SOS - Review by Eva Baj

SUCCESS OVER STRESS continues the tradition inaugurated in the West by Abraham H. Maslow who, instead of analysing the dysfunctional, neurotic and insane, focused on those rare individuals who seem to enjoy life and be happy in this imperfect world. The book describers seven strategies for radiant living: Stretch, Unwind and Unbend, Cut the Criticism, Counter Conflicts, Eat for Extra Energy, Stimulate your System, Smile and Laugh and Accentuate the Positive. Together these strategies constitute the conditions of success. The objective of this small book is quite ambitious: to help the readers to live a healthier and happier life instead of being prisoners of their memories and mistakes.

I find the book both irresistibly absorbing and highly instructive. Unlike many self-help books, it is neither heavily didactic nor arrogant. The author engages in a friendly, almost intimate, conversation with the reader, always giving us the choice to agree with her views or reject them.

The book is coherent and well-balanced, though very eclectic, interweaving carefully researched information with the author's experiential knowledge and encompassing many of the currently popular approaches to personal growth: NLP, Brain Gym, Accelerated Learning, Autogenic Training, meditation and visualisation. We accompany Jane Revell in her own painful journey through a very stressful time of her life and we see her emerge stronger and wiser. This personal story gives SUCCESS OVER STRESS a warm human touch and a whole new dimension of credibility. The message is clear: this re-emergence does not happen by itself; we have to work on it on the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual levels. Feeling and looking good requires some attention and a bit of conscious work.

A great care is paid to elegant and simple style. The language of the book is easy to understand, yet passionate and rich in vivid metaphors, communicative and straightforward. The book includes many humorous and thought-provoking sayings and proverbs. Each chapter is concluded with a funny pictorial mind-map enabling those of us who are visual to get an overview of the chapter 'at a glance'.

The book is down-to-earth and practical. The author makes sure that what she says on the verbal level is translated into the behavioural level. The reader interacts with the book through answering questions, doing tests, quizzes as well as abdominal breathing, Brain Gym exercises or stretching. Each chapter contains 'Putting it into Practice' part where the author honestly describes how she herself is trying to practice what she preaches. The book includes a useful bibliography and photography.

SUCCESS OVER STRESS is undoubtedly a great support for those who are trying to help themselves towards self-growth and for those who have a genuine concern for the well-being of others.

Review by Eva Baj, November 2000

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