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on 1 April 2011
I'm a big fan of Prof. Wiseman and I really enjoyed this book. I found it inspiring and interesting and I particularly liked the "bite sized" quality of the advice given. As I read it, I thought "I'm definitely going to put some of this stuff into practice. My life needs a lift and this is just the book to help"

Fast forward now to the present day (as per the date of this review).

It is some 4 months since I read this book and I can honestly say that I have put not one bit of the advice given into practice. My life is just as it was 4 months ago! Is this the fault of the book? Probably not, as these self help books, inevitably, fall foul of human nature.

I did think that the fact that each nugget of information is based on the concept of only 59 seconds of application might make a difference to my lazy approach but no, this book has gone the way of all other self improvement reads that I have completed. It sits on the bookshelf mocking me.

Does this make it a bad book? Absolutely not, now rewind back to the start to see why!
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on 5 February 2016
Reading this is the start of your change.
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on 10 January 2016
Deals with working people. Does not cover anything for retirees which is what I needed. Does not cover non working people
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on 11 August 2013
I fell asleep several times whilst reading the first few pages ... no a very interesting read (YAWN YAWN YAWN!)
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on 9 November 2009
Wiseman basically takes a selection of other people's studies and lumps the into one book. Unfortunately, if you've ever read any other books loosely related to this subject you would have read most, if not all, of these studies before; a lot of them have been around for quite a while, and are fairly well known.
At the end of each chapter Wiseman gives you a quick debrief on what was covered, and that's pretty much about all he contributes to the material. I can't help feel this book is something Wiseman has put together to earn a quick bit of easy cash.
His writing style is jovial and light-hearted. He attempts to keep the reader entertained with a few jokes here and there, but he tries a little too hard a time and comes across more like a annoying children's TV presenter.
The format of the book is pretty ugly with a mixture of serif and sans serif fonts, and too much leading between lines, which I thought made it a little uncomfortable to read.
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on 23 July 2010
Before reading this book, which I bought as a part of an Amazon "bundle", I was somewhat sceptical about "yet another self-help book". However, once I had read the first few chapters, and carried out the very clear and simple exercises, I found that it really does deliver on its promises. It is a useful book for both sorting the wheat from the chaff as far as self-help advice is concerned, and for making a few small changes in your life that will add up to a big (and positive) impact on its overall quality.
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on 25 October 2011
If you don't want to buy this book, you can read this summary to get an idea of what is preached in the book.

When people can afford the necessities in life, an increase in income does not result in a significantly happier life. Part of the reasons is that we all get used to what we have very quickly.

Talking about traumatic experience does not help but writing does! This is because people tend to be more systematic solution based during writing.

You don't know what you've got till it's gone! It means you can re-create happiness by going out of the environment and entering it so that the joy of getting something first time re-appears.

Experiential purchase provides greater happiness.

If you want real retail therapy, help yourself by helping others.

In interview, likeability is more important than qualification and work experience.

Bystander effect - The more people who are around when a person is apparently in need of assistance, the lower the likelihood that any one person will actually help!

If you want maximum return for your investment (donation, act of favor etc.), ask for return favor quickly else recipient will forget it.

If you have a photo of a baby in your wallet, you are more likely to get it back if lost.

To achieve your aims and ambitions, there are four key techniques that will help you succeed: having the right kind of plan, telling your friends and family, focusing on the benefits, and rewarding yourself each step of the way.

Looking at greenery, plants etc. inspires creativity.

There is a strong link between anxiety and creativity. When people feel worried, they become very focused, concentrate on the task at hand, become risk-averse, rely on well-established habits and routines, and see the world through less-creative eyes. In contrast, when people feel at ease in a situation, they are more likely to explore new and unusual ways of thinking and behaving, see the bigger picture, take risks, and think and act more creatively.

To help reduce your heart rate and blood pressure in less than a minute, go online and watch a video of a cute animal.

Being in a group exaggerates people's opinions, causing them to make a more extreme decision than they would on their own. Depending on the initial inclinations of individuals in the group, the final decision can be extremely risky or extremely conservative.

People are far more likely to agree to a big request if they have already agreed to a small request.

People who are shown the options but then kept busy working on a difficult mental activity make better decisions than others do. When the going gets complex, the mind has only a limited ability to juggle a small number of facts and figures at any one time, and so the result is not so good. Instead of looking at the situation as a whole, the conscious mind tends to focus on the most obvious elements and, in doing so, can miss the bigger picture. In contrast, your unconscious mind is much better at dealing with the complex decisions that pervade many aspects of our lives.

People regret not doing something more than doing something wrong because in the former case, outcome what might have happened are many more compared to the latter.

Satisfier - stop once you found what you wanted.
Maximiser - carry on till you get the best deal.

Happiness is wanting what you have, not having what you want.

Praise children's efforts rather than their achievements.

People who visualize themselves taking the practical steps needed to achieve their goals are far more likely to succeed than those who simply fantasize about their dreams becoming a reality.
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VINE VOICEon 6 March 2012
Richard Wiseman is speaking to his friend Sophie, a 'bright, successful thirty-something' when she asks him what he thinks of the self-help industry. 10 minutes into his lecture about the scientific research into happiness Sophie stops Richard, points out she's a busy person, can he give her some genuine effective advice that could be implemented in under a minute. This book enlarges on that idea, a refreshing antidote to the avalanche of self-help literature that is at best misguided and at worst psychologically damaging. I really enjoyed it, finding out where I was going right, happy to be proved wrong and vindicated by many of my uneasy gut feelings that making life better for yourself surely could not be as easy as just visualising yourself thinner, richer, prettier etc etc.

Wiseman splits his book into 10 easy to read sections:

Happiness - the effectiveness (or otherwise) of postitive thinking, diarising, and gratitude

Persuasion - how to interact socially and successfully

Motivation - how to plan, overcome procrastination, and think yourself into motivation

Creatitity - destroying the myth of brainstorming, the effects of modern art and green plants

Attraction - seduction, roller coaster rides and the art of dating successfully

Stress - punching it out doesn't work, pets, reducing resentment and blood pressure

Relationships - Velcro, photographs and vocalising

Decision making - two heads are not better than one, how to make effective no regrets decisions, how to harness your unconscious and how to tell if you are being lied to

Parenting - the Mozart myth, baby names, effective praise and marshmallows

Personality - graphology, fingers and thumbs, pets, bedtime and OCEAN / CANOEs

And a conclusion, giving Sophie an answer: 10 techniques in 59 seconds
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on 5 April 2011
This book by Professor Richard Wiseman has helped me improve a lot of aspects of my life. Some of the self help in this book has worked instantly! Including mirrors in kitchen and plant on desk!
If your thinking about buying this book, then stop thinking and just buy it! It is a must read!
It covers a broad range of topics and can help anyone! There is something for everyone and more!
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on 9 May 2011
It's an interesting book which very concisely explains a lot of different theories to do with human reaction and interaction, and disproves a lot of myths regarding historic research projects. Will it change your life? Not sure; it made me consider things I hadn't previously but personally I haven't taken any action following reading it. However I'm planning on going back and re-reading the pertinent sections as it's there's a lot of information in the book.
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