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59 Seconds

59 Seconds: Think a little, change a lot

by Richard Wiseman

I first read 59 seconds around 5 years ago. It was an impulse buy from one of those ‘recommend by our staff’ tables that you get as you walk into a specific high-street book store. At the time I was consuming a couple of books a week on my daily London commute and it seemed like the perfect fodder. It was.

Best described as a smart, quirky and very readable self-help book Wiseman has managed to, rather than set a core beliefs system, give quick (59 Second) tools to boost your mood or reframe a situation using a meta-analysis of various international studies. As well as disproving a few psych myths he gives a results based approach to getting back your wallet, increasing the likelihood of reaching goals as well as darker subjects such as ‘diffusion of responsibility’ versus a lack of moral values in a plain, understandable and personable style.

Does it work? We’ll at the time I first read this book I was promoted, got engaged and lost my wallet. Whilst I never saw the wallet again the other two achievements were definitely impacted on by some of the concepts and explanations I’d read in 59 Seconds. I incorporated some of the goal setting and quick mood boosts specifically and at the time as well as in hindsight I believe they did help and I’m happy to pass some of the ideas onto clients to this day.

Whilst I have also purchased the kindle version of the book I believe I still have the same edition so it would be interesting to see whether some of the studies that have been recreated and given different results within the past couple of years have been amended (whether they should be is of course up for debate).

This is not a text book, nor is it your standard a guide to life – self-help book. This though, is it’s strength. You are able to pick up the book and merrily skip chapters or dip in at any point and find a concept, idea or experiment of interest.

 

Pro’s

Enjoyable and not particularly deep reading.

Con’s

Needs edition updates to ensure up-to-date with current thinking.

 

 

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