Messy: The Power of Disorder to Transform Our Lives by Tim Hardford

This book turned out to be really interesting. When ELLE Magazine sent me this book to review, I didn’t feel any type of way about it. Upon first examination, I neither was interested in the book or disinterested in it. When when I started to actually read it, that changed.
This book was really interested and unlike anything I have ever read before. This book talks about something that we as a society shy away from: messiness. We usually value neat, clean environments and practices. This book provides examples and explanations on why we should try to move away from that and embrace messiness. And in his suggestions on how to do that, it really opens your eyes on how structured we are in our lives.
You might not be motivated to revamp and change your whole lifestyle after reading this book, but it mill makes you rethink the way you do certain things in your life.
This is $19.47 and it comes out today! I think it’s worth checking out.
Favorite Quotes:
  • “Of course it’s human nature to spend time with your friends. But what’s striking about this research is that people said they intended to do exactly the opposite. People went to a networking event with the expressed intention of expanding their social networks, and they didn’t even try. Those that did meet new people encountered only friends of friends, perpetuating old cliques.”
  • “In principle the modern world gives us more opportunities than ever to forge relationships with people who do not look, act, or think the same way that we do. Travel is cheaper, communication is free and instantaneous, and a host of tools exist to help us reach across perviously unbridgeable social divides. But what do we do with these opportunities? We keep our social networks nice and tidy by seeking out people just like us.”
  • “With twenty-five thousand students to choose from, the University of Kansas offered a far greater range of views and lifestyles than the smaller colleges did. In principle, then, friendships networks at the large campus should be far more diverse. They weren’t. On the smaller campuses people made friends with  people very different from them; on the larger campus, students were able to seek out their ideological twins. Forced by circumstance to befriend people at least somewhat different from themselves, they did so. And they made the friendships work: the friendships at the smaller colleges were actually closer and lasted longer than the friendships at the larger university. Offered a wider choice of friends, students at larger schools chose sameness. It’s astonishing how widespread this tendency to homophily can be, and it can be both deep-rooted and absurdly superficial.”
  • “Rather than lubricating people with drinks at a networking reception, or getting them to play silly games at a team-building event, the way to get conflicting teams to gel is to give them something worth doing together – something where failing to cooperate simply isn’t an option.”
  • “Whether we’re giving a speech, waiting on tables, or sitting in a corporate call center, the messier, improvised response is the one that takes in the entire context: the ambient noise, a customer’s tone of voice, the reaction of an audience, even the weather. Sometimes it’s only when a speaker delivers a line and sees the body language, bears the laughter, or senses the sharp intake of breath that she instinctively understands what she must do next.”
  • “There is a name for this sort of approach: ‘validation therapy,’ and while we don’t have a great deal of evidence on how well it works, what evidence we do have hints that it might help people with dementia feel less depressed and less likely to be agitated or aggressive. What is the alternative? It is to continually remind dementia sufferers that it is Tuesday, that they live in a nursing home, that this is their name and these are pictures of their family. That provokes anger and frustration, and no wonder. To the sufferer, these constant admonitions are a long stream of ‘no.’ It is much more fun to hear ‘yes.'”
  • “‘I think you might be underestimating the degree to which established brick-and-mortar business, or any company that might be used to doing things a certain way, will find it hard to be numble or to focus attention on a new channel,’ he told the class at Harvard. ‘I guess we’ll see.'”
  • “Governments continue to be motivated by the idea that the better they comprehend the world, the better they will be able to control and exploit it.”
  • “We worry that the robots are taking our jobs, but just as common a problem is that the robots are taking out judgment.”
  • “When we overprotect our children, denying them the opportunity to practice their own skills, learn to make wise and foolish choices, to experience pain and loss, and generally make an almighty mess, we believe we’re treating them with love – but we may also be limiting their scope to become fully human.”

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