A Book About Flinching and Fear

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I recently came across a one-of-a-kind book that skillfully challenges the standard conventions. It is called The Flinch, and it is written by Julian Smith. It is free on Amazon and you can download it here. If you don’t have an eReader, you can register, for free, to have an Amazon cloud. You can download the eBook and read it online. It is around 100 pages – a very quick read.

In short, the book is about transformative impact and making yourself physically and psychologically more resistant. People stop doing anything difficult because they fear pain and physical stress, and especially, change. They not only become sedentary to avoid physical challenges, but they are moved to fit in with the consensus – intellectually – and thus they make many bad decisions in order to hang with the collective. The book encourages you to expose yourself to difficult stuff to create psychological toughness/breakthroughs and achieve greater things in life. Though the book is about overcoming emotional resistance to change, it is not written from the usual self-help perspective (it is non-Oprah-ish). Smith’s book is the exact opposite of those namby-pamby corporate “change” books like this:  “In the Long Run We’re All Mice.

That’s the quickie on the book. The author, Julian Smith, is an established author who writes on technology and social networks, etc. He used to be a vegan and became primal (paleolithic diet) in recent years. The book will appeal to paleo-primal types, libertarians, non-conformists, agents of change, corporate managers who can’t relate to simpleton trash like “Who Moved My Cheese?“, and intelligent people who are ready to move beyond the typical, powder-puff self-help book. Here is a quote from one reviewer on Amazon:

What this author has done with “The Flinch” is to make it possible to reset our pschological responses to what makes us afraid and stagnant. . . in just one hour of reading time. In a world that increasingly encourages cookie-cutter mediocrity, The Flinch reminds us that we can each be great, and that we owe it to ourselves to break our own chains.

In machine-gun bursts of insight that are refreshingly blunt, Mr. Smith demonstrates how an evolutionary response to danger has caused us to overract to perceived danger and shrink back from opportunities. Most of us aren’t lazy or crazy, we’re just hindered by a natural reaction to stress. This book absolves us of blame and frees us up to find a solution. . . to work through the flinch we experience when facing the difficult or unknown.

Here is a full review of the book (from C.C. Chapman) and a longer review from anarcho-libertarian and paleo-primal advocate Richard Nikoley. Also of interest is Robb Wolf’s podcast with Julian Smith about the book. On Robb’s podcast, Julian noted that Amazon was getting hit with 5,000 downloads per day for the book.

5:58 am on January 28, 2012