Friday, November 8, 2013
The Plateau Effect by Bob Sullivan and Hugh Thompson
Authors Bob Sullivan and Hugh Thompson have divided the book into three parts. The first part summarizes the science behind "the plateau effect", offering many examples of how people are unable to progress beyond a certain point both mentally and physically, and demonstrating the need to shake things up in order to progress. One example they provide is that simple rote memorization doesn't seem to work, and that to truly remember things you need to use tricks suck as spacing the repetition at various set (but different intervals). Even athletes can get stuck, as they demonstrate with their analysis of Derek Jeter's late career resurgence.
The second part of the book discusses the causes of plateaus while the third part is where the authors finally offer some solutions to overcoming these plateaus. Options like saying "yes" to everything, concentrating more and multitasking less, finding quiet time and not worrying about perfection are some of the potential ideas for readers to consider when they are stuck.
Like many other business and self-help books this book is certainly skimmable in many places and the authors seem to acknowledge as much by offering an appendix that summarizes the eight main suggestions covered in previous chapters. I'm not quite sure that the book comes together as a whole yet in its individual colorful anecdotes there is much to enjoy. I recommend this to anyone looking for a breezy read that may offer them ideas for a personal or career lift.
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