Review of Mike Brescia’s “Think Right Now” CDs

Full Disclosure: I have paid full price for each of the products reviewed below (technically, I paid for 4 CD programs and got two free via a sale). This is not a paid review. Links inside this article are affiliate links, but I’d bargain that it’s more than reasonable considering the time I’ve taken to review these products in-depth. It’s a good-sized read, but worth it if you’re serious about personal development. Happy reading. -Dave

Why I Took So Long To Buy Mike Brescia’s “Think Right Now” CDs
Let’s be frank: I’m a personal/business development coach, so I don’t just buy things unless I’m pretty sure they can get me results quickly. So when I made the decision to buy six of Mike Brescia’s products, I had some serious expectations.

But I have to tell you that I didn’t buy them the first time I heard about them. In fact, I’d been on Mike’s newsletter mailing list for a year before I purchased. I’d received a few “Here’s another success story …” emails from him, but didn’t really open them because they were for programs I wasn’t interested in (Mike offers over a dozen different programs).

But over the course of that year, I received other success stories … and others … and still others. The stream never stopped.

Then I Got Pissed Off (But Not At Mike)
Mid-2007 rolls around and a few things happened at in my professional and personal life that were just stressful situations piled one on top of the other. Really crappy things. Things that started getting this hot-blooded, New York Italian pretty ticked off. The really lousy thing was it was starting to get to me, and by me, I mean my family. I was letting that stress show around them and being more than a bit of a jerk. So I decided to sit down and start working on systematically changing what I focused on so that I wouldn’t let things get me so unreasonably mad.

As life would have it, I get an email from Mike saying he was coming out with an “Anger Management Now!” CD program, and for the first time ever I actually read one of the sales pages. Except it wasn’t really a sales page, it was a slew of success stories. So I purchased one. Actually, I took home six programs, because he was having a good sale and hey, they were guaranteed. So here’s what I received in the mail a few short days later.

These CDs Were Not What I Expected At All (But That Was Okay)
For some reason I thought these would be how-to coaching audio programs, but they weren’t. Scratch the “for some reason” – it was because I didn’t read the sales page all the way through. I actually bought because of the constant stream of success stories I had received from Mike over the last year. Success stories that consistently said “I’m seeing results within the first few days.” That’s something that catches my eye. (Plus, I knew that if Mike was being full of it, I’d tear him a new one online in this review).
The CDs I received were not “How to” programs at all. Instead, they used my favorite (and most effective) habit changing technique: reconditioning the conversations you have in your head.

Why The Conversations In Your Head Make Or Break Your Habits
The only reason you have any bad habit, be it anger, overeating, fear, procrastination, or whatever – is because of the conversation you have in your head, the one that keeps repeating: “I want to do this right now.”

“I want to vent my anger right now.”
“I want to eat everything that’s tasty right now.”
“I want to avoid risking failure right now.”
“I want do something else (besides my real work) right now.”

You see the pattern. You want to do something right now, in the moment, and you’re not thinking of the consequences. But sometimes you acutaly do try to fight it:

“I want to yell at this person for what they’ve done … I know that I shouldn’t, though …”

Sometimes this works. Sometimes you stop being angry, or afraid, or lazy, because you’ve talked yourself out of it. But sometimes you talk yourself back into it:

“I want to yell at this person for what they’ve done … I know that I shouldn’t, though … but they really deserve what I’m about to say to them. Time to lay into them!”

Then you do something you regret, and you realize your bad habit has won. You feel like crap. And the cycle continues, all because you let the impulsive side of you have the last word of the conversation. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

How You Eventually Break Habits For Good
The only real component of willpower is the ability to let the rational side of you have the last word of the conversation. In other words, willpower is nothing more than your ability to debate yourself and win. To create a conversation in your head that goes something like this:

I want to yell at this person for what they’ve done … I know that I shouldn’t, though … but they really deserve what I’m about to say to them. Time to lay into them!”

“Um … no. You don’t want to do this. You’re going to keep your cool.”

“No, I’m going to give this person a piece of my mind. After what they did to me …”

“You don’t want to do this. You’re going to regret it tomorrow.”

“I won’t regret it. He will. It’s payback time.”

“Is that what you want people to see when they look at you? A tough guy who’s going to push others around ’till he gets his own way?”

“Well … no, that’s not what I want. I just want to tell this guy off, because he -”

“I’ll bet you’ll be very proud of your kids when they model you and handle situations just like you’re going to handle this one, right?”

“What? Wait a minute … it’s not like that, I … (sigh) … you’re right. I need to cool off and handle this the right way. This isn’t the person I want to be.”

“You’re damn right. You’re going to be the kind of person others look to as calm, cool and collected, because that’s what you really want, isn’t it?”

“Hell, yeah. You win. (Or is it *I* win?)”

Whoever Gets The Last Word, Wins
The reason habits seem so hard to break is because we try to have these conversations in the heat of the moment. When we’re angry. When we’re hungry. When we’re afraid, or lazy. But inventing these conversations on the fly rarely works, as you know from experience. So “success conditioning” is nothing more than practicing these conversations ahead of time, drilling them into your brain, until you don’t even have to think of them.

People call this “self-talk,” but I don’t like that phrase because it sounds a bit hokey, and honestly, a bit weak. I call it “practice.” The more you practice something, the better you get. And practicing talking yourself out of situations you’ve conditioned yourself to react to is one of the most valuable things you can do with your time. All it takes is pen, paper, and practice to craft the statements that will win those debates for you every time.

So If I Can Do This Myself, Why Would I Need Mike’s CDs?
Good question, glad you asked. While you can certainly condition yourself into any mode of thinking you want, there’s immense value in adding a different person into the mix. Think about it – what motivates you more: When you tell yourself “I can do this,” or when someone else says “You can do this?” There’s tremendous power in having someone else validate what you’re doing. That’s why coaches, accountability partners, and even a simple “workout buddy” are so useful to help you follow through.

When I received Mike’s CDs in the mail, I had already created some of my own empowering conversations and was getting a foothold on my bad temper. I was already rehearsing those statements and practicing winning the battle in my mind “ahead of time,” and I was seeing progress. But when I listened to Mike’s CDs, I found that I made progress much, much faster. The reasons behind the improvements I saw with the “Anger Management Now!” program were three-fold:

  • First, by hearing someone else narrate the new, empowering statements to me it freed me from the “labor” part of the task. The narrator was a pleasant, soothing female voice that put me instantly at ease and helped me relax so I could focus on installing the new mindset. It was as if I had my own coach in the room with me, helping me practice.
  • Second, having the program on audio meant that I could listen to it any time I wanted (I had it on CD, but I also put it on my iPod as well). I listened to it on the way to and from work on CD, and on the iPod whenever I had a chance (while doing dishes, laundry, and other household chores). This meant that I spent a lot more time reinforcing the new mindset than I would have with just my own on-paper statements.
  • Third, there’s a very subtle, relaxing music track running throughout the program. I found this to be a huge help as it made the program actually enjoyable to listen to in the first place, and it felt a lot less like “work.” Even if I wasn’t in the mood to deal with the program, the music itself made me switch it on (and it wasn’t long before I found myself rehearsing the new mindsets even without the CDs).

Here’s What’s In The CDs Themselves (If You’ve Been Skimming, You Can Stop Now)
Each program had a consistent format (though some of the programs were on one CD and some were two). The format is a simple set of four tracks:

Track One is about three minutes of the pleasant-voiced narrator leading you in a short guided relaxation technique. It really helps set the mood for being receptive to learning and conditioning yourself for the new and improved mindset. However, it’s very relaxing in combination with the background music, so when I’m listening in the car I skip right past this track. :-)

Track Two is about twenty minutes of the narrator reading statements that are designed to condition your mindset so you can act, rather than react. Twenty minutes is a good length, in my opinion, as fifteen minutes would seem less “meaty,” and anything more than around twenty would seem long for something you intend to listen to again and again.

The narrator reads each statement three times, but has a different inflection each time, emphasizing a different part of the sentence. While it took a moment to get used to, I appreciated it because it helped the program from feeling repetitious. I also noticed that some inflections seemed to click with me more than others, so it became more engaging as well.

I also think it’s novel to have the statements repeating three times, not just so it will sink in (and replace your old reactive thinking), but because when you do have to use them “on the fly,” you’ll find yourself repeating them to yourself three times, which gives you a chance to get your bearings and make a conscious decision rather than a reactive one.

Tracks Three and Four are the same format as Tracks One and Two, but with different content. I appreciate this because it helps keep the program from getting old. On the two disc sets you’ll find the second disc has the same format, so you’re essentially getting four twenty-minute sessions instead of two.

Mike’s website says that you can listen to the CDs while you sleep too, but I haven’t tried that. If I had the program going on all night my wife might need some anger management therapy too. :-)

The Proof Is In The Pudding;
I Saw Results The First Day
The beauty of programs like these is their simplicity; you’re not learning a whole new system, but instead just making a shift in your attitude and perspective. While not a replacement for a how-to system that shows you step by step how to implement a new way of doing things, it’s an excellent companion to the products and systems you already use.

I noticed an immediate change in my temper, even in the first run-through of the Anger Management CDs. The reason that I saw effects so quickly is the same reason you get motivated to take action when you meet someone in person who gives you advice; when a person acknowledges your potential and encourages you, it lifts you up and motivates you to take the right kind of action. Having someone else (even though it’s just a recorded voice) in the mix made it easier to take the effort of habit change more seriously.

I also listen to the “End Procrastination Now!” CDs at least once a week, even though I’ve written a course on overcoming procrastination. While my course focuses on the how-to strategies that eliminate the desire to procrastinate in the first place, Mike’s program gives me an extra motivational edge I appreciate.

Final Thoughts And Recommendations
Though I initially had reservations upon realizing what the CDs weren’t (how-to and strategy sessions), I immediately appreciated the value of what they were: the audio equivalent of a workout buddy, who can knock on your door every day and tell you exactly what you need to hear to take more action.

If you’ve ever felt the power of somebody’s encouraging conversation recharging your emotional batteries, or if you’ve experienced the value of a coach, partner or friend reminding you that you really can do it, you’ll understand how useful Mike Brescia’s Think Right Now! programs can be for you.

And if a coach uses these programs, that should tell you something. :-)

At the very least, take a look at the Think Right Now! website and consider subscribing to to Mike’s newsletter for the five free resources he gives access to.