Paul Pearsall is a licensed psychologist and author of 15 books including The Heart's Code and Wishing Well. This intriguing work is based on a 10-year study of 100 "winners" afflicted with "Toxic Success Syndrome" (TSS) These aggressive and always active go-getters have achieved recognition for their bravado and creativity but never seem able to reap the rewards of their achievements. They are distant, detached, and distracted individuals. Dr. Pearsall presents his detoxification program to help victims of TSS "sweeten up" and move beyond their compulsiveness.
One of the marks of TSS is a failure to be able to focus one's attention: "They have given away their choice of where and how to focus their attention and their God-given right to create the content of their consciousness. The result is a consciousness dominated by hurried reactive thoughts, past worries, and future fears." The antidote to this attention deficit disorder is the persistent practice of calming down and focusing on one thing at a time.
By giving away their consciousness to the deluge of information and distractions coming their way, victims of TSS are unable to center themselves to connect with those closest to them. Or, as Dr. Pearsall puts it, they are "too busy to love, too tired to care." A final sign of TSS is the inability to ever be satisfied with what they have. There is always something better around the next corner.
Dr. Pearsall's detoxification program consists of three intentional practices: being content, calming down, and connecting always. The author concludes by commending walking a labyrinth as a ritual that can help serve as a spur for slowing down, going with the flow, living in the moment, and expressing joy.