59 Seconds: Think a Little, Change a Lot (Borzoi Books) by Richard Wiseman

By Richard Wiseman

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Just answer honestly—and no peeking at the answers. Assign each item a rating between 1 (“strongly disagree”) and 5 (“strongly agree”). 1 I am impressed by people who own expensive cars and houses. 1 2 3 4 5 2 I tend to judge how well I am doing in life by the possessions that I buy. 1 2 3 4 5 3 I like to buy things that I don’t really need. 1 2 3 4 5 4 I like to be surrounded by expensive items. 1 2 3 4 5 5 I think that my life would be better if I owned more luxury items. 1 2 3 4 5 6 I am sometimes bothered by the fact that I can’t afford to buy certain luxury goods.

Sociability might be part of the experience itself, or it might happen when you tell people about the occasion afterward. In contrast, buying the latest or most expensive new product can sometimes isolate you from friends and family who may be jealous of the things that you have. But choosing experiences over goods is only part of the story when trying to buy happiness. 21 Take a few moments to read the following ten statements and assign each of them a rating indicating the degree to which it describes you.

From mood to memory, persuasion to procrastination, resilience to relationships, together they represent a new science of rapid change. There is a very old story, often told to fill time during training courses, involving a man trying to fix his broken boiler. Despite his best efforts over many months, he simply can’t mend it. Eventually, he gives up and decides to call in an expert. The engineer arrives, gives one gentle tap on the side of the boiler, and stands back as it springs to life. The engineer presents the man with a bill, and the man argues that he should pay only a small fee as the job took the engineer only a few moments.

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