Book Review: Adventures for Your Soul by Shannon Kaiser

I (Dr. Donnelly) am a fan of subscription boxes, especially those centered around books. A few months ago, I stumbled across one for women in business called "Sparkle Hustle Grow" and decided to give it a shot. Every month, a pink box arrives at my office with fabulous office supplies, training videos for entrepreneurs like myself, and a book. 

One such book is the subject of today's review, Adventures for Your Soul by Shannon Kaiser. 

Kaiser, who confesses that her life's mission is helping people find their happiness, is primarily a wellness writer who has contributed to television and media and, from the endorsements in the front of the book, gotten herself quite a following. She explains that her life was once in a rut of awful - depression, drug addiction, eating disorder, toxic relationships. One day, in a particularly mundane event that proved sacred for her, she decided to change all of that and did so. This book gives you tips on how to do the same thing. 

Kaiser is quick to point out that happiness is a journey rather than a destination and that process of being on that journey is an individual one. The book provides 25 chapters, each centered around a tip to engage your self-awareness and take control of the messaging your brain accepts as truth. They include things like "stay close to everything that makes you feel alive", "make peace with your past", "don't postpone joy", and "remember things take time." There are exercises and journaling prompts in each chapter, making this a book one must interact with to get its full value. 

Professionally, this is a book I might recommend to some of our clients who are looking to engage with the idea of emotional intelligence in order to grow their leadership. I would be careful to whom I do so, however, as It veers into pop psychology and relies a lot on personal anecdotes rather than clinically tested ideas. This kind of writing can be so valuable for folks, but it can also set up false expectations of breakthroughs for those who need more interaction to reset their brain patterns than this kind of work can provide. 

Personally, I have questions about some of the details of Kaiser's stories or the exercises she recommends, but the spirit behind the 25 keys works for me. I do believe that self-awareness is the key to success in all areas of your life - a sentiment she asserts and serves as the backbone for the work - and agree that learning to forgive yourself, embracing the moment, practicing patience and kindness, and remembering that failure is essential to growth are all essentials of life. The particular package those statements come in rubs me the wrong way, but that does not mean it wouldn't be valuable to others.