The Book that Changed My Thinking


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Today’s prompt from D65’s 7 Posts 7 Days challenge is: A book/film that has changed the way that you think.

I have to say, that’s a tough one to answer. Before books and movies, my first love was music. A band called James really shaped my thinking about life, love, and politics. One song that really struck a chord with me was Government Walls. As a kid who grew up in Scotland while Thatcher used us as guinea pigs for her cruel policies, this song really upped my scrutiny of those in power.

Back to books and movies

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I haven’t come across anything fictional that’s changed my way of thinking. On the non-fiction front, The Chimp Paradox has undoubtedly helped me to change how I think about myself and others.

Available at most online retailers.

The basics of the book (think bare minimum basics as this is a book on psychology): Have you ever felt that there’s more than just you in your head? You know there’s you, the rational you, and then there’s the dickhead, idiot you—the one that does the stupid shit that still haunts you years later when you can’t sleep? Well, according to the author, Prof Steve Peters, we have two brains in our noggins.

One brain is the frontal or human brain, where rationality and reason reside. The other one, the limbic or chimp brain is the one we seem to have zero control over, is the emotion center of our brains.

The chimp brain is powerful. Way more powerful than the human brain, and it doesn’t listen to reason or logic. It just feels.

Anyway, The Chimp Paradox helped me to build a relationship with the chimp part of my brain. The book encourages us to name our chimps. Mine is called Janine (Neenee for short).

Jez’s Godfrey (left) and Neenee (right). Yes, they look like orangutans, but they swear they’re chimps.
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At first, I hated Janine and her destructive ways. Then things started to change. I began to understand her needs (she’s territorial, loves hot chocolate when she’s been good and has let me get work done, and loves learning languages) and grew to love her.

This book changed how I reacted to people and their chimps. It opened my eyes to the chimp behavior in others and helped me to take a step back and wait until their chimps stopped throwing tantrums.

As books go, this one is always at the top of my recommendation list. If you’re wanting to feel like the you that you know is inside, make friends with your chimp, and things will start to change for the better.

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10 responses to “The Book that Changed My Thinking”

  1. Photos by Jez – I'm a Royal Navy Veteran from Scotland and love to get out and about with my wife, susantbraithwaite.com, on our Kalkhoff e-bikes. My faithful camera, Snappy, and the ever-present Lensy (lensball) are always along for the ride to capture the beauty of Scotland 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿. Join me as I share photos from our travels, how Lensy views the world & pretty much anything shiny ✨
    Photos by Jez says:

    Awesome response 👏 That book really does help us understand our own behaviour and that of others. Great to see the two idiots behaving themselves for once 🤣

    • Susan T. Braithwaite – Glasgow, Scotland – Royal Navy veteran from Scotland. My journey into writing started with a screenwriting certificate program at UCLA Ext. Since then, I've worked as a freelance content writer, erotica author, proofreader, professional beta reader, and content editor. I'm now working hard on my dream writing career: romantic suspense author. When I'm not writing, I can be found drinking too much coffee, obsessing over yarn, and planning world domination with my husband, jezbraithwaite.blog, and our squirrel army.​
      Susan T. Braithwaite says:

      Thank you!
      I bribed them with grapes.🤪

      • Photos by Jez – I'm a Royal Navy Veteran from Scotland and love to get out and about with my wife, susantbraithwaite.com, on our Kalkhoff e-bikes. My faithful camera, Snappy, and the ever-present Lensy (lensball) are always along for the ride to capture the beauty of Scotland 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿. Join me as I share photos from our travels, how Lensy views the world & pretty much anything shiny ✨
        Photos by Jez says:

        🤣

  2. bushboy – Landcare, photography, music, poetry (of sorts), cooking, our environment, life on the land and making a difference where I can. MotoGP is my "boy" fix.
    bushboy says:

    A book that changed my life was Jonathan Livingston Seagull

    • Susan T. Braithwaite – Glasgow, Scotland – Royal Navy veteran from Scotland. My journey into writing started with a screenwriting certificate program at UCLA Ext. Since then, I've worked as a freelance content writer, erotica author, proofreader, professional beta reader, and content editor. I'm now working hard on my dream writing career: romantic suspense author. When I'm not writing, I can be found drinking too much coffee, obsessing over yarn, and planning world domination with my husband, jezbraithwaite.blog, and our squirrel army.​
      Susan T. Braithwaite says:

      I’ve just added it to my TBR list. Thanks for the recommendation.

      • bushboy – Landcare, photography, music, poetry (of sorts), cooking, our environment, life on the land and making a difference where I can. MotoGP is my "boy" fix.
        bushboy says:

        It is a short book won’t take more than and hour or so

  3. Sounds like a really useful book, Susan. I’ll see if I can find it.
    Also, great track! As for Thatcher… I lived in Liverpool. Enough said.

    • Susan T. Braithwaite – Glasgow, Scotland – Royal Navy veteran from Scotland. My journey into writing started with a screenwriting certificate program at UCLA Ext. Since then, I've worked as a freelance content writer, erotica author, proofreader, professional beta reader, and content editor. I'm now working hard on my dream writing career: romantic suspense author. When I'm not writing, I can be found drinking too much coffee, obsessing over yarn, and planning world domination with my husband, jezbraithwaite.blog, and our squirrel army.​
      Susan T. Braithwaite says:

      They were grim times.

      • My goodness, they certainly were. Weird looking back. Lots of good drama and satire came out of it though 🙂

      • Susan T. Braithwaite – Glasgow, Scotland – Royal Navy veteran from Scotland. My journey into writing started with a screenwriting certificate program at UCLA Ext. Since then, I've worked as a freelance content writer, erotica author, proofreader, professional beta reader, and content editor. I'm now working hard on my dream writing career: romantic suspense author. When I'm not writing, I can be found drinking too much coffee, obsessing over yarn, and planning world domination with my husband, jezbraithwaite.blog, and our squirrel army.​
        Susan T. Braithwaite says:

        I mainly remember the comedy/satire. A lot of it I didn’t quite understand (I was 11/12 when she left No. 10). I loved Spiiting Image and have memories of laughing with my dad while watching Rik Mayal as Alan B’stard.

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