Thumbs Up!: Five Steps to Create the Life of Your Dreams is an interesting and uplifting self-help book with the intention to help the reader to have more success and happiness in his life. The main goal of the book is present a sort of “operative system” to guide us through our lives. In a way, the “operative system” is a few simple and intelligent rules of the thumb that Joey Reiman presents to the reader.
Joey Reiman is an author, speaker and college lecturer. He is also the CEO and the founder of the consultancy company BrightHouse. The mission of the company is “to bring greater purpose to the world of business”. Some of its clients are Procter & Gamble, CocaCola, McDonald’s. The magazine Fast Company designated Joey Reiman as one of the 100 people most likely to change the way the world thinks.
Most of the message of the book isn’t exactly new. I and probably most of the readers of this review have read or heard most of it somewhere else. That doesn’t mean we don´t need to hear it one or more times. Why? To pass from knowing to apply it in our lives.
The main idea of the book is to cultivate an attitude of optimism that induce us to action. The author doesn’t present scientific evidence to support his message. However, I read several books in the past that support this idea with scientific evidence the message of “Thumbs Up!”.
Optimism is an habit that, at least partially, we can acquire. For most of us, optimism has several advantages. One is that we act more and obtain more of life because of it. We, humans, tend to not evaluate well our chances of obtaining what we want. More, we tend to put our chances below what they really are (see the book “The Luck Factor” by Richard Wiseman).
A second advantage is if we treat better people around us. Of course, those people tend to cooperate better with us and contribute more to our success. A third advantage is that our health tend to be better when we are optimism – optimist people tend to live more and better. One example, is our immune system. It tends to function better when we have an optimist attitude.
The last advantage justifies for itself to cultivate an attitude of optimism – they tend to be happier. Even if were forced by magical arts to have a certain life independently of out efforts we should cultivate an optimism attitude. Why? Because we would be happier inside us even if we couldn’t change anything around us.
In the following video, Joey Reiman summarises his book and the ideas it conveys:
Joey Reiman uses the five fingers of our hands has a roadmap to present is message.
Thumbs – “Give the world a thumbs up. (…) when you raise your thumb, you raise your chances of success”. Optimism tend to lead us to better results.
Pointer finger – find a purpose and you are for something greater. “(…) when you discover your why [purpose], you can point at any what, where, and who and make your dreams happen.
Joey Reiman presents in his book some exercise to help us find our purpose in life. Some take several days and one can be done in several minutes. I think the exercises that take more time are better. However, the quick exercise are fun and still useful to find a purpose. If you want to do it now pick a pen, a paper and dictionary (you can use one from the Internet). Find ten words that best describe you. Then write those words in card and put it inside your wallet where you can read them often – try to adjust your actions in relation to those words, and if you find better words in the future, substitute one of the original words. Some of the words I choose were “explorer”, “friendly” and “entrepreneur”.
Middle finger (give a finger to fear) – “Thousands of years ago, [fear] saved us from being eaten by tigers by creating a “fight or flight” respond (…) no longer needed today”. Joey Reiman. says that most things we really want are outside our comfort zone. We should go, systematically, a little outside our comfort zone.
Fourth finger (march forth to take action) – “The best way to rid yourself of dissatisfaction is to take action”. Stating the obvious, it doesn’t make sense to be optimist and have a purpose if that doesn’t reflect itself, in some way, in action.
Fifth finger (Remember the little things that matter) – Little things like a hug, a help and a thanks count. And we never when we do it how they can influence the future. Personally, I still remember kind words of one of my teacher in primary school.
Dear reader, if you need some constructive uplifting in your life, buy and read this book. Many times we need to be reminded in a nice way of things we already know and put them in practice.
Ivo Dias de Sousa is a Portuguese writer born in Mozambique. Ivo is also a Professor at Universidade Aberta, Portugal, giving courses on information management. Currently, Ivo is interested in using his experience on information management to construct applications (see http://windit-app.com/ ) for smartphones, in collaboration with others. Ivo holds a Master in Statistics and Information Management (Universidade Nova de Lisboa) and a Ph.D. in Information Management (Universidade Aberta). Amongst his main interests are information management, psychology of luck and literature.