David Niven

It's Not About the Shark

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When we have a problem, most of us zero in, take it apart, and focus until we have it solved. Steven Spielberg tried that when the scenes with his expensive prosthetic shark just weren’t scary. Psychologist, social scientist and million-selling author David Niven shows us that focusing on the problem is exactly the wrong way to find an answer. And Jaws built its famous menace precisely because the shark hardly ever appears in shot.

Putting problems at the centre of our thoughts shuts down our creative abilities, depletes stamina, and feeds insecurities. Niven shows how working harder, and having absolute confidence in finding a solution, actually hides answers.

Through real-life examples and psychology research, David Niven shows us why:

*Focusing on the problem first makes us 17 times less likely to find an answer
*Being afraid of a problem is natural: we’re biologically primed to be afraid
*Finding a problem creates power – which keeps you from finding a solution
*Working harder actually hides answers
*Absolute confidence makes you less likely to find the answer
*Looking away from a problem helps to see a solution
*Listening only to yourself is one of the best ways to find an answer

It’s Not About the Shark shows how to transform your daily life with a simple but rock-solid principle: If you start by thinking about your problems, you’ll never make it to a solution. If you start by thinking about a solution, you’ll never worry about your problems again.
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223 printed pages
Original publication
2015

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