How to Change Your Life in 59 Seconds - Richard Wiseman

My notes of the Peak Work Performance Summit session with Richard Wiseman, author of the book 59 seconds, Change your life in under a minute, The Luck Factor, Change your luck - and change your life and Quirkology, The curious science of everyday lives:

Positive thinking (visualizing your perfect self) achieves the opposite, and encourages people to be fatalistic: "I've tried, I've failed, there's no point to try anymore".

Visualization is a powerful idea, the important thing is to visualize the process instead of the end point. Visualize yourself doing whatever you need to do to achieve that goal. e.g. student focusing on revising, asking questions and working on his own instead of the piece of paper with the diploma, or if giving a speech thinking about walking up the steps and your opening line, not the standing ovation at the end.

We're all selling something, how to be more persuasive?

  • Get people to say Yes to multiples small questions before your big questions
  • Sit them in a comfy seat
  • Get people to nod their heads (do it yourself, people will mimic)

Knowing about these techniques makes you also more aware of when somebody is using them on you.

Benjamin Franklin mentioned that if you want someone to like you, rather than doing them favors you should ask them to do you a favor.

Start asking for something small, then your counterpart will more easily accept something big.

Being fallible and making some minor mistakes makes others like us more. If you come over as being too perfect, people won't like you. It's an effect you have to use carefully, though. Spotlight effect: if you make a mistake it will look much bigger to you than to others.

A lot of likability is driven out by mood. If you give someone a cup of coffee or take them out for lunch, they'll be in a good mood.

To fight against procrastination, tell yourself you'll work for just 5 minutes on the task. Our brain wants to get back to things that are left unfinished, so you'll be most likely to finish that task you were procrastinating on.

Thinking about your funeral: writing your eulogy will help you remind that time is short, and figure out if you are heading in the direction that you want to go towards. Think about what you would want your friends and family to remember you for.

Our belief about how lucky or unlucky we are in our lives are somewhat self-profecies. e.g. someone who believes is never lucky in getting a job will not prepare for job interviews, and thus doesn't get a job.

Show gratitude (think about the positive stuff that happened during the day), do something new or unusual. This transforms you from being a creature of habit into someone that becomes far more flexible and open to opportunities.

Whatever happens, realize it could have been worse. People who see themselves as unlucky will always think that things could always have been better.

Review my other notes from the Peak Work Performance Summit.