Book review – The complete mind makeover

The Complete Mind Makeover – Transform Your Life and Achieve Success by Ros Taylor

This updated version of a previously published book by Ros Taylor five years ago is all about personal development, and as the title suggests, is aimed at a life transformation. This may come across as a little dramatic, but if you’re not put off by this you’ll discover Taylor’s easy-going direct writing style, which comes across almost as if she’s having a chat with you. According to the back cover – her aims are to ‘help you develop clarity of vision and a renewed confidence in your judgement and abilities’.

The book begins with an introduction, which is essentially a potted version of the entire book. It’s an overview of the four steps Taylor uses to help you on your way to your transformation. This overview is more of a guide to the book and its workings than an index for you to choose sections to dip in and out of. The fact that the chapters are labelled ‘steps’ indicates immediately that this is a book to be worked through: it’s more of a plan than a reference book. The introduction is there to show you what you can achieve, and a glimpse of how you can achieve it.

Read on and start the step process, and you’ll be confronted with the first one – impact. Like the rest of the steps, this section is broken down into roughly 10 sub-sections. Impact deals with how to create a good impression, how we are visual creatures, and how to interpret and control our own body language. Though Taylor’s advice is nothing new or groundbreaking, it is well-presented and informative, peppered with case studies written in a story-telling style.

The next section is full of tables and diagrams with lots of self-assessments and psychological exercises, which could be daunting for some. The idea behind this section is coaching in how to reprogramme our thoughts and behaviour in order to benefit us, our career, and others around us. It is essentially a small foray into cognitive behavioural therapy techniques, replacing our negative thoughts with positive ones. The next section is emotion, and deals with how to develop emotional intelligence – a skill increasingly desired by employers. Taylor encourages sensitivity towards others, and teaches how to make others feel better about themselves in order that they respond better towards you, with a technique she labels ‘stroking’. At times it can seem that Taylor fancies you can wander through life like a kind of benevolent figure bestowing blessings on everyone, but once you see through her occasionally ‘rose-tinted’ language and the odd philosophical musing, she is actually making sense. The last step, called action, is all about turning the previous steps into real life. It concentrates on coping with various situations, people skills, and the odd bit of self-assessment again, with a psycho-geometrics test where you pick out the shape that you feel most represents you, and then discover what this says about your personality.

Essentially, Taylor is a psychologist who has transferred her skills into a work and career-based context, using proven methods to help people learn how to be more successful in a business environment. She also brings herself into the book, talking about her own experiences, sharing these stories with the reader, which adds a motivating and friendly aspect. This is very much a book to be acted upon if you want it to work for you. Reading it alone is not enough, so you must be prepared to fill in all the profiles and questionnaires, and follow the plan that Taylor has laid out. It’s about learning about yourself in order to learn about others – it’s a task as well as a book. But if you can put in the effort, it’s worth it.

"Taylor is a psychologist who has transferred her skills into a work and career-based context, using proven methods to help people learn how to be more successful in a business environment"