Mirror, Mirror On The Wall “Who Is That Guy?”

July 25, 2012 by Bill Bradley


Title: Redirect: The Surprising New Science of Psychological Change

Competency: self-development, managing self

Who benefits: people with open minds

Consultant Usage: techniques for use by executive coaches, self-development trainers

What’s it about? I came across this book called Redirect.  It is all about self-insight.  I don’t know who they are talking about. (If you have no sense of humor or a sophisticated sense of humor, you need to know the opening sentences were a joke.  If you like the Three Stooges, you probably got the humor.  It is kinda like looking in a mirror and asking “Who is that guy?”.)

Actually, it is self-help book.  So I suggest that if you currently like who you are and where you are, you can skip this book (unless, of course, you are intellectually curious about this kind of thing.)

I was searching for literature on why 75% of all people think of themselves as being in the top 50% (not a real number, numbers vary by topic).  I was attracted to this book when the author semi-answered the question by stating that when something happens to us we often end up interpreting rather than observing what happens next … and often we don’t even know it.

We then enter a cycle.  And which cycle we choose is critical to who we are, who we become and what the future holds.  We are rooted in personal stories about ourselves.  Our scripts.  As events unfold we tend to slide into a pessimistic frame of mind called the Self-Defeating Cycle, or into a positive frame of mind called the Self-Enhancing Cycle.

As a college student and even in important parts of my work life I have lived with the effects of the Self-Defeating Cycle.  Fortunately for me I have turned many of my “can’ts” into “I don’t know how yets”.  But had I read this book years ago, I would have undoubtedly achieved more with less angst.

The book’s greatest asset is its simplicity.  Easy to read.  Relatively easy to do.  There is plenty of research and interesting stories to back up the suggestions/instructions.  It really is a self-help book that is helpful.

I liked the books.  So too did well known writers such as Malcolm Gladwell and Daniel Gilbert.  It has received numerous endorsements.  The author, a Professor of Psychology at the University of Virginia has also received numerous awards.

One caveat before concluding.  I read this book because at the moment I am interested in personal change and the book met my needs.  However, much of the book is also devoted to the broader topic of social change.  This may encourage you – or discourage you – from picking up the book.  But one thing I did take away from this reading is “It is always your choice.”.

Catch you later.

Bill Bradley (mostly) retired after 35 years in organizational consulting, training and management development. During those years he worked internally with seven organizations and trained and consulted externally with more than 90 large and small businesses, government agencies, hospitals and schools.

Posted in Engagement, Wellness

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