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on 7 July 2012
Okay. I'm a big fan of Richard Wiseman: I love his work and the way he approaches books and the self-help arena itself. However, I have been a little disappointed with this latest effort.

As previous reviewers have said, it basically is a document arguing for the effectiveness of William James's seminal theory that acting 'as if' will predicate those behaviours. So, to feel in love all you simply need to do is act 'as if' you're in love and let your body physiology and sub conscious do the rest.

Each chapter focuses on the application of this theory to different generic self-help type labels (eg love, depression, will etc) with plenty of practical exercises backed up by various evidence. While this is interesting for the first couple of chapters it pretty quickly becomes a bit formulaic and 'samey' - there are only a finite ways of describing how to act 'as if'. Furthermore the references are generally very old and don't really go into enough depth to back up the assertions - results are solely attributed to the success of the 'as if' formula when other variables could have also explained it.

I also found quite a lot of duplicity from 59 Seconds, although Wiseman himself admits this.

All in all I enjoyed the book and like the main premise that something so simple can be effective in changing someone's life but I don't think this is anything new or revolutionary. I'm still a great fan of Wiseman and his work - he's doing a great deal of good for the industry and this book is easy to read and even easier to apply. I applaud his humour and style of writing - you'll get through this book in a couple of hours.

If you're going to buy a self-help book then you could do a lot worse than this, but get it with 59 Seconds and read both.
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Fundamentally, there's nothing new in the central idea of this book but Wiseman typically puts it forward in a modern, thought-provoking & thoroughly digestible manner. It's based on an idea first put forward over 100 years ago by psychologist William James (brother of novelist Henry James) which Wiseman says is well-known in academic papers but is rarely mentioned in books aimed at the public. He's also backed up James' theory with some modern-day experiments.

The idea is that we have confused the horse with the cart - that instead of investing time & money in self-help books which tell us how to change the very way we think, it's far easier to change the way we act in simple & subtle ways. It's essentially faking it until you make it. Want to feel happier? Force yourself to smile & you will actually feel better. Want to be more confident? Stand in a confident pose & it will effect how you see yourself.

Can it really be that simple? Apparently so. But Wiseman emphasises that the real challenge is in acting in a new way, instead of going back to our old habits. Hence the title - at certain points, Wiseman asks up to rip up certain pages in the book. That's because it's something we wouldn't usually do, so it will prepare us to do other things which we wouldn't usually do.

I'm sure I've heard this idea somewhere before, or perhaps it's merely something which I intuitively suspected. But knowing something in theory is one thing - having Wiseman's practical & well-researched tips into how to put it into practise is another.

Anyway, Wiseman's wise words encouraged me to give it a go. I've been making myself smile while walking to social events (which always make me nervous) & found that it really does make me happier & more confident, thus more sociable when I arrive. Part of it came from a silly little thrill that I may look utterly daft to passes-by & the knowledge that it's only smiling, so it doesn't really matter. It took a surprising amount of effort to remember to keep doing it but was also rather meditative & quite fun. Also, it occurred to me that the most easy-going people I know do actually have subtle smiles on their faces most of the time - I'm amazed I didn't notice this before.

This interesting book will change the way you look at the world & give you a better understanding of how our emotions work & how to use it to your advantage. Highly recommended.
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on 22 March 2013
I am a fan of Dr Wiseman but this is not one of his best books. His basic concept is 'Fake it till you make it', or modelling, I suppose. The book is much more padded out than, say, The Luck Factor or Did You Spot The Gorilla? Maybe that's down to the editor telling him more pages are better, but I'd prefer something short and succinct, it's not like I have loads of reading time anyway. The jokes seem to be getting cheesier, too.
Despite all this, it's fine, especially if you've never read anything by the author before, or aren't already familiar with positive thinking etc.
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I would have to agree with other reviewer's observations that this is 59 seconds part 2. Again it is a fun idea with references to studies but written in an easy style that would introduce people to psychology in a way that tv presenters introduce people to science. As a self help book if it is belief and confidence that is holding you back then there is something to benefit you. This is not a book to buy secondhand in theory as your copy may then have its cover ripped off and selected pages ripped out as the title forms part of the method of following the instructions. Much of the book follows an overlooked pioneer of the way mind and body works, in the links between the way the body is used and our feelings. You need to read this book if you are thinking of having botox, as there is scientific evidence pointing to your feelings being altered in line with your frozen face. It also makes you wonder how Freud and his theories became so widely accepted on the basis of some pretty odd theories based around sexual preoccupations but in writing this sentence, I think I have answered that question. On the whole, a good and interesting read but not a life changer.
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on 31 August 2012
I havn't read a book like this before, however after reading this i have purchased many more of Richard Wisemans books. I found the book very interesting. It came in an excellent condition and well before the expected arrival date.
The exercises in the book were good and it gives you good advice on how to change certain aspects in your life.
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on 10 July 2012
I found this book disappointing, as I felt as though I had read nearly all of it before in 59 Seconds. It seems to be like a very long addendum to that book, taking one of its ideas and stretching it over 250 pages.
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on 15 August 2013
According to Richard Wiseman, you shouldn't think about changing how you think and feel,
you should just act as if you were the person you want to be!
I.e. fake it until you make it! Want to feel happier? Force yourself to smile! Want to be more confident? Stand in a confident pose! etc.
Indeed, it's far easier to change the way we act than changing the way we think.
And, interesting, a change in thinking might follow right after a change in acting.

Richard Wiseman is inspired by american philosopher and psychologist William James.
In one thought experiment, James considered the question, do we run from a bear because we are afraid or are we afraid because we run? And came up with the idea, that the obvious answer, that we run because we are afraid, was wrong, and instead argued that we are afraid because we run.
Our minds perception is the emotion.
Wiseman takes it further: So, to feel in love, all you simply need to do is act ''as if'' you're in love and let your body physiology and sub conscious do the rest...

In the book, Wiseman gives us many examples that seems to indicate that this is actually true. I especially enjoyed Joshua Ian Davis work with women who had just undergone treatment with Botox injections. Botox might give a more youthful appearance, but it will also allow fewer facial expressions. And sure enough, inhibiting peoples behaviour and facial expressions prevents them from feeling certain emotions...
Memory is also affected. According to experiments by Simone Schnall and James Laird, when people adopted a happy facial expression, they tended to remember more positive moments from their lives, and when they looked sad, they were inclined to remember more negative moments.
Procrastination often stops people from doing well in many aspects of life. According to James: ''Nothing is so fatiguing, as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task.''
The answer is straightforward using the ''as if'' perspective - By working on an activity for ''for just a few minutes'' (that is, as if you are a highly motivated person), changes the way we see ourselves, and make it far more likely that we will complete the task at hand.

Great stuff, and remember, everything in this book actually builds on well documented research. Following Richard Wisemans advice might actually make us just a little happier, make us procrastinate less, reduce our stress levels etc.
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on 20 July 2012
The greatest strength of this book is that the advice it contains is actually backed up with proper scientific studies and theories rather than just pseudo-scientific nonsense that is so prevalent in the self-help world. This is the primary reason I have awarded it 5 stars.

As another reviewer mentioned the main concept in the book is basically 'Fake it til you make it'. This is a concept many people have heard before but Wiseman expands on the idea and presents the scientific evidence. He calls it the 'As if' principle and ascribes it's discovery to the 19th Century psychologist William James. Traditionally in the self-help world the advice is to change your life by changing your thinking. Many gurus place a great deal of emphasis on affirmations and visualising yourself excelling in a certain area. Wiseman asserts that in reality it is extremely more effective to instead focus on your behaviour. For example if you want to be confident don't try any think your way confident but instead try to act confident - walk with long strides or make a fist. When you behave in this way you will quickly begin to feel confident.

He looks specifically at other areas such as procrastination, attraction and creativity.

I enjoyed the book. It's different from his previous '59 Seconds' in that it expands on one theory in particular. '59 Seconds' was more of a random collection of different ideas. I am already implementing some of the advice in this book and it presents plenty of food for thought on how to improve your life. It is definitely recommended reading for proactive people.
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on 21 November 2013
I am a little puzzled by one or two of the mixed reviews accorded to this book. It seems to be being criticised for repeating some of the ideas in 59 Seconds or for being generally less than original. I have no such reservations about it.

The point of this book is to give practical, engaging advice on how ordinary people - as opposed to psychology students - can make effective changes to their lives, based on a light-hearted but authoritative explanation of relevant research. It does this by taking one idea from 59 Seconds and thoroughly examining it.

So yes there is some duplication of ideas from 59 Seconds (though nothing of what one reviewer amusingly calls 'duplicity'), but the additional detail that the author can go into by exploring one idea so completely is really helpful. Gradually you start to realise just how profound a change might be made by applying this one idea in different areas of your life.

This is applied psychology for ordinary folks who just want the bottom line but don't aspire to the degree. It's tremendous fun and instantly applicable.
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on 14 January 2013
Richard Wiseman's book 'Rip It Up' is essentially psychological backwards engineering: rather than our thoughts guiding our actions, our actions define our thoughts, though one suspects they coexist (the philosophical ramifications of which are no doubt explored elsewhere). Radically such a theory was propounded by a Victorian gentleman called William James (1842 - 1910) - brother to Novelist Henry James - who instigated an autonomous model of the psyche in an era when Freud's model of suppression and subconscious motivation was yet to properly gain ground and cast its shadow on 20th century thought.

This is an intriguing book that labours James's point a million times, but the point is so good and the applications of the point so varied the book can be considered a short introduction to changing your life. Essentially you are reading a catalogue of experiments around the subject of the 'As if' principle (first tested by psychologist John Laird) subdivided into different chapters and topics leaving the reader in little doubt that the author is very widely read in his field - though an index of research might have proved useful for future reference.

The 'As if' principle also more colloquially known as "You have to fake it to make it" moves the nature-nurture debate to the edge of the continuum line with an angle that auto-conscious motivated action rather than personality determines behaviour; and whereas behaviourism clearly assumed that humans could be programmed like dogs and pidgeons, 'Ripitupism' or "just-do-it-ism" has the power to transform with the full involvement of a waking mind that is positively encouraged. At the same time one can clearly see the NLP principle of congruence in Wiseman's approach and how the mind has a tendency to justify its actions to its self - as in the meaning of Aesop's fable of sour grapes.

A major application of Ripitupism is the rapid effect it can have on esteem and confidence (defined in the book as the propensity to enjoy challenges, trust one's own judgement and not worry unduly about past mistakes). The conclusion is quickly made that a poor sense of identity is often learnt after having being forced to endure an unpleasant event that then feeds on itself leading to more negative events and personal reinforcements and so on. Antidotedly, a much more startling finding is that actually posing in a dominant manner by adopting power gestures has been shown to changes the chemical make-up of our bodies so that they contain greater levels of testosterone and less cortisol.

If the intention is to get the reader to change their life in even a minor way, then this surely must be the book of all books to do it, and therefore an absolute must for any self development nut. There is so much stimulus material inside to warrant a significant time out of your comfort zone to put your usual assumptions aside and take up the offer to Rip it Up and start again.

Phenomenally simply brilliant and definitely not for storing away on the book shelf, 'Rip it Up' would be even more useful if broken down into bite size 'action' points, possibly as an app or tiny book that could be used as an aide memoire for assistance in a daily self motivation ritual. Then, praying to my angel cards would have some very serious stiff competition!
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