The Power of Self-Confidence PDF Summary

The Power of Self-Confidence PDF SummaryBecome Unstoppable, Irresistible, and Unafraid in Every Area of Your Life

You know that you can achieve much more than you have achieved so far – but you’re having second thoughts over how to achieve it?

You are probably just insecure and don’t trust yourself enough.

And Brian Tracy is here to teach you all about “The Power of Self-Confidence.”

Who Should Read “The Power of Self-Confidence”? And Why?

Well, it’s there in the title: if you have a problem with self-confidence, this book is one of the best ways to start tackling it.

In other words, if you see yourself in a negative light all the time and are often paralyzed by anxiety and fear, you are living an unhealthy life, and you must read “The Power of Self-Confidence.”

It’s basically the Vitamin C to your scurvy.

This book can help you find a better job, win few of the most important battles in your life, and even a more loving and caring partner – possibly even the (wo)man of your dreams.

It may sound fairylike, but self-confidence is nothing less – just think of all the mothers capable of lifting a truck to save their child or those short and fat guys who’ve landed a number 10 catch.

What they’ve got and you don’t is self-confidence.

About Brian Tracy

Brian TracyBrian Tracy is a legendary Canadian motivational speaker and the author of over 70 self-help books which have sold in millions of copies worldwide.

One of our favorite authors here at 12min, we’ve written a summary of many of them.

Some of the more popular ones (which we earnestly invite you to read) are “Eat That Frog,” “Be a Sales Superstar,” “The Psychology of Selling,” “The 21 Success Secrets of Self-Made Millionaires,” “Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life,” “Focal Point,” “Get Smart!,” “No Excuses!” and “The 21 Success Secrets of Self-Made Millionaires.”

Needless to add, we’ve featured some of them among our top sales books of all time and our top productivity books to maximize your potential!

“The Power of Self-Confidence PDF Summary”

Bruce Barton was an American politician and advertising executive.

Once, he said something you should never forget:

“Nothing splendid has ever been achieved excepted by those who dared believed that something inside of them was superior to circumstance.”

In other words, the people who have done the most extraordinary things in history are the people who believed that they are special.

Unsurprisingly, Brian Tracy has opted to start the “Introduction” to his book “The Power of Self-Confidence” – aptly titled “Entering the No Fear Zone” – with this very quote.

What follows are seven chapters written in Tracy’s famously simple and legendarily motivational language which, if repeated as a mantra, is capable of making you believe that you are the king of the universe while you’re brooming the spiderwebs in the corners of your bedroom.

And what better way to start learning about the hidden power of your self-confidence than finding out its foundations.

That’s what the first chapter is about.

The basic idea?

Self-confidence is just another name for positive thinking.

You won’t make it far if you see yourself in a negative light. You’ve got to build your personality around personal values and positive thoughts.

“There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so,” said Shakespeare.

And he should know.

Chapter 2 is titled “Purpose and Personal Power.”

What it strives to teach you is that you have much more power over how the world looks like than you’ve ever imagined.

The Law of Correspondence says that the outer world is just a reflection of your inner one. To that, the Law of Attraction adds that, consequently, you can change it by changing the way you think about things.

The Law of Concentration teaches you how you can do this. Finally, the Law of Substitution educates you how you can crowd out thoughts by replacing the negative with positive ones.

“Achieving Competence and Personal Mastery” is the title of Chapter 3, summarized well in Vince Lombardi’s epitaph:

“The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, no matter what their chosen field.”

In other words, if you want to reach someplace high, you better commit yourself to the idea and the goal.

Find your true place in this world and identify your own skills.

Then, you can start developing your talents and building courage and self-esteem.

Afterward, the sky is the limit!

Chapter 4, or “The Inner Game of Self-Confidence,” explains what happens inside your body when you stop worrying about things and start believing in yourself.

Yes – that means talking to yourself constantly so that you can stay on the right track.

“Capitalizing on Your Strengths” is the self-explanatory title of Chapter 6.

As we have told you numerous times before, your talent will never be enough. Especially, if you don’t really know your talent!

You may be the best pilot ever born, but will you ever find out if that sentence is true if you don’t hop on a plane and start learning the commands?

So, the first step towards capitalizing on your strengths is discovering them.

Then, choosing the right field where your strengths will make you unique and different than the rest.

Afterward, it’s all about knowing that you have chosen a job you like and a career you can be the best in.

Do that, and your self-confidence will come to visit your mind in no time!

Unsurprisingly, chapter 6 covers what will inevitably happen next: “Triumphing Over Adversity.”

You’re by now prepared for that bad moment on your journey – because adversities will inevitably come – but if you master just a few simple tricks more, you’ll also be able to overcome it in a whiff!

The most important thing is to develop the reality habit and understand that failure, rather than a bump in your journey, is a leader towards new heights.

This mindset will help you build a kind of character capable of persevering.

And that’s what great people are made of.

In fact, as Chapter 7 – “Self Confidence in Action” – points out, that’s one of the things great people are made of. You should base your life on three more.

Combined, these traits are called the four D’s of success and self-confidence.

And they are desire, dedication, determination, and discipline.

You’ll need nothing more.

Key Lessons from “The Power of Self-Confidence”

1.      Welcome to the No-Fear Zone, Nick Anderson
2.      The Secret Ingredient of Success: Self-Confidence
3.      Learn the 4 D’s of Self-Confidence and Success

Welcome to the No-Fear Zone, Nick Anderson

We know your name isn’t Nick Anderson.

Unlike you, Nick Anderson was a great NBA player.

He scored two out of three free throws for most of his career. But, then, he missed four key free throws. This made him doubt his ability to shoot well. And, from then on, he was never able to score more than four out of ten free throws.

So, what happened?

He just lost his self-confidence.

And this is exactly how the lack of it affects your life.

Do you hear that call?

It’s time to enter the no-fear zone.

The Secret Ingredient of Success: Self-Confidence

Self-confidence is the secret ingredient of success.

As Bruce Barton claims – quoted by Brian Tracy at the very start – everything great that has ever been created was made by someone who believed to be better than the rest of the bunch.

Some may say that that’s immodest, unchristian, and downright narcissistic.

But Brian Tracy says – it’s necessary.

The world is a jungle and only the ones who believe they can survive – actually do survive.

Learn the 4 D’s of Self-Confidence and Success

Self-Confidence and Success are built on four different foundations.

Incidentally, they all start with D, making us think that Brian Tracy has used the dictionary to create the mnemonic.

It all starts with desire – the thing that drives you the most and the thing you think about most often.

Dedication follows – you’ve got to remind yourself constantly that you’re in it for the long run.

Which leads us to determination – the willpower, the grit which drives you forward.

Finally, discipline – because nothing will ever happen if you don’t organize your time well enough to make it happen.

Like this summary? We’d like to invite you to download our free 12 min app, for more amazing summaries and audiobooks.

“The Power of Self-Confidence Quotes”

When you set more goals, try more things, engage in more activities, and explore more opportunities, your probabilities of success increase dramatically. Click To Tweet The foundation of self-confidence, the basis of boldness and self-assertion, is a deep inner trust, based on living a life of perfect integrity, and disciplining yourself to live consistent with your highest values in every situation. Click To Tweet In fact, the habit of setting and achieving ever-larger goals is absolutely indispensable to the development of ever-higher levels of self-confidence and personal power. Click To Tweet What one great thing would you dare to dream if you knew you could not fail? Click To Tweet There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so. (epigraph, via Willliam Shakespeare) Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Denis Waitley – a guy about as legendary as Tracy – describes his buddy as “the master in understanding and teaching self-enrichment.”

Regarding “The Power of Self-Confidence” he has this to add: “In this priceless book, he unlocks the key to your door of success and fulfillment—belief in your own potential. Internalize his wisdom, and you will surely realize your goals.”

And we – well, we have nothing to add.

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Many Lives, Many Masters PDF Summary

Many Lives Many Masters PDFThe True Story of a Prominent Psychiatrist, His Young Patient, and the Past-Life Therapy That Changed Both Their Lives

What if you have lived many times before, you just don’t remember it?

What if you can access these memories through psychotherapy and you can cure yourself of all your existing sorrows and phobias?

Who Should Read “Many Lives, Many Masters”? And Why?

“Many Lives, Many Masters” is a book that documents psychiatrist Brian Weiss’s journey of being a complete non-believer in supernatural occurrences, to a total believer in reincarnation and traveling back in past lives.

We recommend this book to everyone interested in past lives, in psychology, or is just in need of fresh and exciting experience in their lives.

About Brian Weiss

Brian WeissDr. Brian Weiss is a psychologist, bestselling author, and a speaker on many workshops and seminars. He currently holds his own practice in Miami.

“Many Lives Many Masters PDF Summary”

Be aware: what follows is a true story.

Doctor Weiss, the author and the narrator of the book is a classically trained doctor, following the traditional concepts of medicine.

Having a history of top university education, and has never in his life believed in reincarnation, channeling, and parapsychology.

I mean, what kind of a scientific doctor would believe such stuff?

Well, you are in for a surprise.

His story goes like this:

He is married, with children and teaches at the University of Pittsburgh, what else if not conservative psychotherapeutic techniques.

He becomes Chief of Psychiatry at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach, Florida, and during his posting, he meets Catherine.

Catherine is a beautiful twenty-seven-year-old woman, with a really messed up psychological health.

She is well educated (in fact she worked at the same hospital as Weiss as a lab technician), but she is against conventual therapy, which Weiss suggests for healing her anxiety, depression and severe phobias.

Catherine has an exciting story.

During her visit to a particular art museum, along with a man she is dating, she has a somewhat weird experience.

She hears the guide lecturing the group on Egyptian history, but she intuitively knows that he is wrong about specific points, and she corrects him.

But, this is not only her imagination: it turns out that all of the corrections are correct.

Catherine has never been particularly knowledgeable about history: instead, this knowledge comes to her as a memory of her past life.

So, she decides to undergo hypnosis.

Weiss thinks that through hypnosis he can understand what is going on and as a result, he can help her cure her panic attacks.

During the sessions, he finds a few childhood traumas, but working on them does not help Catherine in any way.

On the contrary – her panic attacks are worse than ever.

The next session, Weiss tries to get her even further back to her early childhood.

However, instead of doing what she is asked to do, she starts talking about walking around in a marketplace during the middle of the 19th century.

In her memory, in her story, she is not Catherine, but an eighteen-year-old girl named Aronda, who lives in a village far from water and streams, which gathers melting snow and uses it as drinkable water.

Weiss is confused. During his practice, he has never encountered a similar case, and he has no diagnosis for what she has told him.

He knows that she is not acting, that she is not inspired by religious beliefs since she is a Catholic and Christians do not believe in reincarnation.

Most importantly of all, he knows that she is not under the influence of any drugs.

The rest of the book Weiss talks about Catherine’s various lives. They are filled up with so much detail, and rich cultural and geographical knowledge that it is impossible that they are wrong.

Catherine changes genders, age, nationality, but she always meets people from her current life who has also reincarnated and is always an ordinary person.

Understanding her past life stories makes Weiss recognize that some of the anxieties and phobias in her current experience are caused by the traumas and violence she has encountered in her previous life.

A particularly interesting part in all of his experience was the moment her past life seized to exist. In this space, Catherine became quote philosophical and knew things she could not have known as a person.

This is the speaker or speakers that Weiss calls “Master Spirits” and believes are higher consciousness. Exactly these “spirits” instructed him not to tell Catherine about his discoveries since it might undermine the success.

In any case, after a few sessions, she was cured and could function normally.

Weiss tried the same approach with several different people, and it always worked, although he believes it is not an approach that will surely work with any kind of person.

Key Lessons from “Many Lives, Many Masters”

1.      There Is Not Much We Know About Our Existence
2.      Sometimes You Have To Look Deeper to Understand
3.      The Same Approach Does Not Work The Same For Everyone

There Is Not Much We Know About Our Existence

Although Dr. Weiss was a traditional psychiatrist and could not be further away from spirituality, he encountered a situation that questioned his believed and pushed him to think more about our existence.

In reality, there is not much we know about ourselves and the world we live in so we should be open to possibilities.

Sometimes You Have To Look Deeper to Understand

At times you have to look further at specific issues so you can understand its causes. The roots of some problems are not always visible, and you need to look carefully in order to find them.

The Same Approach Does Not Work The Same For Everyone

The same approach to a specific thing does not work the same for everyone that involves him or herself in it.

It is all individual, and it does not mean that if it were beneficial for one person, it would be beneficial for the other as well.

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“Many Lives, Many Masters Quotes”

Forgive the past. It is over. Learn from it and let go. People are constantly changing and growing. Do not cling to a limited, disconnected, negative image of a person in the past. See that person now. Your relationship is always alive… Click To Tweet Happiness comes from within. It is not dependent on external things or on other people. You become vulnerable and can be easily hurt when your feelings of security and happiness depend on the behavior and actions of other people. Never… Click To Tweet If you rely exclusively on the advice of others, you may make terrible mistakes. Your heart knows what you need. Other people have other agendas. Click To Tweet For truly we are all angels temporarily hiding as humans. Click To Tweet The reward is in doing, but doing without expecting anything...doing unselfishly. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

“Many Lives, Many Masters” is an interesting book that documents one man’s journey from nonbelief to becoming a total believer.

Reincarnation has always been such a big topic in this world, and now there is even a book that discusses it in depth.

So what are you waiting for?

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Get Smart! PDF Summary

Get Smart! PDFHow to Think and Act Like the Most Successful and Highest-Paid People in Every Field

The difference between you and the people that have succeeded achieving their dreams is not your IQ, but a simple change in perspective.

Who Should Read “Get Smart!”? And Why?

“Get Smart!” is a book that will open your eyes about what really being smart means, and will show you how you can achieve all of your dreams by just a simple shift in the way you look at things.

We recommend it to everyone who wants to finally stop comparing him or herself with everyone else, and accomplish anything they want.

About Brian Tracy

Brian TracyBrian Tracy is a writer, a speaker and a consultant with vast experience in business, economics, and psychology.

“Get Smart! PDF Summary”

There are times when you meet someone, and you cannot help but feel intellectually inferior.

In such moments, you probably even feel that you cannot do anything about it and that other people are more creative or better fit to do some job than you are.

However, you should not let yourself fall into such a mind trap!

Many of the people you consider brilliant are no smarter than you are – they are just using more of their potential than you do.

Most of us use just 10 percent of our brain’s potential. Just imagine what we could accomplish if we could just activate a few more percents of our brain’s power!

But wait, we have some good news for you: this can all be changed.

The potential is there; you just have to unlock it!

How do you go about it?

Well, the key is changing your perspective.

When you do this, you can see the big picture, and not just the details that can sometimes see limiting.

But, wait, what can you do to change your perspective, if you are used to looking at things a certain way?

The first thing you need to do is get in control of your immediate needs and start engaging yourself in some long-term thinking.

This will allow you to be a step ahead and know the consequences of every possible action you might take. In other words, you can see the situation you will be in if you take a certain step, and then consider what you can do from that situation and so on.

Those people that have “made it” in life, and that you consider smart, are actually taking calculated steps toward their goals. So, in order to be “one of them,” you just need to start thinking in advance.

Determine your end goal and then find out the steps you need to take in order to accomplish it.

Every decision in your life counts, so make sure you make the right ones – those that will take you in the right direction.

Stop rushing things and shaping all information to reach your conclusions. Instead, just take a step back in your thought process, and allow for the information to shape the ultimate fact that you come up with.

Especially when it comes to your future, decisions are important, and it is complicated to calculate all of the possibilities and chose the best one.

So, when you are making such a decision, consider every option and its consequences, and choose the one which you can visualize yourself in.

When it comes to looking at things, there are two ways you can go about it. The first way is when an achievement others have reached makes you feel envious, and the other way is to get inspired or be grateful for what you have.

The first way is a negative one, and will not take you very far. In fact, it will only block your success, since it induces stress and demolishes your self-confidence and motivation.

Many times you will be tempted to fall into such a trap, especially when you are not very satisfied with your current position. But, you have to understand that some things are out of your control, and those that are under your control can be changed.

We are not saying that you should avoid negative emotions – of course, when an adverse occurrence blocks your path, you will feel bad.

But, you have to get out of the “dark” place of negativity as soon as possible by looking at the situation as a lesson that helped you learn something.

The only way to be successful and happy in life is to be positive, flexible, and to think in advance.

Key Lessons from “Get Smart!”

1.      Strategizing Is The Key to Success
2.      Avoid Confirmation Bias
3.      Finding The Reason To Your Problems Will Show You The Solution

Strategizing Is The Key to Success

Most big things in life, if not all of them, ask for long-term planning, and so if you want to accomplish something amazing, you will need to learn to strategize and be patient.

Avoid Confirmation Bias

Your head is filled up with thoughts, and you need to find a way to quiet your mind and stop messy thinking.

Most of the time the easiest way is to look for information that will just confirm the conclusion you already have come in your head, but this is just a way to induce confirmation bias.

Finding The Reason To Your Problems Will Show You The Solution

Whenever you feel in a situation you feel uncomfortable in, find the reason for your unwanted position, visualize a better one, and work on thinking of the right steps that will help you accomplish whatever you want to achieve.

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“Brian Tracy Quotes”

Never complain, never explain. Resist the temptation to defend yourself or make excuses. Click To Tweet Successful people are always looking for opportunities to help others. Unsuccessful people are always asking, - What's in it for me? Click To Tweet You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude toward what happens to you, and in that, you will be mastering change rather than allowing it to master you. Click To Tweet It doesn't matter where you are coming from. All that matters is where you are going. Click To Tweet Look for the good in every person and every situation. You'll almost always find it. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

“Get Smart!” is a book full of useful advice that will guide you to using more of your brain’s potential, to be more successful and live a happier life.

By just a simple change in perspective and how you perceive things, you can turn everything that you used to see as a problem into an opportunity.

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The Game of Life and How to Play It PDF Summary

The Game of Life and How to Play It PDFLife is a game.

To progress to the “next level”, just like in any other game, you need to learn the rules.

Who Should Read “The Game of Life and How to Play It” and Why?

“The Game of Life” is a classic work, that has a huge impact on many people. Such is the case for a reason – it offers a playful perspective on life which promises that all of one’s dreams may and should come true.

We recommend it to all dreamers and lovers of popular psychology.

About Florence Scovel Shinn

Florence Scovel ShinnFlorence Scovel Shinn was a book illustrator and an artist with a passion for life philosophy and spiritual advice.

The Game of Life is one of the few classic texts that is considered to be relevant even today, after so many years.

“The Game of Life and How to Play It PDF Summary”

Life is not a battle. Life should not be a struggle.

It should be fun. It should be a game.

If you start seeing life as a game, you will understand that it also has some rules, that if you follow, will ensure you less stress, more happiness, and bigger success.

The author found that being a person of faith is much better than being a person of fear. He found the signs that showed him the path that he believed is the best to follow in the Old and New Testaments.

These concepts include the law of expectancy, the divine pattern, the law of karma, the law of substitution, the power of words, the law of use, the law of forgiveness, the law of love, the law of use, and the law of nonresistance.

The law of expectancy is created around the power of imagination. Imagination and the subconscious have the power to manifest things in your reality.

The divine pattern means that you should always ask for the right circumstances in your life, and not something specific since what you have in mind might not be the right thing that will make you happy.

Along these lines works the law of substitution as well. Many of us are not aware of what really makes us happy and satisfied, and thus do not know our true desires.

The law of karma means that whatever we emanate and give to the world, that is what we will receive. That is why this law is also called the law of cause and effect.

So, make sure you radiate positive energy, and you will get positive results as a return.

The law of non-resistance complements the law of karma. You should not focus on negativity and should not let negative events affect you and your feelings.

The power of words is immense. Be careful how you express yourself and avoid using negative words, since they have a huge manifesting power.

The law of forgiveness is one of the higher laws than the one we talked so far. Christianity, for example, is based on this law, instead of the law of karma, which means that people can redeem themselves, and save themselves from all unwanted conditions.

The law of love is one of the most powerful laws that exist. Everyone is created out of love and should live like that as well. Love is the ultimate power of creation.

The law of use puts emphasis on gifts. The author believes that gifts are the best investment you can make. It is logical – if you give something with positive thoughts and feelings in mind and heart, the law of karma will work for you and make you happier.

You must change your thoughts, the words you use, and finally your actions. Just changing your vocabulary with a more positive one is certainly a step forward, but you need to also show your positive thoughts with your behavior.

If you manage to attune yourself with these principles and laws, you can easily create a better reality for yourself and achieve the “square of life”, which consists of the four focal points that make up your life: wealth, health, love and self-expression.

You should not be doubting if you can achieve a total well-being or question yourself if you deserve it. Everyone deserves it. It is your divine right, and you should live up to God’s plan of your life.

Have faith that the best is coming for you, and it shall come. Love life and life will love you back. Give and you shall receive.

All of these things you have heard about before but you have not put too much thought into them. And yet, these lines contain the philosophy to a happy and fulfilled life.

If you are not living and acting as we described, it is time that you change it. It is the only way you can live up to your purpose.

Key Lessons from “The Game of Life and How to Play It”

1.      The Square of Life
2.      Happiness Is Your Divine Right
3.      Sometimes Your Desires Are Wrong

The Square of Life

Your life consists of four focal points that demand your dedication: wealth, health, love and self-expression.

Shaping each of these parts of your life the way you want to will ultimately result in a memorable and happy life.

Happiness Is Your Divine Right

Whenever you feel that you have to work for happiness, remember that you are born with the right to be happy!

Life your life filling yourself up with positivity and stop beating yourself up for every little mistake on the way.

Sometimes Your Desires Are Wrong

Many people sometimes have a wrong idea of what they desire. That happens when people try to find solutions to a final state they want to accomplish themselves.

For example, if you ask people what they need to be happy, most of them will say that they need money – although money has nothing to do with happiness.

So, focus on the end result, and let God, the universe, or however you may call it, show you what can satisfy your desires.

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“The Game of Life and How to Play It Quotes”

Whatever man feels deeply or images clearly, is impressed upon the subconscious mind, and carried out in the minutest detail. Click To Tweet Jesus Christ taught that man's words played a leading part in the game of life. By your words ye are justified and by your words, ye are condemned. Click To Tweet Many people are in ignorance of their true destinies and are striving for things and situations which do not belong to them, and would only bring failure and dissatisfaction if attained. Click To Tweet Whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap. Click To Tweet Every man on this planet is taking his initiation in love. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Do not be put off by the many religious references, if you are not a religious person – if you keep an open mind and see past the terminology, you will find a vast amount of useful advice that can potentially make you reconnect with your “divine” self.

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Plato at the Googleplex Summary

Plato at the Googleplex SummaryWhy Philosophy Won’t Go Away

Plato’s name is still relevant in the modern world. How can an ancient philosopher’s ideas still be applied to everyday life?

Who Should Read “Plato at the Googleplex” and Why?

“Plato at the Googleplex” is a book about contemporary issues that we encounter in our everyday lives, perceived through the prism of Plato’s questioning.

It explains his thoughts on ethics, love, and education, and shows the readers why his reasoning remains relevant even in a world where everything seems to be changing overnight.

We recommend it to all philosophy buffs as well as to those that want to find out the right questions that will lead them to the knowledge that Google cannot answer.

About Rebecca Newberger Goldstein

Rebecca Newberger GoldsteinRebecca Newberger Goldstein is an award-winning and bestselling author. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

She writes both fiction and non-fiction.

“Plato at the Googleplex Summary”

If you had ever taken a philosophy class in your life, you might have wondered why you are studying about the thoughts of people that do not belong in this time, and whose ideas are inapplicable in today’s world.

But is it so?

Indeed, some parts of the ideas of many philosophers are not suited and are hardly understood living in today’s democracy, but there are those parts that touch and explain perennial topics that will always be of importance.

Take for example, Plato.

His stand about the position of slaves and open sexism do seem barbaric from the modern day “democratic” perspective; we will not argue about that.

However, he has written several works in which he tackles the question of how we should live and how do we find out who we are.

Plato does not give many answers in his writings – instead he poses many relevant questions that people can use to question themselves and find the answers within.

Take for example The Republic. It is a text that wonders what kind of political organization of the society is the best. Of course, Plato did not know this for sure – we still struggle to find the answer after so much time tried and failed political systems.

Then, there is the Symposium which tries to reveal the meaning of love and all the responsibilities love brings.  

Now, why would we need advice from someone who lived so long before our time, when we have the knowledge of science which presents proven facts about this world?

Well, not all things in this world can be resolved by science.

Plato’s thoughts help people question themselves and the world and arrive at conclusions and answers on their own. This is also known as the Socratic method, which consists of posing questions to a partner to make him or her think and come to specific answers.

Did you know that this kind of teaching is still used in law schools when examining cases?

But Plato did not utilize questions just to make his subjects come to new knowledge – he also wanted to challenge their reasoning.

He believed that their knowledge is only useful if they can explain it, and if they fail at it, they are nothing more than ignorant.

Of course, Plato was affected by the time he was living in and the cultural norms during that time – that is why sometimes we do not entirely understand his thoughts.

However, whenever he did not agree with something he was not afraid to challenge and transform it.

So, in his dialogues, he problematized the values that were ruling society during ancient times, and that he found problematic.

One example is the way he decided to redefine extraordinariness, which was a goal for many people during his time.

People thought that strength and emulation of gods are extraordinary. However, he did not agree – he believed that exceptional experience could be achieved only by continually improving ourselves, the responses to our environment and our reasoning.

He also did not base his belief in the strength of gods – instead he based it on reason and continuous questioning.

Another thing that is interesting about Plato is that he made a difference between mass information and deep knowledge.

Just think about it, googling something may give you information, but it will not make you an expert in a field.

Also, what such mass knowledge will not teach people is what is actually the right way or the best way to live life.

Why is that?

Because t=such mass knowledge is rated not by its value but by the number of references on the web that it has.

Key Lessons from “Plato at the Googleplex”

1.      You Can Google Information, But Not Deep Knowledge
2.      Education Should Be a Basis for Further Adaptation
3.      Love, According to Plato is the Foundation of All Human Relationships

You Can Google Information, But Not Deep Knowledge

When you google things, you reach mass information, which is not the same as gaining real in-depth knowledge. Also, the results that appear in your search will not be the “best” but the one that had the most impressions. That is why the answers to the perennial questions lie somewhere else.

Education Should Be a Basis for Further Adaptation

We need to learn things, but we should not stick blindly to them. Instead, we need to develop a skill of critical thinking and thus adapt the knowledge we gained to our individual character.

Love, according to Plato is the Foundation of All Human Relationships

Plato believed that love is the basis for all human relationships. He did not think about romantic love only, but to love towards everything and everyone, with varying levels of intimacy.

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“Plato at the Googleplex Quotes”

If we don't understand our tools, then there is a danger we will become the tool of our tools. We think of ourselves as Google's customers, but really we're its products. Click To Tweet Children, who have so much to learn in so short a time, had involved the tendency to trust adults to instruct them in the collective knowledge of our species, and this trust confers survival value. Click To Tweet As Plato: We become more worthy the more we bend our minds to the impersonal. We become better as we take in the universe, thinking more about the largeness that it is and laugh about the smallness that is us. Click To Tweet Everybody makes excuses for themselves they wouldn't be prepared to make for other people. Click To Tweet How can those who possess all knowledge, which must include knowledge of life that is worth living, be interested in using knowledge only for the insignificant aim of making money? Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Philosophy is not dead.

All readers of this book will agree. Once you read what Plato did, you will understand why he is important so long after his death.

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The Blue Zones Summary

The Blue Zones SummaryLessons for Living Longer From the People Who’ve Lived the Longest

Do you want to know the secrets of living a long life?

The people living in the so-called Blue Zones might have the answer.

Who Should Read “The Blue Zones” and Why?

“The Blue Zones” is a book that will take you to the areas of the world where people enjoy a long and healthy life and will try to reveal their secrets to you.

We recommend it to everyone who wishes to know how to improve the quality of their life and extend their lifespan.

About Dan Buettner

Dan BuettnerDan Buettner is a bestselling writer who focuses on exploring the secrets of longevity. He is also a National Geographic Fellow.

“The Blue Zones Summary”

The world is a puzzle of different cultures and unique civilizations, each of which possesses its own customs and habits.

Among these civilizations, there are those that share a common trait – they live longer.

So, it is worth studying these areas in the world, called the Blue Zones, where people tend to live longer than anywhere else on the entire planet.

One of these Blue Zones is Sardinia. This Italian island was among the first ones that gained worldwide attention for the longevity of its inhabitants’ lives.

Studies conducted in 2011 showed that around one in 600 people of this region lives up to the age of 100. As a contrast, take the numbers in the USA which show one in 4000.

But, these numbers are not worth much if they do not show us the secret to a long life right?

We are getting to that just now.

There are, of course, things people can do to prolong their lives.

You might think that longevity depends mostly on genes, but if you are an advocate of this opinion – you are wrong. Research shows that only 25% of longevity is dependent on genes.

Then, what does the other amount depend upon?

Lifestyle.

There may not be any magic pills that can stop aging overall, but you can make changes in your lifestyle which will extend your life.

Or, in other words, you can stop all the unhealthy things you do that accelerate your aging and thus improve the quality of your life.

The people from the Blue Zones have one thing in common: they live naturally.

They spend time in nature, are physically active and mind what they eat.

Of course all of their diets are different depending on the areas they live in and the products available to them, but in general, they eat a low-calorie diet and drink plenty of water.

Do not worry; you are allowed to have some alcohol as well. In fact, red wine seems to help your longevity, since it is rich in flavonoids, just as dark chocolate and brightly colored vegetables and fruits.

Flavonoids decrease the chance of heart disease and some kinds of cancer.

When it comes to food, opt for a vegetarian or vegan diet. Fill up during the morning and afternoon and keep your dinners light.

Other than the body, you need also to have a healthy psyche.

Everyone who wants to live a long and fulfilling life needs to have a sense of purpose.

Did you know that many people die in the first year of their retirement?

It seems that living without a clear purpose can be harmful to you and that people need something to motivate them to open their eyes and get up in the morning.

When you keep yourself busy with your life plan, even after reaching a certain age, you will find that you will not have time for meaningless conflicts and stress.

Being busy will also help you provide more for your family, which is also a great factor in having a long life. Why?

Because if you do not have a family, who will take care of you?

Lastly, in order to have a longer life, people need to develop a sense of being part of a community.

All of the things we mentioned above lead to one thing you should avoid: stress.

Enjoy the moment, stop obsessing over the past and the future, take care of your mind and body, and get prepared to live a long and happy life.

Key Lessons from “The Blue Zones”

1.      The Right Lifestyle Can Prolong Your Life
2.      Eat Less, Drink More
3.      Your Psyche Matters

The Right Lifestyle Can Prolong Your Life

Studies show that a long life does not depend solely on genes but on your lifestyle. People who are living a more natural lifestyle, are moving a lot and are eating a healthy diet tend to live longer.

You should treat your body as a temple, and clean it from all negative influences and stress.

Eat Less, Drink More

Your diet is a part of your lifestyle, so of course, it has a huge impact on your aging. In order to slow down the process, you should drink more water, and eat less food.

Research shows that people living in blue zones eat a low-calorie diet, usually vegetarian or vegan, and drink plenty of water.

So, ditch the sugary drinks and replace them with fresh water. You do not have to drink water alone – a glass of wine from time to time has huge benefits as well.

Your Psyche Matters

Long life is not only about physical health but about mental health as well.

You have to live a life of purpose and focus on creating healthy family relationships that will keep you busy and not let you stressed out about small and insignificant things.

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“The Blue Zones Quotes”

Recent studies found bitter melon an effective anti-diabetic as powerful as pharmaceuticals in helping to regulate blood sugar. Click To Tweet Many age-related diseases are caused by an immune system out of balance. Click To Tweet I found that when you are depressed, that’s when you do something for somebody else. Click To Tweet The average American, however, by living a fast and furious lifestyle, pushes that accelerator too hard and too much. Click To Tweet This sweet potato—high in flavonoids, vitamin C, fiber, carotenoids, and slow-burning carbohydrates—is one of the healthiest foods on the planet. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

This book is fantastic. The best thing about it is that it includes a few blue zones in its research, situated in entirely different parts of the world.

Such revelation proves that some lifestyle behaviors lead to a longer life, while at the same time offering some different advice, empowering everyone to find what fits its interests the most.

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How to Be Alone Summary

How to Be Alone SummaryThe School of Life Series

During the past few decades, the world has irretrievably changed. At no time in history, humans have been better connected than today.

However, this has come with a downside. Namely, it’s almost impossible nowadays to be on your own; even though, it is one of the most important favors you can do to yourself.

That’s why you better listen to Sara Maitland as she tries to teach you “How to Be Alone.”

Who Should Read “How to Be Alone”? And Why?

If you can juggle well with your schedule – i.e., you repeatedly complete all your tasks on time and are still able to find some time to be alone – then you may find the wisdom this book offers a bit redundant.

However, since such people sound mythical in today’s world, we guess that this book should find a very broad target audience.

Because even if you don’t like to be alone, it’s essential to find out why that is not such a good idea. And If you do want to have some time for yourself, but you are incapable of finding it, then Sara Maitland’s manual is a good place to start as any other.

About Sara Maitland

Sara MaitlandSara Maitland is a British writer, celebrated both as a feminist author and an award-winning religious fantasy novelist. She considers feminism, socialism, Christianity, and friendship the bedrocks of her life.

Maitland debuted in 1978 with “Daughter of Jerusalem” which won her praise from the critics and the Somerset Maugham Award the following year. Since then, she has gone on to write six more novels, seven short story collections, and eleven non-fiction books.

In addition, she has also worked with Steven Spielberg on the 2001 film “A. I. Artificial Intelligence,” tasked with giving the original story “a feminist fairy-tale focus.”

Read more at http://www.saramaitland.com/

“How to Be Alone Summary”

We have never been more connected than now. And chances are – unless we devise some form of teleportation or planes flying at warp speed – not many things can happen to make us feel more connected in the future.

And that is wonderful!

Or, at least, it would have been if we hadn’t found a way to subjugate ourselves to connectivity! Come to think of it, as humans, we are exceptionally talented when it comes to transforming great inventions into time-wasters, addictions or nuclear bombs.

Remember educational Heinrich Böll’s short story about the relaxed fisherman and the photographer/entrepreneur we retold you here?

Well, Sara Maitland’s book is about that.

About how to stop feeling anxious when your mobile is in the next room. And about how to go on long walks or to the cinema with no company but yourself – and still feel happy.

You know, about – “How to Be Alone.”

Because solitude is not bad. In fact, if you want to become more self-aware or boost your creativity, solitude is essential. A century ago, Virginia Woolf begged men to give women a room of their own and a key so that they are able to write.

And they will thank you with masterpieces.

You know what happened?

9 out of the 10 bestselling authors last year were women.

So, solitude works.

But, why does it have such a bad reputation?

Why are you predisposed to think of solitary individuals as eccentrics and oddballs? Especially today, when we value individualism and uniqueness above all?

Philip Koch, in his book “Solitude,” claims that we got the word “predisposed” right in the previous paragraph. Like so many other things, disliking lonely people has a lot to do with evolution.

We got here because we decided not to be alone. Lonely people didn’t stand a chance in a thousand-year-long history filled with wars, wild animals, and natural catastrophes.

But, the past is past, and the present is not so bad.

And being alone – for no matter how long – will not make you less of a human than the other people. In fact, it may make you more.

Take, for example, Greta Garbo, who retired at the age of 35, at the height of her stardom, just so that she can experience solitude. And Henry David Thoreau went to the woods “to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life” for two years, two weeks and two days back in the 1850s.

Even better, take Anthony the Great, the father of monasticism, who lived alone for twenty years in the wilderness and didn’t go mad.

Want a more recent example?

Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo is a British-born Tibetan female monastic who looks much more enlightened than most people you know even though she lived 12 years alone in a remote cave in the Himalayas!

In other words, solitude can’t kill you.

On the contrary – it can make you a much more creative and an infinitely calmer person, an individual more in touch with oneself.

So, what are you waiting for?

Start spending some time with yourself!

Take few long walks in nature and listen to the birds chirping while the cool breeze caresses your cheeks. Expand your solitude gradually, starting with a longer bath and finishing with a solo adventure.

Daydream – first for five minutes and in a year for five hours! Because you did that as a child and because it made you feel wonderful back then.

It will once again.

Trust us.

We’ve tried.

Key Lessons from “How to Be Alone”

1.      Solitude Is Underrated
2.      Make a Long-Term “Alone Time” Plan
3.      Give Your Children the Gift of Solitude

Solitude Is Underrated

The world is nowadays more crowded and connected than ever. And it’s so noisy you can hardly hear yourself think.

So, they teach you that you have to stand out from the crowd. That you are unique and original. You know, that you have to be yourself to be a badass.

Then, how is it that when you see someone doing this alone, you’re instantly suspicious. Strictly speaking, an individual can be an individual only when alone. Otherwise, he’s part of a crowd.

Well, you know what?

Alone people are usually not lonely. On the contrary – they are self-sufficient enough that they don’t fear being alone. Unlike most of the folks around, they can spend hours and hours with themselves because they are interesting people and because, consequently, they are never bored.

When was the last time you felt that?

Make a Long-Term “Alone Time” Plan

If the answer to the above question is “about millions of years ago,” then you have to make an “alone time” plan straight away.

You’re like a heroin addict – you are hooked on phones and people – so, it won’t be easy. You can’t just sever your connections right away. It will make you look strange, and it will not have a positive effect on your health.

But, do it gradually. Take a longer bath. Turn off the notifications. Then your phone for an hour or two. Daydream. Take a solo walk somewhere in your neighborhood. After a while, go on a solo adventure in the mountains.

At a certain point, your solitude will result in something you’ve never experienced before: feeling one with the universe.

Paradoxically, you’ll hardly ever feel that among people.

Give Your Children the Gift of Solitude

Boredom is not such a bad thing when you’re a child. Because it passes quickly. After all, the world is so full of mysteries and wonders, that it’s almost blasphemous to say that you can’t think of anything to do.

So, don’t worry: you don’t have to engage with your children constantly. Supervise them always but leave them alone once in a while in the park or somewhere in nature. We know it sounds scary. It isn’t; it is necessary.

Asked what he would like to say to the young people of his day, possibly the greatest director of all times, Andrey Tarkovsky, sent a message which reverberates to this day. The subtitles are a bit poor, so here’s a better translation:

“I think the only thing I’d like to say is that they should learn to be alone and try to spend as much time as possible by themselves.

I think one of the faults of young people today is that they try to come together around events that are noisy, almost aggressive at times. This desire to be together in order to not feel alone is an unfortunate symptom, in my opinion.

Every person needs to learn from childhood how to spend time with oneself. That doesn’t mean he should be lonely, but that he shouldn’t grow bored with himself because people who grow bored in their own company seem to me in danger, from a self-esteem point of view.”

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“How to Be Alone Quotes”

You are one of those courageous people who want to dare to live; and to do so believe you have to explore the depths of yourself, undistracted and unprotected by social conventions and norms. Click To Tweet Running alone can allow you to hit the mute button on the world... and take full advantage of exercise's stress-busting benefits. Click To Tweet We declare that personal freedom and autonomy is both a right and good, but we think anyone who exercises that freedom autonomously is 'sad, mad or bad.' Or all three at once. Click To Tweet We know that solitude is almost a necessity for creativity and the development of a genuinely and richly autonomous sense of identity. Click To Tweet Remember that it is good for children to be bored sometimes. Children who are not continually provided with stimuli develop more active imaginations, a stronger sense of self-sufficiency and, probably, higher self-esteem. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

“How to Be Alone” is part of “The School of Life” series of books – which means that you can watch numerous related videos on YouTube, some of which sum up the reasons Sara Maitland offers as concisely and as appealingly as the book itself.

And that may be the only bad thing about this book: it’s too long for its sake. And, moreover, it spends too much time explaining why you should be alone, and too little how you can do it.

However, we feel that many people have forgotten why they should be alone, so even though we think that the title of the book may be wrong, we know that the content is not.

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If You’re So Smart, Why Aren’t You Happy? Summary

If You’re So Smart, Why Aren’t You Happy? SummaryYou are probably a smart person.

But that is not the same as being a happy person.

Do not worry; you are not alone.

Who Should Read “If You’re So Smart, Why Aren’t You Happy?” and Why?

“If You’re So Smart, Why Aren’t You Happy?” is a book about making happiness your priority. It offers useful tips that you can use immediately, to create a much happier life.

We recommend it to all readers since we believe that everyone deserves and should be happy.

About Raj Raghunathan

Raj RaghunathanRaj Raghunathan is a writer, editor at the Journal of Consumer Psychology and teaches marketing at McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas, Austin.

“If You’re So Smart, Why Aren’t You Happy? Summary”

Many smart people are not entirely happy.

And it all has to do with the seven deadly sins.

No, we are not talking about the deadly sins you know about from the Bible, but about the seven bad habits that are stopping you from being happy.

The first bad habit is devaluing happiness.

Huh?

Devaluing happiness?

Yes! People like to be happy, and yet they consistently fail to give happiness the attention and priority it deserves.

If you ask people to list their wishes, they will probably ask for more money, possessions, or love.

But think about it. Why do we want all of those things?

Because we think they will make us happy, of course.

Happiness is the final goal of everything we do, but we fail to recognize it and do not make it our top priority.

If you can prioritize happiness, then everything will be much better,

But to do that, you have first to be able to define it.

Everyone’s definition of happiness is different, though, so we cannot tell you what happiness is for you. You have to do the work yourself.

You can find your definition of happiness by thinking about the feelings you associate with it.

Is it love? Is it health?

Whatever it is, it is central to your wellbeing.

So, create a journal and write down all of those little moments that bring happiness to your experience.

Once you do, you will have a more clear picture of what makes you feel happy, and you will be able to bring more similar moments and events in your life.

The second sin is chasing superiority. As we already said, money is not what makes you happy – many other things may be the source of happiness, depending on the person.

And so you have to understand that the feeling of superiority will not bring you happiness as well. In fact, it will make you miserable.

Why?

Because in order to be superior, you have to measure yourself with those that surround you.

And there will always be someone who can perform better, so you will most likely at some point in life feel like you are not enough.

Instead of comparing yourself to others, pursue your very own flow.

What is flow?

It is an activity that will allow you to completely immerse yourself in it.

The third deadly sin is the desperate need for love.

All desires are healthy up to a point, and so is the need for love. Desperation for intimacy will result in neediness and insecurity.

Neediness and desperation are far from attractive, so the more desperately you seek for love, the bigger the chance that you will end up lonely.

The fourth deadly sin is needing to have too much control.

Having control over your environment and the people that surround you is impossible. That is why wanting to control everything will always ultimately lead you to feel unhappy.

The only control you can exercise is that of yourself and your inner world, so make sure you get it in order.

The fifth deadly sin is the distrust you show to other people.

You need to stop worrying that you will be let down and betrayed by others. The only way you can survive in society is by living in a group.

Stop distrusting, it will only fill you up with worries, and will never allow you to enjoy a connection to another human being.

Instead, be understanding and forgiving, even to those who did let you down in some way. Do not let yourself draw general conclusions based on an unlucky few instances.

The sixth deadly sin is being either too passionate or too indifferent about what happens in your life.

As we already said, the key to a happy life is learning to find balance.

Finally, the last sin is mind addiction, or what you may know otherwise as overthinking.

Overthinking blocks our intuition, and does not allow us to connect with our instincts.

To prevent yourself from overthinking, practice mindfulness.

The easiest way to practice mindfulness is through a focus on your breathing.

It may sound too simple, but the focus on breath does wonders.

Key Lessons from “If You’re So Smart, Why Aren’t You Happy?”

1.      Make Happiness Your Priority
2.      Define Happiness
3.      Too Much of Anything is a Bad Thing

Make Happiness Your Priority

Whenever you set goals, instead of striving to get material things that you think will make you happy, make happiness your top priority.

Define Happiness

No one can define happiness for you, so think hard what emotions you connect to the feeling of happiness, and find the events that create such emotions. Then, make sure you experience such events as much as you can.

Too Much of Anything is a Bad Thing

Too much of anything is bad, and the same goes for passion. If you are too passionate, you will become inflexible. However, be careful not to be indifferent as well. Find the balance in whatever you do.

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“If You’re So Smart, Why Aren’t You Happy? Quotes”

It is precisely because we tell our children what to value—money, value for money, status, beauty, power, etc.—that they learn to lose sight of what makes them truly happy. Click To Tweet It is precisely because past negative events become more positive in our memory that women agree to go through a second childbirth and authors agree to write a second book. Click To Tweet Devaluing happiness is because of medium maximization—the tendency to focus on the means to happiness, rather happiness itself. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

“If You’re So Smart, Why Aren’t You Happy?” is a practical guide that goes straight to the point of what makes you happy and what doesn’t. It is thoroughly enjoyable.

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Reality is Broken Summary

Reality is Broken SummaryWhy Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World

Games can change the world.

How?

Read on to find out.

Who Should Read “Reality is Broken” and Why?

Gaming is the talk of the town lately, and “Reality is Broken” offers an interesting view of it.

It explains how games work, why people find them appealing, how they influence our realities, and how people can use them to make an improvement in their lives.

We recommend it to all gamers, as well as to parents who are worried about their children’s gaming habits.

About Jane McGonigal

Jane McGonigalJane McGonigal is a researcher on game perception and game development.

She is an author, a Director of Games Research and Development at the Institute of the Future in Palo Alto, California and a creator of alternate reality games.

“Reality is Broken Summary”

Games have always been around. They just change forms – nowadays video games are what is popular.

However, many times we associate games with adverse effects that they have on human life and mental health.

Many people criticize violence portrayed in video games or connect games to procrastination and nonproductivity.

In fact, it is believed that the primary reason people play games is escapism, or the need to escape reality for an amount of time.

However, this reason is too simple to be true.

Then what is the real reason people get hooked on games?

Games offer people something that is not an integral part of the actual reality. Also, they feel happy when they play.

And, let’s not forget that if they fail, they people do not bear serious consequences.

Not all games are bad for people.

In fact, some of the games out there can help people immensely on the path to developing essential skills to live a more purposeful life.

What are we talking about?

Well, we all know that games are fun, right?

Then, why don’t we learn how to “gamify” mundane, hard or challenging activities, and thus make ourselves more prosperous.

People love winning when they are playing games, and they become competitive, which accounts for better results.

But making mundane tasks fun is not the only thing they can be used for. They could also be used for reaching goals much bigger than that and solving common problems.

Yes, you read right.

Just because games do not have a measurable material value, does not mean that they do not possess any meaning.

Take multiplayer games for example.

In these games, people feel that they are part of a community, which works toward a certain goal.

They feel connected and try to help their community out, just like they would do in reality.

Apart from meaning, games are fun!

The reality, on the other hand, can often be mundane and colorless.

But what if we told you that you could add the fun nature of games to reality, and thus color everyday routines.

The fact is that any task, no matter how small and “stupid” it may sound, can be turned into a fun game.

As we already said, when feeling like they are playing a game people get more competitive, and so the chances of completing the tasks are much higher.

And that is not all.

We already mentioned how multiplayer connect people.

Just imagine if people were connected for a shared goal of world importance. Nothing would be unsolvable, right?

Games wake up the collaborative nature of people and help them feel like part of a community bigger than themselves.

Moreover, it makes them take responsibility and “play” their role.

As a result, games can be used to accomplish seemingly impossible results together.

Now, we saw that people love playing games and the reasons they love them.

We also briefly covered the benefits that we as individuals could get from playing games, as well and the positive outputs we can produce for a better world.

However, one question remains.

It is not the question of how to make people play since people have always played and will always play.

The question is how to make people play the right games, that can yield the right results?

In order to make a truly significant change in the world, we need to get everyone to play.

Key Lessons from “Reality is Broken”

1.      Games Give Instant Gratification
2.      You Can Gamify Every Mundane Task
3.      Gamers Can Develop Skills They Can Use in Reality

Games Give Instant Gratification

People love games because they give instant gratification, unlike life. As a result, they appeal to us making us feel like we have accomplished something, which ultimately motivates us to achieve more.

Games also give optimism and hope, as well as a sense of excitement which keeps people going.

You Can Gamify Every Mundane Task

Knowing how games appeal to us, it is smart to use this information in order to excel in life. In other words, you can gamify whatever you do in life, in order to motivate yourself to accomplish it.

Thankfully, nowadays many games and apps allow you to do this, log in your accomplishments and get points, which makes the whole process a lot easier.

Gamers Can Develop Skills They Can Use in Reality

Perceived from the side, gamers may seem like they are using all their time gaming. However, gaming, like everything else, will be excelled after a certain amount of time spent doing it.

And when people excel gaming, they also excel the skills that accompany with.

The most important of these skills is collaboration, which is taught by multiplayer games in which groups of people work together to accomplish a certain task.

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“Reality is Broken Quotes”

A game is an opportunity to focus our energy, with relentless optimism, at something we’re good at (or getting better at) and enjoy. In other words, gameplay is the direct emotional opposite of depression. Click To Tweet When you strip away the genre differences and the technological complexities, all games share four defining traits: a goal, rules, a feedback system, and voluntary participation. Click To Tweet The opposite of play doesn't work. It’s depression. Click To Tweet What if we started to live our real lives like gamers, lead our real businesses and communities like game designers, and think about solving real-world problems like a computer and video game theorists? Click To Tweet Whether it’s money, grades, promotions, popularity, attention, or just plain material things we want, scientists agree: seeking out external rewards is a sure path to sabotaging our own happiness. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

We cannot escape the changes that occur in the world, and the trend of gaming is one of these changes.

Hence, it is essential to know all aspects of it. In life, there are no entirely good or entirely bad situations, so people should learn how they can adapt to changes, and use the positive sides of an occurrence to their advantage.

We recommend this book since we find it a good starting point for this process.

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Hardwiring Happiness Summary

Hardwiring Happiness SummaryThe New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm, and Confidence

What if you were not meant to be happy? What if your brain was programmed by evolution to be sad so that you have a better chance to survive the jungle of modernity?

Rick Hanson says: well, then we’ll just reprogram your brain. And our “Hardwiring Happiness” Summary features both his theories and his practical tips and tricks.

Who Should Read “Hardwiring Happiness”? And Why?

Most people see the glass as half empty – even when it’s full.

Why?

Because we’re all alike: we tend to focus on the negative. Neuroscience students can read “Hardwiring Happiness” to find out why. Regular folks should read it to find out how they can counter it. The optimists and the overall happy few out there – don’t really need any of our advice.

About Rick Hanson

Rick HansonRick Hanson, Ph.D., is an American psychologist and a New York Times bestselling author. He graduated summa cum laude from UCLA, and he is currently a regular speaker at few major universities and NASA. He is also a senior fellow of the Greater Good Science Center at University of California, Berkeley.

Hanson’s books have sold millions of copies and have been translated into more than thirty languages. In addition to “Hardwiring Happiness,” he is also the author of “Buddha’s Brain” and “The Neurodharma of Love.”

You can read more at http://www.rickhanson.net/.

“Hardwiring Happiness Summary”

Have you ever noticed how difficult it is to spend a whole day without having at least one negative thought?

No? Really?!

Well, then, probably you have what scientists unscientifically call “the happy amygdala.” In other words, that part of your brain which deals with emotional responses and decision-making processes is practically hardwired to focus on the good stuff.

Your computer breaks down while you’re working on your thesis and you lose a couple of hundred pages – hell, you say, repetition is the mother of learning! Your team loses in the NBA final after its opponents’ superstar drains a half-court shot in the last second – that was a great shot, you exclaim! And you are not even wondering whether a glass is half full or half empty! To you, the most important thing is that any glass is always fillable.

Needless to add, if you have a “happy amygdala,” you don’t need “Hardwiring Happiness”; you have biology on your side, and no book would ever beat that.

However – and unfortunately – most people have a “sad amygdala.” Which isn’t too kind to our bodies, releasing cortisol and adrenaline and other unhappy chemicals presumably at will. If you’re feeling anxious and edgy, well, take a number: you are just one among billions of unfortunate people hoodwinked by evolution.

And you do need “Hardwiring Happiness” to make things better.

Because, the good news is, your brain develops with every passing year – and you can steer its development in the direction you want the most. Biology and your early life didn’t result in your amygdala stimulating the nucleus accumbens?

Well, why don’t you start learning how you can do it yourself?

Take a lesson from the London cab drivers. According to a 2000 study by Eleanor Maguire, most of them have an overdeveloped area in their hippocampus. You’ve guessed it – it is the one most related to spatial memory.

So, the reason they remember streets much better than you is simple: they have unconsciously trained that part of the brain for years and years. What do you think will happen with your abs if you made at least a hundred sit-ups day in day out for twenty years straight?

Well, the same is true for your brain as well!

Then, why are so many people so sad and stressed out nowadays? How did they all manage to train their brains in such a misguided manner?

Once again, it’s got a lot to do with evolution. We – and we can’t overemphasize this fact – are the last in a long line of survivors. Basically, we are here because our ancestors were stressed out of their socks! And because if they hadn’t consistently focused on the bad stuff, they might have gotten the dirty end of evolution’s stick.

In other words, it wasn’t a good idea to be relaxed if there was a saber-toothed tiger in the cave a hundred meters away from you and your family! It was much better to be stirred up by even the slightest rustling of a leaf.

The problem?

Even though the danger is no more a tiger, but a deadline – your reaction has remained basically the same. That’s right: you are overreacting. By definition.

So what should you do to face this and put an end to your evolution-based inherent negativity bias?

What else: counter it with positivity. A lot and lot of positivity. As powerful as it is, “positive thinking is very superficial,” says Rick Hanson. You need to “take in the good,” that is internalize it deliberately in your implicit memory.

Really – almost anything will do. A nice dinner, a walk in the park, a discussion with a friend, a memory Experience it once again with all your senses. Savor it. Think about it every time you’re feeling bad.

Let’s just say that a few years from now, your amygdala will have a lot to thank you for.

Key Lessons from “Hardwiring Happiness”

1.      It’s Not You: It’s Your Amygdala Which Is Sad
2.      Internalize Positivity and Counter Your Negativity Bias
3.      Take in the Good and Transform Your States into Traits

It’s Not You: It’s Your Amygdala Which Is Sad

It seems that at least few modern scientists believe that your sadness isn’t psychological, but biological. Namely, the amygdala – the part of your brain which deals with emotional responses, decision-making, and memory processing – has been trained by evolution to be negatively biased.

In other words: it stimulates you to think of the worst. That way, the worst can’t surprise you. This worked well in the early days of the homo sapiens when there were a lot of bad things that could happen to our ancestors basically each and every day. However, it doesn’t work well now when the worst thing that could happen to you is not anymore an attack by a mammoth, but a missed deadline.

The problem is that you and your Neanderthal great-great-great-granddaddy (yes – we know that we need to include few more of those “greats”…) are reacting in exactly the same way.

Who would have thought: you may be sad by design!

Internalize Positivity and Counter Your Negativity Bias

Let’s face it – it’s not a good thing to learn that evolution built you sad. And we don’t need scientists who tell us that, right? We may have been better off without knowing this.

Well, Rick Hanson doesn’t think that way. In fact, he claims that once we learn this, we can finally start being happy. Because we just need to retrain our brain.

And the best way to counter the negativity bias we’ve inherited from our distant ancestors?

Happy thoughts. And not just positive thinking – Hanson says it’s too superficial. You need to act much more profoundly and internalize the positive thinking, transforming it into an inherent part of your memory.

How?

Just remember this acronym and stick blindly to it: HEAL. It stands for: having positive experiences; then enriching them; next absorbing them; and, finally, linking them with the negative material so that you can overwrite the latter.

Take in the Good and Transform Your States into Traits

What we just described above is Hanson’s elaboration on the idea of “taking in the good.”

Its central element is actually quite simple: take some time to enjoy the happy moments of your life. Experience them. Savor them. Don’t let them pass by you just because that’s in their nature.

Remember: your goal is to transform these “fleeting mental events to lasting neural structure;” or, in layman’s terms, to go from the few brief happy states of your existence into permanent traits of your character.

It takes a lot of work to do this. But, you can do it.

After all, it’s your happiness we’re talking about.

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“Hardwiring Happiness” Quotes

By taking just a few extra seconds to stay with a positive experience—even the comfort in a single breath—you’ll help turn a passing mental state into lasting neural structure. Click To Tweet Neurons that fire together wire together. Mental states become neural traits. Day after day, your mind is building your brain. This is what scientists call experience-dependent neuroplasticity. Click To Tweet The brain is good at learning from bad experiences, but bad at learning from good ones. Click To Tweet Mammals, including us, become friendly, playful, curious, and creative when they feel safe, satisfied, and connected. Click To Tweet Even if you, like me, have done things worthy of remorse, they do not wipe out your good qualities; you are still a fundamentally good person. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

After remarking that “if we understand the brain a little, we can take care of our lives a lot,” Mark Hanson, a Professor at the University of Oxford, wrote that “Hardwiring Happiness” is “a book to savor, to practice, and to take to heart.”

And, obviously, a lot is happening here: few interesting scientific theories, some even more fascinating studies, and numerous practical advices which may make a real difference to your wellbeing. However, the book feels a bit repetitive, and we feel that we agree completely with one Amazon reviewer who describes it succinctly as “40 pages of good info stretched out to 300.”

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