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57 Minutes: All That Stands Between You and a Better Life Paperback – 13 Jan 2012
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'What I love about 57 Minutes is that it crams so many critical life lessons into such a short format. The perfect introduction to Purpose and Growth in a style that's simple, memorable and do-able.' - Tim Robson, Life Coach & Founder, Coracle Learning
"After reading 57 Minutes, I found the courage to book a life-affirming trip alone to the other side of the world. 57 Minutes dispenses practical advice for life enhancement which can be put into place 58 minutes after you open the cover." - Joanna Miller, Writer and Founder of bespokeverse.com
Top customer reviews
How do I best use my time and my ideas? and how can I better use them if possible to enjoy my recreational time more and also improve my career/job happiness and therefore all round health and wellbeing? That is what I see in reading this book.
You can read this book cover to cover in under an hour, hence the title. Clever! A book to give you inspiration to manage your time and life more efficiently and happily that only takes 57 mins to read! So far so good. . .
The authors have researched and quoted other books (mentioned throughout) on the subject of living a more fulfilled life which means you don't have to go looking for them, they've done it for you! So they're not just touting their own ideas but spreading the word.
57 Minutes is split into thirteen what I would call 'life enhancement tools' and you are advised how to use these tools to potentially make your life better. The explanations are easy to understand and down to earth with real life examples given of these tools in practise. No professional gobbledygook mumbo jumbo here! Just the principles laid bare for real people. An example of one such 'tool' which I particularly liked is. . .
'Gather a personal fortune of experiences'
What they're saying is that personal experiences are so much more important in the big picture of life than. . .stuff! Material possessions come and go unlike emotions and good memories which will stay with you forever. An example of this tool put to use in my life would be this-
A few years ago I had several hundred pounds. I was just about to buy an all singing, dancing huuuge tv. But I didn't. Instead my son (who was 12) and I planned and bought some extra gear to climb/hike up the biggest hill in the UK. On the day, after four hours we were over 3,000 ft high and shattered! A flask of tea and cheese sandwiches later we walked down an easier route. The time we spent chatting up there and the views of the land I will never forget or my bust knee!
One thing that's struck me (not lightening!) a few times in my life is this (apologies in advance) I've been with two people as they passed away. They did not for one second talk about houses, cars, watches, jewellery or money they'd had during their lives. They did talk about family, love, friendship, people, places and experiences that stood out from all else over the many years. So yes, please do gather a personal fortune of experiences throughout your life.
I already had a tv by the way! :)
One more (and final here as I don't want to give too much away) tool In the book is 'celebrate'. Find reasons to celebrate the small stuff in life not just the big things. We do in our house! Any excuse and the bbq is going, log fire burning, my harmonica comes out (cover your ears now!) and much beer and good food is consumed by all. The last one was the Queens Golden jubilee and my sisters 40th is coming up so I'd better get making my world famous home made cheesecake! It's very more-ish! To celebrate promotes positivity and positivity promotes happiness and contentment. See! You want cheesecake now :)
Career-wise I noticed references to the three why's in here. You keep asking why? to the same question until you get to the root of the real answer also known as relentless root cause analysis. Where I work we use this very successfully but in here it's the five why's? another tool we use is 5s which stands for Sort, Straighten, Shine, Standardize and Sustain. You keep repeating this process over and over until you reach perfection (which you never will) but it will drive you forward continuously! Look up Yuzuru Ito and Achieving Competitive Excellence.
So, I've read this book a few times now and to be honest I'm probably already doing some of this stuff without even thinking about it. A lot of it is common sense but there are a few ideas in here that have given me a little inspiration for an ongoing project over the next 12 months. You can dip into 57 minutes as and when for ideas too. I'll get back and update my review when the outcomes of my ventures are known.
So in regards to rating this book. Because it's not all new to me I'm giving it 4 stars. If this was the first time I'd heard of these ideas it would be a definite 5. This is a great little book packed full of good advice for people with a can do attitude in life.
It's currently doing the rounds in my workplace and I think there's a little something for everyone in there! Well worth taking 57 Minutes out of your life to check it out.
Good luck to all :)
It's a quick read (as it is intended to be); easily absorbed, clear and concise text forming 13 chapters. Each chapter explains a focused life lesson which has been useful to the authors. Some of the concepts are relatively obvious and are mirrored in traditional forms of philosophy - but they are explained in plain English and translated into actions which can be carried out by a committed individual in modern society.
Take 'make time stand still'. That is the essence of living in the moment, being in the now, a concept familiar from a wide range of religions including Buddhism and Christianity. But it can seem like an impossible task if presented as a goal which is normally achieved only by hermits living in a Tibetan caves who spend 22 hours of the day chanting. Instead, 57 Minutes translates the theory into practical (non-religious) methods of enjoying what you do as part of your normal life, and building from there.
Although '57 Minutes' is a short book and quick to read, I suspect that to get the most out of it you would need to re-read it many times, perhaps getting an overview of the suggestions and then adopting one or two of them at a time until they've become incorporated into normal behaviour. The suggestions affect fundamental processes of how an individual engages with the world, and attempting sweeping behavioural changes on this scale would be challenging. Also, writing all of the suggested lists might drive you a bit bonkers - '57 Minutes' encourages the reader to define and strive for goals... and not everyone can describe their life goals so clearly. So unless you're already in a massive life crisis (or want to trigger one!), you might want to make haste slowly in adopting these practices.
Not all of the suggestions will suit everyone, and it won't be possible for some folk to reorganise their lives so dramatically. I can see how '57 Minutes' would be a real inspiration to creative types, frustrated adventurers, middle-managers and would-be entrepreneurs. They'll feel at home with the brain-storming, empowering, proactive buzzwords, which can get a bit overwhelming at times.
But for everyone, this book contains at least one core truth which - if the reader chooses to accept it - might make them happier in the long term. It's in the chapter called 'Gather a personal fortune of experiences', and if all of western society could learn to be a little less attached to objects, as it suggests, then we might all live better lives.
'57 Minutes' could provide a pathway for people who are at a stage in life where they're genuinely considering radical change. For everyone else, at least one or two of the suggestions could help to enhance their enjoyment of life. So if you're seeking answers then it's certainly worth an hour of your time.
The first thing to consider (clue in the title) is that the book can easily be read in under an hour and what's interesting is that you don't lose out on breadth of ideas or impact/recommendations. The book is easily broken up into chapters with each each chapter showcasing one key idea that the authors have used to great success whether in their professional lives or personal lives, in fact it is this mix that makes the book so refreshing. I won't say which one is my favourite but one of the ideas in the book is actually beautifully simple and is something I've already used to get some focus into my personal plans for the next few years!
Aside from the fresh and easy to access approach the book is well written, the ideas are all well framed, researched and perhaps most importantly being used by the authors and although I love the human behavioural type books (Bounce, Nudge, Freakonomics etc) you do sometimes spend a lot of time trawling through reams of evidence from various sources only to land back at one original simple idea.
Final point is that the authors wrap up each chapter with some great recommendations for getting these off the ground in your own life and summarise it all again at the end - they are determined that the reader be able to take whichever ideas do resonate and start making changes!
Good book, well worth a read and could be an great alternative for those boring work commutes