Book Review of The Reverse Effect: The 7 Life-Changing Principles

Updated: Mar 30

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“About 3 o’clock one rainy morning, I was coming down from a cocaine high, sitting in an abandoned hallway, contemplating suicide. I let out one last desperate cry to God [and] waited for what seemed to be an eternity for an answer. None came. I thought, “OK! That’s fine!” So, I decided I was going to live and die like a gangster”.


This is just one of several gripping stories that Clinton M. McCoy shares in his novel, The Reverse Effect: The 7 Life-Changing Principles. This book’s raison d’être is to present readers with a framework, The Reverse Effect program, aiding them to transform their lives by converting negative perspectives into positives. I’ve peered into many books where an author elects to elevate readers with pages of principles, keys to success, plans, programs, and workbooks guiding us “do the work” to develop necessary skills to reach goals that season after season we are seemingly unable to achieve.

The invigorating element about McCoy’s book, however, is that he is astonishingly transparent in his reflection of his intensely intimate stories, engaging the reader in his catastrophes, shortcomings, misfortunes, but then delivering illumination via “The Reverse Effect” principles which may alter one’s mindset, resulting in the ultimate achiever. When I say that McCoy is transparent, believe me. McCoy’s ruminations are captivatingly personal. You’ll find yourself ascribing names to his stories, tilting your head back, nodding and reflecting on when he was:

· Saved from the lagoon

· In juvenile detention

· Struggling with alcohol and drug abuse

· In a life-threatening motorcycle accident

· Sent to prison

· Set back because his equipment was stolen

· Sent back to prison

· At a nightclub, standing at gunpoint

· Returning to school

· Sent back to prison again (yes, again)


Referencing McCoy’s challenges is not meant to highlight the negative and throw shade on a black man. Never that! America casts enough stones on our Kings. My purpose in describing what most of us would label as failures is to demonstrate McCoy’s strength to overcome, to call you to action, challenging you to delve into and unveil that dark space in your soul…. that space you are fearful of peering into because you know what will be staring at you head-on: YOU! You’re blocking yourself from success.




McCoy realized that he was in his own way, determined that he alone had to reverse his course and break the negative historical pattern in order to push through the doors of the future. Intriguingly, McCoy himself calls out his once negative perspective on life and how it “cost [him] so much in opportunity, relationships, and growth,” mostly because he had no aspirations to make it to 30.


Because I find personal stories quite engaging, I would have enjoyed reading even more about McCoy’s life. But this is not an autobiography. McCoy’s purpose is not to dwell on the negative. He uses his personal experiences just to make a point, and therefore, tells his stories point-blank! His purpose is to transform and so most of the book will resonate with Tony Robbins' followers, those interested in self-actualization, the subconscious mind, and the Reticular Activating System (RAS) (get into it).


Although I’m not big on “doing the work” (as Iyanla Vanzant commands her patients to do on her show “Fix My Life”) my favorite chapter in the book is Chapter 19, “Strategies, Practices, and Processes”. McCoy states, “focusing on one thing at a time is the most effective way to achieve big goals. The more components you have… the more difficult [it] becomes to operate.” This passage resonated with me, actually compelling me to “do the work”, deeply pondering on MY focus, and driving me to direct my tactics towards that one goal. Readers looking for a push in the right direction will find this and the section on Goal Achievement engaging.


As much as this book is for those passionate about self-actualization and driven to succeed, any black man (and anyone that has an appreciation for our black men) will genuinely appreciate McCoy’s realism, frankness, and honesty. McCoy repeatedly asks himself the tough questions, and eventually encounters a “Eureka” moment, at which point he decides to alter his path, finally, for the better.


The results? McCoy is now an entrepreneur, personal development & goal achievement expert, photographer, and social media branding coach whose passions include assisting individuals in discovering and pursuing their inner greatness.

He is a survivor, overcoming childhood trauma, juvenile delinquency, and years of self-destructive behavior by breaking free of the chains of his past. He admits his stubbornness but could care less if you judge him because he’s been through enough to know that “success is measured against the fulfillment of your potential, not against someone else’s accomplishments”. I’d say that’s a positive and empowering perspective. 100!

You can purchase McCoy’s book via his website www.clintonmmccoy.com.














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