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Brainhack: Tips and Tricks to Unleash Your Brain's Full Potential Paperback – 26 Feb 2016
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"The self-help genre of performance-enhancing books is an increasingly crowded space. Heavyweight academic-style titles compete with flimsy motivational books that stretch thin ideas well beyond the space they deserve. Neil Pavitt s book Brainhack bridges this divide. It s relatively thin and tight editing means it moves along at a cracking pace with tons of good ideas on how to improve your cognitive abilities." (The Irish Times, March 2016) "A fun, engaging read that you'll love telling your friends and family about" (Woman's Way, March 2016) "Easy to read and highly informative, there's plenty of food for thought here" (PQ Magazine, May 2016)
From the Back Cover
"The user's guide your brain never came with."
--Ian Gilbert, Founder of Independent Thinking
100 BILLION NEURONS
100 TRILLION CONNECTIONS
AND YOU ONLY COMMAND 5% OF IT.
NOW IT'S TIME TO TAKE BACK CONTROL!
Hack into the secret power of your brain
In Brainhack, creativity coach Neil Pavitt gives you tips and tricks to re-programme your brain - developing the skills and insights that can transform how you think, solve problems and make decisions. This book will help you:
- Learn to think smarter
- Become more focused
- Discover creative approaches to problem-solving
- Generate ideas with innovative techniques
- Unlock your brain blocks
"A practical primer in the art of problem-solving. In 45 instructive 'brainhacks', Pavitt reveals how every one of us can make more of our brains."
--Patrick Collister, Creative Director, The Zoo - Google EMEA
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As well as giving "brain hacks to release your brain's full potential", it gives many inspirational ideas that would be helpful for encouraging children's development and behaviour as well.
A lot of the tips seem to aim at making the reader think about thinking differently, rather than laying out absolute, concrete and practical guidelines for changing inefficient patterns of cognition. That's a good place to start, though, and the book does a great job of raising awareness of the quirky ways in which our brains work (sometimes against us).
If you've read the likes of Thinking, Fast and Slow and other popular works on cognitive psychology, this is a nice summary of lots of strands of brain research, which could help put everything into useful context for life-hacking. Even if you haven't, there's enough to keep even the most casually interested reader marvelling at how our minds tick.
Essentially, this book has tips to help you get more out of life, through work, home, wherever. Its a book with ideas on how to be more effective, come up with more ideas, and enjoy your life.
With every book like this, the style appeals to some and not others. I really like this one. Its not a difficult read - but treats you as an adult. You don't have to read in a linear way - you can dip in and out, skip parts, there are even two pages at the back where you are encouraged to write notes. The book isn't about treating problems, but about has plenty of ideas to try. Not all of them will suit everyone - I'm still not sure I could stand in front of a mirror and give myself a confidence boosting speech.... but there are other ideas I know I already do. I always write up what I've done on Facebook in a positive way - and this means that when I look back at those days, my positive recollection is boosted over anything that might have not gone so well.
I would recommend this. Its a really interesting book, which doesn't preach, but if you only take one of the 45 tips, then it would be worth reading.
Each topic is presented in a breezy 'Researchers from X University did Y and found Z' style. Which is pleasant enough to read, but it doesn't actually amount to much. I found it a bit like how people talk about Chinese meals. After half an hour I felt empty and could do with more...
There are some fundamental problems with psychology research often not being reproducable - not being reliable, and often using a very unrepresentative sample (university students) from which to generalise results to the entire population, so it pays to take everything psychology based in the book with a pinch of salt right from the off. Then there is the problem of whether you might want to, or even be able to, apply the (not quite) 'hacks' to your own life. So far I have applied precisely none of them to my own life. Making the book nothing more than an entertaining read for me. But then, entertaining reads are worth something in their own right.
So three stars because it is written in an enjoyable style, but I wouldn't buy it. It is one to borrow from the library and then forget about once you have read it.
This implies that around 95% of our brain is doing nothing. Not so! A huge amount of our brain is required to process what our eyes see, or to keeps us balanced, or to control our perambulation - or any one of dozens of other things. Just saying!
Anyway, the book. It is a very interesting read that is perfect for dipping into. It contains 45 'tips and tricks' and even if some aren't that helpful, they still contain facinating information about the way we think, and the contents of our subconscious mind.
If you require help to generate ideas, or to get over a mental block, or channel your thoughts to solve a particular issue, then this book is of interest to you, and may help you resolve your problem/s.
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