Brain Changer: How Harnessing Your Brain's Power to Adapt Can Change Your Life Paperback – 28 Nov 2013
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A superb practical primer for thinking about thinking.”
Robert Burton, MD, author of On Being Certain and A Skeptic's Guide to the Mind
"Forget the self-help mumbo jumbo, DiSalvo boils down decades of actual research from psychological laboratories while giving us proven, scientist-approved tips on how to easily harness our maximum brainpower. From chewing gum, to writing our own obituaries to gargling with lemonade, you’ll be amazed by the many ways you can rev up that powerful engine puttering along in your cranium."
Jesse Bering, PhD, author of The Belief Instinct and contributor to Scientific American and Slate magazine
"David DiSalvo will change the way you think about your own thinking, and in the process provide you with practical tools for keeping life’s challenges in perspective."
Wray Herbert, author of On Second Thought: Outsmarting Your Mind's Hard-Wired Habits
"DiSalvo beautifully breaks down metacognition -- our ability to reflect back upon our own thought processes and, just as capably, lays out all the ways in which it can be sharpened for greater psychological well-being. An engaging and scientifically-grounded read."
Alice G. Walton, PhD, contributing writer to the American Psychological Association and Forbes magazine
"An awareness of the under-the-surface workings of your own brain helps you adapt wisely to challenging circumstances, and Brain Changer offers just such an awareness. Using anecdotes, diagrams, bullet points, and smart tips, DiSalvo shows you how to exert more conscious control over your own thinking processes for better problem-solving and decision-making. Great for psych students and everyone at an impasse in their lives."
Susan K. Perry, PhD, author of Writing in Flow and creativity blogger at PsychologyToday.com
I believe the greatest competitive advantage any professional can gain today is a better understanding of how to leverage brainpower. Not only has David DiSalvo opened up pathways that I never knew existed, more importantly, he gave me the power to see my world from a far greater, more inspiring perspective.”
Moe Abdou, founder of 33voices
"This eminently useful work illustrates the many ways that the human brain’s surprising neuroplasticity can be productively exploited. DiSalvo delineates simple but powerful ways to effect such beneficial cognitive/behavioral change."
Leon F. Seltzer, PhD, author of Paradoxical Strategies in Psychotherapy: A Comprehensive Overview and Guidebook
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Part 2 is a collection of 30 "tools" that are designed to help transform behavior and break through old patterns. The first he suggests is using the "Awareness Wedge." As he points out, other authors refer to a "tactical pause" or "contemplative pause" or even a "cognitive pause." But he comes up with a new term, the "awareness wedge," while perhaps more colorful, is not as descriptive, and is certainly unnecessary. Why reinvent sliced bread (to mix my metaphors)?
Some other tools are helpful ("Write Your Own Obituary"), and I used the gum chewing suggestion on my class before they took their first diagnostic. And the quotes are sometimes inspirational. After all, he quotes Seneca and Marcus Aurelius and Meister Eckhart -- how could he go wrong?
Part 3 is a collection of suggested books to read (both fiction and nonfiction) and movies to watch.
There are some great things to take away from this book, but mostly it made me want to go to his sources and read, for example, "Mindhacker" and "Your Creative Brain" and "The Developing Mind", all by authors he refers to quite a bit.
DO read WMYBH&WYSDTO, but skip this one. Or skim it quickly for the nuggets buried deep within.
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