Mindgym, and The Causes of Structural Unemployment

Published date01 March 2015
Date01 March 2015
© 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Published online in Wiley Online Library (wileyonlinelibrary.com).
DOI 10.1002/jcaf.22032
look at ourselves to analyze
why we didn’t get a promo-
tion or raise, or why we seem
to have issues with coworkers
or others, or why we procras-
tinate. Sebastian and Black’s
Mindgym is about recognizing
and addressing the behaviors
and perceptions that prevent
individuals from achieving their
desired performance and goals.
The authors’ basic premise is
that individuals make choices
as to how they think, whether
they improve, how smart they
act, and the habits they pos-
sess, and that individuals can
train their brains to make better
choices. While this topic may
be fodder for the self-help aisle
of the local bookstore, this
book is based on solid scientific
research. Sebastian and Black
matter-of-factly and nonjudg-
mentally provide the reader
with the tools to understand
how thinking process, percep-
tions, behaviors, and personal-
ity traits lead to positive and
negative outcomes. Based on
their premise, the authors pro-
vide strategies to change one’s
psychological characteristics
to attain a higher performance
level or reach a goal.
David M. Cannon and Stephen R. Goldberg
M indgym, and The Causes
of Structural Unemployment
Bailey, Sebastian, and Octavius
Black, 2014, Mindgym: Achiev-
ing More by Thinking Differ-
ently (New York: HarperOne)
Janoski, Thomas, David Luke,
and Christopher Oliver, 2014,
The Causes of Structural
Unemployment: Four Factors
That Keep People From the Jobs
They Deserve (Malden, MA:
Polity Press)
The first book reviewed
addresses how individuals can
recognize and change how their
thinking patterns and mental
habits affect performance and
achievement of goals. The second
book investigates the causes and
possible solutions to structural
unemployment with the authors
approaching the issue from a
broad sociological rather than a
narrow economic perspective.
Periodic introspection is
a virtue and a key to personal
development and improvement.
We might take an introspective
Readers should note that
Mindgym focuses on the behav-
iors, thinking patterns, and
traits of individuals rather than
organizations. The authors’ dis-
cussion and examples imply that
individual behavior, thinking
patterns, and the like cut across
personal, social, and business
contexts. For instance, examples
used to illustrate the impact of
psychological characteristics in
relationships are just as likely to
use spousal and social relation-
ships as they are customer, sup-
plier, coworker, and manager–
subordinate relationships.
Readers will find that
Mindgym breaks down think-
ing processes and behaviors
in ways that are quite useful.
For example, a person might
be thinking with an “internal
focus” where the person is aware
of thinking about something, or
with an “external focus,” which
is described as “an awareness
of things going outside of your
head.” Either of the two foci
can be thought of as “helpful
when it increases the likelihood
of success . . . or harmful when
it keeps you from achieving your
goals or performance.” Accord-
ing to the authors, individuals

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