Title: Fostering Energy
Author: Kyle Pleasant
“Please be responsible for the energy you bring into this home”. Such is the opening statement of Kyle Pleasant’s book, which introduces the idea that men and women are made up of balls of energy with the capacity to affect and change the lives of those around them. It also explores the concept of personal energy, with the aim in mind of teaching readers how to nurture and foster their personal energies so that they can become a positive force in the world.
At first glance, this book follows the standard formula of a lot of books belonging to the “self-help” genre. The basic premise of promoting positive energy and looking after one’s mental health is nothing new. In fact, these subject matters have been the focus of a lot of published works recently, especially in light of the times we live in. With all our usual coping mechanisms temporarily unavailable, with the decrease in the number of social interactions allowed while social distancing is in place, it has become a lot more important to bring the focus back to ourselves.
What makes this stand out from the usual fare of self-help books, however, is the almost memoir-like writing style the author chose to employ throughout the book. With a refreshing amount of candor, Kyle Pleasant engages his readers by bringing things down to a personal level. He uses his own experiences as examples to hammer his points home. One of the most powerful chapters in the entire book was when he recounted the challenges of living with legal blindness, and how he eventually overcame what many people would consider an insurmountable obstacle to live his life to the fullest.
The structure of the book could have been more consistent. Some chapters had discussions on a variety of topics, from quoting Oprah Winfrey to making healthy food choices. These discussions, along with other supporting evidence and research, could have been better curated and organised so that they come across as less random and anecdotal. There were other chapters that had helpful tips and “how-to” guides to sum up the theories and concepts discussed. The book would have made more of an impact had this structure been used throughout.
In terms of the overall tone of the book, the author was almost spot-on. With such a weighty topic, one might have expected the author to be overly earnest, even a little forward, which can be off-putting to read. Kyle Pleasant’s writing style, however, kept this book from being too heavy-handed. It was light and easy enough to follow but was sprinkled with just the right amount of gravitas to underscore the importance of the message the author was trying to impart.
Fostering Energy is a product of the times we live in. It is a timely and relevant exposition at a point where there is so much uncertainty surrounding our current existence. The social landscape is ever changing, and there is a sense that we have yet to fully grasp the long-term repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns that followed. Fostering Energy is a reminder to revel in our strengths, to accept our weaknesses, and to learn from our mistakes. More importantly, it is a reminder to be kind to ourselves and others, and an affirmation that we don’t have to be extraordinary to matter. We just have to be.
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