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The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking [Format Kindle]

Edward B. Burger , Michael Starbird
4.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)

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Descriptions du produit

Présentation de l'éditeur

The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking presents practical, lively, and inspiring ways for you to become more successful through better thinking. The idea is simple: You can learn how to think far better by adopting specific strategies. Brilliant people aren't a special breed--they just use their minds differently. By using the straightforward and thought-provoking techniques in The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking, you will regularly find imaginative solutions to difficult challenges, and you will discover new ways of looking at your world and yourself--revealing previously hidden opportunities.

The book offers real-life stories, explicit action items, and concrete methods that allow you to attain a deeper understanding of any issue, exploit the power of failure as a step toward success, develop a habit of creating probing questions, see the world of ideas as an ever-flowing stream of thought, and embrace the uplifting reality that we are all capable of change. No matter who you are, the practical mind-sets introduced in the book will empower you to realize any goal in a more creative, intelligent, and effective manner. Filled with engaging examples that unlock truths about thinking in every walk of life, The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking is written for all who want to reach their fullest potential--including students, parents, teachers, businesspeople, professionals, athletes, artists, leaders, and lifelong learners.

Whenever you are stuck, need a new idea, or want to learn and grow, The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking will inspire and guide you on your way.

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Commentaires client les plus utiles
4.0 étoiles sur 5 un livre à lire et à mettre sur le chevet 7 août 2014
Par ranxdria
si tout le monde (ceux qui sont dans l'enseignement aussi bien les parents que les professeurs) pouvait penser de cette manière, on ferait de nos enfants et de nos élèves de meilleurs penseurs et par conséquent de meilleures personnes. à lire et à relire...
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 4.7 étoiles sur 5  128 commentaires
135 internautes sur 148 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 If you have ever wished you could learn to think like a genius, this book is for you. 27 août 2012
Par Allen Coin - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
I originally became interested in this book after reading a blog on PsychologyToday by one of this book's authors. The blog essentially discussed the values of failure, and how accepting and even encouraging failure leads to a better attitude about learning.

This book is one of the few books I have ever read in one sitting. I became very interested in the authors' message, and found the writing to be straightforward and logical. I noticed that the authors do not needlessly repeat themselves, which is funny because in the first chapter they discuss how they initially wanted to literally print the entire text three times, but their publisher wouldn't let them. Good call, Publisher. I have noticed in reviews about similar books to this one (in the same vein of learning how to think better, or be more successful, etc.) that people often complain about the author(s) repeating the material over and over again in different words, as if to take up space. The Five Elements of Effective Thinking is logical, condensed, and never rambles. Reading this book is like drinking a shot of intellectual espresso.

The basic point of the book is that there are 5 qualities of thinking that all effective thinkers share. Because it is about effective thinking, the authors rely on a lot of examples of effective thinkers: Famous examples like Thomas Edison and Albert Einstein, and examples of students who learned how to think effectively, like Mary, and the mathematics professor Dr. S who was once the worst mathematician in his class and later went on to receive his PhD in maths. All of the examples are fairly inspirational, and I think they highlight the fact that this book really is a self-help book of sorts, or maybe more accurately, a self-improvement book. I expected to see a little bit more of a psychological analysis of the thinking strategies of smart/successful people, or maybe a little more focus on truly practical tips about thinking, but it is mostly a general overview of a few simple ways to think and behave that the authors believe will make you successful (and they are probably right).

I went into the book with the understanding that the authors were a couple of mathematics professors, so I was surprised to see how much of a focus the book has on the humanities. There seemed to be more examples about art and philosophy than there were about math and science (this would require a more detailed analysis). Indeed I was delighted at how interdisciplinarily the authors of this book approach the whole topic of learning how to think better. At many points during the course of the book I was reminded of David Foster Wallace's commencement speech at Kenyon College, in which he discussed the values of a liberal arts education, and how the cliché goes that a liberal arts education is about "teaching you how to think." An excerpt from DFW's speech: "I have come gradually to understand that the liberal arts cliché about teaching you how to think is actually shorthand for a much deeper, more serious idea: learning how to think really means learning how to exercise some control over how and what you think. It means being conscious and aware enough to choose what you pay attention to and to choose how you construct meaning from experience."

Indeed many of the ideas that Drs. Burger and Starbird discuss will be familiar to anyone who has ever taken a creative writing class: Don't be afraid to write something bad, just recognize that it is bad, figure out why it is bad, figure out what about it is good, and then write it again except leave out the bad stuff and emphasize and expand upon the good stuff. The authors do a very good job of expanding upon this basic procedure (whatever you may call it) and applying it as a general philosophy of how to think.

The "Elements" in the Five Elements of Effective Thinking refers to the classical elements: "Earth, Fire, Wind, Water, Heart, Go Planet!" Oops, I mean Earth, Fire, Air, Water, and The Fifth Element is Love (kiss me Leeloo). Oops sorry, I mean the fifth element is Change. What I'm trying to get across here is that the Classical Elements thing is a little overdone in pop culture, and honestly I think the book would have been better served to just leave that bit out. I don't think the authors needed metaphors to Hellenic Physics (which were ultimately totally and completely wrong) to build their theory about effective thinking.

The authors make a few allusions to how they think the education system should work (such as instead of having transcripts with grades for specific classes on them, having a transcript that lists specific skills mastered, and some other pedagogy about effectively asking questions). What I'm really looking forward to is a book by the same authors talking about the 5 Elements of Effective Teaching (if this book comes out, I expect a cut, okay guys?).

On a final note, I must give props to the editor. I did not notice one single misspelled word or misplaced punctuation, which seems to be exceedingly rare in first editions these days.
35 internautes sur 39 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Education is what survives when what has been learned has been forgotten. - Skinner 9 septembre 2012
Par Amazon Customer - Publié sur
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
"The root of success in everything, from academics to business to leadership to personal relationships and everything else, is thinking - whether it's thinking disguised as intuition or as good values or as decision making or problem solving or creativity, it's all thinking... Doing anything better requires effective thinking - that is, coming up with more imaginative ideas, facing complicated problems, finding new ways to solve them, becoming aware of hidden possibilities, and then taking action. What is a surprise is that the basic methods for thinking more clearly, more innovatively, more effectively are fundamentally the same in all areas of life - in school, in business, in the arts, in personal life, in sports, in everything. The other surprise is that those methods of effective thinking can be described, taught, and learned. They are not inborn gifts of a special few. They are not so esoteric that only geniuses can master them. All of us can learn them and use them, and that is what this book is about."

As pointed out by previous reviewers, this book is slim in size, but nevertheless large on content. The authors have developed an excellent system for applying their 5 elements of effective thinking: Earth = Understand Deeply, Fire = Make Mistakes, Air = Raise Questions, Water = Follow the Flow of Ideas, and "The Quintessential Element" = Change. When I first read about their system in the introduction, it seemed a bit odd and hokey, but by the end of the book, I was very much impressed with the cleverness of the whole scheme. Additionally, the authors have sprinkled in some useful quotes and copious examples to illustrate their points. In sum, I believe this book really does capture what it means, and what it takes, in order to be an effective thinker. It would definitely make a wonderful read for students about to enter, or currently in, high school. (For an equally good, but more advanced book on this same topic, I would suggest James R. Flynn's book: How To Improve Your Mind: 20 Keys to Unlock the Modern World)
45 internautes sur 52 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Some useful information, but rarely expands beyond common sense 22 janvier 2013
Par doctor_beth - Publié sur
NOTE: I received a free copy of this book to review for the web site Metapsychology Online Reviews; please see that site for a more detailed version of my review.

Authors Edward B. Burger and Michael Starbird assert that throughout history, what the world's most successful and accomplished people have in common is not solely great intellect but rather, a different way of thinking. They emphasize that these concrete thinking strategies can be taught to anyone, and thus, they introduce five learning strategies in this book. The authors associate each technique with a specific element (a metaphor which feels a bit forced at times). Briefly, the strategies are as follows: Earth, understand deeply; Fire, make mistakes; Air, raise questions; Water, follow the flow of ideas; and The Quintessential Element, Change. Their chapters combine short paragraphs, brief anecdotes, personal stories, exercise suggestions, and the like; the narrative is constantly broken up, similar to a "For Dummies"-style book.

I found the value of "Earth" to be minimal. Here, the authors primarily highlight the dangers of rote memorization; their main advice seems to be to simply spend more time with a subject in order to learn it more thoroughly. Conversely, "Fire" provided more practical information, offering specific examples of how mistakes can be useful as well as suggesting ideas for building on failures to find success. But the chapter on questioning is again more basic, providing common-sense suggestions such as exploring issues from various viewpoints and ask better, meta questions. In "Water," Burger and Starbird are even more vague, talking about how new ideas often arise from the unexpected and recommending constantly looking for ways to improve upon concepts--hardly earth-shattering advice. Finally, in this section on Change, Burger and Starbird merely make the point that changing means doing things differently.

In the end, the main problem that I had with 5 Elements was a lack of a clear audience for this information. It seems likely that more dedicated learners and intellectuals are apt to discover the main tenets posited by the authors for themselves. On the other hand, it is difficult to believe that those who are perpetually struggling with scholarly pursuits would give much credence to--or even take the time to read--a work such as this one. For this reason, I believe that the subject of this volume may have been better suited to a magazine article, blog, or other venue rather than this format.
34 internautes sur 41 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Great Short Book on Thinking 28 août 2012
Par Book Fanatic - Publié sur
This book is short and to the point, but that doesn't take away from its powerful techniques for effective thinking. By focusing on 5 elements, the authors make their ideas very actionable. Their recipe is simple and straightforward, but not necessarily easy to implement.

When I first read in the introduction what the 5 elements were, I was a little underwhelmed. However, the authors don't disappoint in the details. They think and write deeply about each one. They are:


This is really an excellent book. The ideas and recommendations have been well thought out. Obviously the authors followed their own suggestions in creating this book. I very highly recommend it.
12 internautes sur 13 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Thinking Outside the Box! 9 septembre 2012
Par nycman - Publié sur
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
This short novella-sized book is a unique overview of techniques that will improve your thinking. Written by two Professors from a mathematical background, it presents simple and effective ways to enhance creative thinking and improve the whole process of learning. The book excels by showing how our brains and thinking skills can become more refined through a series of brief but imaginative approaches. This includes brainstorming without edits, making mistakes, finding the "easy" solutions, then assimilating to grow, improve, learn, and ultimately change your thinking. It is basically an approach that gives free permission to "thinking outside the box" since this is often where truth and insight are to be found.

This book does not present a cookie-cutter formula to improve thinking. Rather, the authors have given broader categories and outlines to frame their approach to think more effectively.

I found that the very act of reading this book improved my own approach to critical thinking and definitely bolstered the creative process. The concise size of the book easily lends itself to re-reading several times. There is a lot of meaning below the surface of the text that will reward the thinker in you. This book makes the discovery process fun and enjoyable.

Our minds need challenges to grow and learn. This book presents many examples of people who were initially challenged by a large or forbidding problem, but were able to persevere and subsequently find solutions that weren't apparent at first. Many geniuses were not born that way, but only through systematic and meticulous thinking, by "connecting the dots" of what came before them, were they able to effectively improve their knowledge base. This book shows you how.

This book should be required reading for educators and teachers. Our current system has to change. Education in our country is getting worse, not better. A book like this can serve as a platform to throw out old notions, and start afresh.

To conclude, this book is a welcome and important addition to the growing body of literature about how the mind works and how we can enhance its function. It belongs on the shelf of scientists, artists, engineers, teachers, and neuroscientists. It should particularly be read by students or anyone interested in lifelong learning. The more people gathered from various and diverse disciplines, assembling together to solve our many problems, the better our society will be prepared for the future. We all need to improve and refine the thinking process, to think more effectively, and this book is a great place to start. Highly recommended.
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