"Taking in the good might actually be considered a sacred obligation as we live longer with generally improved health."

Dr. Ron Kaiser, director of psychology at the Jefferson Headache Center at Thomas Jefferson University, brings his enthusiasm and expertise to bear in this small gem of a self-help book. It can easily be read in one sitting and is a valuable library resource to refer to again and again. Though aimed primarily at an audience of aging readers by an octogenarian author, people of all ages will find inspiration in Kaiser's personal life and his embrace of proactive elements that can easily be applied to strengthening the mastery of maintaining a positive mindset, developing strengths to overcome adversity, and creating authentic joy and a zest for life.

One of Kaiser's stated aims of writing this book is "to close the gap between youthfulness and aging and to demonstrate that some of the same principles that apply to effective growth and development during youth and middle age also apply to those of us who are going through the aging process." The twelve themed chapters embrace a bouquet of concepts based on Kaiser's approach to psychotherapy that he calls Goal Achieving Psychology (GAP). These goals—taking ownership of your life, improving mindset, "rejuvenaging" the intellect, maintaining healthy eating, owning your body, developing your social being, "doing good – displaying empathy," developing appreciation and gratitude for life circumstances, challenging adversity and decline, and redefining age—are briefly but clearly discussed in engaging, clear, down-to-earth prose. While casually presented, the suggestions are solidly science-based concepts that can be modified and applied to improve the quality of life for any interested reader. "A substantial body of research provides ample evidence that repetitive experience of positive emotions rewires the brain, sensitizing it to be more alert to positive experiences. This is particularly important in later years, when there are legitimate reasons for noticing some negative things," Kaiser states.

Kaiser's formal process of rejuvenaging is "built upon the development of a personality structure and the application of seven keys... designed to be relevant to most people." He also outlines twelve principles relating to a positive mindset in "It All Starts with the Mindset" that many readers interested in the power of positive thinking may already practice or be familiar with. He states: "As we age, a particular type of mindset is critical. In fact, it all starts with the mindset." He goes on to explain that developing a positive mindset is crucial to balancing the common error of defining "the aging process as a period of decline." This book is a wonderful reminder that the aging process is ongoing and really begins the moment one is born.

Chapter Five, "Rejuvenage Your Intellect," contains seventeen simple, commonsense, but brilliant steps that will help to allay one of the most feared aspects of aging—mental decline. Readers are reminded that neuroscience observes that "new neurons can generate and new neural pathways can evolve throughout the lifespan." Another important point made in several chapters of the book is that building intergenerational relationships expands one's mind and benefits people of all ages. Readers at any stage of their lives will be challenged to embrace more positive ways of thinking and living under the influence of Dr. Kaiser's abundantly inspiring psychological strategies.

A 2019 Eric Hoffer Book Award Category Finalist

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

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