Customer Reviews


28 Reviews
5 star:
 (11)
4 star:
 (9)
3 star:
 (4)
2 star:
 (2)
1 star:
 (2)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring read
Straight forward, easy to understand, description of why we do what we do day after day without thinking. A scientific book without the jargon together with numerous relevant examples to explain every concept. Unusually for such a book, the author is English and so the examples relate to everyday life in the UK: no baseball here.
Every aspect of habits appears to be...
Published 19 months ago by Tony Jarrow

versus
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Patchy, but some good sources
I nearly stopped reading before I reached the practical suggestions because the long stuff at the start about how important habits are was fundamentally flawed. As I read I realised that many of the phenomena the author was taking as habits weren't really habits at all. He also kept saying that habits are unconscious, which isn't always true.

So, not a good...
Published 18 months ago by Matthew Leitch


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring read, 15 Mar 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Straight forward, easy to understand, description of why we do what we do day after day without thinking. A scientific book without the jargon together with numerous relevant examples to explain every concept. Unusually for such a book, the author is English and so the examples relate to everyday life in the UK: no baseball here.
Every aspect of habits appears to be covered: why we form them, their value as well as their annoyance, how to make the good ones stronger and how to sidestep the worst.
An excellent, easy, read for everyone. Highly recommended.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A discussion of psychological research by an immensely popular psychologist, 5 Aug 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Making no false promises, this book is very much in touch with reality. I would have given it 5 stars if it had contained more bullet points, more summaries, more short focus sections, and if the writing itself were more tightly focussed. This is a shame, because the book, which discusses all our more routine behaviours in an extremely useful way, has the right contents to make it one of the best in its genre.

Jeremy Dean writes for PsyBlog, which puts all of the most recent psychological research on the table for everyone to see. I've been a fan of his work for some time now and I wanted to buy the book as a thank-you for his continuing good work. The contents of book are fantastic. Yes, a lot of it is fairly obvious stuff, but if you are mapping out human behaviour this will always be inevitable; what it gives us is a useful map which enables us to see where we are more clearly. Rather than choosing to focus on quirky behaviour, or choosing to act as a self-help guru and setting rules, Dean has assembled all the most-relevant-to-life experiments in this book, and although the style is a little wordy, it comes across as 'an engaging chat with a friend'.

I think that most people would get a lot out of the book; the material inside it is among the best you'll find. But rather than reading cover to cover I'd suggest picking it up for ten minutes every day - this way you could mentally chew over what you've read, gradually enabling you to build a picture of why you do what you do and giving you ideas on how you could effect change where needed.

Oddly enough, the book might make more real difference to your life than others BECAUSE it focusses on the 95% of more useful ordinary behaviour (with quite a lot of quirks in itself) rather than the 5% of sensationalist, but less useful behaviour that other authors select in order to sell books.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and Informative, 18 Mar 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is the best kind of self-help book. It doesn't offer easy answers or 'new age' solutions. Instead, it draws on the latest research to show how habits are formed and, crucially, how they can be changed. The author acknowledges how difficult this can be, but he offers sensible advice with a sound scientific base.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Patchy, but some good sources, 20 April 2013
By 
Matthew Leitch (Epsom, Surrey, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I nearly stopped reading before I reached the practical suggestions because the long stuff at the start about how important habits are was fundamentally flawed. As I read I realised that many of the phenomena the author was taking as habits weren't really habits at all. He also kept saying that habits are unconscious, which isn't always true.

So, not a good start. But just as I was about to give up he got to some research on implementation intentions and things really perked up. He had found some really good studies to talk about and I learned some new and useful things.

Unfortunately, he didn't give enough detail on the studies to allow me a sense of their quality so I'll have to find the original articles. He also was happy to rely on single, unreplicated studies, without giving any warnings. That's disappointing.

Although at one point stressing that resisting temptation and changing habits are not the same thing, the author soon returned to confusing the two!

Overall, not a great book, but the outstanding research talked about in the implementation intentions chapter added two stars to my rating and made it worth the Kindle price. if you're interested in that the you can get most of it by Googling for Peter Gollwitzer, the man behind the implementation intentions idea and a proper scientist.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How to avoid or eliminate bad habits while developing others that accelerate personal growth and professional development, 2 Jan 2014
By 
Robert Morris (Dallas, Texas) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
The material provided is based on what Jeremy Dean learned from recent and extensive research on (a) how and why we form habits that are both book and bad, (b) the range of timeframe that process involves, (c) why it is so difficult to sustain good habits and break bad habits, and (d) what all this reveals about human nature that will help us to accelerate personal growth and professional development.

In essence, good and bad habits are repetitive patterns of thought and behavior. With regard to the aforementioned research, Dean observes, "Three characteristics have emerged: firstly, we perform habits automatically without much conscious deliberation. Secondly, habitual behaviors provide little emotional response by themselves. Thirdly, habits are strongly rooted in the situations in which they occur. We also know that they can vary considerably in how long they take to form. Questions remain. For example, how much control do we have over our habits? Do we control them or do they control us? If we want to make a change, how easy will it be? Dean addresses these and other questions, citing research revelations and what -- in his opinion -- these revelations suggest.

Here is Dallas near the downtown area, there is a farmer's market at which several merchants offer slices of fresh fruit as samples of their wares. In that same spirit, I offer a few brief excerpts that (I hope) will suggest the thrust and flavor of Dean's presentation of material.

o "The problem for making and breaking habits is that so much is happening in the unconscious mind. Since the unconscious is generally like the Earth's core, impenetrable and unknowable, we can't access it directly. This means that deeply held goals and desires can come into play without our realizing. Not only this, but our conscious intentions to change prove too weak in the face of the behaviors we perform efficiently and automatically, with only minimal awareness." (Page 50)

o "What we know about how humans react to virtual environments is still in its infancy, but we can be sure we will be offered up new online services tailor-made to engage our habits. In the battle between intention and habit, we need to be able to work out who is winning: who is master and who is slave." (127)

o "Assuming you're motivated, the first problem for any creative goal is coming up with the concepts to combine. Psychologists have found that using analogy is one handy way of finding concepts to set up in opposition; unfortunately, good analogies are hard to come by. Think about Einstein's vision of a man falling off a roof; it seems simple once you're heard it, but taken in the context of the highly complex problem [i.e. how gravity works], it was a master stroke. The key is envisaging the problem in a way that makes analogies easier to pick out." (203)

o "Many great creative geniuses over history have identified their weakness and addressed it. Often, it's distraction...So if your mind wanders when you should be analyzing the details of your problem, then, don't worry, you're in good company. Just remember that all these great minds [e.g. Charles Darwin, Marcel Proust, Arthur Schopenhauer] had to find a way to balance their playful and analytical sides to develop truly creative habits." (212)

o " Making or breaking a habit is really just the start. To develop a truly fulfilling and satisfying good habit, it's about more than just repetition and maintenance; it's about finding new ways to continually adjust and tweak habits to keep them new; to avoid mind wandering and less pleasurable emotional states that accompany it." (227)

Frankly, although I have read and then re-read this book and appreciate the importance of the information, insights, and counsel that Dean provides, I still need to become much more effective in terms of developing and then sustaining habits that are in my best-interest while avoiding or breaking those that are not. At least for me, that process will probably continue until the end of my life. I agree with Aristotle: "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." I also believe that mediocrity, then, is not an act, but a habit. To a significant extent, our lives are defined by the consequences of the decisions we make...including decisions to do nothing.

It could also be said that our decisions determine patterns of attitude and behavior. In this context, I am reminded of Carol Dweck's observation that people tend to embrace one of two mindsets: growth or fixed. The former affirms almost unlimited potentiality; the latter denies it. That is what Henry Ford had in mind long ago when suggesting, "Whether you think you can or think you can't, you're probably right."

When concluding his immensely sensible, indeed valuable book, Jeremy Dean suggests, "The challenge is to work out which habits keep leading to dead ends and which habits lead to interesting new experiences, happiness, and a sense of personal satisfaction." Yes, it really is that easy...and that difficult.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not for the idle, 27 Mar 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Well worth the read.
I would have liked to have given 4 stars. However although the information is interesting and relevant it is never clearly summarised in the way I would expect of a presentation and argument of this nature. This is of even more importance when such 'text' books are to be read on a Kindle that despite it's annotating features is not as easily roamed for past references or remembered passages as a print copy.
Mr. Dean has, in my opinion, been let down by his Editor.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Horses for courses., 4 Sep 2014
By 
Julie Howell (Abbots Langley, Herts, UK) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
We all have different learning styles. For some, long chapters don't work. I'm usually one of those people. In so many ways, this book taught me that I’m not the person I thought I was. I’m not bound by habits I cannot break (and that includes my habit of telling myself that wordy books are intimidating, a habit I picked up in childhood and have used as a stick to beat myself with ever since). I loved this book as a read and I learned so much from it as a tool. I've achieved a lot of things in my career to date, but still I have habits that I fear are holding me back. Thanks to this book I now feel armed with realistic strategies that will help me to do something positive about them. Thank you Jeremy for your realistic advice and for the time and trouble you take to provide guidance that is backed by scientific research. As long as you keep writing, I'll keep reading..
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great ..read and apply book, 24 Jun 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this book to help with areas in my life that I was struggling with. What it did was help solidify what I already new and encourage me on to change. I think when you pay out for something you are far more motivated anyway to apply what you read..but maybe that is just me..
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars nice and simple!, 5 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
liked the simplicity with which the ideas are explained. I would recommend it to both young and old to better understand ourselves and what does and does not make our habits.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


18 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best influential book I've read in a long time..., 9 Jan 2013
I have tried to read many books in this genre many times, but I always get put off and lose interest because the psychological jargon always gets a bit too much and I end up losing interest. This book had me hooked all the way through. I found it almost by accident and I'm so pleased I did. It has definitely made me re-evaluate the things I do and why I do them and I can guarantee that there will be something in this book that we can all relate to. I couldn't believe how accurate many of the descriptions were and once I realised I was guilty of many of them, I'm so happy there was suggestions on ways to fix them. I would recommend this to everyone as I think we all have some bad habits we want to get rid of. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Only search this product's reviews