A few pages into 59 Seconds: Think a Little, Change a Lot, I thought “This is going to be one cool little book.” Halfway through (on about page 189 out of nearly 300 pages), I thought, “This is proving to be one cool little book.”
After finishing the book, I thought, “This little book was even cooler than I thought it was going to be.”
The author, Richard Wiseman, has a writing style that keeps you on your toes and rewards you richly for the effort. 59 Seconds is a “thinking man or woman’s” self help guide. Armed with research and fascinating facts, Richard Wiseman lays out the truth:
* We’re in charge of our lives.
* If we want to make it happen, the next move (and all the future moves) are up to us.
* We can improve our lives, and ourselves, if we go about it the right way.
59 Seconds: Think a Little, Change a Lot (Borzoi Books) is filled with self improvement tips and self growth advice. The thing I love the most is that each one is backed up with research and explained in detail – with each “Why?” answered beautifully.
The tips and techniques used in 59 Seconds are incredibly simple and fast (hence the 59 Seconds title). However, that wouldn’t mean beans if they weren’t powerful and effective. They are both.
An example of one of the many exercises taught in this book is the writing exercise. The reader is encouraged to write a list of 3 things that he or she is grateful for. The exercise is simplistically brilliant because it gets your mind thinking in an affirmative direction. Even if you’re in the darkest of moods, once you begin thinking of things you’re thankful for, your mind will soon realize that “narrowing it down to 3″ is nearly impossible. Positive, uplifting thoughts and faces will fill your mind and your mood will be lifted to a new height. The truly remarkable thing is that this mood will last for days! When it begins to dip again, make another list.
Simple and brilliant.
There are many outstanding tips for improving your health, weight, and body image as well. Tips that are, again, backed up with wonderful research and common sense. A particularly fascinating section was devoted to a study that highlighted the benefits of knowing how much energy your body was using throughout the day – or how many calories we burn doing various activities. A chart is even included that details how many calories are burned per minute while doing daily activities. The chart includes room for the reader to write in how many minutes they spend, on average, doing this activity and how many calories they’re burning.
The bottom line? None of us are burning anywhere near as many calories as we need to be or even as many as we probably think we are.
This part of the book, like the others, serves as a wonderful self help tool because it shows us…
1. Why we’re not having the type of success we think we should be having.
2. What path leads to the type of success we want.
3. How to jump on the right path!
I’ll close with the following passage from the book because I always love for my reviews of books that I love to give you something other than just a recommendation for a great book. I want you to be able to carry something away from the post – hopefully as you head off to Amazon to purchase the wonderful book! This book is so full of great tips and golden nuggets that I just have to include two. These are two of the many, many, many “59 Seconds” tips…. 59 Seconds to THINK a little and CHANGE a lot.
1. Act Happy. Research by Peter Borkenau from Bielefeld University and others has revealed that happy people move in a very different way than unhappy people do. You can use this information to increase your sense of happiness by acting like a happy person. Try walking in a more relaxed way, swinging your arms slightly more and putting more of a spring in your step. Also, try making more expressive hand gestures during conversations, nod your head more when others are speaking, wear more colorful clothing, use positively charged emotional words more (especially love, like, and fond), use fewer self-references (me, myself, and I), have a larger variation in the pitch of your voice, speak slightly faster, and have a significantly firmer handshake, incorporating these behaviors into your everyday actions will enhance your happiness. Page 36, 59 Seconds: Think a Little, Change a Lot
2. Use More Energy. Think about how you could burn more calories by making small changes to your everyday routine. It might be something as simple as using wax polish rather than a spray during housework (rubbing is a far more energy-consuming activity than spraying), ensuring that you have to use the stairs more often (e.g. not taking the elevator at work or alternating floors when doing housework), or listening to upbeat music to encourage vigorous movement when you are walking or mowing the lawn. – Page 104, 59 Seconds: Think a Little, Change a Lot
About the Author:
Richard Wiseman is based at the University of Hertfordshire in the United Kingdom and has gained an international reputation for research into offbeat areas of psychology, including deception, humor, and luck. He is the author of The Luck Factor, Quirkology, and numerous other books. A passionate advocate for science, Wiseman is well-known for his media appearances, high-profile talks, live demonstrations, and mass-participation studies. Wiseman also regularly acts as a creative consultant for print, broadcast, and new media.