Monday, July 11, 2011

Change Anything - Review

Take a look inside, then get it at Amazon.
If you're interested in personal change, I can't imagine you'd find any clearer, more action-oriented resource than this one.  This book's unique take: not one, but six different categories of approach (based on the six sources of influence noted below) should be tailored to your own personal situation and temperament, then employed, monitored, and adjusted if you want the best chance at making any lasting change.

The authors draw on years of research in the field of personal change, in addition to their own current studies, to offer many ideas for how you can personally create your own actions in each category of influence.

What are these categories, these sources of influence?
* personal motivation - tap into your existing desires and wants
* personal ability - learn new skills to promote change
* social motivation - turn accomplices into friends that help you make positive changes
* social ability - use confederates to enable good choices
* structural motivation - directly link short-term rewards and punishments to your new habits
* structural ability - change your environment to one more likely to promote the change you want

One especially helpful process suggestion (one that's more of an attitude rather than one of their influence-based approaches) is this: Few people change any entrenched or persistent habit or pattern in one attempt, so consider yourself the subject of your own curiosity and make your responses the "data" for your own research. Take note of how you respond to each of your approaches, and keep adjusting after any backslide, not blaming yourself - or your lack of willpower - for lapses, but studying each one so you can adjust your strategies, knowing that you can indeed make any positive change you wish, if you persist.

FYI: I listened to the audiobook on CD, thanks to the generosity of Hachette Audio, and thought that the reader - co-author Joseph Grenny - conveyed the text engagingly and clearly.  On the other hand, I wish I had the hard copy for easy reference, so I'd suggest you sample the audiobook and perhaps consider a 'tandem read'.  One bonus of the either mode of the book: You get a month of free access to the tools and additional information on the ChangeAnything website via a special code within the 'text'.

My opinion:  I've already begun using these approaches to shift entrenched habits I don't want to keep into positive habits that support my own well being, my life desires, and all those whose lives I impact, and it's working.  Time will tell, but for now I feel nothing but gratitude that this book and its techniques came into my life.


Looking for the latest update on Kunta Kinte's harrowing experiences in the Roots Read-Along?

What a rollercoaster ride!

From the gasp-inducingly awful severing of Kunta's foot to his long recovery (and didn't we just guess that Bell would become a long-term part of Kunta Kinte's life when she saved him from the fever?) to his many years on the doctor's plantation, this section covers a considerable amount of time and psychological territory.  Although Kunta maintains his feisty personality, it's interesting to see that the influence of the fiddler and the gardener, coupled with his horrible crippling disfigurement and perhaps even his gradual adoption of English in place of his native language, have - over almost twenty years - influenced him to begrudgingly accept his lot in life, at least for the present moment.

I wondered whether his meeting with the other African man would trigger another escape attempt as Kunta revisited his own former identity, but not so far.  Instead, it looks like he'll pursue Bell in order to start an American family.

I'm interested to see what's next because it seems like right now Kunta is at another crossroads in his life and that if he does have children, he'll be at once honoring his heritage with children and - at least in his earlier view - undermining it by taking an American-born slave as his wife.


Want to join in or to enjoy Roots through the eyes of other book-loving bloggers?  Head on over to Booksnob to see what Laura and her Roots readers have to say!


Peter Shaw said...

Really Audio books are more popular then physical book,and its portability is brilliant then physical easy to carry and use thanks.

Booksnob said...

Hi Laurie,
I have read the Pox Party and want to read the second Octavian Nothing book but haven;t found the time yet.

I am reading a book today called Sugar Changed the World and it talks a lot about the slave trade and the slaves that had to work the Sugar plantations in the Caribbean and in South America. A great companion read to Roots, it has lots of pictures and maps. Definitely Usable in the classroom.

Laurie said...

Peter - Welcome, and although I don't know for a fact that audiobooks are more popular than ebooks and paper books, I do enjoy 'reading' on the go.
L - Thanks so much for the heads-up on Sugar Changed the World - I'll definitely look it up. The 2nd Octavian Nothing didn't appeal to some as much as the first, but I thoroughly enjoyed The Kingdom on the Waves, esp. as a fictional but well-researched glimpse at a little-reported aspect of the Revolutionary War war.

Mitch Kelly said...


This is a wonderful review. I'm glad that we were able to provide you with the audio. Thanks for sharing. said...


This is a great review of the book. You definitely captured the meaning behind the book and creating lasting behavior change.

The Team

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