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Breaking Rank

463 pages6 hours


"There is only one thing that holds people and nations back. It's a story that explains who they are and what they can and cannot do. Breaking Rank helps you to understand the mind and unlock people's true potential."

How can you motivate people and empower them to make better choices, when stories about their social rank have imprisoned their minds? How can people's mindset not only negatively influence their own well-being and wealth, but also that of an entire society? This book provides a fresh perspective on the answers, as well as the tools to change that mindset. Steven Coutinho takes you on a fascinating journey into how the mind has evolved, how it is shaped by society and how it shapes society in turn. You will learn why some people think they can't, while others are convinced they can, how the story of color has stagnated post-colonial economies, and the story of capitalism has kept the West unequal.

Whether you are simply interested in understanding behavior, or are a parent, teacher or manager ready to lead change, Breaking Rank is bound to shift and sharpen your perspective. You will never look at your own behavior – or the behavior of others – the same way again.

Ten things you will learn from reading this book:


# 1. The evolutionary origins of human emotions and thoughts. You'll learn why for example some people feel scared or demotivated, and why others think they "can't".

# 2. The historic origins of prejudice and how European colonizers used the story of color to rank people in the colonies. You'll also learn how the story of color is similar to the story of capitalism.

# 3. How behaviors are shaped by situations and the stories that describe people's role in those situations.


# 4. An alternative approach to decision making based on evolutionary psychology and the latest insights from neuroscience.

# 5. How the stories that have shaped postcolonial societies have led to similar economic choice patterns and continue to stagnate economic growth.

# 6. How the stories of capitalism keep people anxiously occupied and have led to economic inequality.


# 7. How mindfulness strengthens specific brain areas that increase emotional self-control and lead to improved decision making.

# 8. How education can be reformed by helping children understand WHO they are, WHAT they can do, and HOW they can do it.

# 9. How to motivate and empower people in organizations by changing the perceptions they have about themselves, their level of control and their skills.

# 10. How to discover the potential you already are...

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