Changing your life in under a minute! My review of 59 Seconds by Richard Wiseman

I was given the book ’59 Seconds Think A Little Change A Lot’ (published by Pan Macmillan) as a present when leaving my job at the Police.

The giver of the gift has become a good friend over the past year or so, not just a colleague, and we often have deep and meaningful conversations.

My friend has become a great source of motivation and support with regards to pursuing my ambitions, notably because he is one of life’s creators of that brilliant thing: the idea.

Being around this sort of person evokes a similar feeling and I think that we all need to surround ourselves with more of these inspiring people.

Anyway I digress.

We worked with a leader who very much encouraged free thinking and healthy discussion to thrash out issues, promote creativity and ‘out of the box’ ideas.

We discussed ideals and ambitions, as well as frustrations within our workplace and often the conversation would turn to my efforts with the business.

The gift of 59 Seconds was very thoughtful; it’s very relevant to our friendship, working relationship and the personal journey that I’m on. Thank you!

The Author and Book

The author Professor Richard Wiseman (and he seems to be a very wise man) often made appearances in our musings over happiness, openness to change and creativity; why us humans can be very flawed whilst being able to achieve of great things.

He is a Professor in the Public Understanding of Psychology and speaks on subjects such as self help, persuasion and illusion. Other pieces from his hand include Quikology and Rip It Up.

This is the first of his that I’ve read but after doing some research, I like that he’s known for his studies into rather random stuff. I like random, I don’t know about you.

The book aims to dispel myths that have been created by generations of self help ‘tools’. 59 Seconds seeks to offer useful advice that can be implemented quickly. Professor Wiseman puts this down to the book being inspired by lunch with a preoccupied friend who wanted change but quick and effective.

Completely unrelated picture and no not Christmas. It's the view from the office yesterday morning!

Completely unrelated picture and no not Christmas. It’s the view from the office yesterday morning!

Over Christmas I got into the book and found very quickly that I was into what Professor Wiseman was discussing.

The book consists of 10 comprehensive chapters:

  1. Happiness
  2. Persuasion
  3. Motivation                           My favourite for useful tips
  4. Creativity
  5. Attraction
  6. Stress
  7. Relationships
  8. Decision making
  9. Parenting
  10. Personality

The impact and effects of the topic are introduced, followed by an explanation of scientific research and studies to support or defy common ideas/myths on the subject.

What I thought of the book

I loved it! I most liked that the book highlights the issues and misconceptions on the topic in each chapter and then it provides you with scientifically supported tips on how to improve on it.

For example in the parenting section, you’re not left with the sense that you’ve messed your children up because you’ve been praising them on achieving something.

The detrimental effects of doing this are highlighted by the scientific research but you’re then supplied with the suggestion that you praise children on the effort they put in. Therefore you reduce the fear of failure for your child because the work, and not the end result, is praised.

Happy little person

Plus I found the book easy to understand!

If you’re interested in psychology but don’t have a degree, have you suffered the following issue when trying to read books on the subject?

It seems that you either need a qualification in psychology or mind reading to work out what the authors are trying to say.

I’ve found myself in that position before, reading the same page twelve times and still not understanding a thing.

Normally confused by psychology babble? Me too!

Not with this book. I found it easy to understand because its explanations are simple as if written by a human. Imagine that!

I’ll be adding plenty of its hints and tips to my daily to do list, even those on parenting (despite not intending on having children for quite a while)! They’ll help with any interactions with young people (although they’re resilient, I think that it’s easier to damage a child than one would think).

Anyway back to the book.

My most book marked section is chapter 3, Motivation. I think I selected about four pages of actions that I’ll be implementing. Which chapters were most interesting or useful to you?


I’m happy to give this book a 5 star rating.

Five word summary: interesting, useful, concise, comprehensive and engaging.


About Kerry Leese

20 something who loves to travel from Northampton embarking on a journey of self discovery. Ambitiously working towards a career in broadcasting. In love with her Smelly Boy and getting up to some random stuff.
This entry was posted in Creativity, Inspiration, Motivation, My Interests, Personal Development and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Changing your life in under a minute! My review of 59 Seconds by Richard Wiseman

  1. Pingback: I am what I am! And that can only get better… | destinationvlog

  2. Pingback: Robert JR Graham » The Wiseman

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