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The Winner's Brain: 8 Strategies Great Minds Use to Achieve Success

4.2 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews
ISBN-10: 0738213608
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Editorial Reviews


ForeWord This Week, 1/28/10
“An informative read for those who want to better understand their own gray matter.”

Harvard Mental Health Letter, May 2010
“[Drs. Brown and Fenske] have described a set of strategies for remaining mentally sharp even under trying circumstances. In their book, The Winner's Brain: Eight Strategies Great Minds Use to Achieve Success, Drs. Brown and Fenske outline an approach they derive from well-known psychotherapies and discoveries in neuroscience. The strategies they suggest can be applied in the clinic, the classroom, and the workplace.”

Bookviews, May 2010
“A combination science and business approach to enjoying achievement in your life…If you are looking to unlock your own potential, you might want to start by reading this interesting book.”

Tucson Citizen 5/13/10
“A book that is part popular-science treatise, and part self-help guide. It is crisply written and backed by meticulously researched facts.” 

800 CEO Read Blog, 5/4/10
“The book is filled with medical research, but also some great stories…Filled with examinations of decision making, emotions, focus, memory, and more, The Winner’s Brain helps us think differently about our potential and shows us how to act upon it.”

BBC Focus, June 2010
“There are nuggets of interesting research findings in here.”

“The Bookworm Sez” syndicated column, 5/14/10
“[Brown and Fenske] give their readers an easy-to-grasp tour of the brain and its basic functions, as well as a wealth of exercises to help grow neurons and ‘re-route’ them as needed…The hard-science approach that this book takes is useful to anyone who strives to overcome modern adversity in business.”

InfoDad.com, 5/20/10
“What gives Brown and Fenske’s book its value is less the list of factors than their suggestions on how to improve each factor in everyday life…[It has] some good, specific suggestions for improving brain health mixed in with a fair number of anecdotes.”

Los Angeles Times “Booster Shots” health blog, 5/29/10
“The authors know their audience. They liberally cite scientific studies throughout the book, but they are writing for a popular audience, not an academic one. They've juiced up their thesis with stories of well-known achievers…As writers of any good self-help book must, the authors make a convincing case that change is within reach…They offer plenty of tools to help anyone develop habits to better achieve life goals.”

Sacramento Book Review, 5/27/10
“Do you enjoy reading about neuroscience and brain function? If so this book is for you!...The authors do a good job of breaking down each win factor and discussing how to apply it daily.”

Las Cruces Sun-News, 5/23/10
“Drs. Brown and Fenske share some amazing conclusions about the human brain's tremendous capacity.”

FavStocks.com, 6/15/10
“Through interviews with celebrities and everyday folks, Brown and Fenske lay out a framework for unlocking your brain’s hidden potential…The Winner’s Brain teaches you how to get more out of your most powerful muscle. With the tips, techniques, and ideas in this book, you can get more out of your career and your money.”
Energy Times, June 2010
“If success is your desired destination, The Winner’s Brain provides a useful road map.”
Taste for Life, July 2010
“Translate[s] cutting-edge neuroscience into a roadmap for training your brain to perform at a higher level and increasing your potential for success—however you define it…[An] engaging book.”
Entrepreneur.com, 6/29/10
“Knowing there is some science behind the book makes it a bit more meaningful than the typical self-help book…An interesting mix of science and self-help, plus the authors sprinkle some great exercises throughout…If you are self-aware and emotionally balanced enough to know that you need a little motivation to focus on your resilience, memory and adaptability, then this might be the book you should pick up to help take care of your brain this summer.”
Metapsychology Online Reviews, 8/26/10
“Open[s] a needed window into the brain for the layman…The book's strength is in its simplicity, and that should appeal to many.”
Magill Book Reviews
“Brown and Fenske share technical brain research data in an engaging anecdotal style…Using their game plan to develop a winner’s brain can clearly help athletes, students, business people, parents, retirees, and others at any stage of life create success from the inside out.”

About the Author

Jeffrey Brown, PsyD, ABPP, a psychiatry instructor at Harvard Medical School, lives in Boston.

Mark J. Fenske, PhD, a former research fellow at Harvard, is an assistant professor in neuroscience at the University of Guelph. He lives in Ontario, Canada.


Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Lifelong Books (March 30, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0738213608
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,768,989 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
What enables some people to succeed in life, while others simply survive? Is our maximum potential predetermined, or do we have the capacity to push beyond what we perceive to be our limitations? The authors of this book say that the workings of the brain make the difference, and that it is possible to train the brain to perform at a higher level. How? By identifying and employing the same strategies as high-achieving individuals use to overcome obstacles and reach their goals.

Perhaps the key message is that `the brain is active and subject to change no matter what you do'. This provides an opportunity: `what sets the owner of a Winner's Brain apart is the desire and the know-how to take charge of the process.' The authors have identified five `BrainPower Tools' commonly used by successful people: seeing opportunities where others don't (`Opportunity Radar'); accurately gauging and being willing to take risks (`Optimal Risk Gauge'); being able to stay focussed on a goal (`Goal Laser'); possessing the energy to take action (`Effort Accelerator'); and being able to accurately assess one's strengths and weaknesses (` Talent Meter').

Of course, we don't all share the same goals, and we will each have different definitions of success. But whatever your goals, it is likely that one or more of the eight strategies listed below will provide the keys to greater achievement. The eight strategies ( `win factors' ) are: self awareness; motivation; focus; emotional balance; memory; resilience; adaptability and brain care. In this book, the authors give examples of how each strategy works and share techniques to enhance brain function.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm in two minds about this book. On the one hand I loved it and certainly got my money worth but, on the other I didn't learn anything of practical use that was new. Maybe that's an unfair statement since for years I have been a keen study of these types of books, and I am a demanding reader.

Back to the positive, this book was really well written and very interesting. I thought all the "tools" and "win factors" were very valid and certainly would help someone move towards success (see the table of contents for a summary). There were no Ra-Ra moments, instead there were solid and convincing scientific arguments which were new to me.

This discussion on what functional MRI's (and other studies) show about brain functioning were fascinating and really helped to illustrate and support the points made. They went into the right level of detail, good solid discussions without getting too long. As an example, I already knew that labelling emotions helped to calm myself down but I didn't understand why. The book gives an interesting discussion of a study showing how labelling emotions calmed down the amygdalae while brain areas involved controlling behaviour lit up. To quote "By simply labelling what they were feeling with words, they were better able to control the parts of their brain responsible for overreaction and call upon greater neural resources to help them stay in Emotional Balance'.

The other aspect I liked were the examples of people who demonstrate the "win factors" eg Whoopi Goldberg "the Queen of Resilience". Typically I don't enjoy these types of digressions, but they we un-usually well written and well integrated in this book.

If this is an area that is at all new to you, I would highly recommend this book.
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Format: Paperback
Note: I recently re-read this book, first published in 2010, and value what it offers even more now than I did then.

Opinions vary as to how much (on average) people use of their brain's capacities but there seems to be almost unanimous agreement among neuroscientists that it is possible to increase those capacities through a combination of mental and physical exercises, nutrition, and an increasing understanding of what the brain is, does, and can do. Hence the great value of this book. With Liz Neporent, Jeff Brown and Mark Fenske identify and then rigorously examine eight strategies that great minds use to achieve success (however defined) and what those with less-than-great minds can learn from them.

As they explain in the Introduction, "Our definition of Winners encompasses the usual conception: people who meet with extraordinary success in the particular aspects of life they value most...The kind of Winners we are talking about revel in the journey toward their goals almost as much as the destination itself, and they strive for the type of success that helps make the world a better place." This is precisely what Teresa Amabile had in mind years ago when offering career advice during a commencement address at Stanford: "Do what you love and love what you do because what you love is what you'll do best." Brown and Fenske include dozens of such Winners in this book, telling their stories that (whether they realize it or not) "illuminate the science and the theories" on which the eight strategies are based.
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Comment 9 of 10 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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