BOOK REVIEWS

Think, Learn, Succeed – Caroline Leaf (2018)

tinkCaroline Leaf, Think, Learn, Succeed (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2018), 316 pp.

Think, Learn, Succeed is the latest offering from the pen of Dr. Caroline Leaf. Dr. Leaf’s chief objective is nicely summarized in the book’s subtitle: Understanding and Using Your Mind to Thrive at School, the Workplace, and Life.

The author presents a series of mindsets that set readers on a path to learning and effectiveness. These mindsets are practical and instructive and serve the reader well by revealing motivating factors that spark productivity and cultivate a climate of learning.

The heart of the book discusses the gift profile whose stated aim is to “customize thinking.” “Understanding our customized way of thinking,” writes Leaf, is, in fact, essential to understanding ourselves, our identities.” Seven modules are introduced along with gift profile that evaluates where a given person stands. Ultimately, understanding the so-called customized way of thinking enables one to develop workable strategies that enhance thinking, learning, and success.

There is much to commend about this book and will likely help and encourage many people. However, not everything is noteworthy as the author cites the well-known poem, “Invictus” by William Ernest Henley. The closing words of the poem are troublesome:

It matters not how strait the gate,

How charged with punishments the scroll,

I am the master of my fate,

I am the captain of my soul.

This spirit of autonomy that Henley promotes is also exalted in Leaf’s book: “You redesign your future because your future is in your hands.” Scripture presents are radically different portrait, however. God’s Word exalts the sovereignty of God, not the so-called autonomy of man. God’s Word affirms that God ordains all things. Indeed, he is the creator. Humans are creatures, not the “captains” of their souls.

Discerning readers will accept the valuable principles in Think, Learn, Succeed and benefit from Dr. Leaf’s research. But they will also discard anything that does not line up with Scripture.

I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review.

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