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'The Miracle of Mindfulness' by Thich Nhat Hanh

We are told by The Winning Edge attendees that one of the most impactful Key Statements on the course is: ‘wherever you are, be there’. In these busy times when more and more people are suffering from self-imposed stress, I think it is absolutely vital to make the most of the time we have, particularly with those we care about.

So many people admit that when they are physically with their Partner, children, other family members or friends, their mind and emotions are somewhere else. They may be thinking about a strategy meeting they had yesterday, a one-to-one they have coming up in the next few days, a row they had with a colleague last week, or a sale they hope to close tomorrow which means they are very seldom ‘in the moment’ – click here to read more
  The Miracle of Mindfulness
Reviewed by Richard Jackson - March 2013  
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'The 4-Hour Work Week' by Timothy Ferris

With a title like ‘The 4-Hour Work Week’, I defy anyone not to be a little intrigued. This is an excellent book, it’s extremely thought-provoking as it challenges many of our pre-conceived ideas about what is possible and what is not.

The thrust of the book is that you can become a member of the New Rich and live the life-style of a millionaire without actually having a million, and without working more that four hours a week.

My initial reaction was one of huge scepticism but bit by bit I began to realise that, if you accept some of the author’s premises - and he makes a very strong argument for them - it is possible to do what he suggests.

Ferris divides the book up into four sections based on the acronym ‘DEAL’click here to read more
  The four hour work week
Reviewed by Richard Jackson - February 2013  
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'How to be a Complete and Utter Failure in Life, Work and Everything' by Steve McDermott

Quite a provocative title this month and a really enjoyable read. The title tells you what to expect; it’s an anti-personal development book – it tells the reader what not to do in order to be a failure and of course there’s a whole bunch of ideas and concepts that can be used to have a great life.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book; there was the occasional time when I found the style slightly irritatingly patronising, as if the reader couldn’t cope with a book on ‘positive thinking’ – my perception I know – and sometimes the humour seemed a little twee.

However, that’s nitpicking. The book is peppered with brilliant and appropriate quotes from an eclectic mix of people and many ideas that have a great deal of – click here to read more
  'How to be a Complete and Utter Failure in Life, Work and Everything' by Steve McDermott
Reviewed by Richard Jackson - January 2013  
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'Anyone Can Do It - My Story' by Duncan Bannatyne

I approached this book, with a certain degree of scepticism as, having seen his somewhat acerbic style on the television programme, Dragon’s Den, I thought we would have a rough, tough book on how to get ahead in business no matter what. This expectation was, however, somewhat tempered by the knowledge that I had heard that he had helped many children in Romania.

As it turns out, the man is OK, which means of course that I approve of him!

It’s a genuine rags-to-riches story. Bannatyne was born into a very poor family in Dalmuir, to the west of Glasgow and was one of seven children. There was not much money to bring the family up so treats and luxuries just did not exist. He showed early entrepreneurial promise when, desperately wanting a – click here to read more
  Duncan Bannatyne 'Anyone Can Do It'
Reviewed by Richard Jackson - December 2012  
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'The Unthinkable – Who Survives When Disaster Strikes and Why', by Amanda Ripley

This is an absolutely fascinating book that, if you read it, as it says in one of the reviews, it could save your life one day.

Amanda Ripley, an award-winning journalist who writes for Time magazine, has studied the reactions of people in potentially life-threatening situations and found that there seems to be three stages of mind-set that humans go through at such times; they are Denial, Deliberation – click here to read more
  The Psychology Influence of Persuasion
Reviewed by Richard Jackson - November 2012  
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'Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion' by Robert Cialdini
This is one of the most interesting and powerful books that I have read; in fact its power is in its simplicity. The theme of this book is that we are all vulnerable to influence or persuasion from others, but most of the time we are unaware of it. This is because, as we know from the Winning Edge programme, our lives are the result of around 95% habit, in other words, we are for the most part, living sub-consciously and while we are in this automatic mode of thinking and behaviour we can be influenced and manipulated by others more easily.

There are six key areas that Cialdini details, where we can be subject to the persuasion of others; he provocatively calls them ‘The Weapons of Influence’ - click here to read more
  The Psychology Influence of Persuasion
Reviewed by Richard Jackson - October 2012  
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'The Golfer's Mind' by Dr. Bob Rotella
OK all you non-golfers, please bear with me on reviewing this book because if you’re prepared to replace the golfing terms and allusions with whatever is important to you in your life, whether it’s another game or sport, important relationship issues, parenting, business or career aspirations or simply wanting to manage your brain better to have a brilliant life, then give this book a chance.

Here’s an example of its universal application; each chapter starts with a quotation, usually from a golfer or other famous sportsperson and chapter two has this quote from the golfer, Ben Hogan: ‘The greatest pleasure is obtained by improving.’ Now, you may disagree that it is the greatest pleasure to be obtained in life on but I believe it is one of the most important… - click here to read more
  The Golfers Mind Book image
Reviewed by Richard Jackson - September 2012  
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'Irrationality' by Stuart Sutherland
This book is a salutary read for anyone who thinks they think rationally most of the time. There is so much evidence to prove that for a great deal of the time we think in ways that do not necessarily serve us well, that you tend to wonder why we have brains at all.

In the introduction to the book there is a quote from Pascal that chimes with the fact that all decisions are made for emotional reasons which is: ‘The heart has its reasons that reason knows not of’. I think we can all relate to having made the odd – in both senses of the word - irrational decision in affairs of the heart. However, this does not limit decisions to those made in respect of love or sex. - click here to read more
  Irrationality book cover
Reviewed by Richard Jackson - August 2012  
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'Affluenza' by Oliver James
In my opinion, this book has a great creative title but it is based on a flawed premise. The reader is asked to assume that we can be infected by a disease called the ‘Affluenza Virus’ – the placing of high importance on money, material possessions appearances (physical and social) and fame. The author travelled to seven countries and spent three weeks in each country interviewing people in his research into the subject.

I was concerned from the outset when I found two of the people praising the book were Jeremy Vine and Will Self – no prejudice there then! - click here to read more
  Affluenza book
Reviewed by Richard Jackson - July 2012  
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'I am Right You are Wrong' by Edward de Bono
This book has been in Mancroft’s bibliography for many years and I have received positive feedback about it from many, many past Winning Edge delegates.

It is a provocative book, whose basic message is that most people don’t know how to think – something with which Mancroft International concurs – no surprise there then!

For those who don’t know of Edward de Bono or his writings, he is and has been a prolific author in the ‘thinking’ genre for many years. And among his other titles are ‘The Five-Day Course in Thinking’, ‘Lateral Thinking’, ‘Six Thinking Hats’. The author’s style of writing is different from most; he uses quite short sentences and sometimes appears to repeat himself, but this should not in any way detract from your enjoyment of the book. - click here to read more
  I am Right you are Wrong!
Reviewed by Richard Jackson - June 2012  
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'Man’s Search for Meaning' by Viktor Frankl
As the Los Angeles Times said: ‘If you read but one book this year, Dr Frankl’s book should be that one’.

I wholeheartedly agree with that comment; in my opinion, it is one of the most powerful books that you will ever read on the importance of attitude and how we have the ability to choose it, even in the most extreme of circumstances.

In 1942, the author, who was Jewish, was living in Vienna with his own practice in neurology and psychiatry when the Nazis took him, together with his wife, mother, father and brother to Theresienstadt concentration camp. Frankl had obtained a United States visa in 1939, but decided not to leave Austria because of his concern for his elderly parents. In 1944, Frankl is sent to the notorious Auschwitz camp and then later to Kaufering and Turkheim, subsidiaries of Dachau - click here to read more
  Mans Search for Meaning
Reviewed by Richard Jackson- May 2012  
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