The best book summaries

Don’t have time to read books or classics get Passing Time in The Loo. Volume 1 covers: Literary Classics, Contemporary Muliticultural Classics, Quotes and Anecdotes, Biographies, The Best of Business and Leadership, Classics in Personal Effectiveness, Health and Fitness Advice, Word Power, Expanding Knowledge. In total over 150 books are summaries. And what brilliant book summaries. For example, I was impressed with one book so I bought it and speed read from cover to cover and there was nothing that they’ve missed in the summary. Passing Time in The Loo. Volume 2 covers: Dreamscapes, Realityscapes, Walking Back in Time (the drama of history), They Made a Difference, Poets and Poetry, Thoughts Worth Pondering, Fantastic Facts. Again over 150 top books summaries. I just wish they published it as ebooks or an app for the iPhone.

Read more about the importance of summaries

Summaries micro-trends


How books make us better people?

By reading Shakespeare – which has dramatic effect on human brain

They function to uphold social order and spread altruistic genes, according to evolutionary psychologists. While the romantic era helped us evolve into more virtuous beings, reading Shakespeare can boost our brainpower. Shakerspeare used a technique known as functional shift, which involves making an adjective or a noun into a verb. In The Winter’s Tale, heavy thoughts are said to ‘thick my blood’. Researchers at Liverpool University revealed this technique causes a spark in the brain activity, as we’re forced to understand what a word means before we comprehand the function of it within a sentence. Source University of Liverpool


The effect of functional shift on the brain. Credit: University of Liverpool

Why Reading Matters – BBC program – watch it here

How modern neuroscience has revealed that reading unlocks remarkable powers in people.

Science writer Rita Carter tells the story of how modern neuroscience has revealed that reading, something most of us take for granted, unlocks remarkable powers. Carter explains how the classic novel Wuthering Heights allows us to step inside other minds and understand the world from different points of view, and she wonders whether the new digital revolution could threaten the values of classic reading. It’s not available on BBC iPlayer anymore but you can watch it below on YourTube – [BBC] Why Reading Matters in 6 parts.

Part 1


Part 2


Part 3


Part 4


Part 5


Part 6


Malcolm Gladwell’s books summarised

“Indeed, Gladwell’s three lucrative theses are deceptively simple — even superficially simplistic.
His first book, The Tipping Point, noted that at a point of critical mass . . . things change, and that certain people have outsize influence in making that happen.
The second book, Blink, points out that first impressions and gut feelings matter.
And now his third, Outliers, makes the case that to be successful you need to work hard and have some lucky breaks. To which one could certainly say, “Duh”.

Read the article about Malcolm Gladwell in the TimesOnline

Read the best book summaries

ANLP Conference, London, 14 November 2009 – Top Ten Speed Reading Techniques

We’re presenting at ANLP Conference 13-15 November 2009, London
Sat 14 November 18.00 – 19.30 Top Ten Speed Reading Techniques

Learn the key techniques which turn ordinary readers into speed readers. Double your reading speed by the end of the workshop – and walk away with both the tools and the understanding to distil the knowledge and wisdom from the masters in less than a tenth of the time it would take with traditional reading. For more info on the ANLP Conference

Free app Stanza has more people reading ebooks on iPhones than on Amazon’s Kindle e-reader.

It’s official: The iPhone is more popular than Amazon Kindle. And not just in the obvious categories like listening to music, surfing the net or the other applications where Kindle barely competes. Now, the iPhone is also muscling into Amazon’s home turf: reading ebooks.
Stanza, an ebook reading application offered in Apple’s iPhone App Store since July, has been downloaded more than 395,000 times and continues to be installed at an average rate of about 5,000 copies a day, according to Portland, Ore.-based Lexcycle, the three-person start-up that created the reading software.

iPhone eBook Reader App - Stanza

iPhone eBook Reader App – Stanza

The future of speed reading e-books
Stanza, like Kindle, lets users download new content directly to their device. It has a snappy interface that allows readers to flip through a book simply by tapping the edges of the page and responds far faster than Kindle’s poky E-ink screen, which takes about a second to turn pages. And then there’s what some may call Stanza’s unfair advantage: the application is free, as are its many titles.

Download Stanza ebook reader for iPhone

Question about Photoreading: Steps of Photoreading, not speedreading?

We’ve received a question today – here it is with our answer

Q: Hi, My name is Andreas and I’m a beginner in photoreading. Can anyone tell me with details how I can photoread? Like exact steps and exact way of feeling thoughts and whatever he can help me with. I’m trying days now but I can’t remember anything from what I’m “trying” to photoread. I may asked many people but each one have different way of saying things so please if there is anyone out there who can fill me with information about photoreading (please don’t send me sites with “buying cds”… I’m broke:P)
A: Photoreading is very easy to do. Decide why you’re reading the book (your purpose – follow ‘SMART’ guidelines for constructing a purpose). Then just look quickly at every page of the book (one second) – doesn’t matter whether your eyes are in focus or not. The trick though is knowing how to retrieve the information and I can’t tell you that in 5 mins (which is why people run courses). But easiest way is to do all the other conscious speed reading techniques – if you want a free download of our 37 speed reading techniques go to – hope this helps. Jan

Confucius on books

“Friends are like a book: they open up the whole world for us. But they can be divided into good and bad. The right sort can help you, but the bad sort will bring you a great deal of trouble and may even lead you down the wrong road. Being able to choose your friends wisely is extremely important.” Confucius as interpreted by Yu Dan, author of Confucius from the Heart

NLP Meta-Programs and Speed Reading / Spd Rdng

An NLP modelling project by Tom O’Connor – NLP TIMES (NLP Videos and Trainings)

NLP meta-programs are perceptions and mindsets and behavioural patterns that operate at an other-than-conscious level. Meta-programs are filters through which we perceive the world. An example is an old maxim is the glass half full or half empty. By understanding and appreciating other people’s models of the world that may differ dramatically from our own we can learn how to do things better.

NLP meta-modeling of speed reading

NLP meta-modelling of speed reading

Modelling subject: Jan Cisek – Master Reader, PhotoReader, Speed Reader and Spd Rdr

1. Chunk Size: Global vs. Specific

Spd Rdng Student: Global
When spd rdng speed readers tend to go global and take in the big picture. The field of vision is broad and the area of focus tends to be on “Concepts” and “Ideas”, getting a Gestalt view. You sort for information at a global level. Global chunk style tends to lead to deductive processing and permits the speed reader to take large mental quick cuts through large volumes of information. There is quite a high level of generalisation. This differs significantly from a person who’s meta-program who is detail based. They will tend to focus on the low-level information, needing to acquire all the details and feel the need for multiple examples and overlapping of information before they feel they are comfortable with the material.

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Embrace change through education and self-improvement

Recessions are times of great change and sometimes upheaval.

People who struggle often do so because they cling to the past rather than embrace the ‘now’ and the future. It’s essential for us to stay on the cutting edge of innovation through a lifelong pursuit of education. The most successful people and entrepreneurs are those who are constantly reading, attending seminars, engaging with mentors, and exposing themselves to new ideas and adventures. What are you reading today?

“In a world that is constantly changing, there is no one subject or set of subjects that will serve you for the foreseeable future, or for the rest of your life. The most important skill to acquire now is learning to learn.” John Naisbitt

In a complex society, knowledge has come to mean knowing where and how to find out something, not just knowing.

Praise of s l o w – remedy to fast media?

Speed reading is about speed as much as about slow reading

With speed reading we create more time to reflect – our reflective intelligence is critical to learning and our moral standards. Read previous post.  In Praise of Slow – How a Worldwide Movement Is Challenging the Cult of Speed by Carl Honore one can learn the importance of taking time to reflect and slow down.

Both me and Nanette can read very fast when we need to. But we take time to read slowely – usually for pleasure. Novels, poetry, philosophy, etc lend themselves to reading slowely. Never before the balance between fast and slow was so important. Spd rdng is like driving a car – sometimes we use the first gear, sometimes the second, the third, the fourth, etc. Most people though read like they would read in the first gear. Speed reading is about changing your gears of reading depending on the context of your reading.

Reflective intelligence – AHA! moments

Can reflective intelligence survive in the fast media environment?

Following from the previous post about how the speed of Facebook and Tweeter are shaping our moral compass.

David Perkins (Harvard) thinks that reflective intelligence (RI) is the most important one to learn. It’s being aware of your learning and thinking habits and how to improve them. It’s thinking about thinking – meta-thinking.

What brings me most joy when learning? Why?
What do I not understand?
What can I do to understand better? (Ask a friend)
What is the biggest success / aha moment? Write it down & use symbols.
What works and does not work for me?
The moments of learning…

How to switch on your reflective intelligence?
1.    Notice what is working – write it down

2.    Be grateful – gratitude feedbacks to your subconscious mind what you want and what is important to you

3.   Get inspired and motivated by people’s aha! It stimulates your reflective intelligence and executive functioning. Revitalising. Strangely Twitter can be used to post those inspiring AHA! moments – follow us on

Are Facebook and Twitter too fast?

New research suggests that fast social portals can be damaging to us – especially young people who’s brains are still developing.

‘If things are happening too fast, you may not ever fully experience emotions about other people’s psychological states and that would have implications for your morality,’ said researcher Mary Helen Immordino-Yang, from the University of Southern California. Brain imaging tests showed that humans can respond in fractions of a second to signs of physical pain in others; but admiration and compassion – two of the social emotions which define humanity – take much longer. Digital media may direct users away from traditional avenues for learning about humanity, such as literature or face-to-face interactions, Ms Immordino-Yang added. ‘When it comes to emotion, because these systems are inherently slow, perhaps all we can say is, not so fast,’ said Antonio Damasio, who led the research. Antonio Damasio, director of the Brain and Creativity Institute at the University of Southern California, who led the research said: “What I’m more worried about is what is happening in the abrupt juxtapositions that you find, for example, in the news. He said the research was vital because admiration, “gives us a yardstick for what to reward in a culture, and for what to look for and try to inspire”. Mr Damasio said that Barack Obama, who was inspired by his father, showed how admiration could drive a person onto great things, adding: “We actually separate the good from the bad in great part thanks to the feeling of admiration. It’s a deep physiological reaction that’s very important to define our humanity.”

Read faster with more comprehension

Is it possible to read faster with increased comprehension?

It may seem counter-intuitive but reading faster equates with comprehending more. In fact, individuals who read at slower rates are likely to comprehend less. It makes sense when you realise that the more information your mind has the more it will comprehend. Our advice is always to read faster in order to understand more. The brain-friendly way to more understanding is to get the big picture of the subject first. Reading faster, reading more will give you a bigger picture.

The speed of change

Did you know? In the world of information overload – just a few more facts – watch this video clip

20 years ago 80% of knowledge resided within the books. Now it’s only 20% because the world is changing ever faster. We need to be open to new and unknown connections with people and content.

The people of India love spending their time with a book in their hands. Such are the results of a survey conducted by the public research agency NOP World Culture Score. On average they spend 11 hours reading every week. The world average for book reading is – according to the survey – 6.5 hours. And Poles much the average ideally, putting them in 13th place. We’re behind the Chinese (8 hours), the Czechs (7.4 hours) and the French (6.9 hours), but then the Americans are way behind us (23rd place – or 5.7 hours), as are the Brits (5.3 hours, given 26th place). The Koreans read the least (3.1 hours)


Speed reading helps with getting higher degrees

How to get higher degree faster – start earlier

The notion of commencing university education at school was born out of his own precocious boyhood in the United States. “When I was at school academics from the University of California at Berkeley came and taught me some classes in speed reading,” he explains in his quiet drawl. However, since they had no way of imparting an entire degree to a child Kelley went to university early, at 15.

The idea is the brainchild of Paul Kelley, Monkseaton’s American headmaster, who just loves to push the boundaries. “If every school were to make this available, think how much money each student would save by not having to go to a university – and they’d get a step ahead in the jobs market. After all, you are at a huge advantage if you have an honours degree when your peers only have A-levels,” he says.

Read more: The free degrees – A trio of pioneers have undertaken university studies – without debt and while still at school

Speed reading utalises 80/20 rule to find key information

WEIRD: Aoccdrnig to rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a total mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, But the wrod as a wlohe. And you touhhgt taht sepllnig was iprmoetnt!

In the same way you don’t need to read every word in a sentence to get the message.

“Classics are still the most essential reads” according to the World Book Day poll

In the end, quality tells. People may have bought The Da Vinci Code in its millions but, when asked to name the most precious book they have read, they relegated it to 42nd place and chose Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.

In the poll for World Book Day today, the highest-ranking contemporary adult fiction novel is Sebastian Faulks’s Birdsong, which came only 17th. Read more on this

iPhone helps with speed reading

Speed up your reading with iPhone

Reading on the iPhone can be quicker because the screen guides the eyes better. Also with the ease of scrolling and the smaller article sizes on many web pages – all means that information can be processed a lot quicker than by previous means.

Can’t remember what you just read? Take a nap.

Going night after night without sleep makes us absent minded, and now we may know why

Going night after night without sleep makes us absent-minded, and now we may know why. In rats, sleep deprivation causes stress hormones to accumulate in a part of the brain called the hippocampus, which in turn stunts the growth of cells that lay down new memories.

“This decrease in neuron production coincided with an increase in the major rodent stress hormone, corticosterone,” says Elizabeth Gould, head of the team at Princeton University that made the discovery. When Gould stopped production of the hormone in rats by removing their adrenal glands, the animals carried on producing new neurons as normal despite being deprived of sleep (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0608644103).

“We concluded that sleep deprivation decreases neurogenesis by elevating stress hormones,” says Gould. The results tally with earlier studies showing that sleep-deprived people are worse at remembering how to do newly learned tasks than they are normally. “We know that sleep deprivation is stressful, and that it impairs certain types of learning and memory,” she says.

Derk-Jan Dijk of the Surrey Sleep Research Centre at the University of Surrey in Guildford, UK, says the results are the first to provide a plausible mechanism explaining how a lack of sleep damages memory. “It points to the importance of sleep in the right hormonal conditions,” says Dijk. “These are altered if you sleep at the wrong time of day, or if you are stressed generally,” he says. The results explain how shift work might damage memory by producing “a different hormonal milieu”.
“The results are the first to provide a plausible mechanism explaining how a lack of sleep damages memory”

However, Tarja Porkka-Heiskanen of the University of Helsinki in Finland says that may be going too far, as the 72 hours of sleep deprivation experienced by the rats is exceptionally long, equivalent to several days in humans. Sleep deprivation can damage memory, but only “in extreme cases”, she believes.
Source: NewScientist

Book of the week: The Decisive Moment by Jonah Lehrer






Do we make decisions rationally or emotionally? Both.

The Decisive Moment – the new book by Jonah Lehrer – is about how we make decisions – except it’s not ‘us’, it’s our brains. It turns out that decision making, far from being the rational process we all like to pride ourselves on, is actually led by our emotions, which are largely beyond our conscious control.

‘Even when we think we know nothing, our brains know something,’ Lehrer says – ie we know much more non-consciously than comes to conscious awareness, and our brains use this information to make decisions, sometimes in the face of what we know logically.

This is what we teach on our speed-reading/photoreading courses – that the non-conscious mind is our learning brain taking in huge amounts of information that we are not aware of. And we use this fact to encourage people to read more quickly, using speed reading eye patterns to look for ‘hot spots’ of key information, or to trust when using the downloading/photoreading technique that the information really is going into your non-conscious mind!

One message: if you are already an expert on a subject, then trust your gut reaction when making a decision. If you know little about the subject, then find out more and make a logical decision.

By the way, one decision we can help you make. If you want to get a copy of the book, make sure you get ‘The Decisive Moment’ and not ‘How we decide’ by the same author. Turns out it’s the same book with a different title and a higher price! How rational is that???

If you haven’t got time to read the book, then check out reviews in the New Scientist (21 Feb 2009) and The Sunday Times (1 March 2009) or listen to it on BBC.


Happy people read more

A 30-year study found that happy people read more books, newspapers and socialise more, while unhappy people watch more television.

“TV doesn”t really seem to satisfy people over the long haul the way that social involvement or reading does,” said University of Maryland sociologist John P. Robinson, the study co-author and a pioneer in time-use studies (that appeared in the December 2008 issue of the journal Social Indicators Research /ANI). “It’s more passive and may provide escape – especially when the news is as depressing as the economy itself. The data suggest to us that the TV habit may offer short-run pleasure at the expense of long-term malaise,” he added. During the study, the researchers analyzed two sets of data spanning nearly 30 years (1975-2006) gathered from nearly 30,000 adults. It showed that unhappy people watch an estimated 20 percent more television than very happy people. The unhappy people were also more likely to feel they have unwanted extra time on their hands (51 percent) compared to very happy people (19 percent) and to feel rushed for time (35 percent vs. 23 percent). Read more about this study

Reading faster helps you to be happier, more creative and energetic.

Do you want to feel better or change your mood? Do you want to feel more energetic? Read faster!

Speed reading and photoreading is the answer. Research done in Princeton University (Emily Pronin – read the ABSTRACT below) suggests that people who speed up their thinking with timed activities such as reading fast a piece of text that scrolled quickly – felt happier and more powerful, creative and energetic. Read more on this research (Psychology Today)

Manic Thinking Independent Effects of Thought Speed and Thought Content on Mood by Emily Pronin ( Princeton University) and Daniel M. Wegner (Harvard University)
ABSTRACT—This experiment found that the speed of thought affects mood. Thought speed was manipulated via participants’ paced reading of statements designed to induce either an elated or a depressed mood. Participants not only experienced more positive mood in response to elation than in response to depression statements, but also experienced an independent increase in positive mood when they had been thinking fast rather than slow—for both elation and depression statements. This effect of thought speed extended beyond mood to other experiences often associated with mania (i.e., feelings of power, feelings of creativity, a heightened sense of energy, and inflated self-esteem or grandiosity).”
Download the paper

Strategic Reading

Perfectly logical way to read

The quest for the perfect method of reading that does everything and works for everybody is silly, since different readers have different requirement. In similar way, that some people own more than one car, since no single vehicle meets their needs. Speed reading and strategic reading offer diverse ways to design your own reading styles that can be adopted to changing needs. Dynamic, intelligent, adaptable, strategic reading is the logical next step.

‘Thin slicing’ and summary of Malcolm Gladwell’s new book Outliers: The Story of Success

The secret of how to master anything: 10 000 hours of training. Summary and thin slicing of Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers: The Story of Success

Outliers: The Story of Success

Outliers: The Story of Success

A fair slice of his latest book might be summed up in the old saw about genius being 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. His own favourite figure is that to be genuinely good at anything, from writing a book to being a Beatle, takes a magic total of 10 000 hours of intensive training – that’s about 3 hours/day for 10 years (like in this joke: “Excuse me, how do I get to Carnegie Hall? “Practise.”).

Plus you have to be born at the right moment, at the right place, to the right family and then still you have to work really hard. That’s about it. I just saved you £17.

By the way, thin slicing is a term used by Malcolm Gladwell in his book ‘Blink’, which means taking the smallest slice of cake vertically in order to find out what the cake is like. Similarly the spd rdng techniques are designed to allow you to focus on the smallest amount of information possible to understand a subject or text. Summaries and micro-summaries are examples of thin slicing.

And AI machine learning algorithms can train themselves in minutes as opposed to humans who would take 10 000 hours. Soon humans will become irrelavent as one of the top Cassandras Yuval Noah Harari in 21 Lessons for the 21st Century predicts.

The mobile phone novel – a novel way to spd up yr rdng

5 of the top 10 books sold in Japan in 2007 began life as cellphone novels – books typed in text-speak and then posted online.

In Japan, a new literary genre has taken off. It’s called keitai shosetsu, or the mobile-phone novel.

These short books are written by text message and posted on the web. The stories have taken a particular form; most are written by and for young women and are about difficult subjects such as pregnancy and abortion.

These novels are hugely popular. Maho i-Land, Japan’s largest mobile-phone novel site, contains more than one million titles. The site is visited 3.5 billion times a month.

Publishers have caught on, and text-created books top many Japanese bestseller lists. Love Sky by Mika, and its sequel, have together sold 2.6 million copies. Many titles are filmed or made into manga cartoons.

Critics argue that predictive text makes the books repetitive, but the cellular age has turned Japan into a land of quietly tapping thumbs and wild imaginations.

Download free ebooks for your mobile phone

Txtng – gd 4 ur kids!

In case you were worried that the abbreviations commonly used in text messages might be hurting the nation’s (or your child’s) literacy – you can relax. Apparently it’s doing the opposite.

The more children send texts using abbrvtns, the better their reading ability! Apparently with all the texting, children are reading much more these days, and playing with the language is an important part of learning how it works.
We teach both that reading more (of anything) will improve your reading – and that it’s important to get the message from what you read rather than concentrating on the individual letters (or even the individual words). And it’s no coincidence that we called our book ‘Spd Rdng’!

By the way, have you already seen the following on the internet?

Aoccdrnig to rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a total mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. And you touhhgt taht sepllnig was iprmoetnt!

Further info in the New Scientist 22 Feb 2009 reporting on research ‘Exploring the relationship between children’s knowledge of text message abbreviations and school literacy outcomes’ by Plester, Beverly1; Wood, Clare1; Joshi, Puja1, published by the British Psychological Society in British Journal of Developmental Psychology, Volume 27, Number 1,March 2009

Move your hands when you’re learning

Remembering what you read is as important as taking in the information.

On our speedreading/photoreading courses we have been teaching that linking specific ideas/words to gestures can help you remember them – something that can be particularly useful for actors.

Now, Dr Susan Goldin-Meadow of the University of Chicago, has done some research into hand movements which seems to prove that if you make appropriate hand movements, it can help you think.

And since the beginning of good memory is how you ‘lay down’ the information in the first place, it obviously makes sense to gesture as you speak the information you want to remember (see technique number 22 in our forthcoming book ‘Spd Rdng – get up to speed with your reading’).

Does that mean that Italians – famous for their extravagant gesturing – think and remember better than the rest of us?
Check out the report in The Economist, 19 Feb 2009 for more information.

Guinness Book of Records – The Longest Subtitle for A Book

Look out for us in the Guinness Book of RecordsSpd Rdng: The Speed Reading Bible
We’re sending our book Spd Rdng Bible to the Guinness Book of Records to be included for having the longest subtitle! Which is: “Learn speed reading techniques and habits with proven results for you to apply immediately to any reading material (books, reports, journals, manuals, textbooks, online texts, ebooks, etc) so you can read more, more quickly, more effectively, whether you are a professional, an entrepreneur, a student or teacher, a home educator, or simply interested in your own learning and personal development, in any subject (including business, medicine, law, IT, acting and languages), by showing you, among other things, how to use your eyes more efficiently, remember more, access your learning intelligence, focus on your purpose, take meaning from the minimum of input, find the hot spots of information you need, and put it into practice, with the result that you free up time and save money as you become more successful in business and life.”

Summary of A Perfect Mess: The Hidden Benefits of Disorder-How Crammed Closets, Cluttered Offices, and On-the-Fly Planning Make the World a Better Place By Eric Abrahamson and David H. Freedman

Perfect Mess – mess is good for you

Perfect Mess – mess is good for you

A clutter-free environment can cost you
The inefficiency of tidiness. In praise of mess. Why keeping tidy can be bad feng shui. Tidiness and order are so ordinary. The new maximalism means messy home.

This book may not change people’s lives unless they tend towards being messy. Clutter, untidiness and hoarding, are not bad habits, the authors argue, but often more sensible than meticulous planning, storage and purging of possessions.

That is because being tidy is more costly
An improvised storage system (important papers close to the keyboard on your desk, the rest haphazardly distributed in loosely related piles on every flat surface possible) takes very little time to manage. Filing every bit of paper in precise colour-coded categories and a system of cross-referencing, will certainly take longer and will not save time.

The authors of this book search the furthest reaches of psychologymanagement studiesbiology, music and art (art depends on mess; remember Tracy Emin’s messy bed) and physics to show why a bit of disorder is good for you. Mainly, it creates much more room for coincidence and synchronicity or luck if you like. Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin because he was notoriously untidy, and didn’t clean a petri dish, thus allowing fungal spores to get to work on bacteria.

Smart people are messy
It will be difficult to convince your mum, but research confirms that if you’re messy, it might mean that you’re smart. Researchers at the University of Minnesota conducted a study that explained that if you are not tidy, it simply means that your brain is occupied with more important matters. As if that was not enough, the conclusion of the scientists is that a somewhat messy environment inspires greater creativity.

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Only-ness Principle from Zag: The Number One Strategy of High-Performance Brands by Marty Neumeier

Only-ness principle comes from Zag: The Number One Strategy of High-Performance Brands by Marty Neumeier

Only-ness statement reads like this: “Our brand (offering) is the only … (category) that … (benefit).”

The only-ness test

The only-ness test

Simple branding process to put it all together to position your brand well is to ask: WHAT is your category? HOW are you different? WHO are your customers? WHERE are they located? WHY are we important? And WHEN do they need us (underlying trend)? The only-ness statement provides a framework for your brand. Once you’ve defined your point of differentiation, you will have a decisional filter for all your company’s future decisions. By checking back against your statement you can quickly see whether any new decision will help or hurt, focus or clutter, purify or modify your brand. The brand positioning is about one simple, starting fundamental question: What makes you the “only”? Onlyness is the secret of brand’s positioning.

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Summary of Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell. Thin-slicing: the art of speed reading.

‘Thin slicing’ or/and summary of Blink – The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell

Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking

Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking

The key concept of Malcolm Gladwell’s book Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by (and Spd Rdng) is ‘thin-slicing’, which is our instinctual or intuitive ability to gauge what is really important from a very narrow period of experience. In other words, spontaneous decisions are often as good as – or even better than – carefully planned and considered ones. Gladwell draws on examples from science, advertising, sales, medicine, and popular music. However, your ability to thin-slice can be corrupted by your likes, dislikes, prejudices and stereotypes, and you can be overloaded by too much information.

The key message is to learn when to trust your gut reaction. A key strategy for getting the gist of a book is to ‘thin slice’ the cross-section of the book to get as much of the message as possible without reading it from cover to cover.

How do you slice a cake in order to find out what it’s like?
(Obviously, you cut a vertical slice  – but most people read books as if they were eating a cake layer by layer)


Speed read microsummaries of Malcolm Gladwell’s books


Thin slicing principle

The aim when you’re reading a book for factual information is to get as much information as possible by reading as few words as possible. (What Malcolm Gladwell calls ‘thin-slicing’ in his book ‘Blink’.) Previewing is an excellent start to this process.

How would you cut a cake in order to find out what it’s like? Obviously, you’d cut a thin slice vertically (hence thin-slicing). But for many people, the way they read a book (chapter by chapter) is like eating a cake one horizontal layer at a time. You have to eat almost the whole thing in order to be sure what the cake is like. Not very efficient!

Thin-slicing is the ultimate art of speed reading. Previewing is thin-slicing. Reading summaries is thin-slicing. If somebody tells you the gist of the book that’s thin-slicing as well. Summarising a book with one or two words is the ultimate thin-slicing. My best favourite thin-slicing is of Out of Our Minds: What We Think and How We Came to Think It by Felipe Fernández-Armesto who summarised it / thin-sliced it in just ONE WORD… “divergence”.

Read more on the strategy of thin-slicing

Read as much as you can in the time available. Read for bite-size chunks of valuable info.

Geniuses, Prodigies & Savants and Extraordinary People. What Can We Learn from Them?

Geniuses, Prodigies & Savants and Extraordinary People. What Can We Learn from Them?

Idiot savants or autistic savants are individuals with the savant syndrome condition are people who demonstrate above average super abilities and skills such as rapid calculation, artistic ability, map making and musical ability usually in the categories of art, memory, arithmetic, musical abilities and spatial skills. Savants usually have one special skill or super intelligence as a result of some mental disabilities or brain injuries. Some savants acquired super skills after an accident. For example, Derek Amato suffered an injury from diving into a swimming pool. After that, he discovered he was really good a playing piano.

Research on the savant syndrome
Dr Darrold Treffert, a psychiatrist in St. Agnes Hospital at Fond-du-lac, Wisconsin and the author of the books on autistic savants, Extraordinary People – Understanding Savant Syndrome and Islands of Genius: The Bountiful Mind of the Autistic, Acquired and Sudden SavantTreffert was the first researcher to suggest that we all possess innate savant skills. In The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, Oliver Sacks writes about the calculating twins, George and Charles who entertained themselves by trading six-digit prime numbers with what Sacks described as “holy intensity.” in spite the fact that the twins were incapable of performing simple multiplication.

Can anyone acquire super abilities and skills? How can we release or tap into our dormant potential?
Professor Allan Snyder and Dr Elaine Mulcahy state they have completed experiments that showed they could develop the creative function of the brain using magnetism using Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) which can temporarily shut down the left hemisphere of the brain where speech and short-term memory are supported or other parts of the brain and simulate and stimulate development or acquiring of new skills in perfectly healthy humans. Researchers have noticed that music, math and other skills savants acquire easily are usually associated with the right side of the brain. They suggest that autistic savants have access to very fast, early brain, unconscious processing functions, for skills such as calculation and hand-to-eye coordination and visual skills. Snyder is an inventor of ‘thinking cap’ or ‘duns cap‘. Other ways to release our dormant savant potential or our inner genius (without the brain injury or autism) are electronic stimulation, pharmacological stimulation and brain boosters, medical intervention such as DNA editing, meditation, hypnosis, cognitive approaches and effort and ‘rummaging in the right hemisphere’.

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Kursy Szybkiego Czytania

Kurs szybkiego czytania – 2 dni
Jak czytać, przetwarzać, rozumieć i pamiętać duże ilości informacji – szybko i efektywnie

Warszawa, Sobota 10:00-17:00, Niedziela 10:00-17:00 / Lub jednodniowy kurs szybkiego czytania dla firm

Szybkie czytanie (Spd Rdng / speed reading) jest częścią szybkiego uczenia (accelerated learning). Jest łatwe do nauczenia i niezbędne dla każdego – czy jesteś studentem, prowadzisz biznes, rozwijasz swoje umiejętności, czy po prostu kochasz czytać.

Spd Rdng to początek rewolucji w polskiej edukacji i koniec przeładowania informacyjnego!

Aby osiągać sukces w szybko zmieniającym się świecie i być w czołówce musimy szybko zdobywać nowe umiejętnośc i wiedzę, które pomogą nam się rozwijać. “Umiętność szybkiego uczenia się jest najważniejszą umiejętnością w dziesiejszych czasach.” Yuval Noah Harari. Musimy więcej, lepiej i szybciej! Żyjemy w czasach,kiedy jesteśmy przytłoczeni tonami informacji, a mamy mało czasu.

Z szybkiego czytania korzystają

  • studenci, ludzie biznesu, nauczyciele, naukowcy, lekarze, rodzice, pisarze, aktorzy, dziennikarze, prawnicy
  • także każdy, kto chce czytać, rozumieć i używać informacji, żeby być na bieżąco w swojej dziedzinie

Podczas 2-dniowego kursu nauczysz się 37 technik szybkiego czytania oraz

  • Jak twój umysł przetwarza informacje, uczy się i zapamiętuje
  • Jak przetwarzać duże ilości informacji 200%…300%…400%…szybciej oraz więcej – 10x
  • Skutecznie odblokowywać mechanizmy uczenia się
  • Syntopicznego przetwarzania informacji i podświadomego uczenia się
  • Udowodnionych technik uczenia się i zdawania egzaminów
  • Rozwijać zdrowe nawyki uczenia się
  • Szybko odnaleźć znaczenie i sedno najistotniejszychinformacji
  • Przyswajać raporty, informacje techniczne, języki obce
  • Jak przygotować się do egzaminów i zdawać je satysfakcjonująco
  • Poprawiać swoją pamięć, koncentrację i zrozumienie informacji
  • Zwiększać swoją kreatywność, rozwiązywać problemy oraz podejmować trafnie decyzje
  • Zdobywać wiedze i mądrość
  • Oszczędzać swój czas i pieniądze oraz mieć więcej możliwości

20 lat doświadczenia w szybkim czytaniu i przyspieszonym uczeniu się
Autor bestsellerowej książki Spd Rdng – The Speed Reading Bible

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