Book Review: Triggers

Book reviews are an old friend, that I haven’t had the chance to visit in a while but constantly I’m reminded of them as the time passes.

Those who know me can attest to my skepticism for both self help and second hand books (both of which this book happened to be), yet I found myself drawn to the electric blue and shimmering gold cover and decided to take it home and give it a read.

Granted it took me a little over 2 years to actually read it, but we got there in the end.

First impressions

My initial thoughts on this book based on both the cover and the blurb, led me to believe that this book would enable me to identify triggers in a bid to initiate positive change within my personal life.

Within the first couple of chapters it dawned on me that this book was in fact geared towards those in high seniority leadership positions. Whilst I couldn’t relate to the examples outlined, there was one thing I read that stuck with me – the concept of ‘daily questions’.

Daily questions

Daily questions can be seen as an alternative to resolutions. This works by setting ourselves a specific set of goal orientated questions which we aim to review on a weekly basis. They key thing to note here is that that each question is scored 0-10 and starts off with ‘did I try my best to…” e.g: Did I try my best to eat healthily?

The simple change of phrasing, triggers a behavioural and emotional response, as we now feel that our goals are truly in our hands and require effort on our part to score 10’s across the board.

If we are continually scoring 0 on our daily questions, one could argue that we should just remove the specific goal in question, as clearly it means nothing to us if we can’t even be bothered to try our best to work towards it.

Trying our best doesn’t even have to mean going the full mile and actually eating healthily. It can manifest itself in smaller actions including, thinking of or even planning a healthy meal for later on in the week.

Whilst I wouldn’t recommend this book, unless of course you find yourself compelled to read it – I would definitely suggest looking more into the daily questions as I have found it to be pretty useful as of late.

Let me know your thoughts and if you have any books you would recommend me to read 🙂

The Memory Illusion

For as long as I can remember I have loved to read, so much so that my childhood basically revolved around trips to the library and my local bookstore.

Once I had reached to University, reading for fun was non-existent. Long gone were the days where I would curl up next to the heater with a hot chocolate in one hand, and my favourite novel in the other. Instead, this was replaced by a structured reading list featuring massive hardbacks about epistemology, Corporate governance and operations & quality management.

However, with my graduation ceremony taking place last year, marking the end of my University journey, I no longer had any excuses. I am only on book 3/10 for the year. Although I have a long way to go I am pleased with my progress so far. I have even started a Bookstagram (an Instagram for books). Sounds weird I know but it’s actually pretty cool.

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The Memory Illusion

The memory illusion by Dr Julia Shaw showcases various facts and examples on why we cannot trust our memories, and how we are tricked into believing events have taken place, when in fact no such thing has occurred. Most of the memories we have are not even ours. They are simply conjured up and based upon the memories of others, evidently going on to create somewhat of a pseudo-timeline.

This book started off quite slow and took a lot of effort for me to keep on reading, hence the reason why it took me around three weeks to finish it. However one example really caught my attention, this was to do with false confessions or what some like to call coerced confessions.

Dr Shaw touches on the judicial system, and how interrogations when conducted in a particular fashion, can manipulate the innocent into believing they are guilty; eventually going so far as describing how they carried out the supposed crime. This is what many believed happened to Brendan Dassey from Netflix’s true-crime documentary: Making a murderer. Brendan’s age and lack of education were two of the apparent reasons that made him susceptible to this type of memory illusion. Research has shown that those aged eighteen and under are four times more likely than adults, to confess to a crime they didn’t commit.

Another thing I have learnt is that multitasking doesn’t exist…Yup, you heard me right there is NO such thing as multitasking. Our brains just do not have the capacity to focus on more than one thing at any one time. Instead, we do a thing called task switching. This means that instead of completing two or more things simultaneously, our brain switches off completely from that task the moment we introduce another.

Although reading this seemed like a chore at times, I did enjoy some chapters of this book and managed to learn a little about myself in the process. If you would like to learn more about memories and their illusions then you can purchase the book here.