For today’s post, I want to introduce you to a very new app, Pique, that’s only available for iOS right now. I think some of you may find useful and also enjoy using to make positive changes in your life. To be clear, I have nothing to do with this app, but if you like what it can do for you to teach you new ways of thinking, making positive changes in life and ones that will stick, and to understand how people do or don’t do this well, this is your chance to get ahead of the world in these matters and be among the earliest to try!
The Chinese have a wonderful proverb (among many) that I love, that goes
I hear, I forget
I see, I remember
I do, I understand
Independent of it, but along the same lines, I have long said that among the books I have read, the best ones from which I wanted to learn something, I have “studied”. That’s because I had long realized that for me, and I believe also for most others, reading a book is a terrible way to learn. Reading falls somewhere between I hear and I see in that proverb, with your eyes doing the reading (unless you were blind) and a voice in your head that most people “hear” when they read, verbalizing the words they see in their minds. That’s the thing you actually need to stop doing if you wanted to learn to speed read, but that’s another topic. Generally, though, with books from which you want to learn something, you don’t do much or anything to truly understand what it’s trying to teach you, maybe beyond a few thought experiments from questions asked in the text. That’s why I “study” the books I want to learn from most and not just read it.
Now, what does “studying” a book mean? It means I ask questions as I go along, often of myself. Where applicable, I will also assess myself with respect to something of the book’s topic about which I am wanting to learn. It also means I devise up things to try if it doesn’t suggest me to try it. In these ways, I get engaged more deeply, from independent thought to ask questions and not just agree with everything read, to actually doing something either hands-on or in real life. It takes a long time, and a lot of effort, but if I thought the book was good enough and worthwhile, I will find the time and energy to do it. Among books in the past I have studied included Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman, Please Understand Me by David Keirsey, and just recently, The Hidden Habits of Genius by Craig M. Wright.
But today, I heard this part 1 of 2 podcast episode of People I (Mostly) Admire
and there was mention of a new free app created by the guest called Pique, which helps users do what I mentioned about “studying” a book, without the user having to read the book, and without the reader having to do what I had to do to “study” the book! It’s only available on iOS right now, but it has a nice half a dozen seemingly good, behavioral science books users can “study” already! I haven’t read any of the books, but I have heard podcasts on most of them, and was very impressed by them. These include:
- How to Change: The Science of Getting from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be by Katy Milkman
- Happy Money: The Science of Happier Money by Elizabeth Dunn and Michael Norton
- How to Decide: Simple Tools for Making Better Choices by Annie Duke
- Time Smart: How to Reclaim Your Time and Live a Happier Life by Ashley Whillans
- Subtract: The Untapped Science of Less by Leidy Klotz
- Good Habits Bad Habits: The Science of Making Positive Changes by Wendy Wood
- The Person You Mean to Be: How Good People Fight Bias by Dolly Chugh
- Scarcity: The Science of Having Less and How It Defines Our Lives by the Pique app creator, Sendhil Mullainathan
Wow. Can you see some patterns there? How many female authors and how often “science” appears in the titles to indicate the research based content?
Myself, I just started with How to Change by Katy Milkman, that’s about making big changes in life, which I am contemplating, as well as small ones (that may well lead to big ones being initial steps or serendipitously). I have homework to do already, with the fresh start effect that kicks in timely this Saturday morning as I start a week’s vacation with the aim to get back at painting, that I never really got a good start at before the COVID pandemic hit. I have visual reminders already with blank canvases that have been on my wall for way too long, and now just need a commitment device, but those are future 4 minute lessons each. Yep! Just 4 minutes per lesson! And about half an hour for this book!
Of course, any book the user enjoys, they may wish to buy it and “study” it in more detail, whether like how I “study” things or not. However, given how I prefer the action engagement over the reading, and will get chances to do engage and experience what the books are teaching, I probably won’t buy many. But I’ll probably eventually buy a few I want to learn to do much more in depth than what Pique will give me a taste of. We’ll see, but I have a lot of hands on and in life learning to do in the meanwhile!