A Review of ‘Pig Wrestling’

I love pigs. Actually, on second thoughts, I ought to be despising them because I was a huge fan of Pork curry till last year. Taking up mindful eating brought to mind little piglets being taken from their mums just to satisfy my meat based desire for a curry. If ever I needed an incentive to give something up that was it. I am now able to enjoy their, well, Piggery without the guilt, even if I do miss my dry Pork curry.

I am also a glutton for self-help books. Going for long walks to sort out my troubled thoughts is far too strenuous. Picking up a self-help book which helps me to navigate problems is far more effective. So it is with delight that I discovered ‘Pig Wrestling’.

No physical activity required or recommended that involves real Pigs, I ought to add. ‘Pig Wrestling’, in literal terms, is a vicious and cruel practice which I do not condone.

The book, ‘Pig Wrestling’, is unique for the formulaic way it recommends steps you can take in solving either a long-standing problem or a new one. Unlike other self-help books, it doesn’t tell you what your real problem is. What it does is to help you identify what the real problem is. The gem in this method is that, quite often, what may seem like THE problem may turn out to be collateral fall out from the REAL problem which you may have missed seeing.

The centrality of the method starts with one imagining a Pig pen with a Pig in it. This is a metaphorical use of a frame within which you frame your problem as you see it. Suggestions are made to make you rethink how you are dealing with the problem – are you wrestling the Pig incessantly in a perpetual losing match because you are tackling the wrong end of the problem?

Methods to further deconstruct and solve your problem involve ‘Problem Cleaning’, ‘solutioneering’, ‘mapping’ and ‘switching’. There is even a metaphorical ‘Red Bucket’ and ‘Sponge’ to help you along.

Critics of self-help methods use ‘common sense’ as a default mechanism to aid their arguments. While most of us may have oodles of common sense it isn’t always at the forefront of our minds when confronted with a problem. This is why I love self-help books as a stop gap filler for when common sense or logic defies me under the gravity of a problem.

This book uses fables, conversations between problem laden people in real life situations and aide memoirs to convey its messages. A simple and easy to read book.


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