Having read and reviewed several books from this author before (well one half of the duo) such as Sheconomics and The No Diet (do something different) Diet Book I picked this one up with alacrity. Well, to be totally frank and honest the publishers sent it to me precisely because I had reviewed the other two books, but in all truthfulness I think I would have bought it anyway! It chimes with much of my own beliefs and we all like to have our views confirmed!
It’s a different kind of read to the other two I’ve mentioned being mainly written by Ben, although Karen is a co-author. The premise behind No Diet is that our habits not lack of will power keep us chained to old possibly destructive ways of behaving. Flex takes this further and deeper, suggesting that by changing our habitual way of behaving, we can tap into our full potential and transform our life.
And this book gives you all the science so excellent for psychology students too!
Here’s an extract from Flex so you can get an idea of style:
Page 104: 40 What Does a Do Something Different Intervention Look Like?
We know that when people keep doing the same things it can make life at best boring and at worst troublesome. But habits also narrow our view. They blind us to the many other options that are available to us. Therefore a Do Something Different programme simply suggests different things to do each day. These switch off a person’s auto pilot and put them back in the driving seat of life. By making small daily disruptions to their everyday life they start to steer it down a different track. There’s no struggle, no gritted teeth to maintain their will power – just a grdual loosening of the habit-web that had a stranglehold on the person.
When a person starts to do something different they:
- expand their world
- break free of their comfort zone
- shake off the habits that held them back
- look at things differently
- open up to new possibilities
- see themselves in a new light
- allow new opportunities into their life and
- have different reflections about themselves
And here’s one example of doing things differently suggested by the authors:
- Shift Your Butt Day: Today don’t sit anywhere that you would normally sit. That’s at the dining table, at work, watching TV, or in a meeting.Triggers for unwanted behaviour often exist in our daily routines and the environment around us. Literally changing where we sit can mean we are not triggered to do what we would normally do in that place.
It’s not an especially light read and if I have one small criticism it’s that it occasionally feels like it veers between being a self help book aimed at individuals and a text book for serious student of psychology. Tabloid to broadsheet in one chapter – but that’s not necessarily a bad thing! The advice is sound and it works. You’ll also find lots of quizzes and self examining questionnaires in its pages which are helpful in understanding oneself and great for those who love them!
Overall I recommend this book to anyone interested in making serious changes, or in helping others make changes. It will have a place in my book list when training and be on my ‘useful resources’ table. Don’t expect to pick it up and dip in; it demands more from you than that but a thorough reading will pay dividends.
Flex. Do Something Different. How to use the other 9/10s of your personality, by Professors Ben (C) Fletcher andKaren Pine, published by University of Herefordshire Press ISBN 978-1-907396-54-0 at £8.99 Available from your library, good bookshops and from the University site
Posted on January 30th, 2012 by Jane