Author: Justin Thies
Title: Common Man’s Scientific Journey to Badass
Genre: Self Help
This book offers insights on how to change one’s beliefs, identity, and habits, using both brain science and a straightforward system that is designed to make big changes in small, repeatable ways.
The author approaches the project as a “common man,” seeing himself as someone ordinary who worked his way toward success, not by working harder, but through research, psychology, and coming to understand what it took to change his life’s trajectory. In this, his first book, he offers to help readers learn the same things he had to learn, encapsulating it in an approachable format.
Unlike many self-help books, this one blends a variety of streams of information, providing guidelines from brain science, evolution, history, sports, and psychology to create a system for change. There are moments when the scope seems a little too broad, perhaps, like when the author jumps in to offer diet and exercise recommendations at the end of the book, but these are not the main goal of the book.
Rather, the book focuses on providing the basic information one needs to construct a system of change. Each chapter offers a conclusion at the end to further drive home the main points, and while these can read a little like notes rather than complete “take away lines,” the overall point is to simplify what can be a daunting project and make transforming one’s life into a possible, concrete thing.
The tone of the book is encouraging, and real life stories are sprinkled throughout the chapters, with the names changed to provide privacy for those who shared how they changed, what they faced, and what they did to make things different. These help show the scope of what “common man” faces and why change is needed or, at least, worth pursuing, and they are inclusive in nature, though some readers might wonder if more examples that show women in the workforce would help balance the book.
There are moments when it feels like a more systematic approach would help, with formatting that breaks up the chapters and a table of contents offering an easier way to find sections later and grasp the material being presented. Dissecting the stories might also help, to where “working out the system” is shown a number of times before leaving it to the readers at the end.
The work could also benefit from further editing, as the sentences include typos, grammar problems, and spelling errors on occasion, which distract from the valuable information being offered to readers in this short, non-intimidating book.
Readers looking for a guide to help them change their lives without feeling like the author is meddling or being bossy will enjoy this book. The insights are easy to grasp and contain a great deal of common sense, and the author makes it clear he doesn’t see himself as any kind of expert—just a fellow human being on the journey to improve his own life, too. Diverting, heartfelt, and positive, this book can provide the boost one needs to truly change in small, ever-growing ways.
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