The Simple Shift: How Useful Thinking Changes the Way You See Everything

Reviewed By  Janet Mawdesley       June 11, 2020


Author  Chris Helder

Distributor:      Wiley
ISBN:                 978-0-730-38166-2
Publisher:         Wiley
Release Date:   February 2020  


Chris Helder is the Master of creating small books packed full of incredibly useful information which can be read preferably over a few hours, or several days. With his latest book The Simple Shift he looks at the madness in which we conduct our daily lives.

This book was written before COVID-19 arrived, which in itself created much change, with many people being forced to take a fresh look at what drives their daily existence and their changing world in which they may, or may not, be able to hold down paid work. Life changed rapidly and is still changing, but the essence of Helder’s book still holds true, because the basis is helping people ‘through significant adversity in their lives’ and negotiating the craziness of everyday life, before or after COVID-19.

As a sought after keynote speaker, Chris Helder has traveled the world speaking on useful beliefs; simple shifts on thinking and lifestyle and the power of ‘useful’, which is vastly different to ‘positive’, thinking, the power of understanding that right now is the ‘ greatest time in the history of the world to be alive’.

This can be greeted with skepticism, but when seriously pondered, Helder is right, despite what is delivered daily via new sources and media hectoring. Why, because as he explains, in the course of The Simple Shift, if you choose to believe something you can find plenty of evidence to support those beliefs, whether they be positive or negative.

As he says on later in the book: ‘Whenever something significant happens in your life, ask yourself two simple questions: why did this happen? What have I learned from it?  Then take those messages or answers and make them work for you.

2020 is proving to be a year of massive change on many fronts, a year that will be long remembered as a watershed year for many reasons; many would agree that times are tough and going to get tougher if the governments of the world are to be believed, therefore it follows a change in thinking is required, a change of direction is necessary; that looking at the vast territory that is encompassed with ‘useful beliefs’ is something we are all going to need to undertake in this rapidly changing world.

Helder could not have anticipated the changing societal framework of 2020 when he wrote The Simple Shift, but it is definitely a small book with a powerful message for and of our times, that should be used and read as a guide book to striding forward in a positive manner into the very different, ever changing future.