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74 of 79 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 59 Seconds: Part Two
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...
Published on 7 July 2012 by Renketsu Warrior

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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
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.
Published on 10 July 2012 by Smithy


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74 of 79 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 59 Seconds: Part Two, 7 July 2012
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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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58 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Want to change your life? It's easier than you think!, 9 July 2012
By 
Sam Woodward (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Rip It Up (Kindle Edition)
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As if, fake it until you make it., 15 Aug 2013
By 
Simon Laub (Aarhus, Denmark, Europe) - See all my reviews
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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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read!!!, 31 Aug 2012
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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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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, funny and useful, 29 Dec 2013
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This review is from: Rip It Up (Kindle Edition)
Saying "This book can change your life" sounds like an absolute cliché, but it can.

If you want to change your behaviours and improve your life, this book can help you do it.

Really.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars one time reading, 22 May 2013
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I don't understand why the author tells stories in simple and clear words, but the conclusions in awkward and difficult words or phrases which make one wonder what he is driving at.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A decent enough read but rather waffly, not one of his best, 22 Mar 2013
By 
J. Sawyer - See all my reviews
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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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A non-revolutionary but still useful thought, 18 Mar 2013
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The main idea presented in this book is that you can evoke an emotion by enacting a behaviour. For example, you can make yourself feel happy just by smiling.
Like other reviewers have already pointed out, this idea is not new, and I am surprised at the author's statement that "the idea has rarely made its way into the public domain". The saying "fake it till you make it" is part of popular common sense - hardly an obscure secret. So, despite the book cover's bombastic claim of a "radically new approach to changing your life", this book is really an elaboration of concepts and intuitions that have been around for a long time. I think it is important that prospective readers know this, so they can have reasonable expectations about the book contents. I must add that this type of exaggerated claims bring the book into the very class of self-help manuals which the author tries to differentiate himself from (ironic, isn't it).
I believe that the central idea of the book, mentioned above, is definitely worth disseminating, for several reasons. Perhaps the most important reason is the encouragement to take personal responsibility for one's actions and feelings. We do have the capacity to influence our own emotions. Solutions may not be as straightforward and conclusive as sometimes the author suggests they may be, but we are not completely at the mercy of chance or, worse, other people's control.
Another valuable effect of the book, in my view, is that it encourages the reader to reflect on the distinction between feelings, thoughts and behaviours. I think society has a lot to gain from this personal self-reflection.
An element which I find missing in this book is the importance of interpersonal relationships in shaping people's feelings. The author often presents someone's feelings in isolation: if you smile, you'll feel happy, if you sing you'll feel happy etc. However, more and more research has been accumulating pointing to the importance of interpersonal exchanges. For example, another reviewer has already mentioned the research on mirror neurones.
I will close my review with a question. Why do we need volumes of scientific research to validate observations that are common sense and available to everyone? I have some answers, but I'll keep them for another day (or another review!).
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Self-help advice you can trust, 20 July 2012
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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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