Book: Your Head is a Houseboat: A Chaotic Guide to Mental Clarity by Campbell Walker
Genre: Self Help
Publisher: Hardie Grant
Publication date: 2021
Source: Purchased in advance as a fan of the author
Summary: Your Head is a Houseboat is an extended metaphor with lots of fun pictures to help navigate your mental landscape, er, seascape. The houseboat has several different spaces where you encounter characters who may be helpful or not helpful or both. Some of the not helpful freeloaders can be thrown overboard — ha!
Grumpy Sock Puppets are parts of myself that I kind of wish I could throw overboard, but I’m stuck with. They are parts of myself that are terrified, needy, or perfectionist. Giving them names and personalities as sock puppets enables me to have conversations with them that deepen my understanding of the past and help me chart a better path for the future.
The Zoo at the bottom of the boat reminds us that humans are, after all, animals. If we’re not fed healthy food, allowed movement, or made aware of our fight and flight responses, we’ll find ourselves behaving in inexplicable ways.
Thoughts: My favorite characters were the Five Bosses. These are the characters who want to control where I steer my boat. The problem is they give me conflicting messages! I take better control of my boat if I take a moment to listen to all five voices and then, work out which one matters most to me in this moment.
I learned about Your Head is a Houseboat from watching several of the videos from the author who goes by ‘struthless’ on YouTube. Here’s a recent one that is motivating me to design a physical to-do list and try the productivity audit.
What I really like about this channel is that it’s a younger person describing the tips and tricks that build a better life in a way that is attractive to other young people. Most of what he talks about are things that I eventually muddled my way into figuring out through books, trial and error, and friends. But I would have appreciated figuring out more of it before I turned 20, 30, and 40.
I liked this book, now, at age 60, because a new metaphor makes these techniques more fun and helps them come to mind more readily when I need them.
Appeal: I took a bunch of notes from this book so that I could repeat the exercises on my own. Because I gave the book to a younger person who I thought would get even more out of it.
Have you read this book? What did you think?