Next! Book Summary - Next! Book explained in key points
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Next! summary

Joanne Lipman

The Power of Reinvention in Life and Work

4 (89 ratings)
14 mins
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    Search: Trust your instincts, and move before you move

    Most of us have wanted to start fresh before, whether it was looking for a new job, moving to a different city, or ending a stale relationship. But often, we come up against a roadblock: How do we actually make the change happen? Do we need a detailed plan, or do we rely on intuition?

    Let’s look at the story of a fire chief who saved her team from a blazing inferno. Even though the flames weren’t excessive, she had a sixth sense that her crew was in trouble. She instructed her colleagues to flee – right before the floor suddenly collapsed. 

    Phew! A great example of listening to your gut, right? Well, according to cognitive scientist Gary Klein, it’s not quite that simple. The truth is, the commander’s “instincts” were aroused by a mismatch of conditions, which triggered her dread. From years of experience, she already possessed a deep subconscious knowledge of how fire operates, how smoke moves, and what temperatures are the most dangerous. So even though it seemed like an intuitive decision, it was really her subconscious mind drawing on past experiences.

    That’s right, successful gut decisions aren’t really moments of brilliance – they’re pattern recognition resulting from deep expertise. When you trust your instincts, you’re tapping into a well of embedded knowledge. But how exactly do you do this? 

    Well there’s some good news: you’ve already started. That’s because change begins well before an explicit decision is made. Take Joanne Lee Molinaro, for example. It wasn’t until the coronavirus pandemic hit that she decided to dedicate more time to cooking. Sharing recipes online, her hobby became a side hustle. Within a year, “The Korean Vegan” gained 2.5 million fans and became a social media sensation. 

    That’s the first step to reinventing yourself: search. Try out new things. But don’t be fooled; Joanne’s success didn’t just come down to luck. She was ready to brave the unknown, and she put in consistent effort to learn how to cook. She took action and moved before she moved.

    To kick-start your own reinvention, you need to be patient, persistent, and willing to act. You might not be ready to jump into the deep end and commit all the way, but start taking small steps toward your goal. Because, contrary to popular belief, reinvention doesn’t happen overnight. And while intuition can be helpful, the most effective gut decisions are those supported by experience. 

    Finally, don’t be surprised if the search phase frustrates you – this is totally natural. Make an effort to enjoy your unique journey! In the next section, you’ll learn some tips to deal with the inevitable struggles and clarify your goals.

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    What is Next! about?

    Next! (2023) is an inspiring guide to personal reinvention. With insights from scientific research and real-life success stories, it provides practical steps to implement meaningful change in life and work.

    Who should read Next!?

    • Tenacious scholars
    • Aspiring creatives
    • Visionary millennials

    About the Author

    Joanne Lipman is a renowned journalist, editor, and best-selling author. In addition to holding various senior editorial positions, including Editor-in-Chief of USA Today and WSJ Weekend, she is a regular TV commentator and lecturer at Yale University. Lipman is also the author of That’s What She Said.

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