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Publisher's Summary

Mindshift reveals how we can overcome stereotypes and preconceived ideas about what is possible for us to learn and become.

At a time when we are constantly being asked to retrain and reinvent ourselves to adapt to new technologies and changing industries, this book shows us how we can uncover and develop talents we didn't realize we had - no matter what our age or background. We're often told to "follow our passions." But in Mindshift, Dr. Barbara Oakley shows us how we can broaden our passions. Drawing on the latest neuroscientific insights, Dr. Oakley shepherds us past simplistic ideas of "aptitude" and "ability", which provide only a snapshot of who we are now - with little consideration about how we can change.

Even seemingly "bad" traits, such as a poor memory, come with hidden advantages - like increased creativity. Profiling people from around the world who have overcome learning limitations of all kinds, Dr. Oakley shows us how we can turn perceived weaknesses, such as impostor syndrome and advancing age, into strengths. People may feel like they're at a disadvantage if they pursue a new field later in life, yet those who change careers can be fertile cross-pollinators: They bring valuable insights from one discipline to another. Dr. Oakley teaches us strategies for learning that are backed by neuroscience so that we can realize the joy and benefits of a learning lifestyle. Mindshift takes us deep inside the world of how people change and grow. Our biggest stumbling blocks can be our own preconceptions, but with the right mental insights, we can tap in to hidden potential and create new opportunities.

©2017 Barbara Oakley (P)2017 Penguin Audio

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Learning by anecdote

I realize my 3 star review may seem harsh. However, the book focuses very heavily on anecdotes that seek to engage the listener (reader). However, for my own learning style, I was already engaged enough to purchase the audiobook.

I would have appreciated a greater emphasis on applicable techniques, and explanations of why they work, rather than hearing that people changed their lives. Please note that I said THAT people changed their lives, not HOW people changed their lives. There is too much time spent expressing the amazing changes in the lives of individuals, with little emphasis on the how.

That being said, the latter third of the book, which emphasizes the utility of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses), was much more useful to me. It highlighted what makes for a good MOOC, how to find MOOCs suited to one's own interest, and even how to construct a useful MOOC.

All that said, thank you to Barbara Oakley for her efforts in writing this book, and making the audiobook version available.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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New concepts learned but some were a sales pitch.

I felt like the book started off great but half way on t was all about Moots.com, a way to advance your career or learn a new subject. I enjoyed listening about it but not for 1/4 of the book. It did help me think about learning something new and now I have a free way and new approach

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Really worthwhile

Some of the earlier reviews about the performance were far too harsh, I found it easy to listen to.

This is a good follow up to a mind for numbers, a book I really loved and found helpful.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Mindshifting listen

Really enjoyed the narration. Barbara's voice is easy to listen to and calming. The cases described inspire to change and grow. It's also great that all the practical to do stuff is at the end of each chapter - you can listen to the book first and then easily find the to do stuff.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Think in many ways for life long learning.

Well narrated by the author.
I enjoyed it up till it took too much of my time telling me how great MOOCs are. I felt a little cheated into an infomercial (by a little I mean a lot.) That's great she's done such a wonderful class with it and helped so many, but my exiting impression is that a third of the time was spent lauding the platform more than the ideas, actions, and the reasons. For some, I'm assuming this is what they need to hear, and thus it will serve them well and hopefully inspire them to reflect on their continued learning.
I stayed to the finish hoping for closure.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Phenomenal piece of work.

This material is too important to miss. Barbara's research on the topic is second to none. She has a very well thought out process of helping you apply the vast knowledge of this book. Do her 'notebook' exercises, and it will help you too! I read an earlier review about her voice not being 'professional', don't worry, you'll get used to her voice, and take advantage of the shear brilliance of this book. Some of the things I'm familiar with, from her prior book (A Mind for Numbers) and her course (Learning How To Learn) on Coursera, but some content is totally new to me. I am so happy with the book, that I bought the Kindle version, also! This is an excellent insight into learning. Its worth the cost of my yearly Audible subscription!

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Watch the Learning how to learn course instead

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

The book was for me, but Barbara has an accent and a voice that is difficult to understand when there is some noise around. I listen to audio books on the street while walking to work/on the bus.
The book had little/no new insights into learning how to learn. That is the main reason I bought this audiobook.

Would you be willing to try another book from Barbara Oakley? Why or why not?

Yes, because I loved learning how to learn, because whet she was teaching was also applying in the course. Here ... not so much. Chunking and other principles got somehow lost in the book. There wasn't a clear structure that was revisited with an initial overview and repetition of parts. It was more of a let met try to summarize my thoughts thing.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Barbara Oakley?

I listened to numerous books by the following narrators: Derek Perkins, Malcolm Gladwell or Dennis Boutsikaris. Their articulation/pronunciation is much clearer than Barabaras so you can focus on the meaning not on figuring out the words spoken.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Dissapointment

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Mind-Opening

Dr. Oakley is one of those truly remarkable people that you can't get enough of. I had the pleasure of meeting her through work a year ago or so and, after hearing her personal story and then about her work, I knew I had to read her books (and the books she recommends). Dr. Oakley's reading is fantastic and her excitement about the topic and the stories she tells get you, the listener, excited as well. Excited to learn, grow, improve, and never get down about your abilities. It was a fantastic listen.

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A must read!

Dr. oakley is becoming my absolute favourite author! Thans to her my personal and proffetional life is really taking a shift on the positive side! thanx a lot fpr your research and sharung these amazing knowledge!

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Inspiring !

What a great advice based not only in good hopes, but also in learning journeys.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-06-17

fantastic experience

loved this book. offers so much. having it read by the amazing author is bonus

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  • Darren Bryant
  • 06-23-17

Amazing reflections from a life-long learner

An important book for anyone looking to learn about learning and real self improvement. Will probably buy this in paperback so I can reread and complete the exercises.