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Shift: 13 Exercises to Make You Who You Want to Be Hardcover – March 1, 2011
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About the Author
Takumi Yamazaki is a best-selling author in Japan. He has written ten successful business books that have sold a total of eight hundred thousand copies. A self-made millionaire, Takumi travels around the world giving seminars on motivation. He currently lives in Tokyo, Japan.
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Top customer reviews
In this book, you've got 13 exercises smartly packaged and ready-to-go. The exercises are likely to be well-received and bring forth positive emotions. The first part of each exercise is contemplative, and it is not advisable to rush it. I estimate each exercise to be optimally performed in 45 minutes, more or less.
There are thinking tasks that individuals write down and then use to interact with the small group. The exercises use some of newly popular insights common in motivation theory. Yet the idea is really to use group dynamics in a fun and engaging way to establish "the strongest influence" (page 117). Yamazaki uses the principle that people who succeed always belong to groups regardless of the field.
This book is a powerful toolkit for when you can facilitate small group activity. You can see why the author gets enthusiastic ovations in his native Japan per y-tube.
Yamazaki opens with a Prologue that defines self image - how we arrive at the way we perceive the world and our position in it. He then dives in an explores how self image is created, referencing the the conscious, the subconscious, and the unconscious. Then he guides us through the paths of 'shifting' our self image by explaining homeostasis (status quo) and scotoma (blind spots) as the markers that we have the ability to alter in deciding to become who we would like to be. The message is of course more complex than a sentence summary, but the reason Yamazaki succeeds is that he emphasizes how to understand our motivations and how to use those in a restructured way to convince ourselves that change is possible through our own work, our own decisions, our own facilities. 'You can create a new reality for yourself from this very moment. You can reset your life and move it in the direction you want....life is not the continuation of the past, it is the connection to the future. You can choose to change the direction it's going.'
He discusses our needs: physiological, safety, love, esteem, and self-actualization and suggests the following equation: 'scale of your desire + the desire itself = willpower.' To achieve this he recommends 'having a meeting with yourself every day' - a time to rewrite dreams and motivations and discover possibilities/probabilities. 'What you think happens. You make your own reality. When you think good thoughts, good things happen. When you write things down on paper they are more likely to happen.' Beyond these bits of simple sage advice the author provides examples of 'shifts' and exercises to perform alone or with friends. His book is like having a warmly friendly silent partner in the path toward achieving who we want to be. A solid book, beautifully written. Grady Harp, February 11
So, how does Takumi Yamazaki address the issue of motivation, and what insights does he offer? He begins by discussing perception and the roles of the conscious, subconscious, and unconscious in the way in which we see the world. Takumi Yamazaki discusses the status quo (homeostasis) and blind spots (scotoma) and how to recognise and overcome the limitations that both can impose on your desire (and capacity) to change.
`Live as though you already have what you want. Until it happens, just live as though it already has.'
Having identified barriers to successful change, Takumi Yamazaki provides thirteen exercises (some of which you need two or more people for), and seventeen techniques for increasing your perseverance.
The book is easy to read, and contains some good information and useful techniques for effecting change. Not all suggestions will appeal to for everyone, but I think that the real key is to consider the suggestions made and explore the possibilities that appeal at a personal level.
`All the answers are within you.'
For me, the best part of the book is within the seventeen techniques included to assist with perseverance. Many of these techniques could assist those who are seeking to increase their self-confidence. It isn't possible for an individual to completely follow each of the exercises in the book: some of the exercises require two or more people. This may be a drawback for some readers who prefer to work alone.
Note: I was offered, and accepted, an advanced reader copy of this book for review purposes.