Review: [Think] Like a Mind Reader by Jonathan Pritchard

[Think] Like a Mind Reader by Jonathan Pritchard (2017, paperback only)

A while back a smart friend and I were discussing the characteristics of a good self-help or self-improvement book. There’s a limited amount of “new” information that can be transmitted by now, mostly based on “new” scientific studies, which nearly always confirm the basic premises first espoused by Dale Carnegie, Norman Vincent Peale, or…Aristotle. So to be good, to be really useful, a book needs a new synthesis. By coming at, combining, mostly old, sound materials in a new way, a way that stimulates action, a book can make itself valuable.

Jonathan Pritchard has succeeded in making [Think] Like a Mind Reader a valuable book. His new approach is coming at it as a “mind reader,” a mentalist. In practice, he was able to take his skills beyond the his stage show (though he still does that) and leverage them into a consulting business and corporate training.

His new synthesis here isn’t about mind reading techniques. It’s about deepening understanding of thought, and our understanding of limits. Most of the limits there are, we place upon ourselves. As he points out in the introduction, after a childhood of strictures and “no-nos” and being taught to suppress our “badness,”  “[W]e learn there are thoughts we are not allowed to think.”

As I went through the first few sections of the book, I was nodding in agreement, but also, for an old dog like me, there was a certain familiarity–enthusiasm, interest, positive thinking, logic…but gradually, I sensed a fresh approach. There is some “mind reading” technique material, but more than anything mind reading takes focus, an intense awareness of the moment. Thinking like a mind reader takes, first, desire, a giving of oneself rather than an “extraction” of information.

This is what the author brings to the table that’s different than most. There are a lot of great self-improvement books available. I’ve studied many of them, and even taken action on some of their ideas. Anthony Robbins’s Unlimited Power was one that I picked up at the right time in my life, for the right reasons, that made a big difference. Strangely enough, the actions have produced the results.

[Think] Like a Mind Reader is a book that can make a difference. If you’re a younger person with less experience there may be a lot that’s new here, but anyone of any age may find a gem in the book that makes a difference in their life. The material is presented in a breezy, entertaining style that should hold your interest, anyway.

I first encountered Jonathan Pritchard on Twitter (the_pritchard). That platform has introduced me to many fascinating people and their books and writings. Now I’m looking at Pritchard’s book on Wing Chun Kung Fu and thinking about trying it out.