psychological studies. All the theories and studies are extensively referenced. If you choose to follow the references, you will greatly expand your knowledge of human behavior.

One of the more insightful discussions concerned dealing with the past. Most people spend a lot of time focusing on past events - reliving them, hoping somehow to change the past. We all know that changing the past is not possible -that we cannot change the facts of what happened. Yet we still live a lot of our lives going over past events. A better way to deal with this is to change the meaning of the event. If we change the meaning we give to the event, we in effect change the past. Dr. Lickerman tells us how he changed his past by changing the meaning of the event. He further tells us how we can do the same.

Dr. Lickerman makes frequent reference to Nichiren Buddhism throughout the book. However he is not in anyway advocating that one needs to understand or adopt the teachings of Nichiren Buddhism. The references are to provide the reader a better perspective for viewing problems and solutions. I found the references insightful.

This book is not one you will be able to read once and gain all the insights available. In my opinion, the best approach is to read through the book and then go back and read it more slowly, digesting and allowing the teachings to sink in. You will gain some real insights from this book.

There are valuable insights on being fully committed to your goals. Taking full responsibility for the accomplishment of your goals - that is not depending on others for too much help, thus diffusing your own effort. There are excellent discussions on letting go, accepting pain, developing gratitude and overcoming fear.

An excellent book but will require time and work to gain all the good it contains.

I was provided a review copy of this book.
37 von 40 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Undefeated Mind 10. November 2012
Von Julie Clayton - Veröffentlicht auf
Many years ago, the renowned humorist and columnist Erma Bombeck wrote a book called, "If Life is a Bowl of Cherries, What Am I Doing in the Pits?" And while humor can be a great salve for life's challenges, when we are in the midst of adversities such as a physical illness or addiction, or the pain of losing a dear one, or facing financial devastation, it can feel like the "pits"-- far from being a laughing matter.

But when we experience powerlessness and defeat, things are only as bleak as they seem, says author Alex Lickerman, M.D. While the circumstances may be out of our control, the wisdom extracted from adverse experience can impart "an inner life state" of undefeated strength. More than just a good theory, he illuminates nine core principles that assuage suffering, interweaving them into actual dialogues with his patients, and reinforcing their efficacy through examples of scientific studies and tenets of Nichiren Buddhism. An undefeated mind is when the goal for achieving something is to is to keep trying--rather than achieving the goal itself: "Never giving up isn't just necessary for victory, it is victory."

The author turns some cherished notions on their head - such as embracing the pain rather than resisting it, or that resilience is the capacity to endure the pain that adversity causes, or that distraction is superior to willpower for delaying gratification. Seamlessly blending dialogue, narrative, science, and faith, he convincingly demonstrates how one can achieve an inner life state of undefeated inner strength in any circumstance.
7 von 7 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen I have recommended this book to several people 6. Juli 2014
Von p raglin - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition
I have recommended this book to several people, and even put it on my son's Kindle so that it is there if I can ever persuade him to read it. Funny how sometime people not as close to you are more open to your opinions. Anywho, this book has been extremely useful to me. I don't chant, I am not Buddhist, and I really wish they had chosen a different cover, because I think many people, see the cover, don't look inside. But it is well worth reading. The basic premise - that life will have painful parts, is not really part of our Western philosophy. Our cultures veiw point is more that happiness exists as a result of the absence of pain. The more Eastern based ideas in this book are about developing strengths that allow for happiness even in the presense of pain, or at least developing the resilience to believe that happiness will be possible again even if the pain or the scars don't go away. It is a much more realistic view point, to my mind, and much more in line with my experience. I have dealt with depression most of my adult life, and to some extent the idea that if I could just achieve the right "happy, no problems here" mindset all my problems would go away, has not been at all helpful. Instead I am working to develop the sort of resilience proposed in this book.

So that's my opinion. Read it and develop your own. But don't cheat. Actually read the WHOLE thing first.
10 von 11 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Great for people wanting to lose weight 3. Juli 2013
Von leo - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
Willpower is limited.
Determine your purpose before u determine ur goals.
Victory is consistently pursuing your goal.
Identify obstacles that r discouraging u.
Regain confidence by throwing yourself in.
Creativity is a reward of productivity.
Willpower is weakend by sleepiness, hunger, thirst, physically uncomfortable, sexual arousal.
Success means comittment and failure means insufficient progress.
Pursuit of desires is what increases our resilience.
Stop a habit by being aware you're doing it.
We're all hypocrites.
We don't have control over our lives but we do have influence.
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