Books That Change Lives – Play Your Brain: Adopt a Musical Mindset and Change Your Life and Career
By Annette Prehn and Kjeld Fredens
Published by Marshall Cavendish Business, London, 2011
This book is a unique take on how to achieve goals in your life and career. It uses the analogy of music and playing the eight keys of your “inner piano” to create a flexible mindset. Such a mindset is one that adapts elegantly to change, breaks from habits that hold you back and allows you to reach your goals. Recently neuroscience has revealed evidence of how the brain works and the authors describes these as the “rules of the brain”. Your brain may behave like an opponent (typically when you are unaware of these rules) or a co-player, with which you play your way to success.
Authors – who are they?
Annette Prehn is described as a valuable contributor to the field of neuroscience. She has published two other coaching books, in Danish. She now lives in Switzerland and works as a trainer in leadership and team development, with specific specialities in neuroscience and change management.
Kjeld Fredens is a medical doctor and neuroscience researcher with more than 35 years’ experience in the field of neuro biology. He has authored 8 books.
There is a chapter for each of the 8 keys: Thoughts, Values, Body, Perception, Vision, Goals, Emotions and Successes. Each key is described by itself in an easy to understand and fun way. The authors often refer back to the music and musician analogy. E.g. just as musicians use their entire body to give life to music, so too are bodily awareness and adeptness foundational to our successes. The scientific explanations of how we work and how the brain works are easy to follow and relate to.
Each chapter also broadens the discussion to show how the particular key works in synergy with one or more of the other keys. My favourite chapter is the last one in the book, called “All together now! Playing the Keys, Creating the Change”. It shows how all the keys work together, invites the reader to become aware of default keys (natural strengths) and encourages you to become more sensitive to the keys that are not played as much. If playing a certain key does not deliver results, then change to a different key and become more aware of the different keys available to you.
That you want to read it a second time to really get the complete understanding of how the keys are interacting. 🙂
What I’ve taken from it?
Each chapter provides easy to use, yet powerful exercises and strategies that the reader can use to coach themselves, or by a coach with their clients. A key insight for me was the importance of the Body key in making successful changes. I would have always considered the brain as the core player, i.e. Thoughts, Perception and Vision keys. However, I am now more aware that the Body key is as much a core player and that it plays a significant role in making change happen.
Sunette van Zyl, Graduate of The Diploma in Executive and Life Coaching Course
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