The Perfect You:
A Blueprint for Identity
Discover more about how to live the way God made you to live.
Author: Dr. Caroline Leaf
Genre: Christian Living/Self Help
Reader Appeal: Teens; Mature Teens; Adult
Dr. Caroline Leaf is a cognitive neuroscientist and a Christian. When I think of things that go together I tend to think peanut butter and chocolate or maybe John Madden and football. Not once in any matching game would I put neuroscientist and Christian together. But she is both and not ashamed of either.
The Perfect You is not a follow up to her previous books (Switch on your brain and Think yourself smart) This book rather builds upon the other two books. I would also suggest reading Switch on your brain before reading The Perfect You. Dr. Leaf’s philosophy in a very small nutshell is “You control your brain, it does not control you”. When I first read that my thoughts ranged from “not true to really not true”. I was convinced that once again the Christian community had fallen under a stupid spell. When I read the first book, switch on your brain it was really so I could poke holes in her theology. Disclaimer I am not a neuroscientist or a theologian. I read the book two or three times, did the exercises and began to see that what the Dr. said was true while I cannot control circumstances, I can control my thoughts, I am not a slave to biology.
The Perfect You starts simply enough “who am I? Does anyone out there understand me? Do I have a purpose? Do I even understand me? Can I accept the way God has allowed me to be?” The Perfect you is how you uniquely and specifically think, how you uniquely and specifically feel, how you uniquely and specifically choose. It is how you are meant to be by God. She then goes on to the benefits of living “in the Perfect You”. The promises seem rather lofty but I’ve been a Christian long enough to know that God can do anything, even lofty and seemingly impossible things.
The first five chapters are spent explaining through scripture and science how we learn to live this new way and how we are made to be this way. I’m a pretty simple person so I will admit that some of the science was way over my head, but it’s worth reading again and getting out a dictionary and thank goodness for charts and diagrams.
Chapter six is the Unique Qualitive (UQ) profile it is 500 questions with the goal of getting to know yourself, to understand your uniqueness and appreciate it. This is not a Facebook quiz. It takes time, patience and thought.
The chapters that follow have some practical exercises based on what the UQ profile shows. For example, are you a logical/mathematical learner? Then practice remembering statistics related to your favorite sports team. Or practice estimating how long it will take you to get to a certain place or finish a task.
The Perfect You is not necessarily for people struggling with identity issues, I really enjoyed the UQ, trying to follow where each question was leading, that may not be what the Dr. had in mind, but that is how I think.
Let's Talk About It
Use these questions to spark discussion among family members who are interested in this book:
• Are you comfortable with who you are? Do you think you would be your friend?
• How do you learn? How do those in your sphere of influence learn? How is it beneficial knowing how those around you learn?
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