Sumeet Mahendra's Reviews > The Wisdom of Psychopaths: What Saints, Spies, and Serial Killers Can Teach Us About Success

The Wisdom of Psychopaths by Kevin Dutton
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's review
Mar 18, 2017

really liked it
bookshelves: selective-reading, read-it-so-fast, favorites

Though I've read this book quite fast but I really enjoyed those useful lessons and somehow in mid of it, I started considering myself as a good psychopath. Someone who has total control on fear or any emotion, whatsoever. And, it maybe due to years of mediation & reading spiritual scriptures.

The main message in this book is:

Some psychopaths end up in jail as tried murderers and rapists, but others are successful executives, lawyers and surgeons and hold high political offices. Actually, it’s specific psychopathic traits like fearlessness and living in the now that help them achieve success – a lesson for anyone who wants to learn from successful, functional psychopaths.

This book in blinks answered the following questions:

What makes psychopaths different from others? What are they like?

Psychopaths are often charming and intelligent – and know no fears.
Psychopaths make decisions coolly and rationally; emotions and morals aren’t factors.
Psychopaths don’t just contemplate doing something – they take action.
Why are psychopaths successful? What sorts of positions are best for them?

Some psychopathic traits are more common in executives and politicians than in convicted criminals.
Living in the here and now – what psychopaths have in common with Zen masters.
Psychopathic traits are especially useful in stressful, chaotic environments.
“Generation Me”: Psychopathic traits are more widespread in younger generations.
What can we learn from successful psychopaths?

Acquiring psychopathic traits can be useful for your own advancement.
Functional psychopaths can flip their behavioral switch depending on the situation.

Now, I can understand that you're seriously hoping to read it, as soon as you could. So wait no more, here's the link to buy it from Amazon at very discounted price -

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Reading Progress

March 15, 2017 – Started Reading
March 18, 2017 – Shelved
March 18, 2017 –
page 30
13.51% "On the surface, psychopaths are extremely engaging most of the time: they’re often very charming, good speakers and entertaining to others – all of which distracts from what’s going on inside them and covers up their “evil” side.

Given their manner, it’s no surprise that so many psychopaths end up occupying high positions – becoming tenured professors, executives, surgeons and mayors."
March 18, 2017 –
32.0% "But what does the inner life of a psychopath look like? Many of them are extremely intelligent, though they lack emotions like fear, shame and guilt. They are mentally agile and shrewd, yet deficient in emotional impulses. "
March 18, 2017 –
45.0% "In this hypothetical exercise, psychopaths don’t hesitate to sacrifice one person for the sake of five others in either of the variants. For them, it doesn’t matter whether they have to kill somebody with their own hands or by throwing the switch because the result is the same. "
March 18, 2017 –
51.0% "This tendency is also clear in asylums for the mentally ill. Whereas many patients with other disorders are prone to passivity, psychopaths are active and want to keep busy. For them, having nothing to do is not an option. They have to be constantly involved in something, even if it’s just having a conversation or playing a video game."
March 18, 2017 –
57.0% "In 2000, one study investigated how strongly former US presidents displayed several psychopathic traits. The researchers interviewed presidents’ biographers and looked into dogmas like, “I never feel guilty over hurting other people,” or, “You should take advantage of others before they do it to you.” In general, the qualities of the ex-presidents showed a strong tendency towards psychopathy – Kennedy and Clinton!"
March 18, 2017 –
64.0% "Aside from politicians, other people who have attained success also exhibit psychopathic qualities, such as an overly positive view of themselves, a strong persuasive ability, recklessness and a pronounced charm they use to win over others. 
While these qualities enable some people to become murderers, they enable others to relentlessly pursue their goals without ever violating laws or becoming liable to prosecution."
March 18, 2017 –
68.0% "That makes it possible to manage a task calmly and intently without being distracted by disruptive thoughts or emotions. Psychopaths seem to be born with this ability. Perceptions that have nothing to do with the task at hand will not make it through their filter of consciousness. 

This is due to the fact that they’re not afraid of anything, nor do they be distracted by emotions: because they simply don’t feel them."
March 18, 2017 –
71.0% "Studies conclude that today’s Generation Me is more egocentric, competitive and narcissistic than any before it. Young people are getting accustomed to having superficial virtual friendships and seeing lots of violence on television and in video games. Today’s youth also emulate pop stars who often display psychopathic tendencies."
March 18, 2017 –
81.0% "Many psychopathic traits are advantageous in the world of sports: if you have no fear and can concentrate fully on one thing, you can train more effectively and perform better in competitions. And that can be applied to almost all areas of life. 

Meditation is one way to practice absorbing ourselves in the here and now. By meditating, we can learn to disengage from ourselves and take a step back."
March 18, 2017 –
87.0% "In most professions, it’s also a huge benefit to have the charm and persuasiveness of a psychopath. If you can learn to wear that mask, you can win over others with your ideas. 

Interestingly enough, with transcranial magnetic stimulation, the brain activity of a psychopath can be temporarily simulated in a “normal” person."
March 18, 2017 –
90.0% "But things look completely different for successful, functional psychopaths. They can activate the “positive” characteristics of psychopathy – e.g., their charm, their recklessness and their inclination to act – in certain moments where they’re useful, but also withhold them in certain situations where they might do more harm than good."
March 18, 2017 –
March 18, 2017 –
92.0% "Every situation calls for different behavior. And those who can turn certain psychopathic traits on and off depending on the situation have a huge repertoire of behavioral patterns they can use to mold the most varied and difficult of situations to their benefit. "
March 18, 2017 –
97.0% "This is extremely valuable in our society, given that many of the most influential positions out there are best suited to people who act recklessly and fearlessly at the right moment – and who can play the part of the conventional family man and philanthropist in the next."
March 18, 2017 – Shelved as: selective-reading
March 18, 2017 – Shelved as: read-it-so-fast
March 19, 2017 – Finished Reading
April 20, 2017 – Shelved as: favorites

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Elyse (new) - added it

Elyse Good review :)

Sumeet Mahendra Elyse wrote: "Good review :)"

Thank you so much dear Lady. Your likes just made my day, what can be start of best Sunday morning by seeing likes & a comment on GoodReads.

Thanks again. :-):-)

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