Cheurombo Pswarayi – Assessments

As a Man Thinketh

Assessment by Cheurombo Pswarayi (Zimbabwe)

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

How/what an individual turns out to be in life is a direct result of the thoughts he harbors. What goes on internally in the brain, consciously or otherwise, manifests itself in what an individual does, their situation, their state of health and ultimately their success or failure 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. A noble and God-like character is not a thing of chance but is the natural result of continued effort in right thinking:

I am a Christian who above all else values her relationship with God. My ultimate reason for being is to serve Him and walk in His ways and do right by Him. In order to achieve this I choose to walk in God’s way and this idea highlights that this is attainable through power of a persistent drive and effort in positive thinking.

ii. As a being of power, intelligence, and love, and the lord of his own thoughts, man holds the key to every situation:

Every situation unfolds because of how I personally react to it. The impulse to fight or flee, argue or remain quiet, laugh or cry, in any situation will shape how that situation will ultimately unfold. Because I am in control of what I think, I ultimately have the power to shape my circumstances using the tools of power, intelligence and love. Being the lord of my own thoughts instills a confidence in me in knowing that even though external factors exist which might not be in my control, such as two people fighting in the street, what I think about them and the situation is totally up to me.

iii. Discovery is totally a matter of application, self-analysis and experience:

The notion of being positive with your thoughts is not automatic. It requires training of the mind and experience means the more it becomes a habit the more it becomes natural. This idea is positive in that even thought I may not have attained complete conscious mastery of thought; I can teach it to myself and develop the art through experience. I am a frequent traveler and these results in having significant amounts of time away from my routine area of work. I will use these opportunities to self-analyze and meditate.

iv. Whether or not you work on structuring/improving your thoughts- they will always bear fruit

Time is constantly in motion and does not stop just because I may be going through a rough patch, or because I’m feeling particularly lazy. The seasons come and go and it is up to me to make sure that I work on improving myself in all the aspects of life. If I continue to concentrate on the negative and harbor ill thoughts, they will bear fruit when it is ripe. It is imperative that I have an immediate start on cultivating my mind so that from today as each day goes by, I have positively contributed to reaping fruit which I will be proud of.

v. Men are anxious to improve their circumstances but are unwilling to improve themselves.

I have realized that every person (myself included) wants to be successful. I have so many ideas in which I can generate income, and I have set goals for myself which will be an indicator for success. When however an opportunity to learn, attend a workshop appears it seems as if this will take away from my productive hours. Sometimes I am blinkered to fast results and I forget to invest in knowledge. Meditation and self-analysis have also suffered neglect in my everyday schedules but I realize that these aspects of self-improvement have a direct impact on achieving the very same goals I value and have set for myself.

vi. Blessedness, not material possessions, is the measure of right thought; wretchedness, not lack of material possessions is the measure of wrong thought:

Success is not measured ultimately by materialistic wealth. Financial resources have been the benchmark of success. This idea has broadened my view in that success is not a one-dimensional materialistic measurable. Indeed one can attain materialistic wealth but be “wretched” and live a horrible life.

vii. Individual responsibility must be absolute.

Often there is a temptation to try and shift blame of what is happening in my life to another individual- family, friends, and business partners. The notion of absolute responsibility does not allow me to accommodate anyone else’s action and blame them for my situation/circumstance. This is an empowerment idea which puts me in control of me.

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?

These ideas have helped me to appreciate that my thoughts are a powerful weapon in my life. My situation and circumstances are a direct reflection on what I choose to allow my mind to dwell on. I am passionate about social entrepreneurship- coming up with innovations that improve society’s problems and making them self-sustaining profitable businesses. If I am able to work towards achieving that positive impact in society, passion with a purpose, I will begin to influence my sphere of people and this will have a ripple effect and create a better world one person at a time. Starting with me.

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.

“Man is made or unmade by himself.”

Just as an individual can build themselves up to success, they can equally contribute to their own downfall.

“Man is always the master, even in his weakest and most abandoned state.”

You are never in a position when you cannot control how you respond to a situation

“He that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.”

Biblical quotation which resonates with my Christian beliefs.

“Circumstance does not make the man, it reveals him to himself.”

True character comes out when an individual is placed in difficult circumstances

“Men do not attract what they want, but what they are.”

Positive thoughts yield positive fruits and vice-versa. I may want what is good but if I constantly think negatively that is what I will attract.

“Achievement of any kind is the crown of effort, the diadem of thought.”

There is no accidental success that exists.

“A man only begins to be a man when he ceases to whine and revile.”

Anyone can complain, it takes a mature, grown-up person to toughen up and take it in without moaning about circumstances

“Until thought is linked with purpose, there is no intelligent accomplishment.”

Everyone needs a goal to work towards.

“The strength of the effort is the measure of the result.”

What you sow is what you reap

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?

I do not agree with the idea that man is the shaper of his environment. I believe an individual is in charge of how he responds and reacts to his environment and surroundings to a greater extent than what his actual surroundings are- i.e. natural acts of God; politics. The notion that every man is where he is by the law of his being does not bode well with my belief and the situations I’ve seen. As I mentioned earlier, I believe an individual’s response/reaction to a situation is what they can control 100%. Indeed the reaction can lead to changes in the situation itself but before that chain of events has ocurred it is my opinion that a person cannot be responsible for his surroundings.

Suffering is always the effect of wrong thought in some direction- this is not 100%. Some people experience droughts; flooding; wars and other natural disasters which cause suffering not because of their thoughts. Other people some from diseases which are not a result of their thoughts- cancers, disabilities, road accidents caused by the other driver and such like

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?

None.

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.

No.

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? 7
D. Would you recommend it to others? 7
E. What is the overall rating you would give it? 8

 

 

Jonathan Livingston Seagull

Assessment by Cheurombo Pswarayi (Zimbabwe)

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

When you have a vision and set goals it doesn’t follow that everyone else will instantly buy into your ideas and see from your perspective. You have to stand firm in what you believe in despite what others around see and you have to work hard to attain the vision.

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. Practice makes perfect

I am a trained aircraft maintenance engineer who does not have any formal training in business studies, finance/accounting, law but who decided to become a social entrepreneur. I am passionate about what I do and have had to learn a lot of aspects quite quickly in order to cope. The idea that practice makes perfect spurs me on to continue learning and experiencing the entrepreneurial ventures because that is how I will refine my skills to back up my passion.

ii. You will face discouragement even from those close to you whom you love and who love you

Unfortunately not everyone interprets a situation the way I do and the way I see it. When I perceive an opportunity not everyone sees it as such. Resistance to my choices has come at different times in my life but of note is when I decided to leave my formal employment and migrate back to my home country to found my businesses. I appreciate that my family and friends meant well and probably advised me mainly out of love, but not all the advice was is support of the intended move.

iii. Even if you try to conform, when you’re meant for a higher purpose you will not be happy and comfortable until you achieve your goal

I have personally experienced this in the few years I worked in my qualified profession of aircraft maintenance engineering. The spirit to start something else, to be my own boss was dominant and resulted in an unhappy period. I was good at my job but I was not content in what I was doing and felt I had to break out and start my own business

iv. You will stall and fall in your journey to achieving

It is not a smooth ride to success and to achieving one’s goals. There are pitfalls along the way, learning curves which cost- financially, physical and emotionally on the journey to reaching set goals and targets.

v. Sometimes in the lowest moments that is where you’ll find a solution to your problems.

Tiny wing solution; From my experience I work best under pressure/or in difficult situations. It gives me an allowance to be innovative. I am also proud to be associated with finding solutions when the chips are down

vi. The zeal to want to share what has been learned

A strong idea that also comes through from the book is the zeal and eagerness to share what Jonathan has learnt. In my life and experiences I have realized that I learn better from watching others, sharing and talking to them about how they have succeeded. It is also important for me to impart the knowledge and experience I’ve learnt to those who’re ore junior either in age or business experience.

vii. Kindness and love are the greatest lessons

My Christian values resonate very well with this idea. You can have everything else- patience, kindness, charity, willingness to teach and learn but if you don’t have love then all is in vain. When love becomes your driving force, and your core reason for doing whatever you want to do in life there comes a sense of fulfillment and contentedness to your achievements.

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?

Practically I am going to practice and learn consistently to business well, to become a profitable entity and to effect positive changes in my community. I am going to set goals to achieve my vision and mission and work hard to get to the milestones. My vision is not going to be a static one because as I learn and excel I will begin to see more opportunities and aim for more than what I have started with. Learning will come through reading, studying, sharing experiences but a significant portion will be from my own individual effort to work on and refine my weaknesses.

It is important for me to pass on my skills and experience to those who are younger than me and or less experienced. There are always people in the community who might have similar ambitions to start up their own business or become leaders but need mentorship and guidance. Even though I also need mentorship the information and experiences I have gone through will be valuable to another individual. Love is an important element in setting out goals, accomplishing them and reaching one’s full potential. Love should be the drive and main motivational factor in doing business. When love anchors all my projects and businesses this means that I will be ethical, honest and constructive in my dealings.

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 gull sees farthest who flies highest. In order to get a broader vision you have to seek to acquire more.”

You have to be a high achiever and you will see more opportunities. Those who put in the most effort will have access to more opportunities.

“Everything that limits us we have to put aside.”

There are tendencies which I have, socially which do not support or aid me in attaining my goals. I have to make necessary sacrifices and leave them behind in order to realise my full potential. Identifying these limits is a great step in the right direction.

“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.”

There is more to life, more attainable goals than what I see in my day to day life because I am restricted by a number of factors. Just because I cannot see it at present doesn’t mean it is non-existent.

“Instead of being enfeebled by age the Elder had been empowered by it.”

With experience comes confidence and a self-assuredness to carry out one’s duties. As I grow older I shouldn’t count it a disadvantage that I am getting older. Should embrace it and use it to my advantage

“Perfection doesn’t have limits.”

I cannot define the ceiling of perfection. There’s always room to do better and improve. When I get good at one thing I have to aim to find a way to do it better continuously.

“To fly as fast as thought, to anywhere that is. You must begin by seeing that you are there.”

I must mentally accept my vision, and see myself as a success in my mind before I get to the destination.

“Keep working on love.”

I must make a conscious effort to love and to keep loving everyone.

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?

I did not understand the concept of time travel and space travel. I also didn’t understand whether Jonathan died and came back a as a ghost or whether he resurrected Fletcher seagull.

Heaven is not a place or a time. It is about being perfect- I do not agree with this statement. My Christian beliefs are that there is life after death. If one has followed God’s commandments and lived in righteousness that is when they will experience heaven

The only true law is that which leads to freedom- I do not agree with this statement. The only true law is to Love, as Jesus loved. “Forget about faith!” Chiang said it time and again. “You didn’t need faith to fly, you needed to understand flying.” I do not agree with this statement. Faith, a belief in what you don’t see is an important concept in my Christian life,

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 exercises contained in the book.

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.

No.

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? 9
D. Would you recommend it to others? 10
E. What is the overall rating you would give it? 10

 

 

PsychoCybernetics

Assessment by Cheurombo Pswarayi (Zimbabwe)

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

The way we see ourselves as individuals, our self-image is what drives us to achieve, or not to achieve. When we consciously picture ourselves in a state of success, the subconscious automatically works to help us attain that visual which we have consciously set for ourselves.

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. “Self-image” sets the boundaries of individual accomplishment

It is important for me to realize that it is not how others see me, but instead how I see myself which is crucial in achieving my goals and being successful. As an individual I am a very likeable person and I relate well with individuals from different levels in society. The danger however is that occasionally there are individuals who intentionally or unintentionally disprove/disrespect and talk down on me. When this happens, I have often let it pull me down and begin to doubt my own abilities. If truly self-image sets the boundaries of my accomplishments, then no external factors can limit my ability. I am enterprising and innovative. Hard-working and ambitious. What I need to do is focus on the big picture. Let go of the insecurities and thoughts of self-doubt which come up occasionally when I dare to dream big.

ii. The science of Cybernetics does not tell us that “man” is a machine but that man has and uses a machine. Moreover, it tells us how that machine functions and how it can be used.

The author goes on to use an example of a car. The car does not drive itself but has a driver to command how it operates. My mind and body are tools which will assist me to get to the destination and goals I have set for myself. The “I” in me, my individuality, my thoughts, my personality, will drive these machines whether consciously or sub-consciously. I have control over what happens in both states directly and indirectly.

iii. The torpedo accomplishes its goal by going forward, making errors, and continually correcting them.

When a target is set, and an object is propelled towards it, many deviations may occur due to external factors. As long as I have a clear cut vision of my target and I have started heading for them then I am in the right track. The concept of achieving the target/goal does not take a direct path. I am going to face set-backs, distractions, decelerators, detractors. Whenever I falter, make mistakes I need to continue moving forward and adjust myself so that I am not permanently misguided to my goal. Constant checks and balances will assist to ensure I still follow the correct trajectory.

iv. A human being always acts and feels and performs in accordance with what he imagines to be true about himself and his environment.

This notion highlights to me that I am truly the master of “my” universe. It shows me that nothing is outside my control. My reactions to situations and my perception of what occurs around me are all anchored on what I have told myself is true. In as much as this is a liberating thought it also indicates to me that I have no control of how others around me will react to me or to any given situation. Their own imaginations of what is true and correct will define their reactions and I accept I cannot have control over this.

v. Utilizing the Power of Rational Thinking

Conscious thinking is what ultimately controls sub-conscious thinking. Errors and mistakes which have been made in the past should not be continually referred to as that is not what defines me or my success. When I have not succeeded I should use the lesson to focus on how I have corrected the mistake and hold on to the positive outcomes and positive steps taken thereafter. According to the author- a man should make up his mind with emphasis as to what he rationally believes, and should never allow contrary irrational beliefs to pass unchallenged or obtain a hold over him, however brief.

vi. Ingredients of the “Success-Type” Personality and How to Acquire them.

It is very possible to inculcate within myself a success-type personality. The formula as stated by the author is to have a sense of direction; understand what is going on around you; have the courage to stand up for what you believe in spite of anything or anyone else; be charitable; have a good dose of self-esteem, self-confidence and self-acceptance.

vii. Developing a more self-reliant attitude.

This idea is a positive notion in my day to day life as it encourages me to be independent and to have more control of my life and situation. It is easy to relax and blame other people for the situation I might find myself in but self-reliance eliminates the dependency syndrome. In the book the author refers to self-reliance as a sure way to discard emotional scars.

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?

I have practically started setting and seeing a clear vision of where I want to be and making steps to get to my goals. I am determined to be self-reliant and to be in charge of my emotions and reactions to any situation. I intend to fully, to whatever extent is possible, be in charge of my emotions and state of happiness.

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.

“As I use it, success has nothing to do with prestige symbols, but with creative accomplishment. Rightly speaking no man should attempt to be a success, but every man can and should attempt to be successful.”

It is important to me to know that every success. I achieve might not be accompanied by trophies or acknowledgements from my peers but that does not take anything away from the fact that it is a success.

“Discovering your real self means the difference between freedom and the compulsions of conformity.”

I am individual, there can be no one other than me who speaks, feels, emotes the way I do. I should be content in myself and not try to fit into other person’s idea of normal

“Do the thing and you will have the power.”

Unless I do something I am not going to be able to do it!

“Stop measuring yourself against their” standards. You are not them and can never measure up. Neither can “they” measure up to yours—nor should they.”

I am entitled to my beliefs and perceptions without fear of victimization, so are others.

We do not all have to see things in the same manner.

“Ideas Are Changed, Not by “Will,” But by Other Ideas.”

To get out of doing something repetitively, do something new and different

“You simply must learn that if you can interest the neighbor you can interest all the neighbors, or the world, and not be frozen by magnitudes.”

I should not set boundaries or limitations for my abilities.

“When once a decision is reached and execution is the order of the day, dismiss absolutely all responsibility and care about the outcome.”

I should not let anything deter me from achieving what I’ve set out to achieve. This includes over-thinking ideas

King Solomon said in his Proverbs: “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine, but a broken spirit dryeth up the bones.”

Happiness is as good as medicine and does good to the body, mind and soul

“Happiness is not the reward of virtue,” said Spinoza, “but virtue itself; nor do we delight in happiness because we restrain our lusts; but, on the contrary, because we delight in it, therefore are we able to restrain them.”

I cannot rely on achievements to make me happy. I should be happy in order to achieve

“It doesn’t matter who’s right, but what’s right.”

Truth should not be a matter of where it is coming from but the fact that it is truth

“Touch a thistle timidly, and it pricks you; grasp it boldly and its spines crumble.”

When you have a go at something, go with all your heart and strength

“When we feel hurt or feel offended, the feeling is entirely a matter of our own response.”

I am in control of how I feel

“You Make Mistakes; mistakes do not make you.”

I am not defined by what I have done wrong in the past.

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?

“Psychology, which began with the study of man’s psyche, or soul, almost ended by depriving man of his soul.” I do not agree. The study itself has been good in getting to understand an aspect of the human being which was necessary.

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?

Yes it did. I have been doing the relaxation exercises and the visualization exercises to assist me in having a clear vision of my goals and to keep me in a relaxed happy mood.

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.

No.

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

 

 

Keys to Success

Assessment by Cheurombo Pswarayi (Zimbabwe)

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

The resonating theme in the book is that an individual can be successful in any aspect of life they wish to succeed in by following 17 principles. The author has observed different individuals who have succeeded in their different fields and has attributed the accomplishments to the 17 principles.

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. Develop definiteness of purpose

Definiteness of purpose is the starting point of accomplishing goals. When one has a clear picture of what has to be achieved, what heights and achievements are going to make life worth living and it is clear-cut then the mind starts to focus on that goal and is focused on attaining that objective.

I personally have a number of objectives and targets I want to reach in my life at certain stages. I have managed however to de-clutter my ambitions and objectives by introspecting and ascertaining what I want to achieve. All my dreams and aspirations have to tie up to one ultimate clear goal which will be fed into by the different aspects. I choose to be a social entrepreneur starting up and stirring businesses that will bring economic empowerment to the hard-working women in my country.

ii. Strategic alliances are important

It is necessary to have a mastermind group which shares my vision or directly compliments my vision. A lot can be learned from other people’s experiences. It also helps to achieve faster and better results by delegating those experienced in a certain field to carry out specialized tasks.

A mastermind group which is strategically handpicked will assist in achieving milestones towards accomplishing my definite purpose in life. It is also crucial to constantly meet up with the alliance and ascertain targets and roles for meeting those targets.

iii. I have the power to assemble an attractive personality

An attractive personality is an admirable trait. It invokes respect and attention from peers, strangers and subordinates. An attractive personality prompts those that surround you to be drawn to you and to buy into your vision and goals.

There a number of aspects which contribute to an attractive personality some of which can tend to be overlooked. The author highlights several aspects and of the ones which are listed I paid special attention to my weak points i.e. tone of voice; frankness of manner; emotional control and facial expression.

It’s an important matter for me to realize that through certain exercises and practices I can develop and strengthen the aspects which I identified as weak points

iv. “You must always render the most service you are capable of, with the best attitude, and you must do so regardless of your immediate compensation, even if it appears you will receive no immediate compensation.”

Often we seek for instant gratification. This very important aspect highlighted in the book encourages doing everything I undertake with maximum effort just for the fulfillment and satisfaction of undertaking the activity wholeheartedly. It might seem at times that when I undertake certain tasks and jobs I am doing it for no compensation but ultimately there is a reward in each task I undertake, it is not necessarily financial or immediate but it is definitely there. Often times the need for compensation comes from those who surround us who’ll have seen the work put into a certain task be it starting a business or undertaking an educational course. The people who surround me might not necessarily see the benefits of undertaking the activity and can tend to be a source of discouragement but as long as I focus and appreciate that gratification is inevitable it’ll assist me with my day to day works of charity and of building businesses which empower the community.

v. Act as soon as you must

Deferring and postponing issues and activities to be done is an unproductive trait. It is also time consuming and time wasting. Unfortunately this is one of my weaknesses which I am now actively and consciously working on. What I’ve realized is when I postpone dealing with a certain issue it is mostly because I assume it will take a lot of time. This however has turned out to be untrue and has helped me to get the otherwise dreaded tasks carried out promptly so that I can move on to other items. I have managed to have more “free” time to pursue activities which I thought I didn’t have time for because I have unclogged my schedule and am now leaving less tasks “to complete later”.

Acting as soon as possible is also important in that you take up different opportunities which avail themselves in the passage of time. Delays often times have the negative effects of losing out on opportunities which require prompt action due to strict timelines.

vi. You need a technique to protect your inner-self, your ego, from the damaging effects of negative ideas.

Unfortunately I cannot control the negativity which stems from the community around me. It’s great however to note that I can protect myself from the effects of the negativity.

vii. Learn from defeat, defeat can be resistance training

There’s always a positive lesson which can be learnt from defeat. Persistence in any endeavor that I might take up will result in success at the end. Each defeat is to be taken as a trial run, a lesson on how a certain result cannot be accomplished.

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?

These ideas/lessons have assisted me in ascertaining that success is inevitable for me if I persistently pursue the virtues highlighted. It has been an important lesson for me to note that it’s not about having just the 4 or 5 strong points or qualities whilst disregarding the rest. All the 17 aspects listed in the book complement each other and others are so intertwined they cannot be separated.

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.

“Whatever your mind can conceive and believe, your mind can achieve”

My limiting factor is my mind.

“Be sincere, first of all to yourself, and you will steadily grow in self-reliance.”

There is no need to lie about any issue especially to myself. If I am candid about every situation and am realistic about it I will respond to it in a truthful manner as well.

“Courtesy is… the habit of controlling selfishness in all form.”

Selfishness is an ugly trait which I would like to get rid of 100%

“Always stay focused on doing your best possible work.”

I doesn’t matter what I am working on at a particular moment, I should focus on it and perform to the best of my abilities.

“Trust yourself and you will always have someone to rely on.”

Self-reliance is crucial to success. The buck has to start and stop with me.

“Never wait for an outside force to trigger your actions.”

I need to be more proactive in my actions than reactive.

“Train yourself to look for the seed of equivalent benefit in every possible disappointment.”

Silver linings are always there for the finding if I reflect well enough.

“Adolf Hitler found the opportunity to use his power so destructively because so many other people failed to use theirs constructively.”

Negativity only becomes a force to reckon with when we let it

“Defeat is never the same as failure unless and until it has been accepted as such.”

Defeats can be taken as trial runs, or preparations for success. Every day, in every way, I am getting better and better. This statement boosts my PMA each time I recite it in the morning before beginning my day.

“Tell me how you use your time and how you spend your money, and I will tell you where and what you be ten years from now.”

Habits formed determine what we’re headed for.

“Repetition is the mother of habit.”

You can train yourself to have positive habits

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?

The notion that sex is an emotion. I’ve always believed to be a physical act which morally should be a result of love but more often is a physical act between two individuals attracted to each other.

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?

Yes it did. I have been practicing my facial expressions exercises regularly.

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? 9
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

 

 

Success through a Positive Mental Attitude

Assessment by Cheurombo Pswarayi (Zimbabwe)

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

Success in whatever aspect of life- spiritual, career, social, financial and health (list not exhaustive) can be attained by framing one’s mindset to a positive state. Viewing each and every situation in a positive light will yield positive outcomes

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. We translate into physical reality, the thoughts and attitudes which we hold in our minds.

I grew up in a high-density suburb. My mother was a single parent, a teacher who got assistance from my dad with regards to tuition fees and other expenses but who had the load of taking care of me and my sister on her shoulders. I’ve grown to be a well-respected individual. Well spoken, intelligent and respected by those I interact with. Myself as a product of my environment is a testimony that what my mother sought to achieve, her belief and conviction that her daughters would do well and succeed , that we’d make her proud, defied the many obstacles that we grew up with including her schizophrenia. I’m convinced more than before that physical reality follows what our minds conjure up. I’ve already started experiencing the changes which have been brought about by the positive images I’m continually reflecting on and thinking about.

ii. Individuality- there was, is and will never be another person like me.

Right from my first name which shocks all of those who understand my mother-tongue, to my uniquely spelt name there can be no other like me. How I think, interpret events and actions cannot be duplicated by someone else. My definite purpose in life therefore is exclusive to only me and can be carried out by myself only which I take on as a huge responsibility. I’m going to do what I have to do to contribute to the community and world. Each person has a role to play in their uniqueness and individuality.

iii. You are what you think.

If I limit the extents of my achievement in my mind then they will translate to reality. Before I succeed in attaining my definite purpose, before I become an effective and highly successful social entrepreneur I have to think it. Because I would want to be classified with the notable women in my society, I have to accept and adjust my mind-frame to be of their caliber. Sometimes there’s an inferiority complex which wants to settle but I need to actively eliminate that frame of thinking.

I recently won a prestigious award and was recognized as one of the top 20 outstanding business women in the country. I’ve had acceptance issues in my mind of whether or not I deserved the award but I realize that part of the reason is due to an inferiority complex. I look at the award now constantly (it hangs on the wall in front of my desk) and I’m conditioning my mind to accept what others have acknowledged. I have great entrepreneurial skills. I am that, I will continue to think that.

iv. The most important word in any language is God.

This particular theme resonates well with me because I value my relationship with God. It is to me the ultimate relationship which is critically important in any aspect of what I do and what I set out to achieve. My relationship with God is the most important of all, it therefore follows that in any language, and the most important word is God.

v. Dare to explore the powers of my mind.

The number of ideas especially in business that I come up with is on the high side. I occasionally do not explore the full merits of the ideas which constantly spring up in my mind due to a number of reasons and unfortunately this sometimes is because of fear. Fear of exploring what might come out of the thoughts and ideas. It definitely is a dare, a great challenge for me to exercise and exhaust the full potential of what goes on in there.

vi. Do it now

Procrastination is such a drawback of progress. I’ve found that this activator, “do it now”, or as I’ve personalized it to “Just do it” removes most of my inertia and I get things done. It’s a weakness I am constantly working on to improve and I hope my subconscious kicks in soon to assist.

vii. Mind over matter

I’ve had this debate with my friends for such a long time. I’m a runner and I’m convinced that mind does contribute more to completing any long distance race. I’m still to complete a full marathon, but with the half marathons I’ve participated in I totally agree. Mind over matter. The illustrations used in the book to back this notion further emphasize that this is true.

3. 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 which come through from the book definitely help me to see life in a positive manner. My positivity directly affects those I interact with in my everyday life and I business.

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.

“Greatness comes to those who develop a burning desire to achieve high goals.”

Its’ not enough to set goals- its necessary to have a zeal and be obsessed about seeing them come to fruition.

“I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.”

I ultimately determine what happens to me.

“If a man is right, his world will be right.”

It begins with the self before everything else becomes ok/satisfactory.

“Your world will change whether or not you choose to change it.”

It’s important to be relevant and adaptable.

“What the mind of man can conceive and believe, the mind of man can achieve.”

The mind is the limiting factor- if you allow it to be.

“Direct your thoughts; control your emotions; and ordain destiny!”

I should be in control, always.

“Man is more than a body with a brain; You’re a mind with a body.”

The mind is more important than the body, it controls everything and is therefore superior.

“You and everything in the universe are in a constant process of change.”

Nothing stays the same, both myself and the environment are constantly changing.

“You can direct your thoughts and control your emotions, and thus regulate your attitude.”

Nothing which happens to me is under someone else’s power. I am fully in control and in charge of myself and my reactions.

“Every adversity has the seed of an equivalent or greater benefit for those who have PMA.”

There is always something positive to take out in any negative situation. I just have to look at the situation with a positive mental attitude.

“Make a fortune or achieve your aims by understanding cycles and trends.”

The world is constantly evolving, opportunities stem and are there for the taking for those who anticipate needs and trends.

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

A situation can be viewed and taken differently by different people. How we see things is a direct result of how we interpret them.

“The job where you can start at the top is the job of digging a hole.”

You have to start building from the bottom up.

“Sow an action and you reap a habit; sow a habit and you reap a character; sow a character and you reap a destiny.”

Habit can be taught and good habits build a great character. One brick at a time.

“Every result has a given cause.”

Nothing happens by accident.

“Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.”

Excessive anything is not good.

“Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself.”

Avoid unnecessary speech.

“Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.”

I need to be orderly.

“Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.”

Do not procrastinate, this aids in getting things done and accomplishing goals.

“Be always employed in something useful.”

Time is important, it should be wasted doing what will not be beneficial.

“Money can beget money and its offspring can beget more.”

It’s important to gain financial wisdom and astuteness.

“Let every occasion be a great occasion for you cannot tell when fate may be taking your measure for a larger place.”

I need to enjoy the moments and opportunities as they come.

“Just keep giving until the Master stops giving to you.”

I need to be generous with what I’ve been fortunate enough to be given by God.

“A failure uses up as much energy in his work at failing as a successful person uses in winning success.”

If I’m to put my energy towards anything, I might as well channel it to being successful.

“I pray daily not for more riches, but for more wisdom with which to recognize, embrace, and enjoy the great abundance of riches I already possess.”

It’s easy to take situations and people for granted. I should constantly take stock of, and appreciate what I have.

“Copy from success.”

Learn from others.

“Where there is nothing to lose by trying and everything to gain if successful, by all means try.”

If the goal is worth the effort then it’s definitely worth the try.

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?

Necessity is the mother of invention and the father of crime- I don’t understand PMA as a talisman- PMA as a talisman implies that it’s a fluke. I believe it’s an asset, intangible though it might be but definitely not a good luck charm. Satisfaction is a mental attitude. You should be satisfied with your job.

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?

Yes, I completed most of it. There were a lot of reference books to go through which I’m still going through.

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.

No.

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? 9
B. How helpful were the contents? 8
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

 

 

How to Win Friends and Influence People

Assessment by Cheurombo Pswarayi (Zimbabwe)

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

We can control how people respond to us, win them over to our way of thinking and influence them by how we respond, listen and interact with them.

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. Ways to make people like you

I’m a social entrepreneur. In order to be successful in the business ventures I choose to start-up there is buy-in required from business partners, investors and the target market. In order to agree and have constructive discussions it is important that people like me. This results in respect and an attentive ear when putting proposals forward.

Socially having people like me is also very beneficial. It makes life a whole lot easier to deal with family and associates. When people like you there is less probability of negativity directed towards you.

ii. Avoid arguments

I’m one of those individuals who like to get their message across. I believe the truth should always be spoken as it is without mincing words. This trait inadvertently leads to a lot of arguments from the many dubious characters out there. From this book I’ve learned that arguing, even though my argument might be correct and I might ultimately convince the other party of my opinion, serves little in gaining the other person to my way of thinking. Arguing leads to a defensive stance form the other party and rarely leads to creating friendship. There are better ways to get my points across which are not through arguments.

iii. Show appreciation

I’ve discovered that whenever someone shows appreciation for what I’ve done or achieved I am motivated to do better and I actually like that person more. It is easy to take favors and people from granted but showing appreciation invoke loyalty and respect from the other party. Even in circumstances where the person might be an employee or is paid to do what they’ve just done, saying thank you almost always produces a smile. That in itself is a worthwhile achievement that I will continue to do. It’s a trait which was instilled in me at a very young age which I am thankful to have.

iv. Motivating and encouraging people

In order to get the best out of people they have to be motivated and enthusiastic enough to get the job done. I’ve noted that when staff is enthusiastic they have positive energy in their work and in the tasks they carry out. As a result the workplace becomes a positive environment to work in and positive results are noticed.

v. How to handle complaints

When dealing with complaints it is important to listen to people. From the examples cited in the book, once you use the approach of putting the customer first, treating them like they are right they are more willing to compromise with regards to the complaints they’d have raised. Instead of attacking a complaining customer and possibly chasing them away from my business, it is much better and more productive for me to handle them graciously and as a result generate repeat business or better still, recommendations.

vi. Be interested in people and what people do

In becoming genuinely interested in what people do I’ve discovered that I can attain a lot of knowledge from individuals. When you express interest in people and what they do they immediately like you because you’re giving them attention

vii. Admit when you’re wrong

The quicker the admission of guilt the better. Afterwards you can get to concentrate on other issues and progress

3. 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 contained in the book are very practical and useable in day to day living. In order to effect any significant change in my family, community, society I have to be able to influence people, win them to my way of thinking before we can start to all contribute to achieving significant targets and changes. In as much as I am a very important component to what I’d want to achieve through my social entrepreneurship projects I have to be in constant interaction with those who’ll assist me and those who will gain from the ventures. The book teaches on how to communicate that through.

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 ability to deal with people is as purchasable a commodity as sugar or coffee.”

Even if I don’t already possess the skill of dealing with people, or if it doesn’t come naturally to me I can still learn acquire it through learning.

“Compared to what we ought to be, we are only half awake.”

There’s so much untapped potential within me.

“The human individual thus lives far within his limits. He possesses powers of various sorts which he habitually fails to use.”

This quote stirs me up because it challenges me to make full use of myself

“The great aim of education is not knowledge but action.”

There’s no point in acquiring knowledge if I’m not going to act on it.

“I have enough trouble overcoming my own limitations without fretting over the fact that God has not seen fit to distribute evenly the gift of intelligence.”

Not everyone thinks and reasons the way I do. I need to constantly acknowledge that fact

“The resentment that criticism engenders can demoralize employees, family members and friends, and still not correct the situation that has been condemned.”

Criticizing someone doesn’t result in a corrected.

“When dealing with people, let us remember we are not dealing with creatures of logic. We are dealing with creatures of emotion, creatures bristling with prejudices and motivated by pride and vanity.”

There is more to any situation (and how people deal with it) than the facts of the matter at hand

“A great man shows his greatness, by the way he treats little men.”

Respect should be shown to everyone in spite of their social status.

“God himself, sir, does not propose to judge man until the end of his days.”

It’s not my position to judge anyone’s actions or choices.

“Don’t be afraid of enemies who attack you. Be afraid of the friends who flatter you.”

Flattery is not constructive.

“Teach me neither to proffer nor receive cheap praise.”

Praise should be genuine.

“Use what language you will, you can never say anything but what you are .”

What comes out my mouth is a reflection of my thoughts, views and muses.

“Honest appreciation got results where criticism and ridicule failed.”

“Every man I meet is my superior in some way, In that, I learn of him.”

My attitude to others should be such that I don’t look down on anyone. There’s always something to learn from the next person.

“Bait the hook to suit the fish.”

Offer people what they want and like and not what you would want.

“We are interested in others when they are interested in us.”

I need to be interested in others.

“The expression one wears on one’s face is far more important than the clothes one wears on one’s back.”

I need to master my facial expressions. They communicate loudly to whoever I’m interacting with

“The average person is more interested in his or her own name than in all the other names on earth put together.”

I need to make an effort to learn and remember people’s names.

“When two partners always agree, one of them is not necessary.”

Disagreements are necessary for progress in a business.

“Men must be taught as if you taught them not And things unknown proposed as things forgot.”

It’s more effective to make suggestions to someone and have them see from your point of view than to force opinions.

“You cannot teach a man anything; you can only help him to find it within himself.”

The greatness of individuals already lies within them.

“Be wiser than other people if you can; but do not tell them so.”

“Seek wisdom but remain humble.”

The reason why rivers and seas receive the homage of a hundred mountain streams is that they keep below them.

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?

“My popularity, my happiness and sense of worth depend to no small extent upon my skill in dealing with people.” My opinion is that my sense of worth is dependent on me mainly and then to a lesser extent my interactions with others. This is because if I’m working hard, and if I’m powered by a positive image of myself, little else will affect my sense of worth. I understand that I’m my own woman, destined to achieve what I’ve been set out to do. Most of the names cited in the book of people who’ve been successful are not familiar names. When the examples come up therefore they are not as powerful as probably they are to someone who is familiar with them.

A person usually has two reasons for doing a thing: one that sounds good and a real one- I do not agree with this statement. I believe people usually people are more inclined to do something which benefits them. Their reasons for doing things are usually self-centered and very real to them.

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?

None noted or done.

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.

No.

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

 

 

Giant Steps

Assessment by Cheurombo Pswarayi (Zimbabwe)

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

Small acts can make a huge impact. In order to change the trajectory of my life or to achieve whatever I might want to achieve with any aspect of my life- social/economic/spiritual I do not have to wait for or anticipate a sudden act/step. Adjusting my thoughts and actions in bits I will end up achieving my goals.

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. Consistent action makes the real difference.

Persistence is necessary in achieving goals. To have the discipline to continuously act towards attaining the goals I set out for myself is one of my greatest challenges. I’ve discovered that I’m very good at initiating ideas and proposing business plans which generate a lot of interest. I’ve been noticed by different groups of people and have been acknowledged for them. Unfortunately it’s not always followed by continuous action. This point resonates with me because I know it’s an area of my life which I need to consciously work on and improve.

ii. Success formula= decide what you want + act + notice what’s working and what’s not+ change approach if necessary (be flexible).

The way the book portrays how to be a success with the formula simplifies the whole aspect of achievement. According to the formula success is simple addition of a number of attainable and very possible actions and diligence in observation and adjustments where necessary. In as much as the equation shows how to get to success it has struck me in that if I’m not adding up the left hand side of the equation, for the statement to remain mathematically true, if I omit one aspect at the left side, I’m subtracting from the right hand side. I’m subtracting from my success so that the equation still balances out. I consciously don’t want to negate the achievements I’ve accomplished; I’m therefore inclined to work so that the equation remains balanced.

iii. Discover what’s preventing you from taking action

The author encourages introspection a number of times in the book. The suggestion/prompting to discover what’s hindering me from taking action made me realize how I usually get caught up with only the theoretical part of my life in general- be it socially; business wise or spiritually. I usually go to great lengths to write down and plan how to run these aspects and dedicate less time to actually implementing the plans. Discovering reasons why I act/or fail to act in a particular way is vital for moving forward and growth.

iv. Mixed emotions are behind self-sabotage

The author emphasizes on the need to have a clear vision. It’s important to stay focused. Unfortunately there are times when there’s self-doubt. The point coming through says to me that such feelings are behind self-sabotage. I don’t want to knowingly or unknowingly be the reason of any failure. I have to control what I focus on and I can have as much happiness as I desire.

v. Grow and contribute

Growth is inevitable. In growing I have a responsibility to contribute to my community. I’m involved in my community through different social activities and should continue to find ways in which I can assist. My contributions shouldn’t be limited to financial only.

vi. Beliefs determine what people do

They have the power to create or destroy. Beliefs drive people to act and sometimes to refrain from action. I agree with the author that beliefs can in fact prompt creativity or destruction. It’s important for me to always remember that people are driven by their beliefs. I have to keep this in mind especially when seeking new partners and associates to get into business with.

vii. Ask the right questions to yourself

Asking the right questions, especially to myself will lead me in the right direction. If I constantly ask myself what is it I want to achieve, what is it I prioritize, what I can do without and what’s necessary it’ll always keep e focused. In as much as I have to constantly ask myself these questions I also have to be able to ask the right questions to those I deal with. In asking questions and listening carefully to the responses I’m able to align myself with the right kind of people.

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 definitely help me in my life. They are practical ways and steps to self-improve myself and make a big difference even with the slightest of adjustments.

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.

“All decisions have consequences, even no decision.”

This quote reminds me that each action or inaction leads to a result directly.

“Persistence overshadows talent.”

Even though I might not be gifted in a particular discipline, if I work hard enough I’ll be as good as, or maybe better, than those born with the natural gift.

“Clarity is power.”

Clarity is a clear and focused view of what I want to achieve. Once I have it, I’m empowered to attain success.

“Most people overestimate what they can do in a year and underestimate what they can do in a decade.”

I need to keep my plans realistic and attainable and most important measurable with a specific time frame which factors realistic conditions.

“Obstacles are a call to strengthen your resolve.”

I should continue to embrace challenges and learn from them. Challenges should not be a hindrance.

“What you link pain to and what you link pleasure to shapes your destiny.”

I need to associate the hard work I put towards developing myself with pleasure because that’ll positively affect my destiny.

“Use your pain as your strongest ally.”

My pain should act as a reminder to me that I’m strong and I’ve managed to overcome past obstacles.

“Change the pace and the intensity of your movement and you change your life.”

I have to consciously make a decision to make changes in my life if I want to stop living in the same cycle of events

“You need no excuse to feel good.”

I can be happy just for the sake of being happy. No justification to a third party needed.

“We all unconsciously steer in the direction of our focus.”

I have to train my mind to constantly think about the positives I want to attain

“Beliefs drive all of our behaviors.”

Facts can be constant and be given to different groups of people. The ultimate reason which would be the driver of behavior are individual beliefs

“Questions are the answer.”

You find out more and discover more by asking questions asking the right questions

“Take personal responsibility for our change.”

I have to be accountable to none other than myself as to how I’ve turned out or how I’d want to change.

“All patterns must be replaced and not just eliminated.”

There is need to get new hobbies/activities especially when trying to get rid of a negative attitude.

“Condition the new pattern until it is consistent.”

I need to make an aggressive effort to train myself in new habits until I do them subconsciously.

“You are the source of all your emotions.”

I decide how I feel.

“Spend 90% of your time on a solution.”

Instead of worrying and analyzing the problem, I need to focus more time and energy on solutions

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?

The sense of loss is often an illusion. The author implies that people tend assume losses which might not be actually there. This might be true to a certain extent especially because there’s always a lesson to be learnt from every situation but I believe that when someone perceives a loss, then it’s actually a loss. It is not an illusion when it is someone’s reality. Ten day mental challenge- creation of new habits- the ten day challenge is a great notion. What I believe though is that it takes more than 10 days to form a new habit. 21 days would be a closer accurate number

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?

Replacing a negative word/negative words in my vocabulary to describe how I feel and using something less negative. I’ve replaced “I’m tired” with “Let me push myself and see.”

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.

No.

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? 9
C. How easy was it to understand? 8
D. Would you recommend it to others? 7
E. What is the overall rating you would give it? 7

 

 

Real Magic

Assessment by Cheurombo Pswarayi (Zimbabwe)

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

Real magic, creating miracles in my life is achievable through a positive mindset.

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. Knowing that ultimate reality and my own potential is unlimited

I’m a social entrepreneur who’s got big dreams and ideas of what I’d like to achieve and how my businesses should grow and impact people’s lives positively. I’ve been a full time entrepreneur for the past 6 years but unfortunately I haven’t seen a significant difference in my society and in my own personal life for me to be satisfied that my dreams are being fulfilled. The book talks about an unlimited ultimate reality. A reality which sees huge corporations being born from my vision. The potential I have is really quite vast and the reality of all the achievements I can accomplish does not have a ceiling. I may be far from getting to where I see at the moment, but once I get there, there’ll also be another vision and destination which I’ll be seeing and envisioning which I’ll be far from as well. My life is about building dream upon dream.

ii. Knowing that I create my own reality and that inborn and divine forces work with me rather than independently of me.

I’ve been observing the people around me and most interestingly the ones on TV. What’s fascinating to me is that the situation someone might be in as I’m observing them often times seems very unrealistic. This is particularly true of reality television shows. Even though the lifestyle and happenings of the situations seem unrealistic to me the people involved are very much in their element and are living their lives in their own reality. If people then in situations which seem very unrealistic can live normally in those situations I’ve realized that I can create my own reality. The reality I choose to live in is that which I perceive is what it is. I have consciously decided to shape my reality. A reality in which I don’t struggle for basic necessities. A reality in which doors open up for me in my spiritual, personal and business life. A reality in which I am very much in control of what happens to me and how I react to it. I am a Christian and I believe in God. The Spirit who is in me works through me and directs my path in the way God wants. I am responsible for nurturing my spirituality, feeding it and listening to it so that I am an instrument. The Spirit doesn’t work independently or outside me, it works within me and through me. I have to be in tune with it to fully enjoy the fruits.

iii. Knowing that an intuitive, invisible guidance is available to me when

I reach a higher state of awareness.

I’m very fortunate to have experienced God speaking to me in times when I have retreated within myself to listen. I have discovered the peacefulness and enlightenment that’s a result of meditation. The process is definitely still a work in progress with regards to meditation as sometimes distractions filter through but I can confidently say there is an infinite source of wisdom and discernment in being quiet and listening to God.

iv. Knowing all experience is blessed

There are a lot of experiences that occur on a day to day basis. While it’s been quite easy to appreciate the positive experiences and draw from them the obvious positive results, the negative experiences take more of an effort to filter out what lessons are to be learnt. This is especially true if I try to make sense of the negative situation immediately after they have happened. What I’ve realized is that after a few days and looking at the negative events in retrospect I can usually draw out some sense in what will have happened.

v. Knowing I can create my own luck.

This principle actually really works. Creating my own luck or opportunities really is more of a prepared mental state than anything else. I’ve discovered that mentally preparing for meetings, knowing the results I want and mentally picturing them before going in assures me of positive results and feedback. “Luck” is really about being in a place, identifying what’s on offer, taking it up and using it to your advantage.

vi. Knowing there is order in chaos and there are no accidents in an universe that is in perfect order.

I remember a chemistry concept I was taught in A-level which I really loved because I wasn’t the tidiest of individuals. “All natural species favor maximum entropy” which basically means that the natural state of affairs is chaos. This idea that in the chaos that exists there is actually order makes sense to me because when God created everything He made it perfect and pleasing. To take a simplified example, it’d be of the human body. Many different individual cells all coming together seemingly haphazardly to contribute to all the many functions a body carries out internally and externally.

vii. Everything material is nothing more than empty space.

The author talks about a room being a room not because of the four walls which might surround it but because of these space in between these walls. Likewise for all particles of matter. The empty space that exists between the particles are what contribute more to the object. I’ve been moved by this concept in applying it to myself. There is more to me than the physical and tangible physical appearance. The true essence of Cheu lies within the invisible part of myself. The ‘empty space’ which lies in the center of me, in my core and I can realize my full potential by constantly going within and meditating. Exploring that inner space and being in touch with my soul.

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?

My attitude to what I can achieve as an individual has changed. I have started meditating and perfecting that skill of going within myself to be at peace.

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.

“You are capable of achieving perfect equilibrium of the mind.”

This means that I am very much in control with my state of being

“The world is not to be put in order, the world is order incarnate. It is for us to put ourselves in unison with this order.”

I should concentrate my efforts to get things right on myself instead of my external surroundings

“You have to experience pain in order to transcend it.”

I can’t overcome what I’ve never experienced.

“Enlightenment: the quiet acceptance of what is.”

Acceptance, I need to accept what is

“The message of your life is in what you give.”

The legacy I live behind when I die is what I’ve shared and given

“Complete possession is proved only by giving. All you are unable to

give possesses you and guide.”

Selfish tendencies are counter-productive and lead to achieving less

“When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.”

The lessons I learn in life are the ones which I’m ready to learn.

“Stay on purpose, focus on the purpose (process) rather than the

outcome.”

Life is all about the journey and not the destination. I need to be able to enjoy the process.

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?

All experiences are for a greater good- In as much as I believe that I can learn from everything that happens to me, even the negative experiences I’m still to see how everything is for a greater good. This is because I’ve made mistakes and unwise decisions which in hindsight could have resulted in very positive outcomes. I’m therefore yet to

understand how taking a wrong turn at a particular point can be for the greater good. The negative experiences I’ve had as well seem to have been directed at mostly me and I also don’t understand how even though I’ve learned from them, can be for a greater good.

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?

There were ideas and concepts especially concerned with changing the way

I think about some situations

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.

No.

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? 9
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

The Power of Intention
Assessment by Cheurombo Pswarayi (Zimbabwe)

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

The author portrays intention as a force which has seven principles namely that it is creative, kind, loving, beautiful, expanding, endlessly abundant and receptive. Intention in the book is viewed as an energy source in the universe that allows creation to happen. The author talks about individuals being in tune with the universe so that their personal energy merges with
the universe.

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. My purpose is not a “what” but a how and why

I felt very enlightened about the notion that my purpose is life is not determined by what I do. I have often times wondered if I was heading towards the correct occupation or dream. Fear of concentrating and chasing the wrong goals which I’ve not been destined for. When I read and understood that the why and how you do what you do defines my purpose it made so much sense to me. I’m no longer under pressure to get to a particular destination or goal but I’m assured that I am living my purpose because my reasons and methodology are ethical and focused on assisting others.

ii. Intention is a force

It’s a force that anyone in the right mode can tap into. It requires an appreciation of its existence, a belief in the limitlessness of it nature, in its abundance. Intention is what drives the physical to be and to grow into. It is what defines how what is physical will turn out to be.
This idea has helped me to step out of the thought of putting limits to my abilities and capabilities. I’ve embraced the spirit of abundance into my life.

iii. Ego dissociates an individual from the force of intention

Ego is a trait that is negative and unproductive. Intention has an aspect of selflessness which triggers a response from the environment. When ego leads or defines an individual there is a concentration of being self-centered and of missing opportunities whereby one has to look outside themselves in order to tap and get enriched in the environment. I have learned to be humble and appreciate that significant opportunities and positive changes are enable by looking beyond myself as an individual.

iv. Be Beauty

The quotation used in the book that beauty is not caused but just is has made me introspect greatly with how I view and look at myself. It has also made me introspect about creation all around me in terms of people and the environment. I have begun to appreciate the usefulness of everything in the ecosystem. The beauty of an ecosystem is how there’s a reliance on each
member of the system for the survival of the next. There’s beauty in the existence of all life as it is and as it has been made by God.

v. Living a stress-free tranquil life

The author communicates the notion of being able to live a stress-free life. The way to achieve this is to allow the seven faces of intention to act. There is need to acknowledge and accept the balance in life and that everything was created adequately and sufficiently. I have realized that
most of my stress was stemming from personal frustrations of not achieving an reaching intended goals. Most of stress was coming from what I didn’t have control over for example a close relative’s illness. I’ve learnt to appreciate that tapping into positive thoughts and a positive state of mind assist me to accept situations.

vi. Attracting the right people into my life

The author writes about how everything I need, and similarly everyone I need, to fulfill my purpose and to be successful already exists and is already there ready to assist me. I am particularly impressed by this idea. I have learned to take my time to observe and listen. I have noticed that there exists around me a lot of sources of information and a lot of
resources. Instead of waiting for a particular seminar or a trip I am making the most of what I am exposed to everyday and I have discovered the truth in everyone I need already available.
By being the kind of person I’d want to attract I’ve started meeting and engaging with people who are interested in assisting me to achieve. I’ve also realized that I was already interacting with most who can make a big impact on my businesses and by listening well I can make the most of the relationships. I also need to be what I’d want to attract.

vii. The paradox of free-will and intention

I understand that when tuned in to the power of intention free-will actually leads to what is meant to be. How this has changed my life is making me realize that everything is intertwined. Being in the right frame of mind is key to making the most out of my life and reaching my full potential.

3. How will all 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 will definitely help me in a positive way. They give an insightful
way of how to look at life and in the surroundings. I have already began to introspect and give more consideration to situations and events that happen which I never used to pay attention to before. I am also now in tune with situations and the people I meet in my life. Having a different understanding of people and situations has impacted my like positively.

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.

“Trees bend low with either fruit; clouds hang down with gentle rain; noble men bow graciously.”

This profound quote teaches me about the importance of humility. Bowing graciously or “hanging low” is not a sign of being empty or inferior. It is a sign of surplus content/depth which evokes a spirit of humility. I know the more enriched I become with knowledge or
whatever gains I will acquire, I need to bow down graciously.

“You’re either a human being having an occasional spiritual experience, or an infinite spiritual being having a temporary human experience.”

How I see myself can either be focused on the spiritual side of me which speaks and relates to intention as a force and is limitless in how much it can achieve. It is a belief of abundance and creativity, love and kindness. Or it can be focused and restricted by physiological factors which are limited in achievements and accomplishments.

“A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.”

This quote reminds me of elf-acceptance. If I am constantly dissatisfied with myself or
a particular part of me then I cannot be at peace with myself. What I say to myself and what I believe about my abilities play a huge role in my self-confidence.

“At every single moment.You have a choice either to be a host to God or a host to your ego.”

If I prioritise God then it follows that I should be a selfless individual.

“Meditation is a way to experience what the five senses can’t detect.”

I am still to get the meditation techniques but this quote inspires me to keep striving to get to where I want to get to “be perfect therefore, as your heavenly Father s perfect.”

This is my Christian goal!

“You must be that which you desire.”

From “The law of Attraction.” Be that which I desire to attract that which would find me desirable.

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?

It took quite some time for me to accept how the author views intention as an energy and a force. It is probably the reason why this book has taken me a long time to complete.
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?

There were no 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? 8
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

Unlimited Power
Assessment by Cheurombo Pswarayi (Zimbabwe)

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

The main idea which resonates with me from the author is that as an individual I possess resources and the potential to succeed and excel in life. There is a way in which I can train my mind and body to optimize them in order to produce the desired results.

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. Creating positive change with almost lightning speed.

The author went to great lengths in explaining exercises which can be used to create positive change. I do not have any major phobias in my life which needed to be changed instantly but I have habits and traits which would be great to get rid of including procrastination and not completing tasks to achieve goals.

ii. Learning through modeling

I can relate very well to the principle of modeling. Most of my education, dancing, laughs and speech patterns have been shaped and formed mainly mirroring/modeling others from both a conscious and unconscious level. In a world where there is so much to learn and know and master, it is easy for me to sometimes feel overwhelmed by the amount of information and practice I need to put in before achieving a milestone. I like the fact that modeling greatly reduces the amount of time and effort for learning by simply tapping into someone’s experiences. What’s also very attractive about this learning style is that the chances of success are very high because before I model, I already know what kind of results have been produced before. This tool is also very useful in that it motivates me to look and observe the people around me. Focusing on how others achieve their goals and focusing on the results they have achieved enriches my own life experiences.

iii. My quality of life is the quality of my communication

I sincerely appreciate the point in this book which states that communication internally with myself, is as important as the communication that happens with others, both verbally and non-verbally. Unfortunately, for most of my life, I have been working on improving external communication without consideration to the internal aspects. I’ve gone to the extent of having classes and listening to podcasts on how to communicate with stakeholders especially with regards to pitching to clients and potential investors. What I now need to start aggressively working on, are my internal communication tools and behaviors. I need to curb the self-doubt and questioning, the internal disbeliefs with regards to what I can achieve. I need to stop questioning the other people’s recognition of me through the praise and awards I receive. I need to look at myself very positively and communicate with as much positivity and consistency as I would if pitching to an external investor about opportunity. I need to explore the opportunities which lie within me.

iv. The meaning of any event is the meaning I give it.

Ever since I read about this idea I have taken note to observe people’s reactions and comments after certain events. The same event/conversation, I have realized, can be perceived totally differently and can evoke positive or negative emotions in two individuals. This is although it’s one and the same incident. I’ve now consciously been looking at the positive side of events and occurrences. There’s always a positive meaning which can be deduced and lessons which can be learnt and that is what I now choose to concentrate on. Life has become so much more enjoyable.

v. The power of positive belief

I can accomplish a lot in my life through positive belief. It attracts positivity.

vi. Learning to run my brain

The brain is where all my body functions are controlled. It is undoubtedly the most influential and important body part. Because of the brain’s complexity it is not easy to be able to control some of the functions consciously

vii. The magic of rapport

It is really absolute magic when the person you’re conversing with believes you and is convinced that you understand what they are saying and feeling. The level of opening up their thoughts is amplified, and they begin to see you as one of their own. When that happens your thoughts, suggestions and ideas are accepted more easily and willingly.
When negotiating and pitching rapport is invaluable. I’ve realized that sometimes it takes longer to create the rapport. When it is done though, the results are priceless. I need to continuously work on my patience in creating rapport and constantly remind myself of the benefits that come with it.

3. 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?

Yes they will. The ideas I’ve picked up from the book all strive to make a positive impact on my life with regards to helping deal with the weaknesses and amplify the strong points. They help me improve my relationship with myself and with others.

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.

“Learn to communicate with yourself with as much purpose and direction and persuasiveness as you would in a business presentation.”

I am very eloquent in pitching my businesses and ideas to third parties whether they are potential clients or investors. The confidence I exude to them has been complimented on. On the contrary, when conversing with myself, I’m quite hard and fail to sell myself to me. I need to constantly remind myself to communicate internally with as much confidence and positivity.

“Man is not the creature of circumstances. Circumstances are the creatures of men.”

I am more than any situation. The situation can never be greater than the individual.

“Having the ability isn’t the same as using it.”

I’ve realized that many a time the difference between achieving much and achieving little is the ability to act

“Life will pay any price you ask of it.”

If I expect much I will get much and vice-versa, I need to am high and big.
I need to scale up my dreams and aspirations and not be the limiting factor which puts a ceiling to what I can achieve.

“Affirmation without discipline is the beginning of delusion.”

Affirmation with discipline creates miracles One of my greatest weaknesses is not following through., not completing tasks or proposals or doing follow ups after having worked hard in the initiation stages. What I need is discipline to finish up. Discipline and a sense of accountability to myself. I also need to be honest with myself with regards to what I commit to accomplishing.

“Learn how to handle frustration.”

I would have preferred this statement to read-you don’t ever have to feel frustrated. Instead it shows that frustration is inevitable. I need to handle it well. My thinking is that the sooner/less time I get to the stage of feeling frustrated the better.

“Don’t sweat the small stuff.. Remember, its all small stuff.”

In the grand scheme of things/life, everything can be shrunk to a size small enough to handle. There’s absolutely no need to be getting flustered or frustrated over any situation.

“Learn to stop rejection of its power.”

Rejection is only powerful if I choose to let it be so.
“Learn to handle financial pressure.”

It’s impossible not to have financial pressure. At whatever level of income, the potential financial stressors need to be handled well.

“The best way to help poor people is to be a model of other possibilities.”

Show people that they can make the best out of their current situation

“That which is achieved the most, still has it’s future yet to be achieved.”

There’s always room to do better, to perform better, to be better, I can never relax and assume I’ve reached my peak potential

“Think of success as a process, a way of life, a habit of mind.”

Removing from my head the thought that success is a destination enable me to actually feel more fulfilled and happy in my journey of life.

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?

“Advertising- the science of arresting the human intelligence long enough to get money from it.” This statement implies that advertising is purely manipulation. I choose to view advertising as persuasion and convincing someone to engage with a certain product or service.

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 a lot of exercises. The author insisted that for it to be an effective read the exercises would have to be carried out. I managed to go through approx. 80percent of the activities. There was need to balance trying to complete the book for purposes of meeting set targets and trying to get the most out of the read. I’m confident that I’ll be able o do all the exercise as I gladly repeat it.

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.

No.

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? 9
D. Would you recommend it to others? 10
E. What is the overall rating you would give it? 10

Maximum Achievement
Assessment by Cheurombo Pswarayi (Zimbabwe)

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

The book talks about how to use a person’s strength’s, which are already possessed, to do well in life and succeed in living a fulfilling 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. Your outer world corresponds to your inner world

The author has gone to great lengths to emphasize that what I say, portray and express outwardly is directly related to what goes on internally in my mind. I cannot show love, patience, kindness or generosity if my internal system does not know how to process those feelings or how to express those feelings internally to myself.
Similarly, if what I fester internally is negative emotions such as hatred, selfishness, inconsiderateness, that is what I will communicate outwardly to the world and my surroundings. Sometimes the expressions do not have to be verbal. They will be portrayed in the actions or lack of.

ii. Developing a new self-concept

One of the ingredients of success is having knowledge of myself as a person. It is important for me to introspect and discover what I am made up of as an individual. In assessing and taking stock of who I am it becomes easy for me to work on my strengths and further strengthen them. It also gives me an opportunity to highlight my weak areas and ideally work on improving them or if it is in a work situation, gather people around me who compliment my weaknesses. I am also free to choose what kind of person I’d like to become after taking stock of what is present. There is nothing that limits me to be whatever I want to be.

iii. Positive affirmations

The author talks about the law of expectations; what you expect becomes. According to the research carried out, successful men and women have an attitude of confident, positive self-expectancy. They expect to be successful, they expect to be liked, they expect to be happy and they are seldom disappointed. I need to be consistent with positive affirmations to myself. I need to consciously remind myself of the positive I want to achieve and not be distracted by the downs which come along both in my personal and business life. “I like myself and I am responsible.”

iv. Feed your mind

I need to feed my mind with thoughts which I would want to manifest. I need to expose myself to content and people who will be positive in their influence in my life as this is fed into my mind.

v. How the subconscious mind works

The subconscious mind is fed by what we experience and see. It is also fed by what we believe and what we tell our minds. There is need to feed it with only what I want to manifest in my life.

vi. The principles of goal setting

There are steps I need to follow with regards to setting realistic goals which I can accomplish. Goal setting is a process and a skill which can be acquired by constant practice. I have understood the different factors which contribute to incorrect goal setting which lead to failure of attainment of the goals. I have also understood the principles which make me succeed in attaining the goals. I have started implementing the skills and look forward to fruitful results.

vii. Mastering relationships

The most important skill in life is mastering human relationships. The author emphasizes how capacitating others, making them feel confident ad comfortable, showing them love is the best way we can get a lot from the relationship. Putting others first actually ensures that our relationships are healthy and that I find peace of mind and joy.

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?

They will. The ideas and lessons will assist me to focus my mind and actions in achieving my goals.

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 am part of all that I have met.”

My life is a combined influence of all that I have been in contact with and all the people I’ve met. I need to be careful to associate with those whom I wish to have a good impact on my life.

“If necessity is the mother of invention, then pain seems to be the father of learning.”

It’s always easy to remember what experiences hurt me previously. These reminders serve to prompt me to avoid the actions which led to the pain

“Do what you can, with what you have, right where you are.”

I don’t have to think of where I could be and what I could have to act on my vision and goals. I must use what’s there and make the best of it.

“Belief creates actual fact” closely related to “but whatever you, believe, if you believe it strongly enough, it becomes your reality.”

My beliefs shape the reality around me. If I believe I can, then I can.

“Your expectations are shaped in direct proportion to your respect for the validity of the source.”

If my expectations are realistic in my mind, the chances of achieving them are high.

“What you are shouts so loudly, I can’t hear a word you’re saying.”

My actions and manners and the way in which I conduct myself is more of a reflection of my true character than what I say.

“Circumstances don’t make a man, they merely reveal him to himself.”

In assessing how someone will be in a relationship- whether personal or professional, I need to observe and evaluate how they react in a situation, especially negative and controversial situations

“The only good thing about fear, if there is anything good, is that it is learned, and because of this, it can be unlearned.”

I would want to remove fear as the limiting factor to my success!

“Effective people guard the doorways of their minds diligently.”

I should not let negativity and discouragement seep into my thoughts at all. I need to be wary of what and whom I listen to and expose myself to positive messages for the most of my time

“Just as feelings generate actions, actions generate feelings.”

If I want to be happy, I can act happy and this will induce a feeling of happiness within me. Similarly, if I act sad, I will end up being sad.

“The greatest single enemy of your potential for greater success and achievement is your comfort zone.”

I should be worried when I’m comfortable with the status quo. I should always push myself to new challenges and prospects.

“The best definition of character is the ability to carry through on a resolution after the mood in which the resolution was made is past.”

Persistence and commitment, I need to be vigilant with regards to those two traits so that I can be successful

“A man can bear any what if he has a big enough why.”

The reason for doing something is the greatest factor in if I can achieve the task

“Nothing succeeds like success.”

“You can never find peace or happiness in your accomplishments, you can only find peace within yourself.”

True peace is not external. It’s very much internal and am in control of its attainment

“Never complain, never explain.”
Too much energy is spent on these two. It’s important to act rather than complain and explain

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?

“Life is hard. Life is what I make of it. The things you do, or refrain from doing, because of fear greatly outweigh the number of things you do because if desire.” My opinion is that the things I do are from what I’d want to achieve. It’s a matter of how someone would look at the reason why a person is motivated to do something. There might be a negative reason but I believe if the positive is more, the chances of doing/not doing something are then higher.

“There are no such things as mental illness; there are merely varying degrees of irresponsibility.”
I just do not agree with this. I have a mother who suffers from Schizophrenia, it is not a degree of irresponsibility.
Ambrose Bierce defined happiness to be “that emotion experienced upon seeing the misfortune of a friend.” It’s all true. I tend to associate happiness or joy with positivity, whether in my life or in my friends/relatives.

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. Most of them were done.

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.

No.

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? 8
C. How easy was it to understand? 9
D. Would you recommend it to others? 7
E. What is the overall rating you would give it? 7

Nonviolent Communication
Assessment by Cheurombo Pswarayi (Zimbabwe)

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

The author speaks of how communication is key to put an end to violence.
Even if words are not violently spoken, they can be a trigger to violent reactions. The author is communicating ways in which communication can be made in a positive and constructive way.

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. Giving from the heart

When words are spoken and expressed in a genuine manner from the speaker wanting to enrich the listeners’ life it is a way of giving from the heart. It is the foundation of
Nonviolent Communication. It is the base principle of how the same (bad) experience can leave a person bitter or still willing to offer affection. Sincerity in speaking is one of my strongest traits. Having this message reinforced by the book and calling it giving from the heart gives me a renewed reason to perfect my communication.

ii. Four components of NVC: 1. observation 2. feeling 3. needs 4.Request

As the author put it well- NVC guides me in reframing how I express myself and how I hear others. I used to believe in “saying it as I see it”, how I was seeing it. After reading this book I now take my time to say and give an opinion. I realize the stages of communicating in a non-violent manner and applying them in my everyday life has seen me experience a difference in how people accept my views and how they express themselves when they feel I am listening to them in a non-judgmental manner.

iii. Observing without evaluating

The author emphasizes on the disadvantages of being judgmental and communicating, sometimes without even noticing it, in such a manner. He mentions moralistic judgment and how classifying and judging people promotes violence. I have understood that when a person is speaking or acting in a certain manner what they are communicating might be beyond the words they are speaking. It is important for me not to judge them but to identify the feelings they might be trying to communicate. The aspect of empathy is closely related to this so that when I fully understand the situation and position in individual is in or experiencing I am in a better position to understand what they are saying and to speak what they’ll understand.

iv. Identifying and expressing feelings
I have realized that when I often use my moralistic judgment and state those as feelings without understanding the true meaning of, I feel. The author has helped me understand how to identify and articulate my feelings without projecting judgment to whoever I’ll be talking to. The author has also emphasized that how I feel is because of my reaction and can be controlled totally by myself. It is not necessary for me to blame someone else because the decision to react in any situation stays with me. I have also learned to separate my thoughts and y feelings. The dictionary of possible feelings written by the author and the exercise that followed shortly below assisted me in discerning between the two.

v. “Emotional slavery: we see ourselves responsible for others’
feelings.”

I have observed myself and my conduct over time and what I realized was that at some point my decisions and actions where anchored on how others would perceive me. After reading NVC I have been empowered to make decisions and decline doing ‘favors’ which I am uncomfortable with. Every person, including my friends and family, are ultimately responsible for their own feelings. I have unburdened myself from carrying that responsibility. I have also stopped seeking and asking people of their opinions on me as a person.

vi. Comparisons are a form of judgment

The easiest way to make myself miserable is to compare myself with others the author says. I believe in addition to this, the quickest way to have an inflated ego is to also compare yourself with others. Both results are self-destructive. What I have personally resolved to do is to compare myself with myself. The person I was yesterday, last week and last year, compared to the person at present. I have also resolved to improve at each stage and avoid regressing.

vii. Mastering the art of NVC is a process which needs practice

To have to change my way of communicating- which is what I have known all 34 years of my life is a process which will need patience and persistence. The author mentions that it is more difficult to apply NVC to the people I’m close to, for example family, and I have realized that it is true. I am however making progress in applying the principles shared in the book and I am happy with my progress.

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?

Yes they will. My communication skills are going to improve with regards to how I verbalize my thoughts and feelings. I will also start to listen empathetically to those I communicate with so that I hear and understand their view point.

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.

“Let’s shine the light of consciousness on places where we can hope
to find what we are seeking.”

There’s wisdom for me to concentrate and focus on what I want.

“Certain ways of communicating alienate us from our natural state of compassion.”

I have to be sensitive and empathize with the people I’m speaking to.

“Analyses of others are expressions of our own needs and values.”

I must be mindful that I do not project my fears and anxieties to others

“Comparisons are a form of judgment.”

In order to avoid disappointments, I need to stay in my own lane and appreciate the progress I make as an individual without putting pressure on myself by comparisons with my peers.

“We can never make people do anything.”

I need to understand that individuals are the ones responsible for their actions. I cannot do it on their behalf.

“Expressing our vulnerability can help resolve conflicts.”

I shouldn’t pretend to be well when I’m not. It’s ok for me to express vulnerability.

“Distinguish feelings from thoughts.”

This action will help me not to be judgmental.

“What others do may be the stimulus of our feelings, but not the
cause.”

I am ultimately responsible for how I feel. It is actually a conscious decision I can take whether to be happy.

“Judgments of others are alienated expressions of our own unmet
needs.”

I have resolved to concentrate on myself so that I can identify my needs, articulate them well in a non-offensive manner and avoid being judgmental.
“In relating to others, empathy occurs only when we have successfully shed all preconceived ideas and judgments about them.”

This is a reminder for me not to stereotype people and have preconceived ideas about people.

“We “say a lot” by listening for other people’s feelings and
needs.”

A big part of effective communication is the ability to listen, hear and understand what the speaker is saying and possibly find a reason why they are communicating in such a manner.

“What bores the listener bores the speaker too.”

I should avoid the tendency I have of always wanting to fill silence with words or being the center of attention.

“Empathy lies in our ability to be present.”

It is important when holding a conversation to listen actively and be present. It allows me to empathize with the speaker better.

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?

No.

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?

Yes it did. I managed to complete the exercises and the responses and answer explanations were very enlightening and helpful for me to grasp the concepts which were being explained.

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.

No.

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

Goals
Assessment by Cheurombo Pswarayi (Zimbabwe)

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

The main idea the author is communicating is- write down your goals, make plans to achieve them, and work on your plans every single day.

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. Why People Don’t Set Goals

The author highlights four main reasons he believes are the cause of why fail to set goals although goal setting results in positive accomplishments in life. These are stated as fear of failure; not knowing how it’s done properly; fear of rejection and the belief that goals are not important. In reading the explanations of each of these reasons the reason that resonated with me was that of fear of failure and not quite prioritizing goal setting as an formal process which needs to be undertaken as a process rather than as a quick passing thought.

ii. Free yourself from negative emotions

Negative emotions are not constructive in pursuing my goals and succeeding in what I set out to do in my life. One of the most dominant negative emotions I tend to experience is a feeling of inadequacy or not matching up to the high standards that I would want to achieve. This sometimes results in lack of confidence when I meet successful peers. I’ve realized that these negative emotions hinder me from making the most out of certain situations. They also hinder me from fully exploring my potential.

iii. Locus of Control Theory

The author describes a person with an internal locus of control as one who feels he or she is in complete control of her life. On the other hand, a person with an external locus of control is one feels controlled by external factors. The ideal situation is to have an internal Locus of control. This brings about feelings of strength, confidence and power. This idea is very important to me as I pursue to attain my dreams of business and entrepreneurship success. I am happy knowing that if I continue to look within myself as the source of power and determining factor to my growth plan it does not matter where I am situated for me to reach my target. External factors do not control me.

iv. Blue Sky Thinking

Blue Sky Thinking is described as viewing life as if there are no limits. No limits to what I can achieve and accomplish in my life. This view of life energizes me and helps me with having a positive state of mind. Blue sky thinking assists me in imagining the possibilities I have for my personal and business life. I feel free to dream big and wild and I’m happy to read that it is a common trait of the successful people in life.

v. Clarify my values

The author states one of the important characteristics of leaders as knowing who they are, what they believe in and what they stand for. An individual’s personality is defined by what they value. In determining and clarifying what I hold as the most important factors in my life, I define my personality and what is within me, is what I portray to everyone. My values also determine my beliefs which directly align with my goals and hence it is important to have clarity on what they are.

vi. Determine my true goals

I need to know what I really want. The process of identifying my true goals is a series of elf-introspecting. It involves a lot of asking myself questions in different ways so that I can truly identify what the most important goals for me are. For me to identify the most pertinent of goals, the ones which impact my life I need to think of all aspects of my life. I need to drill down to what it is which I cannot do without. What it is which if I succeed will open the door to the other successes, I would want to experience. The questions highlighted by the author where very helpful to me and assisted me in narrowing the one main gal I need to focus on.

vii. Practice the Reality principle

The ability to see the world as it really is, not as I wish it were. This idea at first seemed in contrast with thinking positively and the idea of Blue Sky Thinking mentioned earlier on. The author however explained it as a reality check of a current situation before proceeding to solve a problem or to make goals. This exercise assists in setting goals and coming up with solutions which are achievable. It assists in identifying my starting point which helps when it the time for evaluation and measurement comes in order to assess my successes towards fulfilling the goals I’d have set out to achieve.

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?

These ideas will help me immensely in my life. I now have a systematic way of setting target s for myself. I now have a formula, which has been proven by the author to work, that will propel me to attain success and achievement. I am very excited to have learnt about goal setting.

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.

“Success is goals, and all else is commentary.”

Sometimes I get stuck on the “commentary” side of life. This quote made me smile and refocus on what’s important. Less talk, more action.

“Any plan is better than no plan at all.”

Planning opens my mind up to think about the actions and results that I face. It’s important than going about living without focus.

“The greatest need of the human being is for a sense of meaning and purpose in life.”

Having a sense of purpose in my life adds value to my existence. Knowing that my purpose for living goes beyond me as an individual gives me reason to perform my duties diligently.

“You must determine the price that you will have to pay to achieve it, and then get busy paying that price.”

Nothing is going to come for free to me. I enjoyed spelling out what specific price I was willing to pay to achieve my goals.

“The elevator to success is out of service. But the stairs are always open.”

A reminder to me that hard work is necessary for me to complete anything that is worthwhile.

“A man, as a general rule, owes very little to what he is born with a man is what he makes of himself.”

I like this quote because it doesn’t tie my success down to the circumstances I was born in.

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”

I need to constantly remind myself whenever I start to lose confidence

“You will become large as your controlling desire; or as great as your dominant aspiration.”

My potential lies completely within me. What I think of and what I focus on is what ultimately will shape my life.

“Refuse to compromise your dreams.’

There is no reason whatsoever that I should deviate from achieving my plans.

Peter Drucker once said, “We greatly overestimate what we can accomplish in one year. But we greatly underestimate what we can accomplish in five years.”

I need to set realistic timelines for my goals. This will help me to record positive results in attainment of set goals

Stephen Covey once said, “Be sure that, as you scramble up the ladder of success, it is leaning against the right building.”

It is important for me to have focus on what I want to achieve and make sure I do not waste time pursuing my goals using the slow or wrong routes

“Integrity is not so much a value in itself; it is rather the value that guarantees all the other values.”

I need to be sincere in my undertakings. The most direct way to increase your sales has always been the same.

“Spend more time with better prospects.”

This quote was very striking to me in that it is such a simple and obvious tactic, but one in which I had not been implementing

“Double your productivity.”

I like the fact that again, this has a direct impact on my income.

“You are not what you think you are, but what you think, you are.”

I should think more of what I want to be, concentrate on the product I want to see.

“Whatever works is already obsolete.

I should always be on my toes thinking about how to improve my product and service.

“No person will have occasion to complain of the want of time, who
never loses any.”

It’s crucial to make efficient use of my time

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

No.

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

The book had a lot of exercises. I perceive I managed to get the most out of the book but doing all of them and I am proud of my accomplishment.

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

No.

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

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People
Assessment by Cheurombo Pswarayi (Zimbabwe)

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

We need a new level, a deeper level of thinking; a paradigm based on the principles that accurately describe the territory of effective human being and interacting to solve these deep concerns. This new level of thinking is what Seven Habits of Highly Effective People is about. It’s a principle-centered, character-based, “Inside-Out” approach to personal and interpersonal effectiveness.

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. Beginning with the end in mind.

By keeping that end clearly in mind, you can make certain that whatever you do on any particular day does not violate the criteria you have defined as supremely important, and that each day of your life contributes in a meaningful way to the vision you have of your life as a whole. I find that it is easy for my day to be filled up with tasks and activities which at the time of arising seem important and urgent. By applying the principle of having the end in mind it assists me to prioritize what is important and what is most likely to have a bigger impact on my life with regards to achieving my goals.

ii. Prioritise, Practise effective self-management.

The author highlights the need to be able to effectively manage myself as an individual. This means being in control with my time and tasks and delegating to myself what needs to be done. The author mentions at length a system in which to prioritize issues by placing them in different quadrants. Whenever I have found myself diarizing my day after reading this section I have made it a point to categorize each task into the appropriate quadrant. What I have realized is even though some tasks are more fun and attractive to pursue first, at times it is not often the wisest way of prioritizing. I need to do the important and urgent matters first and try as much as possible to attend to issues before they get to the urgent zone.

iii. Emotional banking.

In human interactions the author mentions the idea that emotional banking is a metaphor that describes the amount of trust that’s been built up in a relationship. It’s the feeling of safeness you have with another human being. When I interact with people I need to realize that I am either building up on trust or subtracting from it though my words and actions. It is important for me to be aware of the impact my actions, or lack thereof, will have on how other people I coexist with relate to me. I would like to be in a position whereby I have gained people’s trust through the gradual build-up of ‘deposits’ into the emotional banks.

iv. Win-win solutions

I have understood from the book that life presents many perspectives and intentions to different actions done by individuals. Naturally humans tend to engage in activity and conversation so that at the end of it, they are in a better position than when they started off i.e. everyone wants to be in a position to be a winner/achiever. When dealing with other people and indeed in business partnerships there are different combinations of outcomes which are possible- lose-lose; lose-win; win-lose or ideally win-win. The book has highlighted to me that the ideal outcome is that in which both parties, or all parties involved come out with a winning status. It is important for me to acknowledge this point in my life as an entrepreneur because that is how I can get the best out of dealing with people. I should be firm enough to come out with a win and flexible/considerate enough to have the other party come out with a win as well. At times when the path is not obvious I need to be patient with the process so that I am enlightened

v. Seek first to understand, then to be understood

I have realized that one of my greatest weaknesses is trying so much to make people understand who I am; where I’m from and what I am trying to achieve. I have been concentrating a lot on making other people see sense in my actions and being and have sometimes judged them for their failure to understand my complexity and needs. The author emphasize however on the reverse. Seeking to understand. In as much as It’s not the first time hearing of the concept of understanding more than seeking to be understood, the way the author puts it across has made me introspect and start to genuinely seek to understand others first. I have realized that more people than I had realized want to be understood as well. Once I take time to understand their needs, words and action I have found that I am actually better placed to then communicate myself to the

vi. Synergize: the whole is greater than sum of the parts.

The essence of synergy is to value differences to respect them, to build on strengths, to compensate for weaknesses. To synergize is to allow everyone’s effort to contribute to an ultimate end whose result will be greater than any single individual’s result shout that synergy not have happened. I am going to apply this principle in my life because I would like to see my business growing into something greater than the one individual, me. I have my limitations which I know will not be the same of the next person’s and hence when I let the team build towards the end result I am going to have an end greater than any one individual, myself included.

vii. Take time to sharpen the saw.

The author refers to sharpening the saw meaning a time to reflect and gear up for the next level or pursuit. This idea appeals to me intensely. I usually go for a personal retreat annually in order to boost my spirituality. The author however talks of boosting the other aspects of my life. I am going to endeavor to focus holistically on sharpening the saws. I need to ensure that I fully keep all aspects of my life: intellect; physical; emotional and social prepared and improving constantly in order that I am the best version of myself.

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

The ideas portrayed in the book will help me become a better leader. They are going to help me improve my conduct and have educated me in the habits that are practical in self-improvement as an individual.

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.
“Two people can see the same thing, disagree, and both be right.”

I need to respect other people’s points of view even if they are different to mine. The way I see something is not the only and absolute way that object is. It is my interpretation of it.

“We see the world not as it is, but as we are.”

This means that as an individual I have a tendency to project what I have going on internally to my environment.

“Principles are the territory. Values are maps.”

My values are what will help me to navigate through life and to uphold my principles.

“The way we see the problem is the problem.”

Problems are relative and not absolute, how I perceive the problem is what the problem is.

“Between stimulus and response is our greatest power; the freedom to choose.”

The greatest power is in how I respond to situations.

“While we are free to choose our actions, we are not free to choose the consequences of those actions.”

I can only control my choice. The result of that choice I have made is not within my control.

“Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.”

Management focuses more on action and activities whereas leadership is more focused on influencing actions.

“Frankl says we detect rather than invent our missions in life.”

My mission aligns with who I already am. I cannot dream it up from nowhere.

“Integrity is, fundamentally, the value we place on ourselves.”

I am perceived to be honest and true to myself to the extent in which I allow myself to be truthful and honest. I am ultimately responsible for how people perceive me to be true to my word.

“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.”

It’s easy to get carried away with trying to achieve or accomplish a lot in a given timeline, instead I should focus on accomplishing that which brings value in any given period.

“You think effectiveness with people and efficiency with things.”

There should be a distinct difference in my expectations of things/systems and human beings.

“The heart has its reasons which reason knows not of.”

Sometimes my intuition does not have an obvious logic to it. There’s a sixth sense which propels me to make decisions.

“Unless you’re influenced by my uniqueness, I’m not going to be influenced by your advice.”

I would like to be recognized as an individual before I proceed to take any advice from anyone

“Satisfied needs do not motivate.”

Once I have accomplished something, I need to look at that which I haven’t accomplished in order to feel a drive and an incentive to action.

“If two people have the same opinion, one is unnecessary.”

It is better to have debates and discussions with someone who sees the same concept from a different perspective because that is how I will learn and grow.

“That which we persist in doing becomes easier not that the nature of the task has changed, but our ability to do has increased.”

Practice, practice and more practice. Persistence in doing something which I previously was not able to do will bring me to mastering of that skill.

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?

No.

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

It did and I did find them helpful. I completed most of them.

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? 8
C. How easy was it to understand? 8
D. Would you recommend it to others? 7
E. What is the overall rating you would give it? 8