Tuesday, March 23, 2010

59 Seconds - Richard Wiseman

Every two weeks I will be posting a book summary that highlights key points from a book I've recently read. 

This first post is on 59 Seconds by Richard Wiseman.  The book is truly for busy people that hope to change some of their existing habits for the better.  Wiseman covers the topics of Happiness, Persuasion, Motivation, Creativity, Attraction, Relationships, Stress, Decision Making, Parenting, and Personality.  Quite a bit of material but it was an easy and enjoyable read.  I actually did most of my reading on the treadmill!

Now from each section there is a key takeaway:

Happiness: writing about your daily life beats talking about it any day.  Talking about it doesn't make you happier, keeping a journal of it does.  Amazing that 90% of the public believe that talking about it helps.  So stop talking.  Get to writing.

Persuasion: When you are fundraising, saying that every dollar helps vs. saying "every penny helps" will make a significant difference in the amount that you raise.  In one experiment, a box labeled "every penny helps" generated 62% of all contributions while "every dollar helps" generated 7% of all contributions.

Motivation: Engage in Doublethink.  Think about the biggest benefit from achieving your goal, then think about the biggest hurdle to attaining that goal. 

Creativity: Outline the problem, then distract your conscious mind by solving puzzles that have no relation to your defined problem at all.  Apparently this increases the number of creative solutions you will come up with for your problem.

Attraction:  Staring into someone's eyes even for a few seconds will make them more attractive to you.  No, this is not a joke.  Also, touching someone on the upper arm increases your chances of receiving the favor you asked for by 20%.

I'm going to split up this post into 2 and the other sections will be summarized in tomorrow's post - stay tuned.
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