A Mind of its Own – Cordelia Fine

Book review

Cornelia Fine combines cognitive science and behaviour studies to present fascinating insights on how the mind works and how it fools itself. It a very easy read on a complex subject and though not about ADHD gives some great fuel for thought into our different neurology. Ideas and patterns reside in the mind to be drawn upon when required, they lie hidden, emerging sometimes when prompted by events, or remain obscure yet drive our behaviour.

Fine defines the patterns as “Vain Brain”, “Deluded Brain”, “Immoral Brain”, “Bigoted Brain”and describes how the brain manifests these conditions and where the trait originated. Many of these conditions are formed in childhood then remain fixed even when given compelling evidence to the contrary.  Though the human species evolved to live in groups, our brains are primarily concerned ego-centrically with ourselves. When we succeed “we deserve to”, but when we fail, we rationalise the defeat in many ways. The “Weak-willed Brain” makes any excuse for failing to carry out intentions, we give up easily as goal-seeking makes too heavy demands on already over-taxed mental resources.

I have always maintained that people with ADHD are more honest with themselves and struggle(?) more with denial, so found some differences in my own experience. But in her conclusion I could not agree more – that we should not trust or assume we have control of our “unscrupulous” and “unreliable” minds.

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ADHD Coach, Andrew Lewis

Andrew Lewis

Andrew Lewis is an ADHD Coach, writer and founder of SimplyWellbeing. He has over ten thousand hours and fifteen years of experience in coaching ADHD executives, business professionals and creatives. His expertise with ADHD is personal, with decades of his own experience, bringing up an ADHD child, running a large support group and in coaching clients often for years He has published his writing via this website and has ADHD online courses in development. His business expertise comes from a twenty years career in software, from programming, through marketing, sales and running a few start-ups.

Further reading

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A comprehensive look at childhood ADHD through the perspective of executive functions
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Medications can help but many adults find them ineffective or problematic, this book present some alternatives
ADHD at work
The first book written about adult ADHD, and by adults with ADD
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A mainly unbiased look at the problems from a mixed ADHD/non-ADHD marriage
ADHD at work
A helpful guide for a parent helping their teen ADHD daughter
ADHD at work
Great book by a fellow ADHD coach with some very practical strategies
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