I wasn’t looking forward to reading this book, and I didn’t know what it was about.
I knew the book was called ‘Switch,’ and in big letters on the front cover, the text reads, ‘How to change things when change is hard,’ but what exactly are we trying to change here? Change the economy, change people’s beliefs, change the way I look, what is it?
I hate the cover design. I think it looks old and boring, and I dislike the colors.
The only thing that gave me any confidence is the statement on the front cover, which informed me that the book is a New York Times number one bestseller.
Everything else about the book turned me away from it.
The only reason I bought the book in the first place was that certain people that I look up to and admire had recommended the book and had it on their reading lists.
I did have the book for a while, but thanks to the points I mention above, I had been pushing the book further and further to the bottom of my reading pile, until eventually, I ran out of stuff to read, and I had to give the book a go!
What is it with book titles?
Again, this is another book that I feel has been titled incorrectly, as the title doesn’t tell me an awful lot about the book’s content.
Yes, the title tells me that the book will help me make some changes, but I don’t know what those changes are.
After reading the book, I can tell you that the book is about creating a mass movement, although the principles set out in the book will also work on a smaller, more personal scale.
The majority of the examples given in the book are on a grand scale (creating those mass movements). I think those large examples have been made to emphasize just how powerful these simple principles are.
This book is a fascinating read with ideas that are based on human psychology. The book will give you the knowledge you need to help you influence and change peoples’ behavior.
What is ‘Switch’ about?
The book revolves around one psychological theory of a rider, an elephant, and a path. (For those that are keen travelers, you may point out that we shouldn’t be riding elephants, but please stay with me on this one, no one is riding an elephant, this is just in theory!)
‘Switch’ explains that all individuals are made up of both a rider and an elephant. The rider is your analytical side and is more likely to give up things for a future goal, while the elephant is your emotional side and is looking for quick wins.
To help explain this further, let’s use the example of losing weight.
The rider in you knows that if you eat too much junk food and don’t do enough exercise, you will gain weight. But if you want to lose weight, our rider also knows that if you cut down on junk food and move more, you’re going to achieve your weight loss goal.
The elephant in us isn’t thinking long-term. So, when you get peckish in the afternoon, your elephant is the one that helps you to reach for the biscuits while the rider is telling you not to.
The third part of the equation is the path that helps determine where you want to get to.
You must shape your path and help both your rider and elephant to follow it to reach your desired destination or desired outcome.
That principle is broken down very early on in the book.
Each section, the rider, the elephant, and the path, is then covered in detail that explains how you can influence each part.
In my opinion, what makes this book enjoyable is that you can relate to every example and principle that the book contains. With each page turn, you agree with the authors because the examples given in the book reflect your behavior and your response to change.
As you read the book, you will come across real-life examples of where change had to happen, and, following the principles set out in the book, you will learn what implementations were required to get the desired result.
You’ll also come across ‘clinics,’ which are examples of problems where change needs to be made. The authors walk you through, step-by-step, how to develop a solution that is most likely to give favorable results.
The authors leave a few quirky comments throughout the book, giving the text a very light-hearted feel and making the book more enjoyable to read.
My overall thoughts
Although I dislike the look and design of this book, every page was valuable and well worth the time it took me to read it.
It’s a shame that the design, specifically the font, also affected the book’s readability; otherwise, I would have scored the book 10/10!
Have you read ‘Switch’?
This book review is my personal opinion and experience of “Switch.”
If you’ve read this book, share your thoughts in the comments section, and don’t forget to leave your own review in the box below.
A fascinating read based on human psychology. This book will equip you with the knowledge to help you influence and change people's behavior. The authors have taken, what I think, is a complex subject and broken it down into simple principles that are easy to digest and follow. I dislike the design of the book and its pages, but the words that are printed are very valuable.
Your review is appreciated