Book Review: Clarity by Jamie Smart

ClaritybookHaving read the inside cover full of glowing reports, I expected Clarity: Clear Mind, Better Performance, Bigger Results
to be a very powerful book with some new and impressive techniques for gaining mental clarity.
I now feel a little like the boy who points out that the emperor’s new clothes are missing and that he is, in fact, naked! Particularly given that Seth Godin has given the book a very positive comment on the cover.
 Even so, I can only write what I believe and having read this book twice, I found it far from clear and devoid of any of the techniques or insights that would help anyone clear their mind, improve their performance or create bigger results.
The underlying observation seems to be that the we are born with Innate Thinking ( a term that you might find in any first year biological text but that Mr Smart has apparently trademarked ).  This Innate Thinking is a natural state that includes clarity, wisdom, insight and inner confidence.  As we grow, we lose this Innate Thinking ability as it becomes clouded with other thinking habits. 
This reminded me a little of the Scientologists view, who assert that we learn our limitations and need extensive therapy to become ‘Clear’ again.
If you are widely read in this domain you will see commonly referred to threads appearing.  Themes that have been espoused in texts such as  Eckhart Tolle’s “A New Earth” where ego and thinking is a central theme.  The Power of Now, also by Tolle again encourages us to look passed our thinking and look at the experience unhindered by our limiting beliefs. There is even a little Buddhism hidden in the book…With our thoughts, we create our world.  
That isn’t to say the book is not well written.  Its metaphors are sometimes strong and the case studies illustrate Smart’s points well, but there is little in terms of science to back up the claims nor techniques to take forward and apply yourself. Even the use of the ‘Bell Curve or Normal distribution is incorrect and merely a way to present an argument.
So if you are interested in some case studies that highlight how some people struggle to gain clarity (but don’t actually resolve it other than to recognise that their thinking is flawed) then it is an interesting read.  The book is also supplemented by a website that explores each chapter further but appears more of a marketing gimmick to draw people into the community.  This I can respect if the material was insightful and valuable but again, it wasn’t clear what actions to take to improve performance.
What the book didn’t do for me was what I expected from the title and the reviews by other industry peers.  It did not provide a way to gain clarity, additional wisdom and understand how I could improve my performance or the performance of my clients.
Dare to Aspire

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