The ideas in this book are terrific. We kind of know some of Heath's principles: simplicity (well, we've heard about KISS forever), unexpectedness (there should be something shocking or at least edgy to make it dynamic,) concreteness (it can't be "mystery meat" you have be able to connect with the essence right away,) credibility (one has to get an initial feeling of "worthiness"), it has to excite, to have emotional as well as rational appeal, and stories help (well, we've heard about testimonials, and parables too). But here in this book Heath puts it all into focus so you have a concrete measuring scale to work with.
He illustrates his points with some good examples. How do you get big, bad truckers to stop littering the State of Texas? "Give a hoot, don't pollute" is too tame for these macho guys. So state officials came up with the slogan "Don't mess with Texas" and did TV spots with such consummate Texans as Ed Jones of the Dallas Cowboys and country music's Willie Nelson.
"Business managers seem to believe that, once they've clocked through a PowerPoint presentation showcasing their conclusions, they've successfully communicated their ideas," Heath writes. "What they've done is share data" Sticky ideas shock, move and convince us. "If you want your ideas to be stickier, you've got to break someone's guessing machine and then fix it."
I had read about Heath's research in Cognitive Psychology, Psychology Today, and Scientific American. Unfortunately not before I made two big mistakes. But, thanks to what I have since learned, I think I have been able to correct them.
I'm a board certified cognitive behavioral therapist who has had great success training people to re-wire their brains to quickly get out of the pain of depression by using simple mind exercises to switch their neural activity from the feeling part of the brain (the subcortex) to the thinking part of the brain (the neocortex). These exercises are based on neuroplasticity, the ability of the brain to re-wire itself as a result of changes in one's thinking and behavior. So far, so good.
I called the process Directed Thinking, successfully presented my research before the National Board of Cognitive Behavioral Therapists, and got a trademark. BUT THE NAME WAS NOT CATCHY. The second mistake was letting my publisher use the title DEPRESSION IS A CHOICE. What I meant was that people had a choice TO GET OUT OF Depression but many people were insulted because they thought I was saying they chose TO GET depressed in the first place, and I wasn't around to explain when a prospective reader picked up the book at Borders. But I think I got Heath's message loud and clear. My second book is called BRAINSWITCH OUT OF DEPRESSION!