Clearer, Closer, Better: How Successful People See the World

Emily Balcetis. Ballantine, $27 (272p) ISBN 978-1-5247-9646-4
Social psychologist Balcetis employs “visual experience” as a device to study how successful people see the world, both literally and metaphorically, in this detailed exploration. Drawing from scientific studies, the habits of elite athletes, and her own efforts to learn to play the drums, the author reviews the key elements in setting and reaching goals. Many examples are given to explain how setting specific “sights” or goalposts can help a project succeed, including the Google X project (the former experimental research and development arm of the company) and its embrace of failure, as well as some obscure yet successful entrepreneurs, such as Giorgio Piccolo, founder of the multinational art gallery and brand Americanflat. Unfortunately, Balcetis only provides vague guidance on how to emulate the thinking of her examples, and some assertions she makes appear contradictory—one must narrowly focus on the goal, for instance, but also remain aware of the larger picture. Other anecdotes, meanwhile, are peripheral to the book’s thesis, such as the chapter on visual framing that relates to seating arrangements in the U.S. Senate. Readers looking for tools to achieve success will be disappointed, but the book does work as a survey of examples of singular achievements. (Mar.)
Reviewed on : 11/19/2019
Release date: 02/25/2020
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 272 pages - 978-1-5247-9648-8
Book - 1 pages - 978-1-5247-9647-1
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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