PID 3268


Reflections from our Bookshelf: Instinct

Instinct: Rewire Your Brain with Science-Backed Solutions to Increase Productivity and Achieve
By: Rebecca Heiss, PhD
Reflection by: Jenny Hagadorn, CFP®

Why I read it?

In 2022, some of my teammates and I were able to attend the South Carolina Women’s Executive Luncheon. Rebecca Heiss, PhD was the keynote speaker, and referenced a lot of snippets from her book. Rebecca was one of the most captivating speakers I had heard lately – she even made us all stand up and dance to prove a point! Intrigued by her perspective for the few minutes she was on stage, I wanted to learn more.

What is it all about?

In this book, Heiss walks through various human traits and natural instincts that may be limiting our potential and experiences in daily life. She breaks down each “instinct,” explaining how it developed, and why it may not be necessary in our modern lives. Heiss then gives the reader tangible ways to counteract these instincts to be more productive and have more meaningful relationships.

What caused me to pause?

The most profound piece from this book was actually when Heiss quotes Rabbi Hyman Schachtel. He said, “Happiness is not having what you want, but wanting what you have.” In today’s world of social media with everything at our fingertips, it seems we are conditioned to always want more. This is a stark contrast from our ancestors who needed to hunt & gather just to eat each day. Now, we have easy access to almost every basic need. We always talk about gratitude, but this was a unique and striking reminder to look at everything I already have in life through a different lens.

How will this book change my habits or influence me?

In my daily life, I am excited to apply the concept Heiss refers to as the “beginner’s mind.” Often, if we are well versed in a topic or skill, it can preclude us from having an open mind. An example that comes up in the book is how non-native English speakers can more easily pick out grammatical or spelling errors in writing. This is something I am going to be mindful of as I move through the tasks I do daily, making sure I am trying to view them from an outsider’s lens.

Add this to your reading list if…

You are curious about the science of human nature and why we are predisposed to act in certain ways, or if you are an admirer of science and looking for ways to improve your productivity and perspective, this book is for you!

Pickle Rating: 3.75 out of 5

Shannon Dermody

Shannon DermodyTEST

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