Sunday, 12 February 2017

Book Notes: "Change Anything: The New Science of Personal Success" by Kerry Patterson et al

Change Anything: The New Science of Personal SuccessChange Anything: The New Science of Personal Success by Kerry Patterson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I discovered this book while reading Psychology Today. The book has a simple premise: Identify your crucial moments (when you behave in a way you would like to change), then implement vital behaviours to achieve your desired change. But to do this, you need take into account the six influencers, covering the aspects of willpower and social and environmental influences, and stack the odds in your favour. The work states that there is a science to personal change, and it requires one to be both the scientist and subject. I draw many parallels here with Stoicism, in that the reader's attention is drawn to things within their control, and as scientist, there is a need to practice through trial and error until discovering what works for you. What I like about this work is that it draws on research conducted by the Change Anything Labs in Utah. It is not just a collection of snippets from elsewhere, but draws on the experiences of participants in the research. It sometimes reads like your typical self-help book, but the systematic way to bring about personal change provides a program that gives one the best chance of changing oneself for the better. The change subject areas hit almost everybody: losing weight, ridding oneself of an addiction, and improving one's relationship. The work is well-referenced and I can see myself returning to it again and again, as I had hoped when I first read a snippet of the work on Psychology Today. What I like most is that the book is scientific and supported by research, and it is inconspicuously Stoic in its approach. This has enabled me to take on board what needs to be learnt without my usual sneering at self-help books designed primarily to make the author rich or famous. The book also sets a standard in bringing academic work to the masses in a meaningful way, but without compromising the academic integrity of the work. In that, the work is very clever.



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