59 Seconds Summary By Richard Wiseman

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59 Seconds (2010) by Richard Wiseman is a book that outlines some handy tips and techniques to help you improve your life, all backed by scientific research.

In this book, you'll get the opportunity to discover practical ways to manage your time better, boost your creativity, create positive habits and even think more positively overall.

You'll learn how to identify the areas where you need improvement most, and then understand how simple changes in thought and behavior can easily revolutionize your life for the better.

59 Seconds is an accessible self-help guide that will teach you how to maximize every second of your day.

59 Seconds

Book Name: 59 Seconds (Think a Little, Change a Lot)

Author(s): Richard Wiseman

Rating: 4.1/5

Reading Time: 18 Minutes

Categories: Personal Development

Author Bio

The author of 59 Seconds, Richard Wiseman, is one of the most sought after experimental psychologists in the world.

A columnist for Scientific American praised him as "innovative" and he has been giving keynotes to companies such as Amazon and Google.

His books have all been extremely successful, with The Luck Factor and Quirkology being his most popular titles.

He continues to produce work that helps people make real-life change within just 59 seconds – hence the name of his book!

The Secret to Self-Improvement Is Easier Than You Think: Use Psychology to Tap Into Human Potential Quickly and Easily


You can learn how to use simple psychological tricks to improve your life in less than a minute with the help of ’59 Seconds: Think a Little, Change a Lot.’ This book takes you through hundreds of hacks that are backed by advances in psychology and technology.

These small changes can have huge impacts on all sorts of things, from your creativity to spotting liars.

Discover why the self-help industry’s obsession with visualization is misguided and how to use psychology to be more likable plus what one 19th-century French engineer discovered about working in groups.

Learn the best ways to hack your life in less than a minute with this book and put yourself on the path for growth.

With these techniques and hints, you’ll have no problem making big changes in a small amount of time.

The Secret to Landing a Job? Make People Like You

Nailing an interview can be difficult and stressful, but it doesn’t have to be.

Research has shown that likability is the key factor in landing a job, and there are some easy steps you can take to make sure you’re as likable as possible.

First of all, talking about interesting topics that aren’t related to the job itself and speaking highly of the organization can help make you more likable.

Maintaining a genuine smile throughout the interview also helps.

Another trick that has been proven to work is revealing your weaknesses right off the bat.

Psychology experiments have revealed that people who confess their mistakes early on in an interview are far more likely to be liked than those who wait until the end, so don’t be afraid to talk about your flaws!

Likability is Easily Attainable – Slip Up, Avoid Gossip and Praise Others to Improve Your Relationships


It’s no secret that it’s important to be likable in life, both in terms of interviews and social relationships.

According to Richard Wiseman’s 59 Seconds, even competent people can become more likable if they make occasional mistakes, rather than striving for perfection.

For example, President Kennedy shouldered full responsibility for the failure of the Bay of Pigs Invasion which made him come across even more positively.

As an experiment, the author had two actresses demonstrate a blender; one actress who performed perfectly and one who made mistakes.

The audience was far more sympathetic towards the actress with mistakes, because she had a more human side that people could identify with.

Moreover, avoiding gossip is also a great way to be seen positively.

In fact, according to Ohio State University researchers, if you talk negatively about someone else you will be perceived as having those same negative traits yourself!

So cut out the gossip if you want to be seen favorably.

These all go toward making people feel sympathy and therefore pave their way towards becoming likable – so keep up with every mistake and never spread gossip!

Visualization Is Not the Best Way to Reach Your Goals – Make a Plan and Share It

If it seems like everyone in the self-help industry is talking about visualization as the key to achieving your goals, it’s because they are.

But don’t be fooled – scientific studies tell us that visualization is not as effective as it claims to be.

In one study from the University of California, students who were asked to visualize how good receiving a high grade made them feel actually studied less and had lower exam grades than those who weren’t asked to do anything at all.

The researchers postulated that those who fantasize about success don’t prepare for setbacks and lack the determination needed to achieve their goals.

So what does work? Creating a plan.

In a study of 5,000 participants who achieved different goals from losing weight to quitting smoking, it was revealed that they all had one thing in common: they had each created a plan of action.

The best way to form this plan is to break down each goal into smaller subgoals and create a step-by-step process that leads you toward achieving them.

This will help make progress feel less daunting and will give you more motivation without relying on empty fantasies.

Tap Into Your Subconscious Mind to Increase Creativity and Innovation


Brainstorming might seem like the best and most effective way to come up with creative ideas, but the research shows that working independently is actually more productive.

Studies conducted in the 1880s have proven that when we work in groups, our collective effort declines as does our individual performance.

This is because we tend to share responsibility and accountability within a group.

Brian Mullen’s study at the University of Kent of Canterbury further confirmed this.

Mullen discovered that people who worked independently generated higher-quality concepts while also producing a greater number of ideas than those who worked in groups.

So if you’re serious about boosting your creativity, it would be wise to skip brainstorming.

Instead, focus on getting help from your subconscious mind by letting it take over once in a while.

Salvador Dali used this technique where he’d let his spoon drop onto the floor just as he was drifting off to sleep – his unconscious mind would then produce new painting ideas for him when he woke up again.

Psychologists from the University of Amsterdam have also suggested distracting our conscious minds so that our unconscious can do its job; play some puzzles or get lost in some other activity and let your thought process free-flow!

Enhance Your Creativity With Simple Changes to Your Environment

Inspiration for creative thoughts doesn’t have to be hard to come by.

In fact, a few easy changes to both your mind and your environment can have a dramatic effect on creativity.

Priming is one way to do this; it’s what happens when the environment you’re in shapes your mind and reactions, often without you being consciously aware of it.

For instance, researchers have found that people who are primed with thinking about punks, who tend to be anarchic and radical thinkers, perform significantly better on creativity tests than when they are asked to think logically about an engineer.

You can use priming yourself too; take some time to entertain ideas associated with a musician or artist whose lifestyle you admire, such as their behavior, lifestyle or appearance.

It’s surprising how much of a difference this can make when you’re trying od draw from creative wellsprings!

Likewise, surrounding yourself with greenery – such as plants and flowers – can also help inspire creative thought.

Doing so has been found to reduce stress and induce good moods which in turn foster greater creativity.

Research conducted at Texas A&M University even concluded that having flowers or plants around the workplace resulted in a 15% improvement of idea generation among male employees!

The Power of Benefit Finding: How We Can Find Positivity in Even the Most Challenging Situations


Focusing on the positive benefits of negative situations can actually make us happier.

This is backed by research that has been done at the University of Miami, involving over 300 undergraduates who were instructed to focus on either the negative or positive aspects of an incident that had happened in their lives.

The results showed that those who put their focus on what they gained from their experience found it easier to cope with their anger and unhappiness.

In extreme cases too, we have seen evidence that focusing on the positives can help people become more resilient.

After the 9/11 attacks in America, there was an increase in certain positive character traits such as gratitude, hope, kindness, leadership and teamwork.

Studies have even shown that physical illnesses can lead to increased levels of courage, fairness, curiosity, humor and appreciation of beauty – all qualities which bring happiness when embraced.

Therefore it is clear that focusing on benefits rather than negatives can be hugely beneficial for our wellbeing and happiness.

5 Simple Tips to Keep Your Relationships on the Right Track

If you want to improve your relationships, the first step is to watch your words.

Psychologist John Gottman has confirmed that for a couple to live happily ever after, there need to be five positive comments for every negative one.

That means showering your partner with affirmation and compliments – it’s such a simple way of showing them you care and letting them know that you appreciate them.

Other research has also suggested that writing about one’s thoughts and feelings related to their relationships can lead to stronger couplings.

Writing this down in a journal or notebook for just twenty minutes every day over three consecutive days allows couples to engage in more self-reflection time and sort out any issues before they cause real problems.

Finally, remember the power of using the word “but!” Even though we’re annoyed by certain aspects of our partners, they do have some positive qualities which we mustn’t forget; simply qualify any criticism with “but!” Once you understand how important careful wording is in relationships, you can effectively use it as an effective relationship booster!

How to Spot a Liar: Subtle Signs that Uncover the Truth

Spot a Liar

We all want to protect ourselves from being misled, and so understanding how to spot a lie is essential.

According to research by psychologists, if you know what you’re looking for, then it may be possible to detect a lie using psychology.

First of all, liars usually don’t seem any more stressed than those telling the truth.

This means that the big gestures or elaborate tales we expect from someone trying to cover something up aren’t reliable indicators of lying.

Secondly, liars can be difficult to distinguish just by looking in their eyes -they are just as likely to look you in the eye as those telling the truth.

Wrap Up

59 Seconds by Richard Wiseman is an innovative book that offers readers a way to make meaningful changes in their lives without taking up too much of their time or energy.

Through actionable advice and entertaining examples, Wiseman shows us how to become more creative, likable, successful in our relationships and more.

One of Wiseman’s key pieces of actionable advice is for us to write our own eulogies as a way to recognize our long-term goals.

He also recommends sending potential liars emails rather than talking face-to-face; the record of their words makes it less likely that they’ll deceive you.

Overall, this book is a great resource for those looking to improve their lives in small but meaningful ways.

With its easy-to-follow advice and entertaining examples, 59 Seconds is bound to help you take charge of your life!

Arturo Miller

Hi, I am Arturo Miller, the Chief Editor of this blog. I'm a passionate reader, learner and blogger. Motivated by the desire to help others reach their fullest potential, I draw from my own experiences and insights to curate blogs.

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