ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Tools - This Book Really Can Change Your Life!

Updated on October 19, 2013

Finally, a "Self Help" book that actually contains actual steps to changing the way you think and act!

I've never been one for self help books, but I have read a lot of books on spiritual development and spent the past few years working on my state of awareness. There is a lot of stuff out there on why we need to change to live a more peaceful, loving, productive life, free from fear, and lots of stuff about doing it, but this book is different because it doesn't just discuss how to move forward through our fears and grievances, and into a state of peace and love where we can be our true selves and actually become who we are meant to be. It actually provides you with action steps - the "tools" of the title - to achieve this. It helps you to move forward, and take action towards achieving the life you want, by removing the blockages you have unconsciously created to prevent this happening. Simple steps, although how difficult they are to do, of course, depends on how willing you are to change.

The book was the brainchild of Phil Stutz, a psychiatrist who believed that therapy focused too much on the causes of clients' problems, and went on to design these techniques, which he has presented in this book with the aid of psychotherapist Barry Michels. They focus on four main problems, which are addressed with four key tools to transform the issues, along with a fifth tool to keep you working on the first four tools. And believe me, it is all too easy to slip back into old habits when you think everything is going great, so that fifth tool is essential for making a change for good.

The tools they discuss are:

1. Reversal of Desire - to deal with pain avoidance, that prevents us from achieving our full potential, moving forward, getting on with our goals and so on. In other words, it teaches you to move through the pain and procrastination to get to where you want to be.

2. Active Love - to deal with the notion that you should be treated fairly by others, and how to cope when others make you angry. In teaches you to let go of the need to get angry or want revenge, and therefore not get lost or hung up on issues that occur.

3. Inner Authority - this one takes the concept of the Jungian shadow and deals with the insecurity we all have inside us, that prevents us from expressing ourselves fully, or achieving our full potential. It teaches us not just to face our shadow, but accept and embrace it, which is key.

4. The Grateful Flow - this deals with negative thinking, both towards others and ourselves. It also teaches us to overcome the notion that thinking negatively will produce negative results.

5. Jeopardy - this final tool teaches us to truly change our lives, by ensuring that we continue to practice the Tools even when we think we don't need them anymore.

As I mentioned before, I have read lots of books on spiritual and personal development, and I have gone through lots of concepts and healing. I have done shadow work, meditation, awareness training and much more. But this book is different, It cuts through the fluff, doesn't wrap everything up in rainbows, and gets to the point. At times, it is blunt, but in a good way. I love the humour, the bluntness, the unique and quirky way in which each tool helps achieve something so complex, in such a simple way.

I have done the exercises for each of the Tools, and found the results to be so profound that I typed out the key points to look at during my morning meditation and "me time" in order to focus on the needed "tool" for the day ahead. I'm still working on my procrastination issues, which needs some more work on the reversal of desire, but in other areas, I have blossomed. If you want a spiritually based but accessible to all book that cuts to the chase and really will make a difference right away, then you will love this book.

The Tools - A Visual Preview!

Have you read The Tools? Which is your favourite of the 5 tools, or which did you need the most?

See results

Would you, or have you, read The Tools? Share your thoughts on the book here!

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • smine27 profile image

      Shinichi Mine 

      4 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      This is the book I need right now. I like what is says about how psychiatrists focus too much on past issues. It's so true.

    • RoadMonkey profile image


      4 years ago

      Interesting sounding book. Sounds like the kind of book I like and useful review - thanks.

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Very interesting and encouraging book.

    • SandyMertens profile image

      Sandy Mertens 

      4 years ago from Frozen Tundra

      This is what I need.

    • smarterdigital profile image


      4 years ago

      I'm 'reading' it now (well, an audiobook on Audible...)

    • marley101 lm profile image

      marley101 lm 

      4 years ago

      Realy nice review!

      Sounds like a wonderful book :D

    • Elyn MacInnis profile image

      Elyn MacInnis 

      4 years ago from Shanghai, China

      Sounds like a great book.

    • Roger Hackney profile image

      Roger Hackney 

      4 years ago from Arizona

      Although I have not read this book, Like you I read tons of books about improving who I am. One of my favorites is "Switch - How to change things when change is hard" by by Chip and Dan Heath. It also spells out how to make a "Switch" from bad to good habits using a very visual Elephant & Rider analogy where the Rider is our logical mind and the elephant is our emotions. I also read from a lot of different angles (that is) I read improvement books from Psychiatrists, Buddhists, Christian Counselors, etc. I find it interesting that you say this book was written by a Psychologist but later you mention spirituality. I find that interesting because medical (science) based behavior books don't usually delve into "spirituality" per-say. It's also interesting that the areas of focus you mention in the book sound very similar to what Buddhist philosophy focuses on. I will have to look more at what Amazon and others have commented on the book, it sounds "interesting". Thanks!

    • Missmerfaery444 profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago

      @LiteraryMind: It really does. I suffer terribly from procrastination and avoiding doing certain things, but this really helps me to overcome it.

    • LiteraryMind profile image

      Ellen Gregory 

      4 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      I keep reading the concept above of "Reversal of Desire" -- sounds as if it would result in a productive outcome.

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      I came back to take another look.

    • SheGetsCreative profile image

      Angela F 

      4 years ago from Seattle, WA

      Sounds like an outstanding book. Pinned

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Thank you for this wonderful review. I put this book on my wish list.

    • Seasons Greetings profile image

      Laura Brown 

      4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I bought this book just yesterday at the bookstore when I was browsing through. Funny to see a review of it so soon after. Now I know what I'm getting myself into. :)

    • Merrci profile image

      Merry Citarella 

      4 years ago from Oregon's Southern Coast

      It's going on my wish list right now. Great review! Thanks for telling us about it.

    • Rock Artist profile image

      Rock Artist 

      4 years ago

      It sounds like a very insightful book, I will have to read it! Thanks

    • carlyflames profile image

      Carla Marie 

      4 years ago from Philippines

      Yes. I will read this book. It sounds beautiful. <3

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      This certainly seems to be a book worth reading.

    • MVKilgore profile image

      M. Victor Kilgore 

      4 years ago

      Great lens...sounds like a must read

    • bobnolley lm profile image

      bobnolley lm 

      4 years ago

      A great lens on a wonderful book!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)