Iyahen Faith Omoruyi – Assessments

As a Man Thinketh
Assessment by Iyahen Faith (Nigeria)

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

The main idea conveyed by the author in his book is that a person is literally what she thinks, her character being the complete sum of all her thoughts. Our thoughts create our lives as every act of man springs from the hidden seeds of thought. A person will eventually become what she continues to think. In essence, Man cannot rise above his mental conditioning.

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. Character is the complete sum of all our thoughts

Your thoughts and your character are one. You cannot have a pessimistic thought and uphold a positive, optimistic attitude. Your thinking influences your behavior. The author wants us to know that a noble and Godlike character is not a thing of favor or chance, but the natural result of continued effort in right thinking, the effect of long-cherished association with Godlike thoughts. Also, an ignoble and bestial character is formed by harboring, groveling thoughts.

ii. Sickly thoughts can lead to illness

The body is the servant of the mind and it obeys the operations of the mind whether those thoughts be intentional or unintentional. Sickly thoughts will express themselves through a sickly body. Anxiety immobilizes the body and opens it to disease. The people who live in fear of disease get it as thoughts of fear have been known to kill faster than a bullet. Also, out of a clean heart and mind comes a clean body. Change of diet will not help a man who won’t change his thoughts about food and health. If you would protect your body, you need to guard your thoughts.

iii. Thought and Purpose

Thoughts must be linked to purpose for one to live a purposeful life. A man should conceive a legitimate purpose in his heart and set out to accomplish it. He should make this purpose the centralizing point of his thoughts and not allow his thoughts to wander aimlessly into fantasies but should consciously control his thoughts. Aimlessness is a vice and they who have no central purpose in their life fall prey to worries, fears, troubles and self-pity, which lead to failure and loss. Exercise yourself with right thinking as this is the road to self-control and true concentration of thought. Even if one fails to accomplish his purpose, he would have overcome weakness of aimlessness and grow in character. A man should mentally mark out a straight path to achieving his purpose and rigorously follow that path excluding doubts and fears. Doubt and fear are the great enemies of knowledge and must be slain as he who has conquered doubt and fear has conquered failure.

iv. You control your destiny

According to James Allen, Man is made or unmade by himself. Thought is the driving force behind one’s success or lack of it and not fate, luck or circumstances as most people think. Our thought influences our circumstances. Allen writes that in the armory of thought man forges the weapons by which he destroys himself; he also fashions the tools with which he builds for himself heavenly mansions of joy, strength and peace.
Our mission in life is to accept the truth that our lives are up to us and that we are in complete control of our lives. If our thoughts are based on erroneous thinking, then we will feel helpless and trapped by our circumstances. Our thinking influences who we believe we are and what we are able to do or become. Our internal thoughts are in control of our lives and positively changing them can pave the way to success. Thoughts of doubt and fear will never accomplish anything except failure.

v. Man is the “master gardener” of the mind.

In his book, Allen compares one’s mind to a garden, they grow whatever we allow to take root. Just as a gardener cultivates his land, keeping it free from weeds and growing only the crops he requires, so may a man tend the garden of his mind weeding out all the wrong, impure thoughts. Similar to the contents of a garden, your thoughts may be properly controlled and groomed. Allen describes this process as becoming the “master gardener” of your soul and the director of your life. Thoughts are like seeds; they will continue to grow and multiply. Good thoughts bear good fruit, bad thoughts bad fruit while strong, optimistic thoughts will lead to more of the same, and maintaining those will lead to a changed circumstance. I have decided to consciously cultivate my garden by planting the seeds I like and need while weeding out every wrong seeds previously planted. I have a few words I intentionally say to myself and I choose to dwell on such thoughts. I now understand that I can create the future I want by controlling what goes into my mind. I choose the books I read, the shows I watch and the conversation I participate in. I choose to sow the seeds that will create the future I want.

vi. Dreamers are the saviors of the world

“Dream lofty dreams and as you dream, so shall you become,” writes Allen.
Everything that’s ever been accomplished by mankind started off as a dream in someone’s mind before it became a reality. That includes the clothes we wear, the houses we live in, the cars we drive and the professions/specializations we now practice.
All these things came to be because someone dared to dream and to follow that dream till it became a reality. The real saviors of the world are those that dare to dream and then follow through on their dreams with inspired action. Success starts with a dream however, a dream is more than simply wanting or wishing for something. It is a conscious effort to follow through with ones vision for life. Success is not an accident; it must be earned! It is created by having the right thoughts and taking the right actions. Any goal (dream) is attainable with a well-structured thought process and a strong work ethic. “You will receive that which you earn. No more, no less.” The words “The dreamers are the savior of the world” has really stirred a desire in me to dream big and to structure my thoughts in the path of my dream.

vii. Serenity

One of the jewel of wisdom is calmness of mind which is the result of patient efforts in self-control. Self-control is strength and right thought is mastery. A man cannot be said to be calm until he has learnt how to control his thought and emotions. For one to enjoy serenity in life, one must first learn how to make his thoughts obey him and how to adapt himself to others. A wise man is one who has learnt how to control and purify his thoughts, and learnt how to make his thoughts obey him. A man can only become calm or serene to the measure that he understands himself as a thought evolved being. Then and only then, can he learn how to live from a point of purpose and not passion.
The more tranquil a man becomes, the greater is his success, his influence, his power for good. The strong, calm, man is always loved and revered. Self-control is strength and right thought is mastery. To have calmness of mind, one must exercise mastery over ones thoughts. Until one is able to control the thoughts of his mind, one cannot experience serenity. Calmness is power. Say unto your heart, “Peace. Be still.”

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?

This book is filled with a lot of life lessons but this quote stands out for me: “All that a man achieves and all that he fails to achieve is the direct result of his own thoughts.” I have come to understand that achievement of whatever kind, is a reward of an effort put into the venture. A man can only succeed to the extent that he is willing to sacrifice his confused animal thoughts and focuses his mind on the development of his plan, resolving to keep his thoughts focused on his goal. He who would accomplish little must sacrifice little; he who would achieve much must sacrifice much and he who would attain highly must sacrifice greatly. Hard work when combined with persistence and purpose is a great recipe for success. One must be willing to work hard for what he believes in and be willing to sacrifice to achieve it. There can be no progress, no achievement without sacrifice. The higher one lifts his thoughts, the more upright, righteous one becomes, the greater will be his success and the more blessed and enduring will be his achievements

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

There are quite a few statements made by the author that caught my attention. Top among these are:

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

If you think positive thoughts then positive things will be drawn to you, and if you think negative thoughts negativity will come to you. I want to attract godly virtues and become a better person and that is why I am investing in myself by improving my thought process.

“Men are anxious to improve their circumstances, but are unwilling to improve themselves; they therefore remain bound.”

People are always looking for change; for an improved circumstances or a better life. They are waiting for some external forces to effect the changes. They are yearning for their lives to change, without realizing that before things can change, they need to change their thinking pattern.

“Self-control is strength; Right Thought is mastery; Calmness is power. Say unto your heart, Peace, be still!”

Serene Countenance can only come from thoughts of joy and good will filling the mind. Self-control can only be achieved when one can make his thoughts obey his body.

“That strength can only be developed by effort and practice.”

Controlling ones thoughts takes a lot of effort and practice. Until one has mastery over his thought, one cannot exercise self-control.

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 found the ideas in the book very interesting and they have broadened my understanding of the importance of thoughts in man’s happiness and fulfillment in 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, the book did not contain exercises for the reader to complete.

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, there wasn’t anything that I read in the book that I would like to comment on that wasn’t covered in the previous questions.

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? 9
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? 8

 

 

Jonathan Livingston Seagull
Assessment by Iyahen Faith (Nigeria)

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

The main idea conveyed by the author in the book is that every creature should try to go beyond the limitations imposed on her. It talks about the difficulty of breaking convention and encourages us to dare to break free from mundane life and strive to achieve something that is thought to be beyond one’s capabilities.

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. Challenges may lead to failure

Challenges hold the possibility of failure but as long as I never stop trying, my hard work and perseverance will lead to success. I learnt not to be afraid of failure, for without failure there is no success. I remembered when I was contesting in Toastmaster Division E, District 94 International speech and Evaluation contest. I was intimidated by the quality of the fellow contestants. I thought of pulling out of the contest because of fear of failure but I encouraged myself to try and see how far I could go. I eventually, emerged the Division E evaluation champion and went on to represent them in the international contest in Accra, Ghana where I came third place. I have come to understand that if I never tried, I wouldn’t have even known the capabilities inside me.

ii. Experiencing an embarrassing moments is not the end of life.

When Jonathan was expelled from seagull society, he tried to explain, but all the gulls turned their back at him. Jonathan’s spirits fell because his flock didn’t understand the breakthrough he had achieved but instead of giving up and resigning to fate, he held on to his dream. He later realized that what other people think of him isn’t as important as what he thinks of himself. Sometimes we are so engrossed with the thoughts of failure and the embarrassment that goes with it that we never take the leap of faith that leads to liberation.

iii. Embrace your passions.

Jonathan had a passion, to fly fast and gracefully. His mother asked. Jonathan’s mother asked him why it was so hard for him to be like everyone else and why he wasn’t eating because he was all bones and feathers but Jonathan does mind being bones and feathers, he just wanted to know what he can or can’t do in the air. Jonathan cared more about knowing and understanding. That was more important than being like the others. I have learnt not to be preoccupied with the thoughts of what people will say but to explore my own limits and see how far I can go. Happiness comes from pursuing your dreams.
iv. Learn from you failures.

Jonathan failed many times, got discouraged and tried to conform to the crowd but his passion for flying wouldn’t let him quit. His passion for flying high and fast at low altitude kept pushing him to be better and to try harder. “All alone he kept on learning, What he had hoped for the Flock, he now gained for himself alone; he learned to fly, and was not sorry for the price that he had paid.” He kept on practicing his flight and continued to learn. He was able to master himself and eventually flew higher than any seagull. This reminded me of an experience I had when I was studying for my Master’s degree. I failed two courses and as a result, I wasn’t able to graduate with my mates. It was a difficult situation but I had to encourage myself and muster all the courage I could to go back to school. I finally graduated with “A” grades in these two courses. I learned that failure is just another chance to be better.

v. Let go of limiting ideas

Jonathan’s father told him that the reason why seagulls fly was to eat. This was a limiting belief that kept the seagulls from exploring the possibility of flying at great altitude.
These limiting ideas cause some internal strife within Jonathan. He thought to himself: “I am a seagull. I am limited by my nature. If I were meant to learn so much about flying, I’d have charts for brains. If I were meant to fly at speed, I’d have a falcon’s short wings, and live on mice instead of fish. My father was right. I must forget this foolishness. I must fly home to the Flock and be content as I am, as a poor limited seagull”.
Some of our wrong beliefs limit us and they prevents us for stretching ourselves. We have to learn to release our limiting beliefs, to keep our minds and hearts open.

vi. Pursue excellence

For Jonathan, living means reaching towards perfection in that which he had chosen to do was flying. The pursuit of excellence liberates you, it allows you to test the limit and see what you can do. I believe that one of our purpose for life to strive to be the best that we can be, to be the best version of yourself. We should endeavor to follow our dreams even when they go against the norm, we should make the most of the life.

vii. Practicing forgiveness

The strength of character displayed by Jonathan was amazing! He willingly forgave the flock of seagulls holding no grudge against them. He was willing to go back and teach another seagull how to fly. I have learned that I must make a conscious effort to free myself from the burdens of grudges and hatred. This practice of forgiveness isn’t easy but it is a journey I have chosen to embark on. I have chosen to forgive myself for the times I fell short of my own ideals and I have also chosen to forgive those who have hurt me in the past. The past is the past, I am consumed with the possibility of what the future holds for 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?

I have come to learn that most of the solutions in life comes during times of reflection. I like to muse before going to bed, it’s a great time to reflect and draw on the lessons learnt. This process had enriched my life greatly. Sometimes, you have to hit a lot of dead-ends before you finally find your path. I have also learned to take up opportunities that allows me to do the most good while I learn and grow. We all have something to give, if only we can take our eyes off ourselves and focus on these that bring social advancement.

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.

“We can lift ourselves out of ignorance, we can find ourselves as creatures of excellence and intelligence and skill.”

We all have greatness inside us, all we need to strive to be better than we were yesterday.

“The gull sees farthest who flies highest.”

We need to dream big in order for us to fly high. Hard work with persistence pays.

“You didn’t need faith to fly, you needed to understand flying.”

Is good to have faith but we shouldn’t just rely on destiny to take us to where we need to go. We have to seize the moment and see where it leads.

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 find the author’s idea of heaven a little bit disturbing. I do not agree with the author’s idea that heaven is just a state of perfection. As a Christian, I believe that heaven is place reserved for those who have kept their faith in Christ Jesus.

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

No, the book did not contain exercises for the reader to complete.

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, there wasn’t anything that I read in the book that I would like to comment on that wasn’t covered in the previous questions.

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? 9
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? 8

PsychoCybernetics
Assessment by Faith Iyahen (Nigeria)

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

The main idea conveyed by the author is that self-image is the most essential part of human personality and behavior. Self-image is how you see yourself and how you feel about yourself. It is your own concept of who you think you are. Each of us have a mental picture of the sort of person we think we are and we live out our lives from this “picture.” As a plastic surgeon, he saw some patients whose outward appearances have changed via surgery but their internal feelings and attitudes remained the same. The problem wasn’t their outward appearance but their poor self-image.

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 can be changed

Each of us carries about with us a mental blueprint or picture of ourselves. It has been built up from our own beliefs about ourselves but these beliefs have unconsciously been formed from our past experiences, our successes and failures, our humiliations, our triumphs, and the way other people have reacted to us, especially in early childhood. We tend to believe this self-image and live our life based on this belief.

Fortunately, self-image can be changed at any time regardless of one’s age. This requires training and retraining of the mind. One must watch her thoughts zealously and deliberately refuse to focus on negative thought about oneself because it is these negative thoughts that belittles ones self-image. Also, one must consciously let go of past failures, looking back only with the intention of learning from them. This book has given me a new understanding of who I am, I now realized that my background and past failures aren’t who I am. I have started seeing myself in a new light and I am living my life from this new mental picture of myself. I concentrate more on my previous successes and try to see how I can replicate those successes.

ii. The success mechanism

Every human being has been engineered for success by the creator. We were all born with an innate creative mechanism called the success mechanisms. This success mechanism is our mind. For this success mechanism to function properly it must have a clear cut out goal, objective or target. If you present your mind with “success goals” it will function as a success mechanism but if you present it with negative goals, it will function as a failure mechanisms. For your mind to function effectively as a success mechanisms, you must believe that your goals or targets are achievable or that the answer is in a potential form somewhere.
This principle truly became clear to me a few days ago. I transacted a business with a company a few days ago without checking out the company’s return policy. Unfortunately, my order was entered in wrongly and as a result and the wrong product was supplied. When I contacted the company, I was told that their policy doesn’t allow for goods to be returned once shipped. I was heartbroken, all I could think about was the money I was losing. Suddenly, something snapped inside me, I realized that I was conditioning my mind to function as a failure Mechanism. I decided to deliberately think and dwell on the thought that there must be a way for me and that I won’t suffer any financial mishap. Five day later, I got a call from the company saying they have realized their mistakes and a process has been put in place for the retrieval and replacement of my products.

iii. Imagination is key

You are the product of your imagination because everything depend upon your concept of yourself. The law of the mind states that: “A person always feels, acts and performs in accordance with what he imagines to be true about himself and his environment.” If your ideas and mental image of yourself is distorted or unrealistic, your reaction to your environment will be inappropriate. This is called destructive imagination! When imagination is used wrongly, it can set up an automatic failure mechanism within oneself and bring great misfortune. Great living starts with a picture held in your imagination of what you would like to do.

iv. The power of belief

Our belief becomes our reality! Your beliefs can either be true or false, but if you believe them you will act the part. Belief leads to self-conception and self-definition, once you believe something, you begin to act accordingly. Feelings of inferiority originate from our conclusion regarding facts and the evaluation of such experiences. When you begin to feel negative, look for the cause and if it is an irrational belief, kindly dismiss it. You need to shake off beliefs that have interfered with your success and happiness because to live a life of high achievement, you must fully believe in yourself and your ability.

v. Rational Thinking and Relaxation

Thought patterns are changed by conscious rational thinking. It is your responsibility to consciously and rationally decide on what you want. Once you have decided, select the goals that will assist you in achieving what you want. Then concentrate upon these rather than upon what you do not want. Once you have determined your goals and you’ve started taking action towards them, let go of making success happen. If you focus on achieving results with rational thought, you will begin to develop anxiety and feelings of stress rather relax and let things flow naturally.

vi. Happiness

Through this book, I have come to realize that happiness is purely internal. It is an inward state of being that is independent upon circumstances, people, or things. It is simply a cycle of thoughts that increases through love and self-acceptance. Life is so daily and it has a lot of challenges! So, if you want to be happy, you have to learn to smile despite challenges. You have to form the habit of being happy and practice it daily if want to be truly happy in life. If you don’t care about yourself, how can you take care of others? I have resolved to focus on all the good happening around me and to relish these moments with great delight. Things are not going to push me around anymore, for my happiness does not depend on them.

vii. Finding the good in crisis and feelings

We are hurt by the things we conceive of as threats to our ego and self-esteem. How we respond to an issue is very important because crisis situation can either make us or break us. We need to learn how to react to challenges without bowing to the pressure that comes with it. Evaluate the situation to identify the true problem from the supposed problems. I have come to understand that one’s mind-set in a crisis situation is very important. If you react properly to the situation, a crisis can give you strength, power and wisdom that you do not ordinarily possess but when you react improperly, a crisis can rob you of the skill, control, and ability that you ordinarily possess.

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?

One of the lessons I have learnt from this book is that, great living starts with a picture held in one’s imagination of what one would like to do. Now I pay close attention to the pictures playing in my head. If they are not consistent with what I want, I jettison them. I am more deliberate with my thoughts, I only dwell on thoughts that are consistent with my goals.

I now know the place of worry and anxiety! I do all my worries before I make a decision and dismiss all worries once my decision has been made. A few times, I have caught myself worrying after making a decision and I had to instantly discard the thoughts of anxiety. I am more deliberate and intentional about what I watch and the kind of thoughts I dwell on. These days, I seek for understanding when I find myself in certain situations. I have come to realize that I cannot react or respond appropriately to a situation if the information I am acting upon is faulty. In the past, I beat myself over my every little mistakes but now, I have learned to acknowledge them, learn from them and move forward. Most importantly, I now know how to set success goals. I have better clarity of the goals and objectives I want to achieve and I think terms of the outcome.

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 author made a lot of profound statements in his book, some of which caught my attention.
“Men are disturbed not by the things that happened but by their own opinion of the things that happened.”

How I perceive things determines my response. Therefore I must always seek for understanding to ensure that I have the facts.

“Consider the risk before the wheel starts turning.”

I have to do all my worries before making a decision and to dismiss all cares about the outcome once the decision has been made.

“To really live, that is to find life reasonably satisfying; you must have an adequate and realistic self-image that you can live with.”

I have come to accept myself (my flaws, my strength and weakness). The negatives belong to me but they are not me! I choose to love me knowing that I was created in God’s image.

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?

There was nothing that I disagreed with in the book however, it contained a lot of medical and psychological terms that were unknown to me. I had to goggle them but in all, it was a good read.

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?

Not exactly! However there were some guidelines given at the end of each chapter and I used these guidelines to practice the ideas gained.

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

Keys to Success
Assessment by Faith Iyahen (Nigeria)

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

The main idea of the book as conveyed by Napoleon Hill is to identify the 17 principles of success that should guide the actions of anyone who wants to be successful 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. Definiteness of purpose

The lack of a major plan, goal or purpose is the reason why many people are unsuccessful. Having a major definite purpose is the starting point of all achievement. Growing up, purpose sounded like an abstract thing – people talked about the importance of purpose without a clear definition. As I grew older, I realized that purpose is just as simple as “What I want to do with my life”! Once that was clear to me, I had to devise a plan on how to acquire the required knowledge and a roadmap on how to get there. I am passionate about championing Teenagers towards developing a healthy self-esteem. I have been involved in summer boot camps for teenagers and I am working on such camps bi-monthly.

ii. Successful people make decisions quickly as soon as all the facts are available.

Decision making is a skill that can only be developed by practice. Making decisions slowly as well as changing one’s mind often is a vice. It prevents one from seizing the moment and leads to lost opportunities. It is better to make a decision even when you are not too sure of the outcome than not to make a decision! I always used to ponder almost for forever on an issue before deciding. Sometimes the decision has already been taken over by events. These days, I am learning to make decisions as quickly as I have the facts together, sometimes I make a mistake in the process but is a learning curve for me. I am more intentional with what I want to do and I am learning to listen to my instincts. Recently, I had an opportunity to put in an application for a project, I started pondering on it the usual way but I had to remind myself of this principle, sol I went ahead and submitted the application and it was successful! I was glad I did!

iii. Alertness of Interest

Napoleon Hill said that “Paying attention to people when they want it, is a compliment and listening to people is a greater accomplishment than speaking well.” This got me! I used to unconsciously scroll through my phone when conversing with people. I never knew this was dishonoring and rude but since I read this, I am so conscious of it. I have found myself fiddling with my phone a few times while speaking with people, but as soon as I remember the wise saying, I quickly apologize to the speaker and consciously put my phone on the table or in my bag. This has improved my relationship with my children. One of them thanked me the other when I put down my phone down to listen to her.

iv. Applied Faith

Faith is your awareness of and belief in the universal powers. Faith is a state of mind which must be cultivated. The mind is a powerful tool because whatever your mind can conceive and believe, can be achieved. Negative thoughts act as imperfection in the prism of your mind, distorting and scattering the power of God. I have decided to keep my mind focused on the things or circumstances that I really want. It is my decision to always feed my mind with thoughts and imagines that support my purpose and goal. Every now and then, I find myself dwelling on some negative thoughts but I quickly, reject those thoughts and replace them with some positive thoughts. When my daughter was scheduled for a surgery, all manner of negative thoughts filled mind. I had to consciously reject them and replace them with a more positive images and thoughts of her having a successful surgery, and the surgery was a success!

v. Going the Extra Mile

Going the Extra Mile is providing extra service, with the highest possible quality and attitude than you are paid to do. If you offer more and better service than others, you will stand out in bold contrast. Going the extra mile also means that you strengthen your ability to do your job and to do it well. It is a state of mind that I have to develop and adopt to everything I do. I believe that is it a way to put ones pleasing personality to work. I have decided to always do my job with enthusiasm and to add something extra to every service I render. I know it is not going to be easy but I am determined to carry out every task with a focus on delivering the best service.

vi. Control your enthusiasm

According to Napoleon Hill, uncontrolled enthusiasm can cause one to monopolize a conversation with talks of one’s plan. This can cause people to tune out on someone and refuse to offer advice or aid. This caught my attention as I am usually very enthusiastic about things and cannot wait to share them with my friends. These days, I am practicing controlled enthusiasm and giving room for others to also express their enthusiasm. Another thing I learnt, is that enthusiasm can only work in a positive environment – which is a mind void of negative thoughts, intolerance, fear, envy, hatred, greed and procrastination. I am deliberate in the things I do daily, ensuring that I work towards my definite purpose.

vii. Self Discipline

Self-discipline begins with the mastery of thought. It calls for a balancing of emotions with reasoning. There are times where one has to go with sentiments while adjusting the reason and there are times when one has to go with just reasoning. One important thing I learnt from this is: If I do not control my thoughts, then I cannot control my needs. The writer also stated that self-discipline is useful in controlling Appetite, Time, PMA and definiteness of purpose. More than ever, I have come to value time! Time is my most precious asset and I deliberately choose how I spend it.

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?

Before I embark on any project, I need to determine my Why! This is very important because to succeed one must have a definite purpose. Once my definiteness of purpose is known, I will need to identify or create a mastermind alliance. Have people of like mind working towards a common goal is a step towards achieving my purpose. I must keep a positive mental attitude no matter the situation or circumstance. It is important to feed my mind with the images of what I want to achieve. I have chosen to let go of the past while taking in the lesson but most importantly, to live in the present! I have come to understand that my best recommendation is the superior service I render with the right attitude. Therefore, going the extra mile in all that I do has become my mantra going forward.

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

There were a lot of quotes in the book but these ones really spoke to me:

“Faith exists only as long as it is used.”

Faith is a state of mind that must be cultivated, so I have to decide on what I want and inspire my imagination to see myself already in possession of it.

“No one gets something for nothing.”

I have to deliver something useful in return for what I seek.

“Opportunity is a fleet of foot.”

I cannot seize opportunities if I can’t recognize what I want and if I am not prompt with my decision.

“Faith exists only so long as it is used. You can’t develop muscles by not using them. You can’t increase your capital without investing in it.”

If I want something, I have to use the power of my mind and focus on that thing till it becomes my reality.

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

None, the book was written is the clear and concise English. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

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 a few exercises for the reader to complete and yes, I completed the 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.

I particularly find the statement “I can only achieve the success I have envision for myself” interesting.

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

A. How interesting was it to read? 9
B. How helpful were the contents? 9
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

Success through Positive Mental Attitude
Assessment by Faith Iyahen (Nigeria)

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

The main idea as conveyed by the author is that achievement or success is attained through one’s mental attitude. One’s mindset is the deciding factor between success and failure. If your mental attitude is positive, achieving success becomes easier while a negative mental attitude will prevent one from recognizing opportunities that leads to success.

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. Do it now!

I used to battle with procrastination and didn’t even realize the impact it had on me until I read about it in this book. The reality of want I was doing hit me so hard! I was letting my life slip. The need to act timely is a skill I am practicing frequently now. Whenever the need to procrastinate comes up, I simply use the “Do it Now” self-starter to get me moving. I have not overcome procrastination completely, but I have made good progress.

ii. Learning to See

Seeing is a learned process and what you see is an interpretation of the mind. One must train the mind to interpret clearly what one sees. The mind should be trained to see possibilities and identify opportunities. Most times when faced with situations, all we see are the challenges and setbacks; we focus on the negative aspects but until we train the mind to see positivity, success might be unachievable. I am learning to see beyond my nose and to look at future possibilities. Seeing beyond my immediate problems and seeking out new opportunities is a new habit I am cultivating. I am now able to give interpretation to events that supports my goals.

iii. Satisfaction is a Mental Attitude

Your mental attitude is the only thing you posses over which you alone have complete control. If you are determined to find satisfaction in what you are doing, you will eventually discover ways to do it. I find this to be completely true! I used to complain a lot about my job and felt some level of dissatisfaction with it until I read the book “As a man thinketh.” I realized that it wasn’t the job but my attitude towards the job. As I began to apply the principle of positive mental attitude to my job and my life, things began to change. I have found ways to enjoy my job and my satisfaction level has increased greatly.

iv. Self-suggestion

According to the author, self-suggestion automatically sends messages from the subconscious to the conscious mind as well as to other parts of the body. He also said that Self affirmation repeated with severity, rapidity and emotion affects the subconscious mind and causes it to react. I decided to use the principle of self-suggestion to help my son. My son had been having some difficulty in the area of writing and focus in class. So, I wrote a daily affirmation for him using “The Day by Day in every way by the grace of God, I am getting better and better” line. We usually affirm this together in the morning when I am bathing him. In three weeks, his writing improved significantly, and he became more focused in class. By the end of the fourth week, my son took part in a spelling bee competition in his school and came out first place to the amazement of his teachers. I was amazed too!!

v. If a man is right, his world will be right.

Most people are unhappy with certain aspects of their lives. They blame their pedigree, education, environment etc. According to the author, if you are unhappy with your world, the first place to start is with your Yourself! We keep trying to fix our world when we should be fixing ourselves. Once we are right, our world would be right. Our world is only a reflection of us, and we reflect our thoughts. I am so conscious of the thoughts I dwell on and my attitude towards things. With a positive mental attitude, the obstacles and challenges can lead to new opportunities. A good mental attitude is a well of possibilities.

vi. If you know what you want, you are more apt to recognize it when you see it.

For some time, I have been nursing the idea of starting a Teen Mentorship Academy. I have played with different ideas and approaches; I have even started developing the curriculum and the kind of activity the academy will perform. All these were in my head and my journal. Just last week, I got a call from a friend who wanted to share her thoughts with me. It happened that she had been thinking lately in this line too. I was so excited! So, I told her about my plan and what I intend to do. Immediately, a partnership was born! We are now working together and by God’s grace, the academy will come up soon. Truly, if you know what you want, you will be more apt to recognize it.

vii. Keep your mind on the things you want and off the things you don’t want.

The mind attracts anything it dwells on. If you continually dwell on negative things, your life will be filled with negative things. If you dwell on your weakness it will grow, and you will become weaker as the day goes by. If you keep your mind focused on the things, conditions and circumstances you really want, your circumstances will eventually become more favorable. Now, I focus more on my strength and I have become more confident and focused! I do not brush aside my weakness, but I don’t allow them to limit me. I know I can be better, so I focus on how to be better and do the things that make me better.

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 lessons have had great impact in my life already. I more conscious of what I want in life, my mind is more open to opportunities as I go about my daily activities. I understand the place of positivity and belief to one’s success. I have a friendlier outlook to life, expecting the best always. I am more apt at recognizing negative thoughts and like cobwebs, I take them out immediately!

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.

“We are poor not because it’s God’s will; we are poor because no one in our family has developed the desire to become rich.”

I now understand the role of desire in making it in life. My desire is rising daily it will keep rising until I get what I want.

“If you know what you want, you will be more apt to recognize it when you see it.”

I easily recognize the things that are of interest to me; my sense of sight is very response these days.

“If you are right, your world will be right.”

The world is more friendly and warm to me because I am more friendly and warm to it.

“The victory within us does not assert itself until we are ready.”

Since I started daring to face my challenges, I have become more courageous and the results have been amazing.

“You can be honest and still lack common sense.”

I am applying common sense in ways I never use to do.

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

Daily, I am moving away from my comfort zone; daring to try new things.

“For every result, there is a cause.”

Everything has consequences, I chose activities that bring the result I seek
“If you are unhappy with your world and want to change it, the place to start is with yourself.”

I no longer allow the opinion of others to direct my life. I see mistakes as learning points, and I don’t allow them to define me.

“Writing down every flash of inspiration that comes to my mind.”

This is one of the best pieces of advice I have received so far! Every flash of inspiration I get is documented and one brought me great prospect last week.

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, the author’s ideas were clearly expressed in the book.

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 contained exercises for the reader to complete and I found them very useful in my journey to be better.

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? 9
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? 8

How to Win Friends And Influence People
Assessment by Faith Iyahen (Nigeria)

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

The main idea as conveyed by the author in the book is that you can influence other people’s behavior and even win them over by changing your own attitude towards them.

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. Do not criticize, condemn or complain.

Criticism is dangerous because it can hurt a person’s pride and sense of importance; and this can make the person resentful towards his/her critics. Criticism can also make a person become defensive and justify his/her action. This idea has made me realize that most of the concern I have about my children and friends sometimes comes across as criticism or judgment because I am assessing them based on my values. I have come to understand that changing my attitude towards them and loving them just as they are, is a better way to cause a change in them.

ii. We are interested in others when they are interested in us.

This idea resonated with me because I believe that no one is born empty. Everyone has something interesting about them. All I need to do is to pursue that interest, ask more questions and be genuinely interested in knowing them. Practicing this idea has enriched my relationship with my husband, children, and friends. Applying this principle to my relationship with my husband has enriched our relationship. Now when he shares his ideas with me, I ask questions and try to understand his stance. This has endeared me to him even more as he is always eager to share his ideas with me. Even my friends feel more comfortable sharing their ideas with me because they know that I am genuinely interested in their success.

iii. The only way to influence other people is to talk about what they want and show them how to get it.

Influence is subtle power and it comes when people trust you; and believe that you have their best interest at heart. To be able to influence someone, you must be sincerely interested in them, you must put your opinion, ideas, and thoughts aside and see things from that person’s point of view.

iv. A simple smile can go a long way.

Carnegie tells a story of a manager who was desperately trying to recruit a PhD for his department and when he finally found the perfect candidate, the boy also had other offers. When the boy told the manager that he was choosing his company, the manager asked why. The boy explained: “Your voice sounded as if you were glad to hear from me that you really wanted me to be part of your organization.” I learned about this principle sometimes ago and ever since then, I have practiced keeping a smile on my face and smiling when conversing. Recently, I walked into a store at a mall with my son but as I approached the salesman, he gently told me that they have closed. However, he allowed my son and I in because he said my smile is too beautiful to resist.

v. Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.

A person’s name is a very powerful thing – it is an embodiment of that person’s identity. So, remembering and using someone’s name is a great way to make that person feel important. This is an absolute truth and I learned this truth the hard way. Sometime ago, I anchored an event which required me to introduce the speakers. As I introduced a speaker, she stood up and corrected me in an unfriendly manner. She was upset with me for mispronouncing her name and even though I apologized, she was quick to point out that she does not like people mispronouncing her name. I learned that day to always cross check with people when in doubt about the pronunciation of their names.

vi. That we should avoid arguments with people.

When you win an argument, you make the other person feel inferior, you hurt their pride and make them resent your triumph. When a person feels negatively about us, we cannot win him to our way of thinking with all the logic in the world. This idea caught my attention because I sometimes will push a conversation to the point of argument but learning about this idea now, I now understand that it is better to focus on the points on which we both agree. When I want to scold my child on an issue, I now start with the points we both agree on and move from there to the disagreeable issue. This approach has allowed my daughter and I have friendly conversations and reach agreeable decisions when issues arise. When a conversation is mutually beneficial to both parties, they both learn from each other and it becomes a win-win situation for both parties. We cannot force someone to agree with us, but we can lead them in that direction if we are gentle and friendly with them. I will hold this idea closely to my heart going forward.

vii. Show respect for the other person’s opinions.

Telling people that their opinion is wrong is a blow on their intelligence, pride, and self-respect. When people feel disrespected this way, they would not want to change their minds and agree with you even if you are right. This idea is very important in getting along with others and it is one that I hope to practice daily. I now understand what it takes to be open-minded and subtle, being able to see things from the other person’s perspective has great advantages. Now, when someone makes a statement that I know is wrong, all I will say will be: “Well, I do think otherwise but I may be wrong. I have learned that this soft approach might just make the person drop his/her guard and lean into the conversation in a more open-minded manner.”

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 greatly especially in the areas of getting along with others and putting myself in other people’s shoes. This means I will live by the golden rule of “Do unto others what you want them to do to you.” I want to be understood, so I will seek to understand others. Also, I will refrain from criticizing, judging and condemning people rather I will seek to see things from their point of view. When I am interested in what they are interested in, I will be more able to understand them and why they do what they do or have a stance on an issue.

Finally, I have come to appreciate why I should shy away from arguments. These ideas when practiced will help enrich and deepen my relationships with people. By consistently living these principles, my communication with people will reveal how valued and important they are to 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.

“A drop of honey catches more flies than a gallon of gall.”

If you want to win a person to your cause, first convince that person that you are his sincere friend.

“If you want to gather honey, don’t kick over the beehive.”

If I want something from a person, I have to be careful not to stir bad feelings or else, I might not achieve my aim.

“Don’t complain about the snow on your neighbour’s roof when your own doorstep is unclean.”

I should always put myself in the other person’s shoes.

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

I am not stretching my potential to their limits, I need to use them more.

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

How I treat people reflects who I am.

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

My choice of language reflects who I am because as a man thinks in his heart, so is him.

“Every man I meet is my superior in some way.”

No one was born empty and everyone has something to offer their world.

“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”

Everyone is interesting in some way; I ask questions that get me interested in them.

“Your smile is a messenger of your goodwill.”

Smiling makes me more appealing to people.

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

I have learned to always address people by their names and to ask them for the right pronunciation of their names.

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?

Absolutely none.

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

The book did not contain any exercise for the reader to complete.

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? 9
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