The Science of Intelligent Achievement Book Summary - The Science of Intelligent Achievement Book explained in key points
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The Science of Intelligent Achievement summary

Isaiah Hankel

How Smart People Focus, Create and Grow Their Way to Success

4.4 (399 ratings)
23 mins
Table of Contents

    The Science of Intelligent Achievement
    summarized in 8 key ideas

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    Key idea 1 of 8

    Mental energy is precious, so learn to say no in order to protect this resource.

    If you spend your days interacting with a computer, there’s a good chance you’ve encountered those times when you just feel stuck, staring at your computer screen. The more you try to get unstuck, the less you feel able to make any decisions. This is due to the fact that, when your mind is exhausted, no amount of time or effort spent on contemplation can help.

    The key to avoiding this kind of exhaustion is to have mental energy, as this is what allows you to be enthusiastic and enjoy what’s going on in your professional and personal lives. But while it may be important, mental energy is also scarce and easily depleted.

    According to a 2007 study in the Harvard Business Review, the average person enjoys only two hours of peak mental focus every day, along with an additional five hours of relatively high mental focus. At all other times, there’s a good chance your mental focus will be relatively poor.

    So, how do we make sure our mental energy gets replenished each day? A 2012 study by medical researcher Taeko Sasai suggests that sufficient sleep is what’s needed for this to happen. But even then, with high mental energy and especially peak mental energy being such limited resources, it’s clear we need to treat each minute with care.

    And that’s where Selective Focus comes in. Selective Focus is about being careful and choosy about how you spend your energy, and the first rule is learning how to say no to certain things that are competing for your attention. After all, you can’t give your time and energy to everyone, no matter how politely they ask.

    Saying no doesn’t always come easily or naturally. Many of us were programmed as children to say yes to whatever our parents or our teachers asked of us. When you said yes growing up, you were probably rewarded with attention, praise or even a big, welcoming hug.

    But now that you’re an adult, there are rewards to saying no. Through analyzing over 80 studies that looked into the benefits of saying no, psychologist Martin Hagger found conclusive evidence that it not only helps people avoid wasteful and unproductive activity, it also helps them achieve their goals more efficiently.

    In the next blink, we’ll look at some more rules for applying Selective Focus.

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    What is The Science of Intelligent Achievement about?

    The Science of Intelligent Achievement (2018) is about how to become more productive and creative, so that you achieve the goals you have set for yourself. The book shows you how to think the right thoughts, and surround yourself with the right people to sustain your motivation.

    Best quote from The Science of Intelligent Achievement

    Beware the barrenness of a busy life. – Socrates

    —Isaiah Hankel
    example alt text

    Who should read The Science of Intelligent Achievement?

    • Entrepreneurs who want to harness their energy
    • Self-employed people who want to boost their productivity
    • Psychologists and coaches

    About the Author

    Isaiah Hankel has a PhD in biology and a talent for coaching people in the areas of mental concentration and behavioral psychology. He is also a successful author in these fields as well as a contributing writer to publications such as the Guardian and Entrepreneur Magazine. His previous book, Black Hole Focus (2014), was an international best seller in the business book genre.


    © Isaiah Hankel: The Science of Intelligent Achievement copyright 2018, John Wiley & Sons Inc. Used by permission of John Wiley & Sons Inc. and shall not be made available to any unauthorized third parties.

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