Atinuke Oyewunmi – Assessments

As a Man Thinketh
Assessment by Moradeke Atinuke Obikoya (Nigeria)

1. What is the main idea that the author is trying to convey in the book?

The main idea that I believe the author tried to convey is that “Our patterns of thinking create our life conditions”. And that if we want to improve our life conditions, we need to take charge of our thought patterns, ensuring that we think only positive and empowering thoughts.

2. What were the seven ideas which were personally most important to you and why? List these seven ideas followed by an explanation after each one as to why it was important to you. Use personal examples from your own life.

i. Concentrated thinking is the great secret that separates the winners from the whiners.

From my personal and professional experience, I have discovered over the years that when I do not focus my thinking on particular objectives, I do not make meaningful progress. Concentrated thinking helps me achieve results faster. Setting goals helps me to focus my thinking and when I do, I usually take corresponding actions. When my thinking is not concentrated, I don’t have enough will from within to get things done. In situations like these, one will more likely whine about challenges rather than win.

ii. Most people do not control their patterns of thinking and are therefore controlled by endless assaults of fruitless thoughts and are left wandering and wishing for more.

I strongly believe that when we leave our minds unguarded, all manner of thoughts pass through it and these thoughts breed undesired action and results. When I look around me, I see some people who drift along with challenges of life as though they are helpless.
No one is helpless who can take charge of their mind! It seems that once we are used to not controlling our mind, we jump on a slippery slope that makes it really hard for us to stop the endless assaults of fruitless thoughts.

iii. Some may have already discovered these secrets from different sources and wander why they are still wanting more. The reason is because the information has not yet travelled the long distance from the head and into the heart.

When we do not internalize positive thoughts and lessons, they remain in our heads and cannot be translated into positive habits. Personally, I have discovered that only when my habits change do I truly experience a change in circumstances. Without translating what we know into routines that become a part of us, we will not make meaningful progress.

iv. A noble and Godlike character is not a thing of favor or chance, but is the natural result of continued effort in right thinking, the effect of long-cherished association with Godlike thoughts. An ignoble and bestial character, by the same process, is the result of the continued harboring of groveling thoughts.
Many people often believe that having a Godlike character is innate and not something that can be achieved through effort. However, it takes a personal conscious effort to develop a Godlike character. That effort is put into right thinking. This means that we cannot leave our minds unattended and expect to develop Godlike character. We may not even be able to pray our way into developing such character except we take charge of our thought patterns. On the other hand, when people allow their minds to be filled with negative thoughts over a long time, they begin to manifest bad character that make them useless to themselves and useless to other people. Their potential remains unharnessed because people will not want to associate with them because of their dishonourable character.

v. Very soon so altered has his mind become that the workshop can no longer hold him. It has become so out of harmony with his mentality that it falls out of his life as a garment is cast aside, and, with the growth of opportunities, which fit the scope of his expanding powers, he passes out of it forever.

This description above demonstrates that if we desire a change in our circumstances, then we need to outgrow our current thinking level. When we become disconnected from our physical realities in our thinking, they will definitely fall off from our lives. Personally, when I desire a change in my environment, I create a beautiful picture of my desire in my mind and think upon it deliberately daily, I surround myself with pictures of what I desire (i.e. a new office, car or house), then I discover that in just a matter of time I possess those things. I believe this also validates the law of attraction that says that we attract into our lives the thoughts that we are obsessed with. In essence when we develop superior reasoning and a higher thought, better than our circumstances, it is just a matter of time before our circumstances will change for the better. We also become powerful through this process. Once we master this, hardly ever would we go down the lane of negative thinking again. This does not mean that we should become complacent, but the regular discipline of our minds will make us stronger and less vulnerable to negativity.

vi. A particular train of thought persisted in, be it good or bad, cannot fail to produce its results on the character and circumstances. A man cannot directly choose his circumstances, but he can choose his thoughts, and so indirectly, yet surely, shape his circumstances.

Circumstances do not just jump on people! They are often a reflection of our thought life. Once we hold on to particular thought pattern, be it positive or negative, it will definitely manifest in circumstances. Also, when we desire a change in circumstances, we cannot directly select any circumstance we so desire. The only thing we can do is to choose the thoughts that will ultimately make us create new habits and then our circumstances will change. I once had a setback in my education many years back and I had to drop out of school. It was a very challenging time for me and I became reckless, I did not care about my safety or security because I couldn’t see a future ahead anymore. My situation did not change until I woke up some day and decided to take charge of my mind. I created a beautiful picture in my mind of the future I wanted, even though I didn’t have any idea how I would achieve my dreams as I did not have enough resources. With a positive spirit, I developed a pleasant nature and I was able to get a job even without enough qualifications. I registered back in school and was able to set up my own business which has expanded into a Management Consulting firm today. I witnessed first-hand how our circumstances can change only if we would take control and not allow negativity into our minds. Truly, as a man thinketh, so is he.

vii. The body is the servant of the mind

This idea above a timeless truth. I have watched how sometimes people receive a wrong prognosis. They may be told that they have cancer when they really do not. But from the moment of receiving such report some people begin to think about dying and surprisingly their bodies respond to those thoughts and start to physically deteriorate! The connection between the mind and the body is so strong that it only takes the smallest negative thought to bring us down. I noticed this pattern in my life years ago. I used to have mood swings and health challenges often. I am glad that today I have been able to overcome that challenge. I do not allow negative thoughts to linger in my mind no matter what is happening in my environment. Once the negative thoughts do not get into my spirit, I soon get out of whatever challenge I am facing.

3. How will these ideas or lessons help you in a practical way, both in your daily personal life and in helping you to create a better world? If so, how?

The ideas that I listed above have opened my mind to the truth that if my life is going to be great it is up to me. I have therefore resolved to always guard my thoughts and ensure that they take me up and not down. If I get my thinking right within me, I will be able to engage in corresponding activities in my external environment that will help me fulfill my dreams. A statement from the book goes thus:

“Humans are the master of thought, the molder of character, and the maker
and shaper of condition, environment, and destiny.”

As said above, if we as humans would take responsibility of the outcome of our lives, we would live better and create world for others. After reading this book, I have now resolved to take more responsibility of what I think about, be accountable for my character. I will never again blame my character on my circumstances. I have now seen also that those bad circumstances of the past have largely been of my own making. I had attracted them into my life by being careless with my thought patterns. The truths discovered within the pages of this book will help me as I develop curriculum for courses on Personal Effectiveness and Leadership for the students that I teach. Also, the new understanding I have gained will help me to be a better leader and a better parent to my children. When I raise my children to also take responsibility for their thoughts and hence circumstances, I would have done my part in grooming them to become responsible adults who would also make their world a better place.

4. Quotes: Are there any statements which the author made that particularly got your attention? If so, please quote them and comment as to why they were important to you.

“They themselves are makers of themselves.”

This quote is highly important to me because it validates my belief that I alone am responsible for what my life becomes. I may have God on my side and many people who are willing to support me, but without me thinking right, all external help will be futile.

“You cannot travel within and stand still without.”

This quote also teaches me that if I remain on the same spot without making progress then I need to examine my thinking. If my thoughts are concentrated, positive and progressive, then my life will make progress.

5. Is there anything in the book that you do not understand or are unclear about, or are there ideas which you disagree with and, if so, why?

None.

6. Did the book contain exercises for the reader to complete? If so, did you complete all of the exercises and did you find them helpful?

No the book did not contain exercises.

7. Was there anything you read in the book that you would like to comment on that was not covered in the previous questions? If so, please comment.

None.

Please rate the following questions on a scale from 1 to 10. Ten is good and one is poor.

A. How interesting was it to read? 5
B. How helpful were the contents? 10
C. How easy was it to understand? 6
D. Would you recommend it to others? 6
E. What is the overall rating you would give it? 7

 

 

Jonathan Livingstone Seagull
Assessment by Moradeke Atinuke Obikoya (Nigeria)

1. What is the main idea that the author is trying to convey in the book?

The main idea I believe that the main idea the author was trying to convey is that we should believe in ourselves and be ready to ignore naysayers. We should put in every effort to be extraordinary. If we do not mind the initial failure and we are persistent, we will eventually be highly successful.

2. What were the seven ideas which were personally most important to you and why? List these seven ideas followed by an explanation after each one as to why it was important to you. Use personal examples from your own life.

i. The power of self-belief

Learning to believe in ourselves is critical to creating the life we desire. Jonathan Livingston Seagull was able to separate himself from the flock because he believed he could do better. He kept dreaming of how to perfect his flight skills regardless of the fact that he wasn’t supported even by his parents. Without self-belief, it doesn’t matter if others cheer us on, we will still not be able to create the life we desire. When I believe in myself, I will be able to create an optimistic view towards the future, just like Jonathan Seagull, I will know deep down that I can achieve anything I dream of.

ii. The ability to think beyond survival

All the seagulls in the flock thought only of eating! Even the father of Jonathan Livingston Seagull told him that he existed only to eat. This is a major error in thinking that affects many people. They work only for the pay not for the development or the fulfilment that comes with working. If there are no monetary benefits in an endeavour, they avoid putting in their effort, even if there are other intangible benefits.
People who focus on survival do not transcend that level, they do not become successful nor significant.

My personal experience in this idea happened at a time when I had to set up my training and consulting firm, I didn’t have much resources and the business was not paying in those initial years. I had a choice to pick up a job to meet my needs, that would guarantee survival. I however wanted to achieve more than survival, I wanted to be successful and I knew that I wouldn’t have the time to grow my business if I picked up the job. I sacrificed hugely and gave my best to getting the company established, many times I was broke, many times I laboured for other companies with little or without pay, but I gathered experience and could stand on my own after some years. Today, I am proud to see how my persistence has paid off.

iii. The years ahead hummed and glowed with promise.

This statement was made after Jonathan Seagull mastered his flying skills. I can relate to the feeling he had. It is how you feel when you have overcome a difficult obstacle. You become more confident and ready to take on more challenges. One of the reasons that many people do not attain desired heights is because they do not create small wins, they do not start small. If we start our endeavours in a small way and create quick wins, we’d develop more confidence to reach for bigger goals. Personally, this has happened for me several times in my career.

iv. We can lift ourselves out of ignorance, we can find ourselves as
creatures of excellence and intelligence and skill. We can be free! We can learn to fly!

This statement validates the fact as human beings, we have huge potential. There are so many wonderful things that we can do with our God-given talents and abilities. No matter where we are today, we are lift our thinking above ignorance and begin to explore the intelligence within us. We can develop skills that will make us create excellent results. When we create these results, we will attract resources to ourselves and become highly relevant in our environment. With relevance comes prosperity and freedom.

v. Who is more responsible than a gull who finds and follows a meaning, a higher purpose for life? For a thousand years we have scrabbled after fish heads, but now we have a reason to live to learn, to discover, to be free! Give me one chance, let me show you what I’ve found.”

This statement above is so profound. It emphasises our need to follow a meaning and find our purpose in life. Jonathan Seagull painted a picture to the flock of how they were chasing after meagre food. They were using all of their strengths to pursue things that did not even satisfy them. They still did not get the best.
He invited them explore a new life where through learning new skills they could get better results. Beyond getting better food, they also would have better use for their lives.

vi. Jonathan Seagull discovered that boredom and fear and anger are the reasons that a gull’s life is so short, and with these gone from his thought, he lived a long fine life indeed.

When we do not have the courage to live our dreams, we will live a life of boredom, we’ll live in perpetual fear and be angry that we are not achieving. All of these negative emotions have the ability to hamper the health because the mind is connected to the body.

The frustration that comes with being stagnant in life is enough to shorten one’s life span. This is why it is important that overcome the fear of the unknown, fear of rejection and the fear of failure. All these, Jonathan Seagull were able to overcome. He took his life from what it was to what it could be.

vii. You know nothing till you prove it! Fly!

Indeed, we cannot claim to know except we demonstrate skills. Many people are sold on positive confessions, thinking that just by saying positive things they will attract favourable conditions. Success comes with a lot of pain, many of those pain, Jonathan Seagull experienced because he could attain his desired height. Without the pain of development, we will not acquire the skills that will make us successful. Even passion alone is not enough to make us successful, we must learn and be able to put to use our abilities.

As an entrepreneur, I have to consistently look for ways to be a problem solver, by demonstrating knowledge and expertise in my field. This is the time that clients will believe in my work and pay for the solutions I proffer.

3. How will these ideas or lessons help you in a practical way, both in your daily personal life and in helping you to create a better world? If so, how?

The lessons in this book will help me in the following ways:

Improved Courage and self-belief to become the bring the best out of myself: I have learnt from Jonathan Seagull’s experience that I need the courage to stand alone and the courage to pursue my dreams. Even when I do not get enough encouragement from the external, I will keep encouraging myself from within.

Develop more ability to look beyond survival: I will focus on success and significance rather than on survival. Even though I have always done this, I am determined to conquer more grounds in my work.

Persistence in the face of failure: Jonathan Seagull got to a point where he listened to the voice of failure in his head because of persistent failures. He decided to give up and go back to the flock. He however could not fit in with rest of the flock anymore, probably because he had experienced something different and he knew he deserved better. He even left his food willingly for another colleague! His experience actually validates the fact that once we have a deep desire to do better, and we have experienced something different, we will never be comfortable until we attain our desired level.

In my work and in life generally, I will persist even in the face of initial failures until I reach my dream level, then I’ll create bigger goals, so I do not become complacent.

4. Quotes: Are there any statements which the author made that particularly got your attention? If so, please quote them and comment as to why they were important to you.

“Don’t believe what your eyes are telling you. All they show is limitation.
Look with your understanding, find out what you already know, and you’ll see the way to fly.”

Our circumstances may seem a far cry from what we want it to be but we cannot base our aspirations on what we see in our environment. We are not empty, there is something we already know. We need to find out what we know and be willing to start with it. A lot of the solutions that we need are already in existence within us. We need to learn to reflect inward in introspection and find strength from within.

“Heaven is not a place, and it is not a time. Heaven is being perfect.”

In my opinion, this statement means that success is not a destination but a journey. A journey of development in milestones. We should not wait until one anticipated day before we celebrate victory but we should rather celebrate each milestone and enjoy the process of development as part of success. Once we master a skill, then we should experience heaven (utmost satisfaction).

5. Is there anything in the book that you do not understand or are unclear about, or are there ideas which you disagree with and, if so, why?

None.

6. Did the book contain exercises for the reader to complete? If so, did you complete all of the exercises and did you find them helpful?

No the book did not contain exercises.

7. Was there anything you read in the book that you would like to comment on that was not covered in the previous questions? If so, please comment.

None.

Please rate the following questions on a scale from 1 to 10. Ten is good and one is poor.

A. How interesting was it to read? 8
B. How helpful were the contents? 10
C. How easy was it to understand? 8
D. Would you recommend it to others? 6
E. What is the overall rating you would give it? 7

Keys to Success
Assessment by Moradeke Atinuke Obikoya (Nigeria)

1. What is the main idea that the author is trying to convey in the book?

The main idea the book tried to convey is that success is possible for anyone, anywhere if they are willing to do what it takes to succeed.

2. What were the seven ideas which were personally most important to you and why? List these seven ideas followed by an explanation after each one as to why it was important to you. Use personal examples from your own life.

i. Definite major purpose is the foundation upon which success can be built:

Without a definite major purpose, no one can achieve any meaningful or lasting accomplishment. Plans and efforts must be directed in the direction of a very clear objective.

Many years back, I was a Software Engineer but I discovered that I had more passion for sharing knowledge on personal and organizational development. I decided to leave my paid employment at a Non-Governmental Organization and made a promise to myself to grow in knowledge and experience in the field of Personal and Organizational Development. The clarity that I had about the final picture of what I wanted to achieve, boosted my morale as I put in time, money and energy to develop myself. I knew what company to register, what courses to take and what certifications to pursue. Without that clarity, I would have wasted resources on things I may not need. I might have registered for courses that had nothing to do with what my goals were. I sincerely believe that clarity of purpose is time and lifesaving. It helps us know what to invest in, who to associate with and strengthens our confidence. A definite purpose gives us an obsession about what we want and this forms the major driving force that gives us the momentum we need. Without a definite purpose, you won’t have personal initiative. You must know what you want to be successful!

ii. Continue to refine your philosophy.

Many people underestimate the impact of their philosophy on their ability to succeed. Just as Napoleon Hill did continually refine his philosophy and adjusted it along the way in the book, anyone who wants stay relevant in a very dynamic world must also continually expose their philosophy to the new realities around them. I have a personal mantra that I have put up in my office to remind me of this, it says: Just as the snake sheds its skin; I need to regularly assess my progress to determine where my approaches need to change. With a refined philosophy it is easier to keep growing and stay relevant; this mindset has helped me in my personal life and in my career.

iii. Move from having a wish to having a burning desire.

If you don’t find your own burning desire, you cannot achieve success. I agree that what makes the difference between achievers and others is that they have a burning desire to attain their goals, they develop daily habits that have become routines that they commit relentlessly to. For the others who don’t achieve much in life, their wishes remain as nothing but wishes, they never give their dreams what it will take for it to happen.

iv. Specialization: Mastery is essential to success

People who gain mastery often succeed better than people who want to be a jack of all trades. If you spend many years getting better at something in particular, you can operate as a master in that field and be paid handsomely as years go by. This doesn’t mean that we can not explore new areas of learning, it only means that it is good to specialize and be an expert at something.

v. Positive Mental Attitude

Without a PMA you would undermine your own efforts. Your actions and thoughts should further your ends. It is quite possible for people to stand in their own way by having a negative mental attitude. They will labor a lot and yet stop themselves from tidying up their efforts in meaningful ways that will make them get results. An example from my personal life was when I used to do a lot research on topics and develop presentations on them, I would do this for months. And then, I would allow a negative mindset (fear of criticism) to stop me from reaching out to the people who could give me a chance to make those presentations to their audiences. Thus, I would remain indoors with my hard work and stay broke. When I overcame this limitation, I became more positive about feedbacks that I no longer feared being criticized. I came out boldly to ask for opportunities to make presentations on my areas of research, to my amazement, rather than be criticized, people loved my work and I started getting handsomely rewarded. This gave me a boost in my confidence and since then I have only grown and expanded my work. I now operate only on a positive mindset.

vi. Budget your time and money

This part in the book reinforced my belief in the wise use of time. I am someone who has always guarded my time and energy jealously. This informs the kind of people I spend time with. This chapter however made me see that being a doer has more benefits than I knew. It also opened me up to the reality that how I spend my time and money will determine where I will be tomorrow. I am therefore highly determined to be more purposeful about how I spend my time and money. The difference between a doer and a drifter is the difference between a success and failure.

vii. Thinking Accurately

Our thoughts determine who we become and what we eventually do. The mind is like a fallow ground that can breed any kind of thought, be it positive or negative. Just as Adolf Hitler did not pay attention to how his thought went wild, if we leave our minds carelessly unattended, so much negativity that can destroy us and others will be bred in it. Just as it happened in the case of Hitler. Thoughts when concentrated have a force. So, we have to generate a positive force with our positive mental attitude.

vii. You can never achieve anything without learning to think accurately.

The mind is where all success begins, if we do not train it to think correctly, we would not be able to follow through on the process of success.

3. How will these ideas or lessons help you in a practical way, both in your daily personal life and in helping you to create a better world? If so, how?

The ideas shared within the pages of Keys to Success are timeless and they lay the foundation for any successful accomplishment. Without the implementation of these ideas, no one can achieve any meaningful or lasting success. These ideas have further opened my mind to concepts that will let me grow in meaningful ways.

Definiteness of purpose: I now know that I have to define my purpose and be clear about what I want to achieve in my lifetime. Also, in my business and career, I would never embark on projects without first checking to see if they connect to my overall purpose or not.

Mastermind Alliance: No mind is complete!
I have learned that I need others to be able to bring the best out myself. Without the help of other likeminded individuals, there would always be a huge limit on my potential. But by forming a mastermind alliance, I can achieve feats which I ordinarily would not have been able to achieve alone.

Applied Faith: Without faith, I cannot accurately see my future. I need to see through the eyes of faith, and believe that things will always work in my favor regardless of the challenges I initially encounter. In addition, it is not enough to have faith, I must apply it by taking bold steps that demonstrate that I believe.

Going the extra-mile: I will always do more than I am paid to do. I will go a mile further in my endeavors. It is far easier to do nothing or to do just enough. I have learnt that to stand out from the crowd, I must be willing to go the extra mile. This will put me in advantageous positions.

Self-Discipline: Without self-discipline, nothing will get done! I have learnt that in order to succeed in a sustainable way, I have to make self-discipline my ally and make myself do what I need to do. If I do not build on my dreams they will remain as just that, dreams.
Self-discipline also will help me to learn from adversity and not feel sorry for myself when things do not go as planned.

4. Quotes: Are there any statements which the author made that particularly got your attention? If so, please quote them and comment as to why they were important to you.

“If you forget that you are to make yourself useful to others, you will stray from the path of success no matter how long you have walked it.”

This statement resonated strongly with me because I have slipped into similar situations in the past. At those times, I was coasting on past success and wasn’t creating new value. I was fast losing relevance. When I discovered my error, I made a resolution never to fall into such trap again.

“A Positive Mental Attitude is the only frame of mind in which you can have definiteness of purpose.”

This statement reminds me that I should always have a positive mental attitude, otherwise, my quest to succeed is nothing but a joke. This means a lot me as I have watched myself do better over the years by eliminating negativity from my life.

“Hard work alone will not bring success.”

There are many people who work hard but do not achieve desired results. This is because they do not pay attention to their mental attitude. A positive mental attitude makes our work easier, even when we work hard, we do so while enjoying the effort that we apply.
You need to balance your emotions with the faculty of reasoning

“There are two kinds of problems, the ones you can solve and the ones you can’t.”

The former should be dealt with immediately while the latter forgotten. This is a lesson I learnt from a friend about a decade ago and I have seen myself take more responsibility for my life since then as I focus on things within my circles of control and influence but never on things in my circle of concern.

“Whatever you think today becomes what you are tomorrow.”

I am where I am today because of the thoughts I allowed in my life before now. As I desire to grow my business from just training to organizational development consulting and training, I keep those thoughts firmly in my mind daily so I can take corresponding actions and the thoughts will manifest in my nearest future.

“The law of harmonious attraction is powerful. Let your attention be applied only where it is needed, ask, how much attention am I giving my critical goals.”

This taught me the power of controlled attention: I now focus my attention on learning, growth and high-profile networking. These are my critical goals.

“Enthusiasm takes drudgery out of your work and makes it a labor of love.”
The more enthusiastic I am about my work, the more enjoyable it would be to me. I will end up being rewarded twice, first I will have been fulfilled doing the work and secondly, I will get paid for doing the work.

“The problem with most people is that they quit before they start.”

Many people want to succeed but unfortunately, they do not put in enough effort that will get them desired results. Some quit at the slightest hint of discomfort, others quit when the going gets really tough. Unknowingly to the latter group, they quit just at the verge of a breakthrough. I do not want to belong to any of these groups. I want to stick with my dreams until they produce the desired results. This lesson is highly important to me.

5. Is there anything in the book that you do not understand or are unclear about, or are there ideas which you disagree with and, if so, why?

None.

6. Did the book contain exercises for the reader to complete? If so, did you complete all of the exercises and did you find them helpful?

The questions for reflections within the book were really helpful as they raised my self-awareness more and also helped me identify areas where I need improvement.
Also, the last chapter made me write down my commitments to the lessons in the book. This will help me remember my pledge and also, hold myself accountable.

7. Was there anything you read in the book that you would like to comment on that was not covered in the previous questions? If so, please comment.

None.

Please rate the following questions on a scale from 1 to 10. Ten is good and one is poor.

A. How interesting was it to read? 8
B. How helpful were the contents? 10
C. How easy was it to understand? 9
D. Would you recommend it to others? 8
E. What is the overall rating you would give it? 9

PsychoCybernetics
Assessment by Tinuke Obikoya (Nigeria)

1. What is the main idea that the author is trying to convey in the book?

The main idea the book tried to convey is that how we see ourselves in our mind, (self-image) matters more than our physical image. Our self-image and patterns of thinking impact everything we do.

2. What were the seven ideas which were personally most important to you and why? List these seven ideas followed by an explanation after each one as to why it was important to you. Use personal examples from your own life.

i. When a facial disfigurement is corrected by plastic surgery, dramatic Psychological changes result only if there is a corresponding correction of the mutilated self-image.

The idea behind this statement is that if the plastic surgery is done successfully but there is no corresponding change in mindset, then the physical change wouldn’t matter. This is similar to the statement in the scripture that says old wine should not be put into new wine skin. Automatically, our self-image holds more strongly in determining the course of our lives than our physical appearance does. I learned from this idea that how I see myself from within is the lid on my potential. I will never do better than how I see myself. After careful reflection on this, I also agree that every bold step I have taken in my life has come not from confidence in my physical appearance but from deep conviction within me that I have what it takes to succeed.

ii. My self- image defines and limits my possibilities. Inadequate self-image will do me no good.

They feel the same shame. They develop the same fears and anxieties. Their capacity to really “live” fully is blocked and choked by the same sort of Psychological roadblocks. Their “scars,” though mental and emotional rather than physical, are just as debilitating.
This statement also corroborates what I explained in Idea 1. The author used this statement to describe the patients who end up believing that their looks did not change significantly or even changed at all. Their lives continue on the same or maybe a more terrible trajectory. Despite the investment in the plastic surgery procedure, they go back to square one. A mental state of limitation where they believe that they cannot fully live because of some imaginary physical limitation.

iii. When we experience expansive emotions of happiness, self-confidence, and success, we enjoy more life. And to the degree that we inhibit our abilities, frustrate our God-given talents, and allow ourselves to suffer anxiety, fear, self-condemnation and self-hate, we literally choke off the life force available to us and turn our back upon the gift which our Creator has made. To the degree that we deny the gift of life, we embrace death.

This idea to me means that we are the ones who determine what happens to us. Once we are alive, the life force is available to us to use in whatever way we please. When we choose to be happy and confident, our life is more meaningful. If on the other hand we choose to limit ourselves by allowing negative emotions, then we have chosen death, maybe not physically, but death of possibilities, death of the beautiful life we could have experienced if only we did not frustrate our God-given talents. This then means that God has already provided for us all we would ever need, and the rest is up to us to take it up and use it to create possibilities for ourselves and others or inhibit it and make ourselves a liability unto others. This idea deeply challenged my thinking. Through deep reflection I came to terms with ways that I had inhibited myself in the past.

iv. Imagination

Our imagination is responsible for our misery or our joy. Our imagination sets up a success or failure mechanism within us. This becomes the base from which we operate, similar to a computer’s operating system.

According to the author, as human beings we always act and feel and perform in
accordance with what we imagine to be true about ourselves and our environment.
Our nervous system cannot tell the difference between an imagined experience and a “real” experience. So, our feelings and actions are not according to what things are really like, but according to the image our mind holds of what they are like.
“We create our own reality with our feelings and actions which result from our imaginations.” Just as the author encountered patients with exaggerated mental pictures of their deformities which then determined how they saw themselves, so also there are many people who condemn themselves eternally over single failure events, they end up erroneously seeing themselves as failures.

v. There is no such thing as inferiority or superiority, only the truth about us.

This idea opened my eyes to see that it is mere illusion to think we are inferior to or better than anyone else. If we limit ourselves because we think we don’t measure up to their standard, then we are the problem. We are to appreciate ourselves, and celebrate our wins no matter how small they are. As a young woman who has had a large share of personal challenges, some bigger than what someone my age should face, I have come to see by reading this book that my past doesn’t matter and should not hold me back. Rather than be ashamed of the scars I got from those challenges, I would wear my scars proudly and use them as a reminder of how far I have come. My circumstances do not make me inferior, only my feelings and opinions can. If I don’t judge myself wrongly, I wouldn’t feel inferior.

vi. Utilizing the power of rational thinking

There is a widely accepted fallacy that rational, logical, conscious thinking has no power over unconscious processes or mechanisms, and that to change negative beliefs, feelings or behavior, it is necessary to dig down and dredge up material from the “unconscious.” I came to discover in this book that my conscious thinking is what controls the knob of my unconscious mind. I learned the power of conscious thought control. No one can blame their habits on their subconscious because they intentionally decide what to do. We need to control our present thinking so as to be able to create desired results. The subconscious mind works only upon the data which it is fed in the form of ideas, beliefs, interpretations, opinions.

vii. The snapback effect

We will always find a reason to justify our thoughts. Our difficulties prove something in our own evaluation of ourselves. If we do not believe in ourselves, even when opportunities show up, we will not take them up, and when we are not successful, we end up justifying our belief. As a matter of fact, not the lack of opportunities made us fail, but the lack of belief in ourselves. When I was much younger, I used to call myself ‘just average.’ All my performances and results were never outstanding! My belief about myself limited my potential. When I began to see myself as a capable person, fit to handle whatever challenge comes my way, things turned around for me drastically. When I look back, I only imagine how my life would have turned out if I had continued with the “average” belief.

3. How will these ideas or lessons help you in a practical way, both in your daily personal life and in helping you to create a better world? If so, how?

The ideas shared within PsychoCybernetics are highly valuable. No one can live a meaningful life without understanding and applying these principles. Here are some of the ways the book will help me create a better life for myself and others around me.

Rethinking how I work: Even on the busiest day the crowded hours come to us one moment at a time; no matter how many problems, tasks or strains we face, they always come to us in single file, which is the only way they can come. The statement above opened my eyes to how busyness can make us become unrealistic about our goals. We can become so obsessed with being busy that we lose the essence of life itself. I will make room for things that are important to me in life and not give my work as an excuse for why I don’t give enough of myself to my family and mentees.

Be Happy: When one problem is solved, another appears to take its place. Life is a series of problems. If you are to be happy at all, you must be happy period! Not happy “because of.” This book taught me that if I am happy, I’ll do good. I used to think that I had to do good to be happy. I have seen that I have to be happy and then every other feeling I want will follow. I also learned that I should not add my opinions to my facts thereby creating misery for myself. I need to be sure that I am not being dominated by my external environment. The statement below is quite profound. Stop letting things push you around!

Living life to the fullest: People who say that life is not worthwhile are really saying that they themselves have no worthwhile personal goals. I have come to realize that each time I do not have any worthwhile goal I am looking and working towards, I feel emptiness within me. I have learned from this book to never be without worthwhile goals or dreams.

Something inside me is superior to circumstances: Never again will I reduce my worth in comparison to my situations. I have the life force within me, and that is more superior than circumstances. I am made in image of God, therefore if God cannot bow to challenges, I should not.

4. Quotes: Are there any statements which the author made that particularly got your attention? If so, please quote them and comment as to why they were important to you.

“I will free my mind from self-limitations and opinions that make me have distorted views of my situations.”

5. Is there anything in the book that you do not understand or are unclear about, or are there ideas which you disagree with and, if so, why?

None.

6. Did the book contain exercises for the reader to complete? If so, did you complete all of the exercises and did you find them helpful?

At the end of each chapter in the book, I filled in points to remember and case history. This helped me to recall the lessons learned and apply them practically.

7. Was there anything you read in the book that you would like to comment on that was not covered in the previous questions? If so, please comment.

None.

Please rate the following questions on a scale from 1 to 10. Ten is good and one is poor.

A. How interesting was it to read? 8
B. How helpful were the contents? 10
C. How easy was it to understand? 9
D. Would you recommend it to others? 8
E. What is the overall rating you would give it? 9

How to Win Friends and Influence People
Assessment by Obikoya Atinuke (Nigeria)

1. What is the main idea that the author is trying to convey in the book?

The main idea the book tried to convey is that dealing with people is probably the biggest problem we face in any area of personal and professional endeavor and it is therefore an area where we should invest learning.

2. What were the seven ideas which were personally most important to you and why? List these seven ideas followed by an explanation after each one as to why it was important to you. Use personal examples from your own life.

i. The futility of criticism

“Criticism is futile because it puts a person on the defensive and usually makes him strive to justify himself. Criticism is dangerous, because it wounds a person’s precious pride, hurts his sense of importance, and arouses resentment.” The idea behind this statement is that By criticizing, we do not make lasting changes and often incur resentment. Hans Selye, another great psychologist, said, “As much as we thirst for approval, we dread condemnation.” The resentment that criticism engenders can demoralize employees, family members and friends, and still not correct the situation that has been condemned.
This idea has awakened me to the fact that I need to deal carefully with the people I work/engage with (staff, trainees, spouse, children, etc). I have now realized that I can hurt people in irreparable ways if I criticize them for their weaknesses rather than appreciate them for their strengths. I also discovered that there are relationships I could have saved in the past only if I knew this principle of human relations. Also, knowing this principle will save me time and effort as I will be able to get better results faster from people by letting them know I appreciate the effort they are already put
something in. This will motivate them to want to do more. “Understand people and figure out why they do what they do.”

ii. The deepest urge in human nature is “the desire to be important.”

This idea was a real eye opener for me! It let me realize how I have mismanaged relationships in the past because I did not make people feel important. I recounted several experiences I had while facilitating when someone would really seek attention and I would ignore them, such persons went ahead to make my sessions quite difficult for me. I now realize that they were just hungry for attention and I could have given them an important role to play for me, thereby giving them that sense of importance. I learnt a lot from the experiences shared regarding this idea in the book, most especially from situations where very difficult people were managed effectively just by making them feel important. Also, in addition to making people feel important is giving honest and sincere appreciation about something they already possess. No one would not have a good quality that can be praised no matter how difficult they may seem to be. If we tow the path of using their weaknesses again them, we’ll end up hurting them, and they also will most likely become more hardened. “Hurting people not only does not change them, it is never called for.”

iii. Seeing things from the other person’s perspective, arouse in the other person an eager want

We were told that If out of reading the book we get just one thing – an increased tendency to think always in terms of other people’s point of view, and see things from their angle – it may easily prove to be one of the building blocks of our career. I couldn’t agree more with this idea! Stories were shared of salespeople who either made or marred their career by seeing the other person’s perspective or disagreeing with it. After reading this book, it now seems like folly to me that one would intend to make sales to a prospect and then begin to disagree with the person. I learned valuable lessons of how to listen attentively to the other person, understand their point of view and acknowledge how they see things, before moving on to share our own opinion about the issue. This is quite different from what I had practiced in the past where instead of being agreeable and subtly sharing my point of view, I would prefer to disagree and make my opinion known in a way that may end up hurting the pride of the other person. These are mistakes I would be conscious to never make again. Another lesson I learnt from this idea is that people want to buy, they don’t want to be sold. Yet many salespeople spend a lifetime in selling without seeing things from the customer’s angle. Arouse a desire in people

iv. Be genuinely interested in others

You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you. This idea is a game changer. I said that because it works a miracle. It was surprising to read countless stories of people who wouldn’t ordinarily give more than 5 minutes of their time ending up spending the whole day with that person who asks them questions about themselves, and is really interested in knowing them.

“I am grateful because these people come to see me, they make it possible for me to make my living in a very agreeable way. I’m going to give them the very best I possibly can.” said Thurston. I resonated quite deeply with the statement above because it made me see the work I do in a different light. As someone who trains others, I have come to appreciate the fact that what I have is a rare privilege that must not be taken for granted.
I made a new resolve to always appreciate any opportunity I get from henceforth to share knowledge with others, those people make it possible to do the work I love in a very agreeable way, and I will always serve them to the best of my ability.

v. How to win people to your way of thinking

If a person makes a statement that you think is wrong – yes, even that you know is wrong isn’t it better to begin by saying: “Well, now, look, I thought otherwise, but I may be wrong. I frequently am. And if I am wrong, I want to be put right. Let’s examine the facts.”
This was another idea that taught me that it is better to avoid arguments and speak with facts. Arguments make us lose friends because it makes us want to feel superior to others. But with the example given above, we can assume a position of naivety, demonstrating sincerely that we don’t know all things and that we may be wrong – then we go ahead and make our case based on facts. This makes the other person to be at ease, and they are more likely to welcome our point of view in this instance.

vi. Men must be taught as if you taught them not and things unknown proposed as things forgot.

This is a lesson that will help me tremendously in my work as an executive trainer. There are times when many executives have blind spots that we need to make them aware of. I learnt from this idea that it is better to speak to such persons in a manner that suggests that they already know what we are about to discuss, rather than make them feel that they are deficient in some way. This will ensure that they do not build a wall around themselves in a bid to reject our ‘correction’. As a matter of fact, they will not see us as wanting to ‘fix’ them but rather that we are reminding them of what they already know.

vii. Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing the other person.

I was glad to see that this idea was in the book because I was already getting worried about how to manage performance if we are only to praise people for what they do right.
This idea beautifully puts a balance to how we can indeed help people get better. If we talk about our own struggles, it will be easier for us to connect to people in a meaningful way. Once the connection is there, they would have psychological safety, in that state, it will be easier for us to let them realize their errors and also share with them how they can overcome those shortcomings.

3. How will these ideas or lessons help you in a practical way, both in your daily personal life and in helping you to create a better world? If so, how?

The ideas shared within How to Win Friends and Influence People are highly valuable. No one can build successful relationships both personally and professionally without understanding and applying these principles. Here are some of the ways the book will help me create a better life for myself and others around me.

Increasing my Ask:Tell Ratio: “Asking questions not only makes an order more palatable; it often stimulates the creativity of the persons whom you ask.”
Even though I had been conscious of this before now, this book further reiterates the reasons we need to refrain from giving orders but to ask questions that lead to tasks getting done. I have already started using this principle with my spouse, children and staff at work. I noticed that when I ask questions about when they’ll get things done, rather than give an order on when to do it, they seem more eager to do tasks and they even sometimes deliver earlier than the time I would have ordered them to it.
At work, this makes my staff use their initiatives more. I noticed that it makes them feel good. I also intend to use this principle with my adult learners, I believe it will make them feel more in control of the learning process, which is what adult learners like.

Improve my relationships: The principles in this book and the lessons I learnt from the stories shared will definitely help me improve on my personal and professional relationships. I have learnt how to make others feel important, how to seek first to understand others before I am understood. With these principles, I will be a more pleasant person to relate with at home, at work and in the community. That is my goal.

Increased Empathy: Based on the lessons learned from the principles and stories in this book, I have realized that if I grew up where others grew up and was raised by the people who raised them, I would behave the way they do- or I may even be worse.
I have learnt how to better handle difficult people by trying to understand why they behave the way they do.

Better Parenting. Ever since I started reading this book I have been practicing better parenting with my children. I discovered that I have not been patient with my teenage daughter, many times I cut her off when she really needed to express herself. I realized my parenting mistakes in this book and I have been adjusting as needed.

Improved Emotional Intelligence. I can say that overall, this book has helped me to become more self-aware, more self-motivated and it will definitely improve my self-regulation. Based on better management of my intrapersonal realm, I will be able to demonstrate empathy and improved social skills.

4. Quotes: Are there any statements which the author made that particularly got your attention? If so, please quote them and comment as to why they were important to you.

There were many quotes in the book that got my attention, I have however quoted them already in my discussion above.

5. Is there anything in the book that you do not understand or are unclear about, or are there ideas which you disagree with and, if so, why?

None.

6. Did the book contain exercises for the reader to complete? If so, did you complete all of the exercises and did you find them helpful?

The book did not contain exercises.

7. Was there anything you read in the book that you would like to comment on that was not covered in the previous questions? If so, please comment.

None.

Please rate the following questions on a scale from 1 to 10. Ten is good and one is poor.

A. How interesting was it to read? 8
B. How helpful were the contents? 10
C. How easy was it to understand? 9
D. Would you recommend it to others? 10
E. What is the overall rating you would give it? 9

Awaken the Giant Within
Assessment by Obikoya Moradeke Atinuke (Nigeria)

1. What is the main idea that the author is trying to convey in the book?

The main idea of Awaken the giant within is that in each of us lie dormant unlimited potential, and if we do not deliberately take certain steps as shared in the book, we may never ever realize our dreams nor fulfil our destiny.

2. What were the seven ideas which were personally most important to you and why? List these seven ideas followed by an explanation after each one as to why it was important to you. Use personal examples from your own life.

i. What can I do today that can make a difference?

This idea deeply resonates with a belief I have that small steps towards our goals taken consistently are better than big steps that we never get around to take. Change can be overwhelming and if we approach it by taking on very large tasks we soon lose enthusiasm. Personally, I discovered this truth a few years back after discovering that I really wasn’t making progress as I desired. It occurred to me that I had big plans and goals but never feel energetic enough to take them on. Then it occurred to me that I could break my big tasks into little components and set goals for daily achievements. Not only was it easier for me to move forward, I also developed the daily habits that pushed me towards consistency. This has been one of my major perspective shifts.
Excerpt from the book that supports my submission above: “I challenge you not only to do whatever it takes to read this book in its entirety (unlike the masses who quit) but also to use what you learn in simple ways each day. This is the all-important step that’s necessary for you to produce the results you’re committed to.”

ii. How can I expand, learn, grow, and share that knowledge with others in a meaningful and enjoyable way?”

In my early thirties I wound up broke! I had left my paid job to become an entrepreneur but things were not looking good because I also had other personal life challenges at the time. I did not have a source of income and yet I was not willing to pick up just any job for the sake of survival, I wanted to remain focused on building my consultancy business. I was able to break out of that cycle because of the idea Anthony Robbins shared here:

iii. How can I expand, learn, grow, and share that knowledge with others in a meaningful and enjoyable way?”

I looked around my living room with book shelves all over and told myself, I should not know what I know and be broke. I should be able to share my knowledge and add value until people would pay me. That decision pushed me to go for more growth, expand my relevance and creativity, and in a matter of months I was earning adequately from training and management consultancy. If I didn’t ask myself that pertinent question, I probably would never have known in what direction I needed to proceed.
Reading Tony Robbins story in this book of how he went from being broke to rich and fulfilled reminds me of my own story too because they are similar.
The excerpt below from the book resonates deeply with my experience as shared above:
“Through it all, I’ve continued to recognize the power individuals have to change virtually anything and everything in their lives in an instant. I’ve learned that the resources we need to turn our dreams into reality are within us, merely waiting for the day when we decide to wake up and claim our birthright.”

iv. For things to change for you, raise your standards

I was lucky to read Awaken the giant within at the time that I was broke and out of job. One of the things that stuck to me and helped me break out of my comfort zone was this idea here: raise your standard, make a better demand from yourself. I watched myself develop a better opinion of myself and this led to me pursuing bigger dreams. Before then, I used to tell myself that I was just an average person. But upon reading this book, I discovered that there was a giant in me that needed to awake. There was potential I needed to discover and maximize. I changed how I saw myself, dreamt bigger and took more responsibility for my future. I am happy today to see how far I have come not only in changing my mindset but also in creating results that I desire. I took control of my belief system that I was average. I raised my standards, decided I was excellent and not average, I kicked out mediocrity from my mindset and I started producing great results.

v. Relationship Mastery

I was a core introvert and this left me with the tendency of not wanting to socialize and relate with people. I believe this contributed to my non-existent social capital and the reason I was broke but had no one to help me. As I began to learn and grow, I discovered Emotional Intelligence. I studied it intensively (I am still learning) and started to learn how to build relationships. Just as the author says in this book, relationship mastery will teach you how to connect with yourself first before learning how to connect to others; intrapersonal and interpersonal realms. I began to work on my weaknesses as an introverted person and learnt to become more action oriented and more sociable. I gained relationship mastery and this before I knew it, I had good social capital. Not only did I become happier because of the relationships, my finances also improved because people know me and know what I can do. They engage me and I get referrals all the time. Imagine a very intelligent person who does not have relationship mastery, they may never have enough opportunities to showcase their talents.

vi. Our decisions precede our actions, they therefore shape our destiny

This idea is a great eyeopener! Yes our actions determine our results, but I had never thought deeply about what triggers actions: decisions! I was able to discover from this concept that when we want to help ourselves and others create better results, we need to go below the sea level to find out what’s informing the decisions that we/they make. This is because our actions will be inspired by those decisions, and the moment we get to the point of action, we’ll automatically create results…either desired or undesired! This made me reflect on the results I have produced in the last 10 years. There are some I am doubly proud of and some that I am not happy about. Now I know that for the latter, I wasn’t attentive to my decision-making process and that the faulty decisions made me take the wrong actions that produced the less desirable results.

vii. There is a difference between being interested in something, and being committed to it!

Yes, absolutely! I was interested in being financially free for many years but all I ended up with year after year was being broke and depending on people. I did not commit to financial freedom. Yes I prayed and wished, but as the author said in this book, those wishes did not even have the faith needed to make them happen. Now I have realized that any prayer we make for change without identifying our own responsibility is an irresponsible prayer. It won’t be that God does not love us that He didn’t bless us, it would be because we didn’t develop the capacity to handle the blessings as He will not give us what we cannot handle.

viii. In order to succeed, you must have a long-term focus.

In this book I was deeply inspired by the story of Honda! How the man remained focused in spite of the myriad of challenges he faced. He wasn’t just in his craft for short term results, he had foresight. Success and failure are not overnight experiences. It’s all the small decisions along the way that cause people to fail. It’s failure to follow up. It’s failure to take action. It’s failure to persist. It’s failure to manage our mental and emotional states. It’s failure to control what we focus on.

3. How will these ideas or lessons help you in a practical way, both in your daily personal life and in helping you to create a better world? If so, how?

The ideas shared in Awake the giant within will help me to maximize my potential and help others to discover and maximize their too. The following are practical ways that I would use the lessons I learnt in my personal life and in the world generally.

Improve my emotional states: I used to be a very moody person and was quite pessimistic. Little surprise I didn’t produce desirable results. I learnt from Tony Robbins how to put myself in resourceful states so as to be able to produce great results. I now know how to take charge of my emotional states regardless of the circumstances that comes my way. This mastery is something I keep polishing and share to others. I find that many people already have a lot of what it takes to be successful i.e. education, skills, opportunities however, inability to put themselves in a resourceful state trumps every other thing they may have going for them. This is an important aspect of what I do as a trainer/facilitator.

Improve my decision-making process: I will definitely need to pay more attention to how I make decisions since I want to take actions that will give me desirable results. I know that I can’t always be certain of outcomes but I believe that the better my decisions, the better my outcomes will become.

“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.:

Know that it’s your decisions, and not your conditions, that determine your destiny.
Teach deeper concepts: There are so many concepts that I am taking away from this book, i.e. the concept of pain and pleasure. I will be able to add more quality to my teachings on Leadership, Personal Effectiveness and Life skills. These concepts go deeper to the roots of why people behave the way they do and as a change facilitator, I know that until we get to the root causes, we usually cannot change ourselves or help others change their behavior. I am grateful to have read this book!

4. Quotes: Are there any statements which the author made that particularly got your attention? If so, please quote them and comment as to why they were important to you.

There were many quotes in the book that got my attention, I have however quoted them already in my discussion above.

5. Is there anything in the book that you do not understand or are unclear about, or are there ideas which you disagree with and, if so, why?

None.

6. Did the book contain exercises for the reader to complete? If so, did you complete all of the exercises and did you find them helpful?

The book did not contain exercises, however, it contained powerful reflective questions.

7. Was there anything you read in the book that you would like to comment on that was not covered in the previous questions? If so, please comment.

None.

Please rate the following questions on a scale from 1 to 10. Ten is good and one is poor.

A. How interesting was it to read? 10
B. How helpful were the contents? 10
C. How easy was it to understand? 10
D. Would you recommend it to others? 10
E. What is the overall rating you would give it? 10

Success through a Positive Mental Attitude
Assessment by Atinuke Obikoya (Nigeria)

1. What is the main idea that the author is trying to convey in the book?

The main idea the book tried to convey is that our frame of mind is the deciding factor between success and failure. While many people believe that success comes from luck or having the right connections, the book tells us that it’s really about having a positive mental attitude (PMA). So basically, we cannot succeed in our endeavors without PMA.

2. What were the seven ideas which were personally most important to you and why? List these seven ideas followed by an explanation after each one as to why it was important to you. Use personal examples from your own life.

i. Good breaks do occur in everyone’s lives!

Following the story that was shared about the wood cutter who missed such a great opportunity because of his negative attitude, I totally agree with this idea. When I reflect on how my life condition has been transformed over the past few years, I realize that good breaks have contributed to my progress. But if I wasn’t ready to get out of my comfort zone, I wouldn’t have been able to use any of those good breaks.
This book let me realize that it is only through a positive mental attitude that we can make the most of the opportunities life throws at us. We cannot say that there are no opportunities, we should however be concerned about our ability to discern them. If the wood cutter had been diligent, he would have responded to the calls and not even try to hoard information about his business.

ii. My mental attitude is well within my control

I used to be so negative in my thinking! Little wonder my life conditions did not improve for a number of years. My ability to take charge of my mental attitude was the beginning of a change of story for me. I realized that I could put beautiful dreams of the future in my mind without spending a dime. I started to think more positively about my future even though I didn’t have the means to make those things happen. Just like a magnet attracts, before I knew it, I had great relationships because of my improved attitude and also got better opportunities. The rest is history. Now I am so positive in my thinking, I do not brood over the past, and I have seen many of my beautiful dreams come through.

“A Positive Mental Attitude is the right mental attitude. What is the right mental attitude? It is most often comprised of the “plus” characteristics symbolized by such words as faith, integrity, hope, optimism, courage, initiative, generosity, tolerance, tact, kindliness and good common sense. A person with positive mental attitude aims for high goals and constantly strives to achieve them.”

iii. Learn to see; seeing is a learned process. We behold, but do not see the brain must interpret before we can see.

“What we see,” George points out, “is always an interpretation of the mind. We have to train the mind to interpret what we see.”

It is not until the brain interprets in terms of comparative action that we really see anything.”
As explained in the book, the most common physical weaknesses of the eye are two opposite extremes — nearsightedness and farsightedness. These are the major distortions of mental vision, too. The person who is mentally nearsighted is apt to over-look objects and possibilities that are distant. It personally took me a few years to learn that setting my gaze too hard on the future was costing me the ability to take advantage of the opportunities I had in the present and at the same time I was only reacting to urgencies and emergencies around me, I could not plan to effectively maximize the present. I had dreams of the future that were not related to the things I handled day to day. On learning to see also, we have a tendency to see what we want to see…Edison’s story is quite touching, he wasn’t understood because the teachers were not really interested. How many times have I judged and misunderstood people only because I wasn’t interested enough?

iv. You are what you think

An insect may not be able to avoid being caught in the spider’s web. And when once trapped, it is unable to free itself. There is one thing, however, over which each person has absolute, inherent control, and that is his mental attitude. We can avoid mental cobwebs. We can clear them. And we can sweep them away as they begin to develop. We can free ourselves when once enmeshed. And we can remain free.
Cobwebs will interfere with accurate thinking and cause you to reach a wrong conclusion when you start with a false premise.

Errors in judgment cost us so deeply and we fall into this trap because of faulty mental models that becloud our reasoning. Once we misunderstand our challenges, we will not have a good response to them.
Stephen Covey also taught in his book seven habits of highly effective people how we should spend our energy on things within our control and not things in our circles of concern. From my understanding of what I read in Success through PMA, our mental attitude is within our circle of control. No matter what our external conditions are, our strengths are within us. We derive energy from PMA while NMA will drain us of energy.

v. The principle of something more

Every time we get stuck or feel we are not progressing at a satisfactory speed; we need to add something more. Just like the stories shared of great inventors in the past, we all need to be able to recognize what the something more is. I have struggled in this past from being stagnated on a spot in my career and business. What worked for me was my ability to move up higher in my vision of myself, thereby adding something more. It could be expanding my capacities or network. Now I know better to continuously grow so I do not get stagnated anymore.

vi. Sharing what we have

When you share with others a part of what you have, that which remains will multiply and grow. The more you share, the more you will have. Therefore, share that which is good and desirable, and withhold that which is bad and undesirable. There is something infinitely better than making a living: it is making a noble life. One of the biggest benefits of my work as a consultant and trainer is the fact that I grow more when I share knowledge. Over the years I have been conscious and intentional in sharing information that can help people become the best version of themselves. I am also cautious that others look up to me, so I am careful to withhold that which is bad and undesirable. For example, I do not want to be the reason that other people stop believe in themselves so I manage my emotions carefully even at the times that I have to give difficult feedback.

vii. PMA demands a good energy level and vice versa

I love this point because it explains how we need a positive mental attitude to achieve good energy levels and a good energy level demands positive mental attitude. Energy is the capacity to do work. We rise to responsibilities because of the energy we have physically, mentally or spiritually. Over the years I have learnt the importance of our energy levels in our accomplishments. Many people have beautiful dreams, they have set goals, but they do not have the energy required to meet those goals. Hence, they go from year to year just talking about what they would do but not necessarily accomplishing them.

3. How will these ideas or lessons help you in a practical way, both in your daily personal life and in helping you to create a better world? If so, how?

The ideas shared in the book Success through Positive Mental Attitude are powerful, they will help me in the following ways:

Be more determined to overcome negativity: As I have read in the book, it is not the conditions of our lives that make us but what we do with what happens to us. Life is full of challenges and different levels come with different challenges. I am determined to completely expunge any form of negative thoughts that may cross my mind at any time, knowing fully well that PMA will help me get out of the challenges faster. Taking PMA to my work daily will transform the way I engage with my audience and improve my effectiveness on the job.

Be more intentional in knowledge sharing: Living a noble life is more important than seeking happiness. I will dedicate more time to doing my work effectively. As I share to help others become more effective, I will also grow more since what we share expands.

Seeing Problems as Opportunities: The lessons from this book have taught me that good breaks come to everyone, only if we are ready to see correctly. Rather than just see problems as hindrances, I will see them as challenges that have to be overcome. And I will grow continually to meet the challenges that I encounter.

Improved use of conscious Auto-suggestion: I have learned the power of visualization and used for so many years, however, the principle of reading out aloud my desires is new to me. I will engage in this principle so as to take charge of mind and keep it only focused on those things I desire.
Overall, this book has strengthened my mind and my voice!

4. Quotes: Are there any statements which the author made that particularly got your attention? If so, please quote them and comment as to why they were important to you.

There were many quotes in the book that got my attention, I have used them already in my discussion above.

5. Is there anything in the book that you do not understand or are unclear about, or are there ideas which you disagree with and, if so, why?

None.

6. Did the book contain exercises for the reader to complete? If so, did you complete all of the exercises and did you find them helpful?

The book did not contain exercises.

7. Was there anything you read in the book that you would like to comment on that was not covered in the previous questions? If so, please comment.

None.

Please rate the following questions on a scale from 1 to 10. Ten is good and one is poor.

A. How interesting was it to read? 7
B. How helpful were the contents? 10
C. How easy was it to understand? 8
D. Would you recommend it to others? 10
E. What is the overall rating you would give it? 9

Creating your Path Through Leadership
Assessment by Atinuke Oyewunmi (Nigeria)

1. What is the main idea that the author is trying to convey in the book?

The main idea the book tried to convey is that our ability to lead determines how successful and fulfilled we would become in life.

2. What were the seven ideas which were personally most important to you and why? List these seven ideas followed by an explanation after each one as to why it was important to you. Use personal examples from your own life.

i. It is better to light a candle, however small, than to curse the darkness.

We live in a world bedeviled with challenges. Nowhere in the world today isn’t there a need for change. People complain and groan about how things should get better but how many of us take up responsibilities no matter how small to do something about what we complain about?

In the first chapter of the book, Michael Lightweaver shared his
personal story and experience of the world and how he reframed the
situation by asking himself what he could do about the situation.

“But more importantly I had to ask myself, what can I do as one person to address such an overwhelming challenge. It was then I remembered the saying that it is better to light a candle, however
small, than to curse the darkness. I realized that, if the ideas that had changed my life and shifted my consciousness, were universally available, the world could change.”

This chapter left me with a renewed inspiration to make my own contribution in my immediate community towards solving those problems that I personally have a passion for. I know that no one person can
single-handedly bear the burden of the world but if we all would see our significance we would make the world a better place to live in for all of us.

ii. “One book can change a mind; one mind can change the world.”

Reading through Felix Iziomoh’s personal growth accounts was so inspiring for me. I saw really how the gift of being exposed to an institution like IIGL can make a huge difference in how an individual
turns out.

He gave accounts of the books he read and those books changed his mind; now he has become a change agent. I also have benefited hugely from every book that I have read so far on my first level at IIGL. The books have helped me to develop a stronger capacity to do the work that I do in my community with more
intentionality.

iii. Be Intentional

Intentionality is what differentiates dreamers from achievers. Without taking intentional action daily towards the change we want to see, we would end up achieving nothing meaningful in our lifetime.

“Being intentional means seeing the challenges that oppress people and making a commitment to go all the way in discovering and providing viable solutions. This is not a one-time commitment but a life pursuit. It is that inner resolve that will keep you going when everything in you wants to give up. Set your heart on the cause and choose not to waiver, no matter the distractions. The inner resolve to make a difference is what distinguishes average leaders from transformational leaders. Men and women who set their hearts on making a difference and keep working at it, are the people that build lasting solutions; ” shared by Noeline Kirabo (Uganda). I have been able to change the course of my life by being intentional in my work and relationships over the years. The same life that
seemed like a failure suddenly turned around when I understood
the power of daily intentional actions.

iv. Association

“The people you surround yourself with have a huge impact on
your vision and manifestation of your potential, as you will be
continually challenged to aim higher, thereby expanding your
capacities.”

There is no alternative to keeping good company if we are to achieve
our dreams. One of my mentors taught me years ago that if I have a
10×10 vision and I keep company with people who have 2×2 vision, they
would eventually cut down my vision to the dimensions that they can
cope with. I learned to connect up; creating relationships with people who have
gone ahead to do the things I am trying to do so they can guide me as
I navigate challenging terrains.

v. Embrace your uniqueness

“I was reminded by Michael Lightweaver, founder of IIGL, that the
greatest leader I could ever be was the best version of me;” shared by Noeline Kirabo (Uganda).

This section of the book resonated deeply with me. I also happened to come into my career from the backside, not with a great profile. I had to build from the scratch and this meant that I needed a lot of confidence. I was able to resist the temptation of wanting to be exactly like my mentors. Even though I admired them greatly, I somehow knew that my sweetness is in my uniqueness and I would never be able to find my true self if I didn’t connect to myself at the core.

vi. The power of imagination

I believe strongly that we cannot become what we cannot imagine. There must be a creation first in our minds, and then in our physical reality. Also, it is our imagination that pulls us towards our desired destination. In the first instance, our ability to paint a picture of our desired future makes us breathe life into our goals. We see possibility gradually as we imagine. On the second hand, our subconscious keeps that picture, and we begin to attract opportunities for the fulfillment of our dreams into our lives. It works like the law of attraction.

In a nutshell,“The key to life is imagination. If you don’t have
that, no matter what you have, it’s meaningless. If you do have imagination; you can make a feast of straw.”

vii. Leadership demands strength of character, a healthy self-image and mental clarity.

The benefits and privileges of leadership positions can be so alluring that we do not think of the demands of leadership. Also, when we get carried away by these benefits, we risk abusing our
position. Strength of character, a healthy self-image and mental clarity would help to keep us focused on serving rather than serving ourselves with benefits.

If people knew the responsibilities of leadership, they would take a moment to be sure of capacity before they take up leadership positions. It is not that we cannot take up bigger positions and grow into them, it is that the demands of leadership are so enormous that we have to ensure unwavering commitment throughout our journey. On the other hand, if we do not have a healthy self-image, we cannot fully function without always thinking that we are not adequate.

3. How will these ideas or lessons help you in a practical way, bothin your daily personal life and in helping you to create a better world? If so, how?

The ideas that I learned from the leadership book are enormous and
will help me hugely in the following ways:

Be more intentional in my contributions: Reading the personal stories of many IIGL scholars was really inspiring. I was reminded of my own visions and most especially I had renewed hope that if they could achieve what they did, then I can
bring my own visions to fruition as well.

To keep developing capacity: In my own opinion, having the capacity to function in our roles is not negotiable if we are true leaders. I am motivated to expand my
capacity so that I can grow into bigger roles of service.

To keep connecting up: Mentoring contributed to the success stories that I read in the book. I have a fresh determination to seek mentors who would guide me as I
grow in my career. Overall, this book has renewed my energy for leadership growth and
will definitely help me create my path through leadership!

4. Quotes: Are there any statements which the author made that particularly got your attention? If so, please quote them and comment as to why they were important to you.

“Dreams are amazingly beautiful and indeed can give us chills up our
spines; however, without intentional action, a dream becomes like a
beautiful rose that quickly withers when not watered.” Beyond Dreams
and Wishes: Moving Beyond Goals to Destiny from Hattie Opondo (Uganda)

This quote is a great reminder that we cannot separate ourselves from
the majority who are perpetual dreamers if we do not take meaningful and intentional actions that will guarantee the fulfillment of our dreams.

“Significance links to purpose; If you influence others for the better your life will havepurpose and meaning.” Amplified Significance shared by Juliette Alyce Engole (Uganda).

We live in a world where many people are more interested in impressing others rather than making impact. Many also are searching endlessly for significance not knowing that if they just found purpose they’d find their significance. But just as Zig Ziglar said, “if we help other enough other people get what they want, we would get what we want.”

5. Is there anything in the book that you do not understand or are unclear about, or are there ideas which you disagree with and, if so, why?

None.

6. Did the book contain exercises for the reader to complete? If so, did you complete all of the exercises and did you find them helpful?

The book did not contain exercises.

7. Was there anything you read in the book that you would like to comment on that was not covered in the previous questions? If so, please comment.

None.

Please rate the following questions on a scale from 1 to 10. Ten is good and one is poor.

A. How interesting was it to read? 7
B. How helpful were the contents? 10
C. How easy was it to understand? 8
D. Would you recommend it to others? 10
E. What is the overall rating you would give it? 8

Nonviolent Communication
Assessment by Atinuke Oyewunmi (Nigeria)

1. What is the main idea that the author is trying to convey in the book?

The main idea the book tried to convey is thought and language can create violence when we are unaware and that when we learn the components of non-violent communication, we can actually change the world, starting from our sphere of influence.

2. What were the seven ideas which were personally most important to you and why? List these seven ideas followed by an explanation after each one as to why it was important to you. Use personal examples from your own life.

i. When you don’t get communication right, both you and your associates would be unhappy.

I have personally and professionally been in situations where I needed to get my message across but could not. I would often feel frustrated and speak in more commanding and non-empathic ways that further alienated the people I set out to bring closer. They would be more upset while I would feel more disappointed at my inability to get results.
Reading this book did not only help me develop stronger awareness of my poor communication skills, it also helped me learn how to shape my conversations paying keen attention to what others are feeling needing beyond what I am feeling and needing.
I have seen tremendous improvement in how people respond to my requests respectfully and positively.

ii. When you have a toxic conditioning, the good person in you remains locked in.

When I read the account of the nurse from California who shared how NVC helped her, I agreed that many of us have good intentions and would desire to act better. However, this book taught that our intentions cannot match our impact if we do not get freed from unhelpful toxic conditioning. Many people have huge potential to do their work better and serve the world better but a poor understanding of life situations and other people can hinder the realization of such potential forever.In a world where merely surviving is the priority of many people, this book has helped me to see that we all can choose to thrive by learning to understand and function with others through nonviolent communication, no matter how disruptive the behaviors of others may be.

iii. Identifying and expressing feelings

This is one of the most unforgettable lessons I took away from the book NVC. I learnt to widen my vocabulary through the lists shared in the book. It was a surprise to me when I discovered that I did not have enough words to express my feelings. As I practiced this skill, I got better. I also agree with what was said in the book that most times we have a bigger vocabulary for insults than we do for expressing our feelings. How impossible it would be that others would respond to the feelings and needs that we haven’t identified or even learnt to clearly express!

iv. Static vs Process language

I come from Africa where the use of proverbs is an integral part of our culture. What came to my mind as I read this part was how many times the proverbs have been rendered ineffective because the events and circumstances that produced them no longer exist. I appreciate this idea mostly because it heightened my awareness in communication language. I am now conscious of how my language has the power to put a lid on possibilities when they are static. Process language on the other hand takes into consideration that things are dynamic and if we desire to get results we must be dynamic in our language as well.

For example, if I do not observe the changes in people and I continue to use static generalizations like ‘always’ and ‘never’ to express my disappointments, this would create a wedge between me and those people. I should instead be specific in my observation and evaluation so that I do not shut off the possibilities of growth for others by getting them demoralized by my static generalizations.

v. It is passive violence that fuels the fire of physical

My mindset was greatly transformed by this idea. As someone who is more introverted, I have always believed that being calm and not getting physical when expressing anger meant that I wasn’t violent. NVC taught me otherwise! I may be just as violent in my communication as the person who now physically reacts to me violently. While I will not justify the physically violent behavior, I have seen that a process often leads to the eventual and sometimes unmanageable physical violence. If that process of communication is well managed, taking into account the feeling and need of the person in question, we may be able to fulfill that need without them getting physically violent.
I learnt from the experiences shared by the author of how people were able to douse the fire of violence by quickly noticing and confirming what others were feeling and needing.
This can happen at the individual level as it can happen between countries at war.
The statement below put things in a better perspective for me:

“We often don’t acknowledge our violence because we are ignorant about it; we assume we are not violent because our vision of violence is one of fighting, killing, beating, and wars the type of things that average individuals don’t do.”

vi. Peace cannot be built on the foundations of fear.

I absolutely relate with this idea based on what I have observed in individuals, teams, organizations and even countries. When people are struggling to make peace reign, they have often sown the seeds of violence earlier through careless communication.
Rather than use words that create violence, it is far easier to learn and choose our language wisely, this would prevent the need for wars between countries and even the subtle unaddressed wars between individuals, amongst teams and within organizations.
At the end of the book NVC, I also saw that there is another book by the author titled “Speak Peace.” “In every interaction, every conversation, and in every thought, you have a choice to promote peace or perpetuate violence.”

The world indeed has a lot to learn from this author!

vii. We are dangerous when we are not conscious of our responsibility for how we behave, think and feel.

The account shared in this book about the teacher who remarked that she hated giving grades but she did not have a choice but to continue giving grades was quite eye-opening for me.It indeed showed that we can carry on with practices that need transformation when we do not see ourselves as being responsible for any part of it. Through NVC, the teacher revealed that the reason she did not raise any concern about the practice of awarding grades was indeed because she feared she might lose her job.
My reflection here was this: How much change can we really bring about in the world if we learnt how to use NVC to express our concerns, rather than believing that we don’t have any choice? I strongly believe that learning and mastering the components of NVC can have a multiplier effect on our influence anywhere we find ourselves.

3. How will these ideas or lessons help you in a practical way, both in your daily personal life and in helping you to create a better world? If so, how?

The ideas that I learned from NVC are enormous and will help me hugely in the following ways:

Improve my communication power
Rather than blame myself or blame others when there is misunderstanding, I will use the NVC Model as follows:
Observation – observing without evaluating
Feeling – ability to identify and clearly express my feelings while identifying the feelings of others
Needs – ability to acknowledge the root of my feeling and clearly expressing my needs while identifying the feeling of others and reflecting it back to them appropriately
Request; learning to follow up the above steps with a clear request that might fulfill my need and not a demand

To expand my influence: I believe that mastery of NVC will help me to get the message of my work across to the world in a more successful and sustainable way.
I have become conscious of how my language in the past has hindered my practice of helping people learn and grow. With NVC, I will continue to improve and do better in my work. I have renewed hope for impact in my work because of the techniques I learnt in this book.

4. Quotes: Are there any statements which the author made that particularly got your attention? If so, please quote them and comment as to why they were important to you.

“The single toughest, most dangerous opponent I’d ever faced the one that truly hurt me the most, causing me to spend 30 years of my life behind bars was my own anger and fear. I write these words now, a gray haired old man, hoping to God before you suffer what I’ve suffered; that it will cause you to listen and learn Nonviolent Communication. It will teach you how to recognize anger before it becomes violence, and how to understand, deal with, and take control of the rage you may feel.”

This was from a prisoner writing to fellow inmates. The quote above touched me deeply and intensified my desire to read the book thoroughly, and my determination to use it in my work to help others.

5. Is there anything in the book that you do not understand or are unclear about, or are there ideas which you disagree with and, if so, why?

None.

6. Did the book contain exercises for the reader to complete? If so, did you complete all of the exercises and did you find them helpful?

The book contained exercises at the end of the chapters that tested my understanding of the concepts taught. I was able to know from the answers if I was in agreement with the concepts or not. These were quite helpful because they made me go back to read some parts I thought I earlier understood.

7. Was there anything you read in the book that you would like to comment on that was not covered in the previous questions? If so, please comment.

None.

Please rate the following questions on a scale from 1 to 10. Ten is good and one is poor.

A. How interesting was it to read? 10
B. How helpful were the contents? 10
C. How easy was it to understand? 10
D. Would you recommend it to others? 10
E. What is the overall rating you would give it? 10

GOALS
Assessment by Atinuke Oyewunmi (Nigeria)

1. What is the main idea that the author is trying to convey in the book?

The main idea of GOALS is that success is goals and all else is commentary. Without well-defined goals, achieving success is almost impossible since success is never an accident. How we show up every day in the world matters, and goal-driven people show up differently.

2. What were the seven ideas which were personally most important to you and why? List these seven ideas followed by an explanation after each one as to why it was important to you. Use personal examples from your own life.

i. Without goals, there is no purpose.

I used to think that purpose discovery was all that was needed until I found out that I wasn’t productive enough and this was largely due to lack of targets and goals. I also noticed that many people often assume that hard work and honesty will naturally pay off. From reading this book, it is obvious that if we do not have meaningful goals that we are working towards, even our growth will not have a direction.
I observed a great improvement in my productivity when I started approaching each year with something specific I want to achieve. Also, my income has improved greatly since I started channeling my energy in specific growth directions. Just as the author Brian Tracy took his life from very low points to being at the top of his career, I also took my life out of depression when I decided what I really wanted and started being purposeful. As rightfully stated in the book, clear goals increase your confidence, develop your competence and boost your levels of motivation.

ii. Clarity Makes Your Dreams Become Your Realities

I cannot agree more with this statement! Clarity gives us the energy that enables us make our dreams come true. With clarity, you can strategically focus on tasks that will make you move towards your goals daily. The challenge with lack of clarity is that we tend to get involved in so many activities without the ability to assess if they are actually moving us closer or further from our dreams.
What I observed in my experience is that anytime I am crystal clear about what I want to achieve, I tend to gain more speed because I say no to everything that I can recognize wouldn’t take me closer to my dreams.
As said in the book also, having clarity makes us think about what we want most of the time. This will definitely increase our chances of working on it a lot more. The quote by Zig Ziglar shared by the author also confirms this concept of clarity. “You move from being a wandering generality to becoming a meaningful specific.”

What we think about all the time, we become. Reading this book also helped me to further clarify my goals at this phase of my life and while using the exercises, I found that I needed to review some of them. The reflection below actually caught my attention:
What would you do, how would you spend your time, if you only had six months left to live?
I noticed that my answer to that question now is quite different from what it was when I asked myself a few years ago.

iii. The Law of Correspondence

This is a law that I read about some years ago. However, I understood it differently this time. From my personal experiences I can confirm that when my internal world took a better shape, my external world mirrored it. Also, whenever I decidedly put a goal in my mind, I find that I talk, think and strategize on it almost all the time and before long I am drafted into it in the external world. I believe this is when the Law of Attraction comes to play as explained in the book. It also consequently means that anytime there is chaos within us, we attract into our lives circumstances and situations that reflect chaos.
The major lesson here for me is to ensure that I always plant carefully selected goals that align with my life purpose in my mind.

iv. Keep your feet on the ground

Being out of touch with reality is something that is common in religious circles. Yes, we pray and do believe that God can do all things but I believe that we often misinterpret scriptures and end up setting goals that we cannot achieve. The account of the woman who lost her job and wanted to be an instant millionaire reflects the reality of so many people who believe that all they have to do is want something with a burning desire and then they’d have it. But what about being realistic and making an assessment of current situations. I spent years before I could differentiate between having faith and being realistic. The biggest discovery for me is that the fact that I set achievable and realistic goals does not mean that I do not have faith. Also, the account of the man who had a goal of achieving world peace is quite insightful. He equally had his feet off the ground by wanting to achieve something that wasn’t within his control.
As the author pointed out, when we set goals that we do not believe, our subconscious mind will reject it and the reticular cortex will fail to function.

v. All improvement in your life comes from changing your beliefs about yourself and your possibilities.

My mindset was greatly transformed by this idea. As a personal effectiveness coach, I often look for ways to help people understand that if they do not believe that something is possible for them, they will not make the effort to change. It is one thing to believe that great things do happen to people, and yet another thing to believe that it can happen for you. Some people have the victim mindset that makes them believe that their lives are not meant to be great. Once we cannot see possibilities, no one can help our situation.
The only reason you lift your steps in faith is because you believe that something can happen for you.
Also, this part of the book addresses the fact that a poor self-image is the beginning of failure. This is a major lesson that I took away from Psycho-cybernetics when I read it in level 1.
This quote from GOALS also resonates with this idea.

“Your self-concept precedes and predicts your levels of performance and effectiveness in everything you do.”

vi. Start at the Beginning

I understand this idea to mean that we must be in tune with our reality no matter how much we long for it to change. The current reality is the starting point. The more we are disconnected from reality, the harder it’ll be for us to set realistic and achievable goals. One of the points mentioned in the book is that our goals also can demoralize us instead of energize us when they are too unrealistic. The book gave different versions of the reality principle from different authors as follows:

Jack Welch, CEO of General Electric for many years, once said that the most important quality of leadership is the “reality principle.” He defined this as the ability to see the world as it really is, not as you
wish it were. He would begin every meeting to discuss a goal or a problem with the question, “What’s the reality?”

Peter Drucker refers to this quality as “intellectual honesty,” dealing with the facts exactly as they are before attempting to solve a problem or make a decision. Abraham Maslow once wrote that the
first quality of the self-actualizing person was the ability to be completely honest and objective with himself, or herself. It is the same with you. If you want to be the best you can be, and to achieve what is truly possible for you, you must be brutally honest with yourself and your point of departure. You must sit down and analyze yourself in detail to decide exactly where you are today in each area.

vii. Result Areas

I learned that every field of endeavor has key result areas. There are major skills that I need to have to excel in my field. My ability to identify them and do an honest assessment of where I am now in all those areas is what will give me clarity on what growth goals to set. I must ensure that I develop well in the skills that I am weak in, because the weakest link could lead to the inability to reach my goals no matter how good I am in others. I believe that setting goals in key result areas have helped me tremendously in developing some of the skills that I now have.

3. How will these ideas or lessons help you in a practical way, both in your daily personal life and in helping you to create a better world? If so, how?

The ideas that I learnt from GOAL are deeply insightful and will help me hugely in the following ways:

Program myself with goals: Since my subconscious mind holds 90% of my mental powers, I will ensure that I put clear and achievable goals that align w ith my purpose in my mind always so that I can continually live my life purposefully. Also, clear goals, specific tasks, deliberate measures and firm deadlines will allow me to tap into forcing system that will help my subconscious function best.

Increase my productivity and speed of achievement: As the author said, “when you make a firm commitment to achieve a particular goal, and you put aside all excuses, it is very much like stepping on the accelerator of your subconscious mind.” The lessons I learnt in this book will give me disciplined focus that will enable me maximize my time and attention as I focus on things that move me closer to my goals. I will be able to do more and achieve them faster without distractions. I have learned to apply the three keys to peak performance commitment, completion and closure to my work. Also, I learnt to identify my most valuable task.

Remove the roadblock: In this book, I have learnt that my internal constraints are 80% while my external constraints are 20%. I will pay close attention to what goes on in me and ensure that I continue to see possibilities for my life regardless of what happens in my environment so that I do not become my own roadblock. With all of the lessons that I have learnt in this book, I will be able to do my work better as I work with others to make changes that they desire both personally and professionally. My personal growth experiences will help me teach effectively as I go through the process of change myself.

4. Quotes: Are there any statements which the author made that particularly got your attention? If so, please quote them and comment as to why they were important to you.

“There is no road too long to the man who advances deliberately and without undue haste; there are no honors too distant to the man who prepares himself for them with patience.”
The quote above resonates highly with me as I constantly have to check myself to ensure that I can delay gratification and not rush into the higher phases of my work without adequate preparation.

“You just keep pushing. You just keep pushing. I made every mistake that could be made, but I just kept pushing.”

The quote above really inspired me! It deepens my hope that so long as I do not give up, all my dreams are bound to come true. The book taught me that embracing adversity is what I need to do no matter how intelligent I am (The Great Paradox). Disappointments are inevitable. Even when I make mistakes I must understand that it is just natural to not get it right all the time. I must keep pushing and never relent!

5. Is there anything in the book that you do not understand or are unclear about, or are there ideas which you disagree with and, if so, why?

None.

6. Did the book contain exercises for the reader to complete? If so, did you complete all of the exercises and did you find them helpful?

The book contained exercises at the end of the chapters that helped me to reflect on very important questions that were asked. I did this by putting my thoughts in my journal and I am grateful for the process

7. Was there anything you read in the book that you would like to comment on that was not covered in the previous questions? If so, please comment.

None.

Please rate the following questions in a scale of 1 to 10. Ten is good and One is poor.

A. How interesting was it to read? 8
B. How helpful was the content? 10
C. How easy was it to understand? 10
D. Would you recommend it to others? 10
E. What is the overall rating you would give it? 9

Goal Mapping
Assessment by Atinuke Oyewunmi (Nigeria)

1. What is the main idea that the author is trying to convey in the book?

The main idea of this book is that goal mapping is a way to get our hands on building our dreams. Dreams will not happen magically except we take concrete steps.

2. What were the seven ideas which were personally most important to you and why? List these seven ideas followed by an explanation after each one as to why it was important to you. Use personal examples from your own life.

i. Dream

The author defined a dream is an inspiring picture of the future that energizes your mind, will and emotions, empowering you to do everything you can to achieve it. Felix Iziomoh encouraged that we need to start out by having a picture in our minds that can electrify us in spite of what is going on around us. From his personal life experience, he came to the realization that nothing better would come out of life if he didn’t desire new things. I can relate to his story as I have also gone through experiences that almost made me take my life, and only a picture of a greater future was all that helped to energize my life back again. Even though at the time I conceived the dreams for the future, my reality was a far cry from what I visualized. I however did not just dream, I learnt to take the steps to achieve my dreams. Today I can say to a very large extent that I am living my dreams because I dared to have them in the first place.

ii. Great achievers have a habit; they “see” things

Visualization is a concept that transformed my life from being a very depressed and moody individual to someone people want to be around. As I mentioned Idea 1, my ability to plant a picture of a preferable future in my mind made all the difference for me. I started to believe and anticipate that great things were going to happen for me even as I took very unsure steps towards the dreams I had.
I have come to discover that for us to achieve a dream, we must conceive it in our minds first and then hold onto it, seeing it always. This “seeing” that Felix described in the book is what leads to the emotional attachment that helps our brain stay focused on what we want.
I have never met or read of any high achiever who did not first see possibilities in their mind before achieving it. As the author rightly stated: “Every great achievement began in the mind of one person.”

iii. Your short-term tasks, multiplied by time, equal your long-term accomplishments.

This is a point that reminds us that chronological passage of time alone doesn’t lead to goal achievement. It is how we spend our time on identified and prioritized tasks that really make a difference in what today is and what the future would look like. This idea further emphasizes the fact our big goals have to be broken into manageable tasks otherwise we would be overwhelmed and find it hard to act on them realistically.
I remember a time when I had not realized the benefits of goal setting. I would go for years without coming closer to my dreams, but the moment I understood the power of goal setting, I moved from just talking about what I wanted to accomplish to actually taking the necessary steps towards them.
iv. When you are not clear on your priorities, you will have trouble to manage your time and make progress on your goals.

This idea is quite similar to Idea 3. Lack of clarity on priorities present such a huge problem. There is no way we would know the value of time if cannot identify what our priorities are. We also cannot know what our priorities should be except we are clear on what we want to achieve. This becomes a cycle of frustration if careful attention is not paid. Not making progress can be quite frustrating because as humans we are designed to grow and develop. When this frustration sets in it can make us create even more unclear goals in reaction to lack of fulfillment.

v. Finding the emotional reasons I need to achieve my goals

According to the author: “Goals are thoughts that are captured and held on to. It is the emotion that we attached to it, that makes our thoughts powerful. Needs are logical (left-brain) but desires are emotional (right-brain).”

A strong why makes us withstand the rigours of the how. For us to achieve our goals we definitely need to come out of our comfort zone. This is often not easy for many of us, therefore, the tendency to give up when the going gets tough is high. This is where our emotional reasons come in handy. They remind us of why we want to achieve our goals and the feelings that we have described in our maps.
One of the questions the author asked that I liked so much goes thus: What are your three
main emotional reasons why you want to achieve your goals?

vi. Not timing your goal promotes laziness and procrastination.

I cannot agree more with this idea! As they say, work expands to fill time. Without our goals being time-bound we would procrastinate endlessly. The best intentions do not guarantee results except we are able to make ourselves do what needs to be done. I have had to learn personal discipline of time management over the years and it has made a huge difference in my efficiency.

vii. The “How” of achieving goals.

I found this idea quite insightful. My ability to perform a skills gap analysis will help ensure that I am equipped for the achievement of my goals. As the author mentioned in the book, if you can figure out the most efficient use of your time your goals should cost less to complete.
Many times we just set goals without facing the reality of implementation. Implementation requires capacity. The author encouraged us to think critically about

3. How will these ideas or lessons help you in a practical way, both in your daily personal life and in helping you to create a better world? If so, how?

The ideas that I learned from Goal Mapping are deeply insightful and will help me hugely in the following ways:
Define my priorities: When I am clear about my priorities, I will be able to use time and other resources efficiently. I will be able to help others gain clarity if I am able to make it happen for myself.

Draw my goals: When goals are drawn they become more concrete and easier to relate to. This concept came newly to me as I used to cut out pictures to use on my vision board. I find the drawing giving more life to my ideas. I will continue to use it and also share it with others that I engage with in the course of my training programs. As the author rightly said, drawing our goals power them up and turn them from written words into pictures making us engage the right and left sides of the brain effectively.

Build effective relationships: I learned from this book that relationships are essential to the fulfilment of my goals. I cannot give myself the opportunities I need to succeed. I need others in different areas to support my dreams. Having learned immensely from this book, I have started to sharpen my networking and relationship management skills.

4. Quotes: Are there any statements which the author made that particularly got your attention? If so, please quote them and comment as to why they were important to you.

“The art of progress is to preserve order amid change and to preserve change amid order.”

The quote above reflects the reality that we are faced with in the world today. The rate of change is unprecedented. Without the ability to ensure that change is entertained when things are going well and that we stay in charge amidst rapid change is highly crucial.

“The more and better relationships you develop, the faster you will achieve your goals and the better they will be part of your life.”

The quote above reemphasizes the importance of having great relationships, noting that our speed of progress and eventual fulfillment depends on how well connected we are to the people that matter to our success.

5. Is there anything in the book that you do not understand or are unclear about, or are there ideas which you disagree with and, if so, why?

None.

6. Did the book contain exercises for the reader to complete? If so, did you complete all of the exercises and did you find them helpful?

The book contained very useful exercises that helped me to list my priorities, draw my goals and reflect also on other important questions that were asked.

7. Was there anything you read in the book that you would like to comment on that was not covered in the previous questions? If so, please comment.

None.

Please rate the following questions on a scale from 1 to 10. Ten is good and one is poor.

A. How interesting was it to read? 7
B. How helpful were the contents? 10
C. How easy was it to understand? 8
D. Would you recommend it to others? 8
E. What is the overall rating you would give it? 8