The Undefeated Mind

On the Science of Constructing an Indestructible Self
by Alex Lickerman, M.D. | Health communications, Inc. © 2012 · 278 pages

How'd you like to have an undefeated mind while constructing an indestructible self? (I'll take 'em!) Alex Lickerman, MD shows us how--blending Western science with practical Eastern mysticism in this powerful book. In the Note, we'll explore how to find your mission and turn poison into medicine.

‘The Undefeated Mind’ is a book that exhorts us to stop hoping for easy lives and instead to focus on cultivating the inner strength we need to enjoy the difficult lives we all have. Though our ability to control what happens to us in life may be limited, our ability to establish a life state strong enough to surmount the suffering life brings us is not.
Alex Lickerman, M.D.

“But things aren’t as bleak as they seem. Or rather, things are only as bleak as they seem, for the way events impact us depends far more on the lens through which we view them—our inner life state—than on the events themselves. Not that mustering up courage, hope, and confidence in the face of adversity is easy…

Though absolute control over our response to adversity may elude us, influence over it need not. If we can’t change our emotional reactions by force of will, we can at least increase the likelihood that our reactions are constructive by cultivating something psychologists call personality hardiness: the capacity to survive and even thrive under difficult conditions—what in Buddhist terms would be considered a strong life force.

This book is about how we can develop that life force. For hardiness, contrary to popular belief, isn’t something with which only a fortunate few of us have been born, but rather is something we can all create. Hardiness of a kind I’ve come to call an undefeated mind.”

~ Alex Lickerman, MD from The Undefeated Mind

The Undefeated Mind.

I like the sound of THAT. :)

I was introduced to this book via Ryan Holiday’s The Obstacle Is the Way. It’s a fantastic blend of Western science and Eastern mysticism—specifically, a form of Buddhism I had never heard of called Nichiren Buddhism (which focuses on chanting as a means to challenge negativity to bring forth wisdom).

Alex Lickerman is a medical doctor who brilliantly walks us through his nine principles for attaining what he calls “victory” en route to, as the sub-title suggests, “constructing an indestructible self.” The book is packed with inspiring wisdom. (You can pick it up here!)

We’ll kick it off by taking a quick look at the core of Nichiren Buddhism, then take a quick peek at the nine principles, then some of my favorite Big Ideas. Let’s jump in!

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About the author


Alex Lickerman, M.D.

Physician and writer