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The Flinch [Kindle Edition]

Julien Smith
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (354 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Julien Smith has delivered a surprise, a confrontation, a book that will push you, scare you and possibly stick with you for years to come.

The idea is simple: your flinch mechanism can save your life. It shortcircuits the conscious mind and allows you to pull back and avoid danger faster than you can even imagine it’s there.

But what if danger is exactly what you need?

What if facing the flinch is the one best way to get what you want?
Here’s a chance to read the book everyone will be talking about, before they do.

What are you afraid of? Here's how to find out.


Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Julien Smith is a New York Times bestselling author and speaker who has been involved in organizing online communities for over 15 years, from early BBSes and flashmobs to the social web as we know it today.

Along with being the co-author of Trust Agents, one of the social web’s most recognized books, he is a contributor to GQ, Sirius Satellite Radio, Cosmopolitan, the CBC, and more.

Julien's work is often about leaning into discomfort and pain, into self-examination and discipline, intending both to provoke and unbalance. The lessons from The Flinch came from self-defense professionals, security experts, weightlifters, parkour practitioners, and more.

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Product Details

  • File Size: 863 KB
  • Print Length: 133 pages
  • Publisher: The Domino Project (December 7, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0062Q7S3S
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,951 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
80 of 82 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Face your fears December 7, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Take a cold shower. Even the thought of taking a cold shower is enough to make most people experience "the flinch", according to Julien Smith in this book. The flinch is the instinct which tells you to run, the reaction which causes you to refuse a challenge and prevents you from moving forward. It urges you to avoid risk and hard work, and it pushes you to choose the safe and easy options.

Some of the author's thoughts on the flinch:

* The flinch is why you don't do the work that matters, and why you won't make the hard decisions.
* Over a lifetime, those who listen too much build a habit of trust and conformity.
* Avoiding the flinch withers you, like an old tree that breaks instead of bending in a storm.
* The anxiety of the flinch is almost always worse than the pain itself.
* Flinch avoidance means your everyday world becomes a corridor.
* Train yourself to flinch forward, and your world becomes a series of obstacles to overcome, instead of attacks you have to defend yourself from.
* If you aren't willing to sacrifice your comfort, you don't have what it takes to make a difference.

It is hard to argue with the author's arguments. Many of our failures to act which we explain away as being part of our personality or wise choices designed to minimise risk are in fact little more than an ingrained lack of courage, a persistent failure to face up to our fears. The book provides a number of homework assignments designed to train the reader to avoid flinching, but it seems to me that the battle against flinching is one which lasts a lifetime.
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113 of 128 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's Likely You Won't Actually DO The Work December 7, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
Please know that I am biased. Julien and I wrote Trust Agents together, and we are writing another book due in 2012 together. But if you are willing to accept that I'll write this review for you, the reader, and not on behalf of Julien, my friend, then we can get along. Otherwise, skip and read what others will say.

The Flinch is a book of action. As such, I'm skeptical that you, the reader, will actually do the actions that Julien recommends, even though that's the big reason to read a book like this. But, let's say for a moment that you DO step into the icy cold shower or throw your coffee mug to the ground. Let's say that you DO learn what it means to take on the difficult work of reprogramming some behaviors that have been with you since you were a child. The rewards are phenomenal.

This book is brief. It is also free. But neither detail means that it's an "easy" read. Julien Smith is essentially challenging you to change your perceptions, alter your habits and reflexes, and then reap the rewards of doing this. It's a book that will push you to be brave. It's a book that challenges you to be more honest. It's a book that, if executed, will give you a chance at pushing ahead of those around you because you'll be facing everything with a much more open stance.

Please prove me wrong. Please do the work. Please dare to attack your behaviors and embrace the flinch.
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49 of 57 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
What is "the flinch"? Author Julien Smith explains: "It's a reaction that brings up old memories and haunts you with them. It tightens your chest and makes you want to run. It does whatever it must do to prevent you from moving forward. ... Whatever form it takes, the flinch is there to support the status quo."

Julien's thoughtful, zero-B.S., examination of this fear is well worth the download and read. The very fact he was able to give such a powerful force an instantly-recognizable name is worthy of your peepers, too. But let's not kid ourselves: Naming a fear makes it easier to identify and discuss ... but calling something "the flinch" doesn't provide much backbone in overcoming it.

Thankfully, that's what the rest of Julien's ebook is about.

I dare not reveal the steps Julien suggests to address and rise above the primal fear of the flinch ... or the simple yet revelatory "homework" assignments he gives readers. That stuff, you can easily discover on your own. However, I will promise that by reading The Flinch, you'll learn something about yourself ... and you might see that you have far more gumption than you ever imagined. Highly recommended.
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105 of 128 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars How to be a sociopath? February 22, 2012
By D Earle
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Or "The Flinch who stole Christmas" or "take as part of a balanced diet and program of exercise".

I found this both an energizing and totally disappointing book. It is based on the rather tired premise that we can all become "great people" if we just give up our quiet, comfortable lives and fight for what we want. But we held back by The Enemy, the primordial urge to flinch at the least sight of danger. (In several passages I could substitute Satan for Flinch and it would replicate sermons I had heard at Bible camp! Hence "the Flinch who stole Christmas")

Some of the advice is worth taking. If fear and anxiety is holding you back from your goals - there is some real gold in this book and some good things to try out. I did put the first two homework assignments into action. I was brought to an abrupt stop on about the fourth day when I slipped down the wet stairs running for the train and landed firmly on my butt. This is something I have never done before in my life. It occurred to me after this that the so called "Flinch" is neither enemy nor friend - it just is. It is that moment when you hold back and consider. That moment when you think before opening your mouth. The moment you pause before hurtling down slippery steps. To train yourself out of it is just as ridiculous as holding onto it regardless.

In my view, if you just follow this book, at best you will end up shadow boxing imaginary enemies and having little regard and respect for the people around you. At worst, you will rush head long into dangerous and potentially suicidal situations with little preparation or planning.

And by the way, the last three days have reminded me that pain sucks. Falling on your butt is something well worth avoiding and adds nothing of value to your existence.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Ridiculously funny in a not-supposed-to-be way
Ridiculously funny in a not-supposed-to-be way. The writing style sounds like author mixed Fight Club and Nike's "Just Do It" ad campaign...
Published 2 days ago by Les
5.0 out of 5 stars cold showers suck - but they don't kill you
A great way to explain why we have anxiety about things that prevent us from achieving or living. Very motivating book.
Published 5 days ago by Drnk
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Analogy of anxiety. Helpful.
Published 8 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Must read
Simply a great book!
Published 10 days ago by Thomas D Sullivan
5.0 out of 5 stars Embrace the FLINCH
Although I haven't quite embraced the flinch yet. I LOVED the idea of the book. And I try to keep it in mind in my day to day read. Read more
Published 21 days ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Nothing Extraordinary, but an Interesting Read
The first half of the book is a short, easy read that might help you realize when you aren't facing challenges that you may encounter in life and encourage you to deal with them. Read more
Published 22 days ago by dp
5.0 out of 5 stars I recommend this book for people who live the same life ...
This book makes you think. I recommend this book for people who live the same life looking for a change.
Published 22 days ago by Greg Edwards
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Its a great learning book
Published 27 days ago by Dachka Tondreau
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
Ok
Published 28 days ago by Dianne Rhoades
1.0 out of 5 stars useless
useless
Published 29 days ago by green
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