When it is OK to tell yourself to shut up and move on!
Event + Response = Outcome
Like many women of my generation, I am a big fan of the Bridget Jones movies and I always love those scenes where she throws a heap of self-help books in the bin and fills the shelf with her latest purchases as if this will solve all her woes. There is no doubt that a good self-help book can play a vital part in staying mentally healthy – but which one?
The problem is with such a preponderance of self-help books out there (if you look up self-help books on Amazon there are over 100,000 titles available) it is hard to decide which ones are actually worth spending the money on. I’m not going to pretend that I have read a 100,000 self-help book but through my work I have read a few. Some are still on my bookshelf and get returned to whenever I need a top-up. Others, I must admit, have found their way to a second-hand bookshop as they just did not work for me.
What makes this book so great?
One of the books that has survived the test of time is S.U.M.O. (Shut Up, Move On) by Paul McGee. I like a book that tackles my mental health in a fun yet informative way and, as the title would indicate, Paul McGee does this. The book is peppered with personal anecdotes which make it easy to relate to what he is saying – the conversation between Paul and Helen over football is so reminiscent of many conversations I have had with my partner.
The chapter titles alone are enough to make you want to read the book, for example: E + R = O; Hippo Time is OK or Ditch Doris Day, but beneath all of this good-natured humour and personal anecdotes there is a very serious message. Don’t let things that have happened in the past prevent you from enjoying the present or stop you from doing things in the future.
How this book can help you
One of the key messages is the Event + Response = Outcome. The outcome of an event is not just the event itself e.g. losing a job but also our response to that event which is often dictated by previous history.
The other chapters encourage us to dump the victim t-shirt whilst recognising that “hippo time” is occasionally okay.
I procrastinated for a long time before becoming self-employed. If circumstances had not forced my hand maybe I would never have done it but now that I have, I love it. I now realise that fear was holding me back because of my response to previous events in my life, using S.U.M.O. principles has helped me to address that and realise that for me that I can dump the victim t-shirt and start living my life.
Throughout the book we are given opportunities to “get off auto-pilot” and stop being a hostage to our habits. I have always loved the Japanese saying “Fall down seven times, stand up eight) but this book has given me the tools to do it.
Mental Health First Aid