Sunday, August 8, 2010

Book review: 59 Seconds

- Think a little, Change a lot

I began reading '59 Seconds' more than 4 months ago, but due to my Master's thesis I didn't have time to finish it.
So on our last vacation I decided to read the whole thing.
And I'm glad I did, it's an amazing (self-help) book.

Unlike many other books claiming to give you advise about how you can improve you life and general happiness, this book is actually based on real scientific studies instead of intuition, anecdotes and bad science.
This means that the advice Richard Wiseman gives you in this book has been tested scientifically and the results show some form of statistical improvement in happiness.

Which is not to be confused with guaranteed high levels of happiness as you'll see mentioned elsewhere. Anyone claiming that is a scammer. What this book claims is that science has shown that some actions, exercises and advice are statistically better than others. This book merely explains what they are and what you should do to follow them. 

Topics and advice
The book covers a lot of topics such as (general) happiness, motivation, stress and parenting and each chapter contains simple exercises you can do or simple advice than you can follow, in (less than) 59 seconds.
Some exercises take place over a week, some in a few days and some are one-shoot advices that you should take notice of.

The advice takes on a wide range of complexity ranging from  buying a potted plant for your office to praising children for effort rather than ability. I won't list (or even go into depth of) the advice from the book here, you really need to read the book for yourself.
It's easy to read and separated into many chapters, so you can easily read a little bit whenever you have the time.

I can highly recommend getting a copy of this book and start following the advice. It's simple and it won't take more than 59 Seconds :)

More fun
You should also check out Wisemans Quirkology website and Youtube channel for more mind-bending videos and tricks.
Or follow Richard Wiseman on Twitter.