Over the past few years, I’ve become engrossed in Non-fiction reads. While I’m not at the reading speed of Bill Gates, I’ve consumed a whopping amount of 33 books during 2019. It’s questionable how much wisdom I’ve retained from these; however, they’ve certainly provided me with a greater insight into life.
Recently, I read an article on Medium (cannot recall the link, but once I do I’ll link it) indicating the crap self-help books the ones you tend to find on airport bookshelves. Be aware of the books you buy especially the ones you’d expect to come across in an airport. It’s practically the same crap, regurgitated with little depth presented to you in these books.
I’ve tried to go off the self-help wagon until I came across many recommendations online to read “How To Have A Good Day” by Caroline Webb. The title sounds pretty generic and sounds like it could well be one of those airport books. Webb herself is a business consultant who presents findings on behavioural economics, psychology and neuroscience.
In contrast to other self-help books, this if full of depth. It’s a meta-analysis featuring work of many credible boffins such as Daniel Kahneman, Adam Grant, Johathan Hadit, Dan Pink, Schor, Locke and many more. My books are generally pristine; however, I’ve scribbled, starred and underlined so much text in this.
What Webb Covers
Webb covers everything from the science behind apology making, goal setting, dealing with difficult people, saying no positively, mental priming, conducting successful meetings, building real rapports and many more effective techniques relevant to our lives. While there is little to do activities in this book, she provides real-life and relatable examples. Allowing the combination of science and daily situations to trigger a different thought process in us.
I won’t go over every point of this book in general. However, Webb commonly refers to three things throughout the book which will help you understand her points better:
The Two System Brain-
Your brains activity occurs across two complementary systems
1 Deliberate and Controlled
2 Automatic and Instinctive
Deliberate and Controlled – This is the slower part of your brain, which can only process 3-4 words on the go. This system requires more energy to exhaust and is more of a rational system.
Automatic and Instinctive – Naturally, we use this system more than our deliberate one. This part of our brain uses heuristics (short-cuts) to navigate throughout our daily life.
Discover Defend Axis
Naturally, we’re always looking out for threats to defend against the rewards we discover. Our brains are triggered to go in defensive mode by very little, and we’re not at our smartest mode. Conversely, a dose of self-awareness and the pursuit of rewards can help revert our brain to discovery mode.
The Mind-Body Loop
The state of our bodies and our minds which are deeply entwined.
When I’m not writing on my blog, I’m writing for someone else or doing other work. Webb uses efficient techniques relevant to any profession. So much, I’ve now written them down in a separate journal to apply as many to my own life. I’d rate this book a 4/5 and recommend it to those wanting to improve their productivity and people skills.