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Shift: 13 Exercises to Make You Who You Want to Be
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on January 2, 2014
Shift: 13 Exercises to Make You Who You Want To Be is one of the best book in my life! PERIOD.
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VINE VOICEon March 8, 2011
Ring the bells if it's appropriate for you to use exercises from this book on a workplace training day, in your classroom or with a special interest group. Just don't expect to get far using this book alone.

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.
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Takumi Yamazaki is a best selling author in his home country, Japan. Reading and absorbing SHIFT: 13 EXERCISES TO MAKE YOU WHO YOU WANT TO BE suggests that very soon he will be a best selling author in the United States as well. His style of writing is spare, delicate, warm, and supportive. And unlike many other motivational writers he is grounded in creating solid psychological information about human behavior and turns that information into a mirror that allows the reader to read, observe, reflect and change - with complete ease.

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
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on March 4, 2011
The motivation we each need to effect change can sometimes be difficult to find. In this self-help book, Takumi Yamazaki provides thirteen exercises and seventeen techniques aimed at enabling you to obtain, retain or maintain the motivation you need in order to change (shift) your self-image so that you can become the person you want to be.
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.

Jennifer Cameron-Smith
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VINE VOICEon October 3, 2013
Motivation. I have it but sometimes I have a hard time finding it or retaining it. Takumi Yamazaki has written an easy to read and follow along book about how to Shift - make yourself into what you want to be, how you want to be. He talks about our subconscious and our consciousness - what you percieve and what really is. He talks about self-image. Act like you are what you want to be, and you will be that person.

There are thirteen exercises in the book that will help you change the place you are in your life and motivate you to take control. But once you have the courage and have shifted your self-image to get you on the right path, you don't want to fall off. You want to reach your goal and to do that, you need to stay motivated and approach the obstacles in your path in a different way - exercises that you will learn about in SHIFT.

I found this book to be very inspirational and easy to follow along. I did many of the exercises and I definitely need to work on my approach to different obstacles to get where I want to be. Did it motivate me? You bet! This is a great tool for any adult or young adult to better themselves and to help them stay motivated.
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Takumi Yamazaki is a best selling author in his home country, Japan. Reading and absorbing SHIFT: 13 EXERCISES TO MAKE YOU WHO YOU WANT TO BE suggests that very soon he will be a best selling author in the United States as well. His style of writing is spare, delicate, warm, and supportive. And unlike many other motivational writers he is grounded in creating solid psychological information about human behavior and turns that information into a mirror that allows the reader to read, observe, reflect and change - with complete ease.

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, June 11
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VINE VOICEon February 23, 2011
A few years ago one of the most tossed around phrases in psychological, religious, and educational circles was "paradigm shift". There were hundreds of books and articles about paradigm shifts. Our culture was going through a paradigm shift. If you really wanted to understand the world or if you wanted to understand what God was doing in the world or if you wanted people to like you better than they did, your paradigm needed to shift. The phrase remains, but like most buzzwords, it doesn't mean much anymore. Takumi Yamazaki's SHIFT is kind of like that buzzword: it sounds impressive and there is a grain of truth in the emphasis, but it isn't very grounded and won't stand the test of time.

SHIFT: 13 EXERCISES TO MAKE YOU WHO YOU WANT TO BE is a self improvement book. It provides 13 exercises a person can do to help a person's image of themselves "shift" so that they will have a better self image and accomplish whatever it is they want. Yamazaki talks about perception and how a person sees the world. He discusses the conscious, subconscious, and the unconscious. He also talks about homeostasis, or the status quo, and scotoma, or blind spots, and how a person can break homeostasis and overcome scotoma or use scotoma to improve one's self. These chapters are followed by a chapter on perseverance that includes 17 techniques. The book concludes with an epilogue that includes a few recollections from the author's own life.

I usually don't read many self-improvement books like SHIFT. They are usually filled with a bunch of psycho babble that sounds nice, but really doesn't have much substance. I tried to put my prejudice aside when I started reading SHIFT. I wanted to give the book a fair chance. The first part of the book was fine. Other than the constant comparisons between the ideas discussed and love, I had no issues with the book. It wasn't until the chapter about Scotoma that the flaws started to show. The second page of this section starts talking about avatars. According to the book, when people talk and communicate they rarely actually communicate with each other. Instead, they communicate with the avatars they have of each other. Not only that, but you rarely communicate as yourself, but usually have the avatar of how you see yourself communicate for you. In addition to this avatar business, there's an illustration to a game of children playing sharks in a sandbox, some more bashing on love, and a comparison of how we tend to think of our lives like tv shows. I sort of understand what the author is trying to get at with each of these concepts. However, there is no cohesion to them.

The author, Takumi Yamazaki, is from Japan and SHIFT: 13 EXERCISES TO MAKE YOU WHO YOU WANT TO BE is the English translation of the book he originally wrote and published in Japan. I can't speak or read Japanese, but I'd like to think that much of the cohesion of the author's intention has been lost in translation because if the translation is an accurate one, SHIFT is some crazy psychobabble to shift through.
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VINE VOICEon March 2, 2011
I had the pleasure of receiving a copy of this to review & distribute in a giveaway (so I wasn't able to keep it).

The book has several great points to it that are sure to help out many people searching for a way to improve themselves overall. I have to admit that I'm not always one for self help books because many times they tend to get a little condescending and/or use all sorts of psychotherapy lingo that can't help but distance you from the book. (I know that's usually the case with me.) What drew me to this book & made me want to review it was that the author didn't really pull either of those things with his writing.

The only issues I really had with the book is that (like another reviewer on goodreads put it) many of the exercises were more for those doing the exercises in a group and that sometimes the perspective that the author has is a little strange. Overall though, the author made a lot of sense- even when I didn't really want to admit it. (I initially was a little resistant to the "you choose not to do things" passage, but eventually I had to admit that he had a huge point.)

This book isn't going to be for everyone, but it is definitely worth checking out. I almost hate to give it away, as my mother & I both found things that we liked in this book!

(Book provided by publisher)

3.8/5
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on March 4, 2011
I have read so many self help books (figure I needed them) that I had seen many of the exercises (or variations of them).

Some of my favorite reminders included self talk like:

"It's not like me to..." rather than "I am always..."

Rather than say "I can't find time to do ..." Say "I don't want to find time to do ..." This drives home that how you spend you time is actually your choice.

And there was a chapter on Perseverance. "maintain a purpose in spite of difficulty, obstacles or discouragement" Mirriam-Webster

Like any "exercises" book - it would work best if you actually did the exercises.

Good book. One of the best collections of self help exercises I have come across.
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Takumi Yamazaki has written a very accessible book. This book can be understood by anyone. I found the concepts simple enough to put into practice and strangely while I was reading this book over a couple of days I really felt motivated to spring clean and to sort through a drawer of ideas and notes I've been collecting over what seems like a year. I felt that this book helped me reevaluate my life. I've been making some progress this week that I thought was not possible before. Like I learned how to make Kindle books. Takumi Yamazaki's book helped me realize that when I'm motivated I need to take immediate action. In this way I can see immediate results. This book is really about making your thoughts become a reality. It also explains how you don't even have to try if your subconscious desires something. The result will just happen naturally. Now after reading this book you might want to read books on The Secret or The Law of Attraction. Last but not least the author suggests that you write out all your worries so you can get them out of the way. You don't need anything negative clogging up your thought processes. I enjoyed this book and felt it had an influence on my life in a subtle way. It did help me get motivated and I think that is the point of the book.

~The Rebecca Review
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