Okot Stephen – Assessments

As a Man Thinketh
Assessment by Okot Stephen (Uganda)

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

The main idea in the book is the power of thoughts; that the human mind uses thought as a tool to direct the mind and control the way man conducts himself such as including speaking and other actions. The author explains how our thoughts and thought patterns have an enormous impact on our mind and body, our relationships and the environment we live in. The impact can be positive and beneficial to the whole person and his/her environment if his/her thoughts are; noble, good, healthy, fruitful, and peaceful. The effects of one’s thoughts can be devastating if a he /she harbor negative, bestial, evil, or fruitless thoughts in his/her mind.

Mind makes Man by virtue of thoughts or thought patterns harbored in his mind. Thoughts when encouraged and entertained over time produce a habit which progressively develops into a character. Collins Dictionary defines Character as the aggregate of features and traits that form the individual nature of some person or thing. Character is therefore the attribute that defines a man; socially, morally, ethically, and other behavioral traits produced by a particular thinking pattern.
Our character defines who we are inwardly and outwardly as both our inner garments of character and outward garment of circumstances will reveal the product or fruit of our thoughts.

Thus, man must master his thoughts by making conscious choices and encouraging positive and appropriate thinking patterns that would benefit him, his neighbor, and the society at large. This is achieved by exercising self-control, practicing self-discipline, and self-purification from all recognizable negative and impure thoughts cropping up in the mind, and replacing bad thinking patterns with good and pure thought patterns.

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

i. The Aphorism “As a man thinketh in his heart, so he is.”

This reveals how our thinking pattern shapes our life. We become the product of our thoughts. Thoughts in the mind have made us. Evil thinking results in evil behavior, and makes a person evil. I once had the wrong thinking about my career path which led to the wrong decision regretting later, wishing I should have done it another way which was better. Nevertheless, even when we go wrong, there is always the possibility and countless opportunities to get back on track. This When i look at where i am today, i imagine i would be have further had I decided to listen to my inner self, that drive within my heart and focused on developing my writing and communication ability, research and project based approach to transforming life (I see myself as a life changer, and have the deep in me to bring hope and encouragement, holistic life development and wholeness to fellow human beings both the young and older generations). We are today the way we are, because of our previous thought pattern. I am working on myself through this lesson to become a healthier, stronger, and better person and to outlast the wasted years occasioned by negative thinking about myself and low self-esteem. There is an encouraging text in the Holy writing (Bible Ezekiel 36:11) that says “and I will do better (things) for you than at your beginning. Then you will know (with great confidence) that I am the Lord.” This verse is a hope inspiring verse which gives hope to those who have lost hope that it is not yet over. There is a better future despite the past failures caused by our ignorance, lack of information, and past circumstances or disasters.

ii. The idea that the mind is always the master, either the foolish master or the wise master.

A foolish master is one who misgoverns his affairs. He/she is like a person who looks at his/her natural face in a mirror but immediately forgets who he/she is. He/she behaves carelessly, acts foolishly and throws away his garment of honor. A wise master doesn’t mean a perfect one, but one who learns from his/her success and failures or weaknesses to improve and become a better performer as a leader and master. He/she is committed to perfection by constantly learning, upgrading skills and improving performance. He/she listens to people’s criticism and views, yet does not react or take revenge, but learns, takes home lessons, and makes proactive and appropriate decisions.

iii. The idea of the law of cause and effect is a very important fact to consider about circumstances that occur in life.

There is a common saying in my community that there is no smoke without fire! Meaning that nothing happens without a cause. The law of cause and effect holds in our daily human experience. For example, all our present circumstances were a result of our previous thought patterns and accompanying actions.

iv. The idea of self-control, self-discipline, self-crucifixion and self-purification are vital keys to those who would want to be high level achievers or successful people in life.

High level achievers are people with high levels of self-discipline, self-control and sacrifice or crucifixion. Nothing comes by surprise. I love the idea that No gain without pain. These are some of the pains we have to go through to achieve real success. A lazy and aimless person usually does not even attempt one of the listed principles. He/she prefers a comfort zone. Does not want to suffer or go through the hard way (discipline, sacrifice, etc). I used to be like that until I realized I was not getting anywhere in life by staying in the comfort zone. Some youth today want to reap from where they have not sown. They want success without effort. Applying Self-discipline enables one to overcome his/her feelings and weaknesses. While self-control enables a person to keep his/her desire and emotions under control, especially in difficult situations. Self- crucifixion simply means; putting to death the deeds or desires of the flesh or body so as to stay focused on a set goal, to avoid being distracted by what our senses communicate to us. Our senses usually put us off track and lead to compromise of our higher standards and disciplines required to achieve our dreams or life purpose.

v. The idea that circumstance does not make man, it reveals him to himself is true.

For example; circumstance reveals man’s strength if he masters and brings under his control the forces arising from the circumstance. On the contrary, if the circumstance masters him, controls and overtakes him, then it reveals his weakness. It can further reveal his foolishness or wisdom, depending on his response to a given circumstance. I have learned from this and have overcome my fear of most of the alarming circumstances. I have developed problem solving skills to master circumstances that come unexpectedly. When I was doing my Diploma course to improve my skills and job prospects, I was going to miss a whole semester’s examinations because my job with an organization ended unexpectedly due to lack of funds. Instead of frustration, fear, and all their negative emotional effects on my life, I resolved that there is still much money in the world today, even within my own town and region, and that I could get it by various means and efforts. I began to list ways I could get money quickly; by another job opportunity, marketing whatever skills and ability I have within myself, or voluntary giving of well-wishers who I can approach with my needs. I implemented my resolutions! That was the end of the problem; I mastered my circumstances that way. And there are many other ways to do so, I believe.

vi. The idea that the body is the servant of the mind.

It means that; the actions, movement and directions of our body are controlled by the mind. So, where the mind goes, the body follows, thus man moves in the directions of his mind. It is the way I have lived since my childhood until now, and continue to do so. It is therefore vital that we discern our thoughts, what is being communicated in our minds. I have learned from this idea that I must master and bring my mind under control. It’s dangerous to be negligent to what goes on in the mind. It is also important to be sensitive to our thoughts, words and actions. This would save us a thousand dangers. Yesterday, I was on a boda boda motorcycle on Gulu-Kampala highway, and someone was just crossing the busy highway without being mindful that there are speedy vehicles and bikes on the road. We were sensitive and on alert, we reduced our speed before we could get too close and could have knocked the person. We have to be sensitive and mindful about saving life.

vii. The idea that as the visible world is sustained by the invisible world, we have to nourish our mind with the beautiful visions of our dreams.

To me, it means that without vision, we go nowhere in life and we can never achieve and sustain success. There is a verse in my Christian Holy text which says “where there is no vision, the people perish “(Proverbs 29:18, Holy Bible). Lack of visionary living is what is causing chaos and social problems in the world today. With vision come purpose, and life goals, and the disciplines required for one to reach those goals. The idea further reveals to us that there are two worlds; the visible (physical) world, and the invisible (Spiritual) world. This is where religions play key roles (Although religious faiths differ in doctrines, the fundamental idea is the same); we need to appreciate religion because it helps human beings envision the future far beyond this earthly life. Life is not limited to this physical planet. In other words, there is life after death. In my personal experience, my view of life would have been meaningless had I not assumed the existence of God-the source of creation. This has helped me to make my life meaningful and built actual faith that there must be an intelligent Creator, greater than all creatures. And we human beings are like Him (Godlike) in character and attributes.

viii. Keeping a calm mind is key to peace within self, and keeping one’s mind and soul in harmony.

It is an evil thinking pattern and wicked behavior that steals a man’s peace of mind. In one place in the holy writing (Bible), it says “But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.” (Isaiah 57:20, 21, Holy Bible). We need to work towards peace and peaceful coexistence by encouraging people to leave evil ways of life and do what is good, and what promotes a peace within self, peace with our neighbor and the environment.

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?

In my daily personal life: The ideas will help me in developing and practicing positive thinking habits and value based lifestyles that enhance personal emotional stability, wellbeing and health.
I shall apply the ideas to help manage my thoughts, life and emotions, for example by; learning and practicing positive and good thinking patterns, assertive behavior, and healthy communication that strengthen interpersonal relationships and peaceful coexistence. I shall use the ideas to create a positive mindset, set goals and focus on my life dreams to be achieved. Other thoughts cropping up in my mind which do not contribute to my life goals I shall discard them from my mind.

The ideas will provide me with practical skills and tools for critical thinking and problem solving by analyzing and interpreting issues and problems before taking actions to deal with them. In helping to create a better world; I shall use the ideas to develop and publish life changing Information, Education and Communication materials (IEC) and disseminate to help transform the mindset of people within my reach and means, through available for a and my networks by; speaking engagement, visual and audio transmission, print communication.

I shall focus on the youth by organizing periodic events such as annual youth camps, conferences, and focus group discussions to train, mentor, empower, and transform the mindset of the young generation before it’s too late. The moral and societal decadence today is largely attributed to negligence of youth in the affairs of the society. They are not meaningfully involved in the development and democratic process of our society. The youth today are instead highly involved in all acts of violence because of very little or no attention to their plight by the leaders and elders of the society.

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.

“When the information finally reaches our hearts, it gets burned into our flesh and becomes a “knowing”. A “knowing” is that ah-ha feeling. – The penny dropping. This “knowing” allows us to set bigger goals, dream bigger dreams and feel good about ourselves when that goal is attained.”

Knowledge is power! Knowledge means understanding information or facts about something. It is what produces that “ah-ha feeling.” To me this is revelation knowledge that empowers a person to develop a sense of purpose, take necessary actions such as setting personal goals, change course or direction. Knowledge is the source of power that distinguishes man from other creatures of the universe.

“Thought in the mind hath made us, what we are by thought was wrought and built.”

Imagine if a child is not trained from teenage to develop a habit of good thinking and practice, over the years, evil thoughts and weird practices will become a way of life for him/her. If the mind is left idle, it becomes the devil’s workshop. Someone once mentioned that the mind of a child is like blank pages on a book, if nothing good is written thereon, if no good thoughts or words sown therein, it becomes an idol mind, and evil thoughts will crop up speedily and overtake the child’s mind, resulting into uncontrollable unbecoming behaviors. As parents or adults in a family, we must take this responsibility very seriously. This is an important knowledge that will be incorporated in my future service projects. In the Holy Bible, it is written, `Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. ‘(Prov. 22:6.)

“They themselves are makers of themselves.”

The choice and power is in our hands, to make ourselves what we want to become; healthy, happy, prosperous and peaceful by virtue of the thoughts which we choose and encourage.

“Here is a rich man who is the victim of a painful and persistent disease as the result of gluttony. He is willing to give large sums of money to get rid of it, but he will not sacrifice his gluttonous desires. He wants to gratify his taste for rich and unnatural viands and have his health as well. Such a man is totally unfit to have health, because he has not yet learned the first principles of a healthy life.”

This is about the danger of; lack of self-discipline, greed, and insensitivity and somehow laziness on the part of the rich man. These have blinded him from coming out of his health problems. An important take-home idea for me here is that when we think that money is always the answer and put it at the center of everything we go wrong, and remain in bondage for as long as we are not willing to come out of it.

“Here is an employer of labor who adopts crooked measures to avoid paying the regulation wage, and, in the hope of making larger profits, reduces the wages of his workpeople. Such a man is altogether unfitted for prosperity, and when he finds himself bankrupt, both as regards reputation and riches, he blames circumstances, not knowing that he is the sole author of his condition.”

This reveals greed and unethical practices of the employer. These include; the employer malpractices, selfish or unjust gains, exploitation of workers, frauds and so on. These behaviors and practices can result in; unacceptable rate of employee turnover, low productivity and business performance, damages of reputation of the company or employer, loss of customers, criminal cases and huge loss of revenue. This ruins the future of the entrepreneur.

“Until thought is linked with purpose there is no intelligent accomplishment. With the majority the bark of thought is allowed to drift upon the ocean of life. Aimlessness is a vice, and such drifting must not continue for him who would steer clear of catastrophe and destruction.”

Linking thought with purpose is an important take-home idea for me. Mind-wandering is a common everyday experience in which our attention becomes disengaged from our intended purpose, and the immediate environment of concentration is focused on what is not our core concentration. I have personally experienced this for years, and of course still learning the skills to overcome this experience. This experience affects us in pursuing our purpose, intended goals and achievement of our dreams.

“The dreamers are the saviors of the world. As the visible world is sustained by the invisible, so men, through all their trials and sins and sordid vocations, are nourished by the beautiful visions of their solitary dreamers. Humanity cannot forget its dreamers.”

A dreamer is someone who has a lot of great ideas, but he/she must become a visionary to really save the world. A visionary is someone who not only tells you about his/her dreams, but proactively spends the time, sets goals, and strategically plots an exact course to get there. A visionary is one who turns ideas into action. In my opinion, the visionaries are the saviors of the world.

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 have no disagreement with the contents and ideas in this book. I only suggest continuous review and improving on the contents and messages. However, since we come from different backgrounds culturally and religiously, I think I need more time to fully internalize and appreciate statements that I may not have fully grasped the concept or meaning.

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.

I just want to suggest that much as religions and religious doctrines are controversial, religion essentially plays key roles in shaping morals and good character. The idea of God as the source of creation is vital in the world or society that is largely religious. I suggest IIGL can allow some of the inspirational religious books or texts and life examples to be included amongst the IIGL curriculum so that those who find them applicable can use them. These may include; leadership books and many other life changing resources that may not necessarily aim at converting people to a particular faith. If I find one I think would be suitable I may share. Thanks

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

Jonathan Livingston Seagull
Assessment by Okot Stephen (Uganda)

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

The main idea from the author of “the real Jonathan Seagull who lives within us all” is the meaning and purpose of life. It’s about discovering self, our life purpose, and how to attain that purpose and fulfill our destiny. It includes the idea of pursuing that purpose with determination to attain it, by overcoming all the opposing forces and natural limitations known to human beings.

Without a sense of purpose and destiny or eternity (or life beyond this earthly existence), life loses its true meaning. A person without a meaningful life purpose or reason for living to mere eating and drinking, self-indulgence and strife with all associated negative consequences.

According to the author, our purpose transcends this physical planet earth. It involves attainment of divine intelligence and perfection, and transcending every limitation. This is not an achievement that can be attained dramatically, but can be arrived at through clear goals, establishing a kind of personal core values and living by the set values. One must also take strategic actions to drive towards the long term goals and ultimately one’s purpose or actualization of one’s dreams. The author reveals the idea of heaven (another world, and a beautiful place to enter after this earthly life), the perfect place where there is no imperfection and limitations.

To human life, I believe the attainment of perfection will be fully realized when we depart from this world. My religion (Christian doctrine) terms it glorification. When we have lived a pure and holy life and therefore we entered heaven and a glorified eternity (clothed with Angelic, beautiful, and glorious immortal bodies). While we are still on earth, we are blessed with opportunities, gifts and talents, and practices to keep us learning, growing, discovering, and experiencing increasing perfection in our personal life, and overcoming human limitations. As we overcome our limitations; success will replace failure, happiness will replace sorrows, wealth will replace poverty, health will replace diseases and freedom will replace bondages and fear.

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

i. The meaning and purpose of life.

The idea that our purpose for living is to find perfection and show it forth informs me that life is far beyond eating, drinking, self-indulgence and temporary or material gain. I am more than flesh and blood. This idea helps me to live with hope, pursue higher purpose, major on the major, minor on the minor, and invest my time and other resources towards my higher goals. Through the IIGL program, I am dedicated to building my mind and spirit, discovering the power and intelligence in me so as to make full use of them to lead a purposeful and meaningful life. For a long time, I have been limited by the natural things of this world and personal circumstances, like; not having enough levels of education, poor backgrounds, etc. But now I am being enlightened and empowered through the ideas in this book .

ii. Perfection is a process through continuous learning and practice.

Jonathan Seagull reached a moment to think it was the end that he couldn’t go higher. But he was told “You have learned. One school is finished, and the time has come for another to begin.” Showing to me that learning never ends. And to go higher we need to learn new things, techniques, and skills. My friend recently told me upon completion of his Degree, “This is enough for me.” I first thought to believe his idea and apply to my career too, but I am beginning to realize the need to continue learning through all available opportunities. Not just academic degrees which sometimes limit people by thinking that we cannot achieve greater success in life without it. Yet, now I have discovered that there is even better and more practical training outside the University programs (like the IIGL programs) that transforms life, equip students to improve performance, and help students become accomplished, self-sufficient and sustaining in the world, far more better than the academic achievements.

iii. Don’t seek or try to please everybody.

People will pull you down and destroy your dreams if you choose to do what pleases them or be at the same level with them (peers). Don’t let them decide or do it for you. Common proverbs amongst my people here states, let people advise you but don’t let them decide for you. Aim higher than the ordinary fellows. It is far better to listen and pay attention to the inner voice within you, not people’s noises. Jonathan Seagull wanted to make everyone happy by reducing himself to a normal, ordinary creature. He wanted to be at the same level with other Seagulls. I used to be like that, always wanting to make everyone happy by doing what pleases them. This kept me on the same level with them; some of them used me as a ladder to climb higher and left me behind at lower levels. I have learned from the idea in this book that I am unique and great, and should focus on the unique me, building my unique talent and skills, and pursuing personal dreams or vision.

iv. “Irresponsibility does not pay. Life is the unknown and the unknowable.”

To me, being responsible is wisdom for high achievers. To be irresponsible is to live as a fool, or aimless person. They normally live by mere wishes, want to gain without efforts or pain, reaping where they have not sown. Being responsible is being willing to take necessary risks towards noble goals. It includes calculating the cost to get there, the risks, pains and losses associated with it. Being responsible in risky decisions, or taking calculated risks to achieve the set objectives. There is a saying in my community that, ‘no gain without pain’. I was brought up in a culture in my village where for boys; we don’t wake up in the morning and just sit at home. We go digging or hunting. There is a scripture text in the Holy Bible which instructs the believers that, “For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “If a man will not work, he shall not eat.” We hear that some among you are idle. They are not busy; they are busybodies. Such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and earn the bread they eat.” 2 Thessalonians 3:10.

v. Keep your faith as you pursue your dreams.

Don’t faint with the rest. When the other gulls refused to believe the glory of flight that awaited them, Jonathan kept the faith, learned more each day and was able to fly higher, beyond the expected into his glorious destiny! When the COVID 19 pandemic plagued the world, life was hard as we were unprepared for the disaster financially or stock. I learned the principles and power of living by faith as there were no alternatives, and life appeared to be hopeless then. When lockdown persisted for several weeks and months, and no one was there to lean on, I thought of faith. It is said in the Bible, the just shall live by faith (Romans 1:17). Somehow, I believed it wasn’t going to be the end of the world. I lived by faith and today it’s beyond words how we survived the difficult economic situation.

vi. Never resolve or decide on issues when emotion controls you.

Calm your emotions first. Jonathan initially got discouraged due to failed attempts in his flight. He despised himself, put on low self-esteem, called himself a fool, almost making the wrong decision to go back and join the other ordinary gulls, never to try the flight again. But somehow he kept learning, and in the end he began to gain hope, and triumphed! I have learned from this to never rush in decision making, aware that every decision attracts consequences.

vii. Keep working on your love till it matures.

All our works or actions need to be spiced with love. Chiang’s last word to Jonathan was to “keep working on your love.” Love leads to sacrifices or sacrificial giving. Love unites people, empowers a team, and transforms life and community. The more Jonathan practiced his kindness, lessons, and the more he worked to know the nature of love, the more he wanted to go back to Earth to help others as instructors. I see this working in my life with testimony; so, love is the greatest thing I owe fellow human beings.

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?

How these ideas or lessons help me in personal life: The ideas of life purpose, responsible life, and focusing on my dreams will help me in creating a better vision of my future, setting personal goals, and focusing my energy and resources towards attainment of goals.Help become resilient in times of disasters. Also prepare for future trouble to reduce the negative impacts of future disasters. I shall use the lessons and ideas in this book to enhance self-knowledge and be true to myself, take responsibility, personal decisions and risks to reach my goals. The ideas learned such as; keeping emotions under control, living by faith will help improve my interpersonal skills, stable emotions, my relationships, set values to live by, and tactically address personal problems.

How these ideas or lessons in helping me to create a better world: I shall use the lessons learned to design a program that will promote awareness and social change amongst the youth and adults in my community and country. For example; behavioral change education, value based life skills and purpose driven life camps and conferences, peace building training, raising community based young activists, to empower the youth to become active and involved in creating social change and a world that works for everyone. In this way, we are building a strong team and network of change makers in the community and in our world.
I shall engage in empowering the youth, women and other community members to discover their life purpose, and make productive use of their talents and skills like; sports, music, arts and other productive resources for positive development. This way, I shall be contributing to the creation of an economically stable and socially united and empowered community, leading to a peaceful and better world.
I shall use the lessons and inspirations of these ideas to set up an initiative in the form of nonprofit organization:

Through which projects or programs can be implemented to inspire, empower and transform the lives of the vulnerable youth, women, persons with disabilities and the elderly. This is achievable through such activities that; restores hope, builds faith, nurtures love, improves livelihoods, preserves nature (environment and biodiversity), participatory and inclusive development.
Encourage my friends to join the IIGL training program because the training inspires and transforms life. In this way, we are multiplying our likeminded team and network to create a better world.

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 don’t mind being bone and feathers. I just want to know what I can do in the air and what I can’t, that’s all. I just want to know.”

Initially, the Seagull shows the desire to discover what he can do in the air. Whether he is mere flesh and bones, he just wants to know what he can do in the air. Discovering his purpose would be his motivation to do whatever it takes to get there. As human beings, we must learn to ignore our outward limitations and what our personal circumstances display before us. Once the vision of the future has been made known, we need to set clear goals and take necessary efforts to pursue it.

“I am a Seagull. I am limited by my nature. If I were meant to learn so much about flying, I’d have charts and brains. If I were meant to fly at speed, I would have a falcon’s short wings, and live on mice instead of fish. My father was right.”

The Seagull had the aspirations of unlimited life but was focusing on the outward appearance; the challenging physical circumstances and what appear to be lacking like charts and brains, falcon’s short wings, and live on mice instead of fish. As human beings, our aspirations are to transcend all human limitations. But because often we dwell on external appearance and what is lacking that we think would be the best aid for ascending to our desired goal or destination. We wish to be like other creatures that can fly so we can fly; we wish to be like other privileged people like those from wealthy families and so on. All these happen because we have not learned or discovered the potential within ourselves and the perfection that can be achieved through efforts (including learning and practice). We don’t have to have everything or have the same status as others in order to start off on the road to perfection or to be successful in life.

“We began to learn that there is such a thing as perfection…our purpose for living is to find that perfection and show it forth.”

As we learn through various opportunities such as being under tutors, mentors and coaches, reviews and lessons from success and failures, we acquire new knowledge and skills which improve our performance and we become more perfect. Perfection is thus attained through a series of learning and practices. It is inherent in every normal human being to desire perfection in everything. It’s probably the main reason why we tend to hide our mistakes and try to cover our weaknesses because we don’t enjoy it at all. I, for example, wouldn’t want people to become aware or discover my weaknesses (Although nowadays, I notice that once a weak area is revealed, it’s an opportunity to work on it and improve my life). So, the point is that, we want to show forth our perfection and the perfect self-not our imperfection. We want people to see our perfection only. Our aspirations and goal is perfection in everything.

“There is more to life than eating, or fighting, or power in the Flock.”

We don’t live to eat. And fighting and striving with one another isn’t a purposeful living. There is a higher purpose for our living, beyond this temporary earthly life that each one must to discover, and pursue if one is to have a meaningful life, and achieve a glorious destiny. Applying this to us as human beings, we must live each day with that sense of a glorious destiny and perfection in heaven. For we are not just bones and flesh, but spiritual beings with intelligence and creativity, whose souls will live on beyond this material world.

‘To fly as fast as you think, to anywhere that is, you must begin by acknowledging that you have already arrived.”

After you figure out your desired end, where you want to be in life, it is important to “begin with the end in mind” as my teacher quoted one time during a teaching session. In other words, I must Live, walk, talk as if I have arrived there, or achieved my goal. My mind or thoughts must be at the end results or outcome. I must be outcome focused when pursuing a goal. This attitude will defeat negative and discouraging thoughts that come along the way through the multiple challenges 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?

I only want to know the styles of writing of this literature for personal benefit and improving my work in the future. I am not a trained professional in literature. I would be happy to know more about literature types and writing styles.

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 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.

Yes, in the middle of the book comes the idea of heaven and Earth, and comparison of life in the two worlds. I would like to appreciate that the idea gives humanity hope especially those who believe in the existence of the Almighty God who is believed to be source of creation, and the beginning of all things, the perfect one, the architect of the universe and maker there of, who also made human beings in His image and co- creator with Him. Definitely, it doesn’t have to be religious in this context, but universally, it makes sense to the majority of human populations of various religions.

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? 9
C. How easy was it to understand? 7
D. Would you recommend it to others? 10
E. What is the overall rating you would give it? 9

Keys to Success
Assessment by Okot Stephen (Uganda)

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

Napoleon Hill offered several key ideas in his book “Keys to Success.” His main idea is that anybody can become a success. However, success seldom arrives on a plate. One must cultivate the power of a positive mindset and unwavering persistence in the quest for success. Success is achieved by those who are aware of the universal laws and principles which I can summarize as the power of a positive mindset and unwavering persistence. The author emphasizes the significance of adherence to the application of these laws to shape behaviors and practices, and establish a clear and definite purpose, as well as the determination to achieve success regardless of obstacles that come on the way. Hill highlights the importance of cultivating a positive mental attitude, faith in oneself, and persistence in the midst of challenges to attain success. The author stresses the idea that our thoughts patterns and beliefs shape our reality, and by harnessing the power of our minds, we can achieve extraordinary things in life. To increase and maintain success, one must adhere to a high level of self-discipline, and overcome fear, ignorance, lack of self-determination and confidence. One must be dedicated to his/her definiteness of purpose and strategic goals, keeping his/her faith high, act and maintaining an attractive personality.

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.

The seven important ideas which I found relevant to my life, both in personal development and business realms are listed and explained after each hereunder.

i. Definiteness of Purpose

Hill emphasizes the importance of definiteness of purpose as the first and starting point for all success achievers. Definiteness of purpose includes the ability to see “the big picture”, that is vision of a better future. The idea helps define personal goals and the strategy for reaching those goals. Over the years until this year (2023), I struggled to develop my purpose and mission in life. I have finally discovered that I am called to maximize my talents and gifts to serve, lead and raise others in order to improve and impact society, and help create a better world for all. Thus, I now have a definite purpose and clear goals to guide my efforts in decisions and actions that would shape the future and achieve my vision of a better world for all.

ii. Creating personal initiative.

The significance of having a personal initiative to facilitate the realization of my goals caught my attention. For the last five years, I have been considering establishing an initiative in the form of a non-profit humanitarian and development organization that would be community based. As of now, I have achieved one step towards my goals by establishing a nonprofit community-based Organization through which I shall be implementing a number of initiatives aimed at addressing human and environmental challenges that impede achievements of sustainable development. The organization is named “Stewards of Earth Treasure (SET) Foundation Uganda. The Organization’s mission is to empower communities to fight and transcend poverty, defend their human rights and entitlements, and promote sustainable community driven development, and care for our environment. Some of the initiatives that will be implemented to achieve our purpose and goals include; awareness creation, value based life skills, education and skills based training, mentoring and coaching the youth and other vulnerable people to become productive members of the community, advocacy and civic engagements, health, climate actions and health initiatives, sustainable practices and working in partnership with other individuals and organizations. (I shall be sharing more about my Organization in a separate submission or testimony).

iii. Developing a Positive Mental Attitude (PMA)

Cultivating a positive mindset in the face of challenges is crucial. PMA is composed of positive characteristics that one is able to maintain in a given situation such as; affirmative expressions like; Faith, integrity, optimism, smiling face, expressing hopefulness, kindness, tolerance, perseverance, etcetera. PMA is the opposite of negative mental attitude (NMA). NMA makes us enemies within ourselves and without (including with our alliance). From my own experience, I have seen how NMA corrupts the minds and good works of many would be great achievers. Indeed, our mental attitude (positive or negative) is usually noticed in our facial and other emotional expressions in the face of negative circumstances.

When I recently registered my Organization, I was worried about the many challenges especially mobilizing funds since we are a new entity and unable to meet most of the funding eligibility requirements; but I kept on speaking affirmative words of success, remained optimistic, and always confessed positively about the achievements of our vision, and that we see ourselves growing by leaps and bounds in the coming; 12 months, 3-5 years, and so on. As a result of speaking positively and hopefully, some friends from within have joined me as members. Recently when I spoke about our being visible on the internet, one of the members gave us support towards the development of the Organization’s website, and a few others have promised support for office space for a few months. These are encouraging signs and confirmation that the author’s ideas in this book really works for any determined achiever, in whatever venture. I am now so much encouraged and have hope and confidence that the organization’s initiative will be funded as we uphold PMA and keep speaking about its works.

iv. Overcoming fear.

Fear brings limitations and hinders success. I have learned that from Napoleon that numerous setbacks and failures can bring horrible fear that discourages us from going forward or making alternative decisions. In the year 2021, I enrolled for my Bachelor’s degree. When my job contract ended abruptly the same year due to lack of funds to run the entity, I had no money to continue with my study. I was deeply upset and full of fear as getting a new job wasn’t an easy thing. My fear increased after three job applications didn’t yield any fruit. I spent the whole of 2022 without a job, until at the beginning of 2023 when I realized I got something to do. In the meantime, I decided to overcome my fear by accepting my past, but refusing the past to control my destiny. I took a bold step to start an Organization with the experience I have had both working and volunteering with nonprofit Organizations. I resolved that if others can do it, I can too. With this firm resolution, I have built resilience to face the future. I have learned that mistakes and failure are part of the success journey, and that I can choose to learn from mistakes and use them as stepping stones towards greater success.

v. Going the extra mile.

It means, being willing to make a special effort to do or achieve something, or to make more effort than is expected of you. It is said that every laborer is worthy of a reward. To me, it means, rewards or compensation come in return for the deeds or accomplishments. So, I put in more effort to achieve greater than expected of me. I put effort to surpass the expectation of my bosses or superior. Most employees simply complete a task efficiently and accurately as per their assignment and stop at that level. I have learned from this concept that taking that extra step can make all the difference, and earn benefits, especially in the long run. This includes; recognition, reputation, promotion, job security, financial and material rewards and wealth.

vi. Adaptability and Flexibility

Napoleon was known for his adaptability on the battlefield, changing strategies based on circumstances. As a result, he was able to see opportunities and possibilities through the changing circumstances. His eyes were opened up to new ideas, and opportunities to capitalize on despite the challenging conditions.

vii. Self-Discipline

Napoleon emphasizes the importance of self-control and discipline. He emphasizes the enforcement of self-discipline by controlling our emotions, appetites, and desires. Self-discipline also include: time management, keeping a positive outlook, and private victory. This captivated my attention as I reflect on the many benefits that come with it. I do appreciate the idea of adhering to a strict work schedule in the midst of distractions as this demonstrates this principle.

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 principles from Napoleon Hill’s “Keys to Success” offer practical guidance that can influence my life towards a more positive, purpose-driven, and impactful society and to contribute toward making a better world. These include the following ideas or lessons;

Having a definite purpose will help me in making clear decisions that align with my personal goal and objectives. Having a definite purpose will provide directions about what I want to achieve, and establish the steps I need to take to achieve it (that is, the plan). This will further help in setting my priorities, efficient resource allocation, and effective time management, resulting in successful execution of the set activities and achievements of my goal and purpose.

Creating personal initiative is key to nurturing my hidden talents and reaching my full potential as it helps focus my attention, resources and energies in developing my vision or dreams and talent to bring out the best in me for the benefits of humanity and the society and the world at large.

Positive mental attitude (PMA). This will keep me powered in all circumstances. Having the right mindset or the habit of positive thinking is a prerequisite. Positive thinking is a mental attitude that admits into the mind thoughts, words and images that are conducive to growth, expansion and success. It is a mental attitude that expects good and favorable results. A positive mind anticipates happiness, joy, health and a successful outcome of every situation and action.

Going the extra miles: The concept motivates me to take that extra step including the opportunity to exploit my talents and innovate on current strategies which improves my professional skills and expertise, hence the quality of work/services. Going the extra miles also earn benefits, especially in the long run such as; recognition, reputation, promotion, job security, financial and material rewards and wealth among others.

Pleasing personality: This can include being friendly, courteous, empathetic, and kind towards others. A pleasing personality involves having a positive attitude, and being able to communicate effectively. This is an amazing attribute that I fully embrace as it is pleasing personality that can make others feel comfortable and valued in my presence.

Adaptability and Flexibility: The idea will help me adjust my strategies and lifestyles according to dynamics of the environment. It helps me to prepare in advance, including contingency plan in place. With this concept, I feel a deep sense of relief from fear of the future. I won’t be scared of the tomorrow I have learned the importance of making necessary plans to handle it, whether in business or employment.

Volunteerism, giving back to the community, supporting the less privilege thereby making contribution toward creating a better World: This is at the heart of my vision. Whatever I do I see to it that my fruit, my values and my talent benefit others in a way. Individuals applying these principles may contribute to societal improvement by fostering a culture of positivity, innovation, and resilience. They might initiate projects, businesses, or community efforts aimed at solving problems or uplifting 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.

Napoleon Hill’s “Keys to Success” is filled with insightful and impactful quotes that got my attention. Here are a few notable ones and my comments on each:

“Study anyone who has achieved lasting success and you will find that each one has had a definite major purpose.”

This quote highlights one common characteristic of people who achieve lasting success, that is, they have a definite purpose. This is so important to me as it motivates me to create a clear and specific goal and objectives aligning them with my purpose. Without a clear goal, one is likely to get sidetracked and lose focus.

“There are two types of people who amount to nothing: those who cannot do what they are told to do, and those who can do nothing else.”

This statement implies that people who do not follow instructions and those who lack initiative are unlikely to achieve success. Hill believed that success comes from a combination of factors, including a positive mental attitude, a clear sense of purpose, and the ability to work well with others. He also emphasized the importance of taking action and learning from failures. In summary, Hill’s statement suggests that success requires a proactive approach and a willingness to learn from mistakes.

“We show our clients what he wouldn’t have thought. He gets the credit. We get paid.”

The statement implies creating innovative and effective marketing campaigns that exceed the client’s expectations. The client is then able to take credit for the success of the campaign, while the agency is paid for the exceptionally high-quality work. In short, the quote emphasizes the importance of delivering high-quality work that meets the client’s needs and exceeds their expectations.

“When a task is completed, examine it. Is it worth it? Is it the best job you could have done?”

To me this suggests that it is important to reflect on one’s work and evaluate its quality. It important to monitor whether the work is progressing as planned (goal/objectives) or If there are deviations so as to take necessary actions to correct such deviations. This also provides opportunity to learn from failures and improve on my performance. By examining my work, I will be able to identify areas for improvement and strive for excellence. In sum, this quote highlights the importance of self-reflection and continuous learning in achieving success.

“The starting point of all achievement is desire.”

This statement emphasizes the importance of having a strong desire for success. To me this will motivate me to set worthy goal for my initiatives and therefore have the motivation to work hard and smart towards its achievement. Without a burning desire, there may be no motivation to take the necessary steps to achieve success.

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

There are some certain concepts that I find challenging or unclear based on their interpretation. Here are some of points that could be considered hard or unclear by some:
“Thoughts are things.”

While the author emphasizes the power of thoughts in shaping one’s reality, I find it difficult to grasp the direct correlation between thoughts and tangible outcomes without a clear explanation of the mechanisms involved.

“Definite purpose, backed by a burning desire for its fulfillment, is the starting point of all achievement.”

While the importance of a clear goal is stressed, I find the intensity of the “burning desire” challenging to quantify or achieve for myself. Also, some desires may be burning but vague, and cannot produce meaningful outcomes.

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.

While Napoleon Hill’s book provides timeless principles of success, supplementing it with contemporary resources, case studies or examples from recent successful individuals or businesses can enhance its relevance and applicability in today’s context.

Napoleon Hill’s book avoided so much of religious or cultural biasedness which enhances the universality of its application, that is the book fits into all social, and cultural contexts of all people in the world. In sum, these principles intersect with various cultural backgrounds and diverse perspectives which provide a more inclusive understanding of personal development and success.

In today’s rapidly evolving technological landscape, discussing how technological advancements impact personal development strategies, productivity, and goal achievement can be beneficial.

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? 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? (38/4 average) 9.5

Psycho Cybernetics
Assessment by Okot Stephen (Uganda)

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

The book “PsychoCybernetics” by Maxwell Maltz is about self-image and its profound impact on a person’s life. The author explores the connection between our self-image and our ability to achieve success and happiness in life. The author starts with the concept that everyone has a specific mental picture about who he or she is and what he or she believes in. That mental picture is the result of our past experiences, successes or failures, feelings and behaviors. As a result, this image represents a foundation on which we build our personality. The author asserts that we are our best or worst based on the personality we display when we meet people for the first time (first impression).

Maltz emphasizes that our self-image is the cornerstone of our mental state, and therefore of all the successes and failures that happen in our lives as a result. The book highlights the importance of altering our self-image, so as to change our behavior and achieve our goals. The book further suggests practical techniques to reprogram our self-image including; visualization, mental rehearsal, positive affirmations, and constructive imagination. That by consciously shaping and improving our self-image, we can unlock our full potential, overcome self-limiting beliefs, and achieve greater success, prosperity, and happiness in life.

2. What are the seven ideas which are personally most important 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.

Here are seven ideas that have been personally significant to me, along with explanations of their importance based on my experiences:

i. That our self-image shapes our actions, thoughts, and ultimately achievements created in me an inner awareness of self-image as an important success ingredient and a determinant of one’s success or failure and unhappiness in life.

My self-image has been that of self-limiting, when I look within myself, considering my level of academic qualification in comparison to others out there, my family background, and having little faith in self. Though many people see potential in me, there have been times when I projected negative self-image due to my self-limiting feelings when I considered many limiting factors including my level of education, my background, and so on. This has opened my eyes to see the need to reprogram my self-image that can improve self-confidence and my performance.

ii. Visualization.

To visualize is to hold a mental picture of what I want day and night, and believe in what I see in my mind’s eyes until it becomes a reality in my life. This is another profound concept and a technique of improving my self-image, and staying on course by focusing on what I want to achieve, that is my goals.

iii. The Growth Mindset as opposed to a fixed mindset is an amazing discovery.

I began to realize that there is more out of life than I previously thought, and that my abilities and intelligence can be developed, and that my mindset and mental capacity can grow to see and achieve bigger things in life. I also discovered that problems can be turned into opportunities to develop my mental capacity by practicing problem solving techniques. A few years ago, when I encountered setbacks and could not continue my second-year University degree program due to financial difficulty, I decided not to give up but to hope for future opportunities (I painted a mental picture of a successful future). Anyhow I was practicing a growth mindset strategy despite my set back. I still saw in my mind’s eye a better future. But better even now with this transformative book, I see things differently. I am a success. I believe with or without an academic degree, I can attain extraordinary success and happiness in life by applying this knowledge in my everyday life. Nevertheless, regarding academic qualifications, a year later, I got a bursary to enroll for the same program at a National Diploma level, which again turned out to be the preferred qualification by most companies and Organizations in my region. I was further trained and thereafter received my appointment as the project officer and overall team leader with the responsibility to supervise other employees with higher academic qualifications (degree and post graduate diplomas) than mine. I held this position and performed very successfully until the contract ended as per the duration of the project. This book has reawakened my experience, and from here going forward I shall work toward a consistent positive self-image.

iv. Meditation and Practicing Mindfulness

Mindfulness is the inner ability to be fully present in the moment, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us. Mindfulness helps reduce stress and enhances focus. Through meditation and mindfulness practices, I can manage anxiety and improve my emotional health and overall well-being. From my life example, I realize this is natural, something that we all practice. In times of high stress, I take a moment to breathe and center myself for a while. This has been helpful in regaining calmness and a peaceful mind.

v. Emotional Intelligence

Understanding emotions, both mine and others’, has been crucial in personal and professional relationships. I recently attended a life skills training and one of the sessions was about managing emotions, though the training was not elaborate on emotional intelligence. Through this book, I learned that developing emotional intelligence helps me to navigate conflicts more effectively, empathize with colleagues or workmates, and build stronger connections. Learning to control reactions in heated situations also foster better communication and team collaboration.

vi. How to awaken the automatic success mechanism within you.

The author emphasizes that as humans, we’re all born with an innate creative mechanism in ourselves, and although we often decide to ignore it to the benefit of the conscious part of our brain, it remains there. I was enlightened to discover that each one of us has a built-in Success Mechanism and once we are awakened to it can steer our efforts toward a goal already in existence or it can help discover something already in existence. According to the author, imagination is the first key to success. In chapter three the author emphasizes that our imagination can either work for us or against us, depending on the images we create in our minds.

vii. Being true to yourself and Self-Acceptance

Embracing my true self and accepting myself has been self-liberating. I used to have little faith in myself, I was outward looking, always wished to be someone else that I admire out there. But through this book I have learned that being true to myself and self-acceptance irrespective of my current circumstances is key to self-deliverance and the beginning of self-discovery of the unique talent and gift which I fully exploited can contribute to a better world. I began to discover that God (The Creator and sustainer of all things) gave me special talents, gifts and ability to bring into the world something for the benefit of all. This applies to every human being born into this world. By accepting my true self as I am, and focusing on my mission or life purpose, I can achieve extraordinary success, and happiness in life.

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 and lessons hold immense practical value in my daily life and contribute to creating a better world in several ways:

Visualizations: Aware that our mind is the most valuable asset we have, I am encouraged to vividly visualize my desired outcomes. I shall practice visualization exercises by engaging all my senses to make my mental imagery as real as possible. This practice will help reshape my self-image and create a strong connection between my mental and physical realms.

Affirmations: I shall hold to affirmative thoughts and practice affirmation regardless of my present circumstances. This will help change the inner thoughts and hence the corresponding external conditions in my life and environment. I shall practice realignment of my thought patterns with my good desired goal that I want to achieve. In this way I shall be able to counteract all negative self-talk that crops up in my mind. By consistently repeating these affirmations, I shall overwrite self-limiting beliefs with empowering thoughts.

Achieving goals and purpose in life. By writing down specific goals on index cards and reviewing them daily was a practice suggested by Maltz. This technique served as a consistent reminder of one’s aspirations and helped maintain focus

Problem solving: Empowered by the fact that there is no problem on the surface of this Earth that does not have a solution, I shall practice the problem-solving techniques introduced by Maltz to solve both personal and societal problems. This will contribute to a peaceful coexistence, prosperity and a better world. For example; by putting the problems in writing, sorting them out, and reducing it into a single problem, I can develop an effective strategy of dealing with the problem by offering practical solutions that will expel the problem at hand. Whatever solutions are offered in a given circumstance, there is need to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the problems, that is how the prescribed solution is working, such that if there is need to change the strategy or the solutions itself, a review can be carried out and a better solution tested and implemented. This will help gain better skills and expertise that contribute to solving the world’s ever emerging or pressing problems.

Improve Personal Well-being: Embracing a growth mindset, practicing mindfulness, and nurturing emotional intelligence significantly impact my daily life. They help me handle stress better, stay focused on tasks, and maintain healthier relationships. By prioritizing my well-being, I can approach challenges with resilience and a positive attitude.

Improved Relationships: Emotional intelligence, authenticity, and gratitude play pivotal roles in my interactions with others. Understanding emotions and being authentic in my connections with people’s emotions will foster trust and deeper relationships. Expressing gratitude enhances these connections by creating a more positive atmosphere and strengthening bonds.

Problem-Solving and Innovation: These principles encourage a mindset geared towards creative problem-solving and innovation. Embracing a growth mindset and continuous learning allows for the exploration of novel solutions to complex issues, contributing to progress and advancement in various fields.

Contributing to a better world: All the ideas in this book can make me a high performer and an effective and influential leader, influencing my interactions and ability to contribute to a more empathetic, resilient, and progressive society, and ultimately a better world.

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.

“To the degree that we delay the gift of life, we embrace death.”

This quote deeply captivated my attention. To me this means that if we ignore or delay to act after knowing what to do to improve our life and position ourselves on the side of success, happiness and life; we will automatically be on the side of failure, experiencing unpleasant things like suffering from anxiety, fear, self-condemnation, and self-hate. We literally choke off the life force available and end in death.

“Your nervous system cannot tell the difference between a real experience and one that is vividly imagined.”

Many times, I acted directly in response to what my nervous system tells me believing it’s the reality, which is not always the case. It can be misleading and one ends up a failure by following a false mental image. By practicing visualization, one can change his/her self-image by forming a clear mental picture of how to perform and how successful you’ll feel. This is an important exercise to me as it can improve my skills and desired outcomes.

“Accept yourself as you are. Otherwise, you will never see opportunity.”

This statement rightly caught my attention as it speaks to the idea that embracing ourselves-our strengths and weaknesses opens the door to growth. This is so encouraging and helps me overcome self-criticism and blame. It’s okay to acknowledge my imperfections while striving for improvement and reaching my potential. The quote reminds me that self-acceptance isn’t about complacency but about acknowledging where I am in my journey and so offers me courage to move forward.

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 concept of self-image. While the book emphasizes the importance of shaping one’s self-image for personal growth, some individuals might question the extent of its influence over outcomes. While self-perception undoubtedly affects actions and behaviors, there are a number of external factors such as; societal structures and gender stereotypes that might also significantly impact one’s journey to success and happiness.

Some of the terminologies used here like PsychoCybernetics, success mechanism, happiness equilibrium, are too scientific or philosophical which might not fully resonate with everyone or might be challenging to apply practically without a deeper understanding of psychology. I would suggest a version of the book “Study edition” which provides explanation sections or glossaries to simplify the terminology and make it reader friendly.

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, the book includes various exercises and techniques for readers to practice and apply the book’s principle for example; visualization, affirmation, and self-reflection.

I practiced Visualization by engaging my senses to make the mental picture as real as possible. I did this with the purpose of reshaping my self-image. It worked very well for me.

I also practiced affirmations especially when negative thoughts were cropping up in my mind. This is another powerful tool for changing your inner self. There is also a positive corresponding result. Good things and people get attracted to you when you embrace positive mental self-image.

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.

The book adequately covered the intended subject. The book changed my life. I am wondering why such timeless, life changing books like this are not included in the academic curriculum of colleges and Universities, even just references. My appreciation to IIGL, the only school that has offered me the best for free.

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? (39/4 average) 9.75

How to Win Friends and Influence People
Assessment by Okot Stephen (Uganda)

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

The book, “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie offers timeless advice for improving interpersonal relationships. The main idea that the author is trying to convey is that success in personal and professional life comes from understanding and effectively working with people. Carnegie emphasizes the importance of building relationships, showing genuine interest in others, and treating them with respect and kindness. He provides practical advice on how to improve communication and social skills, including techniques for influencing and persuading others. The book encourages readers to adopt a positive attitude and to be proactive in creating meaningful connections, leading to personal happiness and success. Implementing these principles can lead to more fulfilling personal and professional connections, fostering mutual respect and cooperation.

2. What are the seven ideas which are personally most important in this book 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. Avoid criticizing, condemning, or complaining.

This idea emphasizes the importance of avoiding criticism and negative attitude. By focusing on solutions instead of complaints, we can create a more positive environment and foster better relationships. The idea resonates with my professional experience in organizations where we deal with interpersonal issues including conflicts. Avoiding criticizing, condemning or complaining is therefore, important because it improves communication and prevents unnecessary conflicts. Embracing this principle encourages a mindset shift towards constructive communication and positive behavior, compassion, and problem-solving. Focusing on constructive communication and solutions-oriented thinking can cultivate healthier relationships, foster collaboration, and create a more positive and productive environment in both personal and professional settings.

ii. Give honest and sincere appreciation

Showing genuine appreciation can enhance relationships and create a positive atmosphere. In the world of work, one of the most powerful ways that we can impact people is through praise and appreciation. When a senior or a colleague shows appreciation, it can ignite enthusiasm, build confidence, or empower the employee to take the next step in their career, leading to improved performance. In most cases, employees feel better, are happier and the risk of depression is also reduced. Another factor why employee appreciation is so important is that it enhances workforce loyalty to the company. Turnover or absenteeism is also rarer, which is an advantage for the organization. Thus, honesty and appreciation are a must-have in a healthy work environment.

iii. Become genuinely interested in other people

Becoming genuinely interested in other people is significant because it promotes empathy, trust, and connection. By actively listening and showing genuine interest in others, we can establish stronger connections and enrich our relationship with others. As someone who enjoys listening and learning from others, I find this a vital principle that enhances understanding of others’ perspectives, needs, and aspirations, fostering empathy and trust.

iv. Smile

“Smile” captures the power of a simple yet impactful gesture that can influence both our interactions with others and our own emotional well-being. I used to smile less until I learned that smiling is a natural drug that comes with numerous health benefits such as elevating my mood, relaxing my body and reducing physical pain. The idea of “Smile” is therefore significant because it cultivates an approachable mood and positive expressions, a well enhancing both our interactions with others and our own emotional well-being. A simple smile has the power to brighten someone’s day, forge meaningful connections, and contribute to a more harmonious and fulfilling life.

v. Talk in terms of the other person’s interests

The idea emphasizes the importance of considering the perspectives, desires, and concerns of others when communicating. By understanding and addressing the interests and concerns of others, we can communicate effectively and establish rapport. The idea resonates with a beautiful verse in the Holy Book (Bible) which says, “Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.” The idea is crucial for building connections and forming mutually beneficial relationships based on shared interests and goals. Tailoring our communication to align with others’ interests makes our interactions more engaging. This helps in building rapport and ensures that your messages are received more positively. By understanding and addressing the interests and concerns of others, we can create meaningful connections based on shared understanding, respect, and collaboration.

vi. “Avoid arguing”

Avoiding arguing is important because it promotes open-mindedness, understanding, and respectful communication. Engaging in arguments rarely leads to positive outcomes. I have witnessed that arguments often escalate tensions and heighten conflicts. By avoiding arguments, we can preserve relationships and focus on finding common ground. This idea is important as it promotes open-mindedness, understanding, and respectful communication.

vii. Begin in a friendly way

Starting interactions in a friendly manner sets a positive tone and helps establish a solid foundation. A friendly approach signals respect, openness, and willingness to collaborate. This idea is significant because it sets a positive tone, establishes a solid foundation for the relationship, signals openness and willingness to collaborate, and fosters goodwill and exchange of ideas. By starting interactions with warmth, respect, and openness, we create opportunities for meaningful connections and productive collaborations with others. At a personal level, I have experienced numerous benefits of this principle including; both physical and mental benefits, including increased intellectual ability, good mental health, improved communication skills, and improved health.
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 and lessons from this book will help me in numerous practical ways both in my daily personal life and in creating a better world. Here’s how:

Building meaningful relationships: Carnegie emphasizes the importance of showing genuine interest in others, listening actively, and making them feel important. I shall integrate these principles in my daily life, family and other social interactions. By implementing these principles, I shall be able to create stronger personal connections, foster harmonious relationships, and improve my social interactions. To help me contribute to creating a better world, I plan to utilize available platforms or forum such as seminars, and conferences, or establish an engaging initiative through which to pass this knowledge to others to improve their relationships.

Effective communication skills: The book stresses the significance of clear and genuine communication. By mastering the art of empathy, understanding others’ perspectives, and expressing ourselves with clarity and respect, we can enhance our communication skills. This principle will not only help me in personal relationships but also in professional interactions, leading to better collaborations and cooperation. As a practicing manager, I find this idea significant as it is important to be clear on what I want to achieve as I lead my team, and what is expected of my team members. Overall, by expressing myself clearly and listening actively to others, I can make positive and impactful presentations, engage meaningfully, and improve people’s behaviors, practices and productivity in the organization, community and the wider society.

Effective Leadership: The ideas will enhance my leadership skills and performance, and help create a positive impact on those I lead. By prioritizing the needs of others, inspiring and motivating them, creating a positive work environment, and building strong relationships, I hope to cultivate a culture of excellence and drive organizational success. By inspiring others through exemplary life, and by empowering others, I hope to raise many emboldened and servant leaders at various levels of society. This helps me create a better world by personally being exemplary and by improving leadership performance.

Resolving conflicts peacefully: The ideas in this book provide strategies to handle conflicts that are nonviolent and diplomatic, focusing on finding solutions rather than escalating the situation. By applying these principles, I can navigate conflicts effectively, defuse tense situations, and contribute to a more peaceful and harmonious environment both in personal relationships and broader society.

Promoting compassion and inclusivity: This knowledge gained will be applied in my daily life by treating others with kindness, respect, and understanding to foster a culture of compassion and inclusivity. When individuals feel valued and respected, regardless of their background or differences, it promotes a sense of belonging and acceptance. This will contribute to a more cohesive and supportive society where everyone feels valued and included.

Inspiring positive change: The skills learned in this book will be leveraged to inspire positive change at various levels. I plan to create initiatives that engage people at all levels of society to embrace positive change. By influencing others with sincerity, integrity, and empathy, collective action can be mobilized towards addressing societal challenges and advancing causes that promote equality, justice, and human rights. This will lead to meaningful and sustainable change that benefits communities and societies as a whole.

Multiple-level engagements and Advocacy: (Personal, community, and global impact): I hope to apply these principles at multiple levels, from personal interactions to community engagement and global advocacy. By embodying values such as kindness, respect, and understanding in daily personal life and engaging audiences, I can create ripple effects that extend beyond myself and contribute to positive change on a larger scale. Whether through acts of kindness towards individuals, community initiatives that promote inclusivity and social justice, or global advocacy efforts for human rights and environmental sustainability, this idea gives me the power to make a difference in individual life and helps in creating a better world.

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

“By criticizing, we do not make lasting changes and often incur resentment.”

The statement emphasizes that criticism typically fails to produce lasting changes and often results in resentment. Criticism alone rarely leads to lasting changes in behavior or attitudes. Overall, the statement highlights the limitations and potential negative consequences of criticism as a means of motivating change. Instead of resorting to criticism, it suggests that more constructive approaches, such as offering feedback, providing support, and fostering open dialogue, may be more effective in promoting lasting changes and maintaining positive relationships.

“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.”

The quote suggests that human behavior is primarily driven by emotions rather than logic. While logical reasoning has its place, emotions often play a more significant role in shaping people’s attitudes, decisions, and actions. Understanding and acknowledging the emotional aspect of interactions can help navigate relationships more effectively. People often hold preconceived notions or biases based on their experiences, upbringing, and cultural background. These prejudices can influence their perceptions and behavior towards others. Recognizing and addressing these prejudices is essential for fostering understanding and promoting positive interactions.

“A great man shows his greatness.”

This quote by Thomas Carlyle encapsulates the idea that the true measure of greatness lies not in how a person treats those of higher status or importance, but rather in how they treat those who are perceived as lesser or of lower status. Carlyle’s quote emphasizes the importance of humility, empathy, and fairness in determining true greatness. It suggests that the way we treat those who may be considered “lesser” in society is a true reflection of our character and values. By showing kindness, respect, and empathy towards others, especially those who may be marginalized or overlooked, we can embody the essence of true greatness.

“God himself, sir, does not propose to judge man until the end of his days.”
This quote attributed to Dr. Johnson reflects the idea that ultimate judgment of human beings is reserved for a higher power and will occur at the end of their lives. The quote suggests that God, as the ultimate arbiter of morality and justice, reserves the right to judge humanity. The quote emphasizes the importance of humility, faith, and the belief in a higher power in understanding the nature of judgment and accountability in human existence. It invites reflection on the limitations of human judgment and the significance of spiritual beliefs in guiding moral behavior and personal ethics.

“The desire for a feeling of importance is one of the chief distinguishing differences between mankind and the animals.”

This underscores the significance of the desire for importance as a distinguishing trait between humans and animals. The quote underscores the profound significance of the desire for importance in shaping human behavior, relationships, and society. It highlights the complexity of human nature and the pursuit of significance as a fundamental aspect of the human experience.

“The world is full of people who are grabbing and self-seeking. People who can put themselves in the place of other people who can understand the workings of their minds, need never worry about what the future has in store for them.”

This quote highlights the significant advantage that individuals who selflessly serve others have in a world where self-interest often prevails. The quote suggests that individuals who prioritize serving others over personal gain have a distinct advantage in the world. While many people are focused on their own interests and success, those who unselfishly serve others stand out and have little competition in their endeavors. In a world where self-interest is prevalent, acts of genuine selflessness are relatively rare. This rarity gives individuals who prioritize serving others a unique advantage, as they distinguish themselves from the crowd and earn the trust and respect of others. By empathizing with others and understanding their needs and desires, individuals can position themselves for success and fulfillment in their personal and professional lives.

“Most people go through college and learn to read Virgil and master the mysteries of calculus without ever discovering how their own minds function.”

This illustrates how many people may go through formal education without developing a deep understanding of their own minds or effective communication skills. The statement highlights the importance of developing effective communication skills and self-awareness. By understanding how their own minds function and learning persuasive techniques, individuals can enhance their ability to communicate effectively and influence others in various contexts.
Overall, the passage underscores the need for individuals to develop self-awareness and effective communication skills alongside traditional academic knowledge. It serves as a reminder of the importance of understanding one’s own mind and mastering the art of persuasion in both personal and professional settings.

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?

To me the book has proven to be a valuable resource for improving my social interactions and communication skills, though there are a few issues/concerns, The book offers a one-size-fits-all approach to interpersonal skills. People have diverse personalities and preferences, so what works for one person may not work for another. For example, negative emotions are healthy at times and necessary to convey a person’s feelings or release stress and anxiety. The book lacks flexibility in accommodating different communication styles and individual differences.

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, the book does contain exercises for the reader to complete. The exercises are designed to help readers apply the principles discussed in the book to their own lives and interactions with others. I have practiced some of the exercises and found very helpful in improving my interpersonal skills and communication abilities. I hope to actively practice and integrate the concepts into my daily interactions.

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

None.

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

A. How interesting was it to read? 10
B. How helpful were the contents? 10
C. How easy was it to understand? 9
D. Would you recommend it to others? 10
E. What is the overall rating you would give it? 9.75

Success through a Positive Attitude
Assessment by Okot Stephen (Uganda)

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

The book “Success through a Positive Mental Attitude” by Napoleon Hill and W. Clement Stone emphasizes the power of one’s mindset in achieving success. According to the author, a Positive Mental Attitude (PMA) is simply the right attitude. It often encompasses the “Plus” characteristics symbolized by such positive Words as; Faith, hope, courage, kindness, tolerance, goodness, commonsense, and integrity etcetera. Negative Mental Attitude (NMA) on the other hand is the opposite of PMA and characterized by negative words such as; doubt, hatred, pessimism, anger, worthlessness, and other self-defeating talk among others.

The main idea conveyed in the book is about how a positive mental attitude can significantly impact one’s life and outcomes. The authors argue that by maintaining a positive attitude, individuals can overcome challenges, attract success, and create opportunities. The book highlights the importance of belief in oneself, the ability to visualize goals, and the determination to persevere despite obstacles. Overall, the book emphasizes that a positive mental attitude is a fundamental key to achieving success in various aspects of life.

2. What are the seven ideas which are personally most important in this book 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. Power of Belief

This idea highlights the significance of believing in oneself and one’s abilities. Personally, having confidence and faith in my capabilities can significantly impact my decisions and actions. I’ve heard and seen many individuals achieve incredible accomplishments by simply believing in themselves. This book equally gives examples of people who embraced faith in themselves and used it to turn their negative circumstances into possibilities and opportunities, and achieved great success in life.

I initially had doubts about my skills and capabilities, always seeing myself from the negative mental attitude as inadequate and unable to achieve great success. After reading this book, things began to change for the better. I have now embraced the PMA concept and can see things differently. It demonstrates the immense power of belief in fostering my growth and success as I maintain a positive mental attitude.

ii. Mindset and Perspective

Our mindset encompasses the way we perceive and interpret the world, including our abilities, intelligence, potential for growth, and possibilities for success. I used to operate on a narrow and fixed mindset, especially when faced with challenging circumstances, and this limited my perspective for years. By reading this book, I have learned the importance of maintaining a positive mindset even in difficult situations. This idea is shaping my experiences and outcomes. I’ve learned from the book how individuals who approach obstacles with a positive attitude often find creative solutions or opportunities within those challenges. This principle has been crucial in helping me navigate setbacks and make efforts to turn them into stepping stones for growth.

iii. God is not the cause of poverty, but our lack of strong desire for riches is.

Contrary to popular blame that people cast on God for their poverty, the authors explain that If you are poor, it is not because of God but because you never developed the desire to become rich and failed to work with commitment for it. This is what happens when one is possessed with Negative Mental Attitude (NMA) – blame others, and God for their circumstances which are wrong. In my religious text (The Bible, God’s Word), Jesus said; “Therefore, I say unto you, whatsoever things you desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and you shall have them.” There must be a desire for success backed up with prayer of faith. I now appreciate the fact that God, the Creator, made each one of us unique and with abilities to succeed. This is true. We have to be positive in thoughts and words for success to be realized. I am now embarked on practicing a positive mental attitude to achieve big goals. I shall keep trying again and never give up, learning and improving every day until I achieve great success.

iv. The power of prayer.

In this book Napoleon Hill acknowledges the concept of prayer and its significance as a tool for achieving success. Hill states that prayer is a form of communication with the Infinite Intelligence or God, and by praying, individuals can tap into the unlimited power and wisdom of the universe. This concept resonates with Biblical teaching and belief to which I subscribe. Prayer is mentioned over 650 times in the Bible, emphasizing its importance. In the Bible, Jesus told his disciples a story to show that they should always pray and never give up. “Pray without ceasing.” “Don’t worry about snything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done”. Ultimately, prayer can be a powerful tool for achieving success, as it aligns individuals with higher forces (God), strengthens their mindset and faith, and helps them maintain a positive attitude throughout their journey.

v. Goal Setting

According to the book, the author emphasizes the importance of setting definite and clearly defined goals. Setting clear, achievable goals is crucial for success. This has been an area in my life that today I am focusing on. Setting specific goals and focusing on achieving them. I’ve seen from many examples how having specific goals can provide direction and motivation. In my interactions, people who set well-defined objectives tend to make consistent progress toward their aspirations and always achieve something remarkable.

vi. Adaptability and Resilience

According to Hill, individuals who are able to adapt to changing circumstances and bounce back from setbacks are more likely to achieve their goals. Life is full of uncertainties, and the ability to adapt and bounce back from setbacks is vital. I’ve observed from local examples how resilient individuals can turn failures into learning experiences and continue pursuing their goals, leading to great achievements. I have learned from this book that being adaptable allows me to navigate changes and challenges more effectively, leading to personal growth and success. By maintaining a positive mindset, I shall be better equipped to find solutions and adapt to new situations and achieve my goals.
vii. Surrounding myself with Positivity

Napoleon Hill believed that our thoughts and attitudes are greatly influenced by the people we surround ourselves with. Therefore, he suggests that being in the company of positive and uplifting individuals can help us maintain a positive mindset and overcome challenges more easily. This truly resonates with my experience as I have personally experienced this in life years back, as well seen how individuals who surround themselves with positivity often experience greater confidence and motivation to achieve their goals.

In conclusion, people with Positive mental attitude are more motivated and proactive when it comes to pursuing their goals. They maintain a growth mindset, believing that their abilities can be developed through dedication and effort. This mindset encourages them to take on challenges, learn from failures, and continuously improve, resulting in greater achievements. Individuals with Negative Mental Attitude, on the other hand, often have a fixed mindset, believing that their abilities are limited and cannot be changed. This mindset leads to a lack of effort, stagnation, and failure or limited accomplishments.

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 or lessons learned from this book will provide me with insights and techniques to cultivate a positive mindset in my journey towards success are discussed as follows:

Overcoming negativity: The lessons offer strategies to overcome negative thinking patterns and replace them with positive ones. This will improve my overall mental well-being and help me to handle challenges and setbacks more effectively.

Building resilience: Developing a positive mental attitude will enhance my resilience, allowing me to bounce back from failures and disappointments. With resilience, I shall be able to navigate personal difficulties and maintain a sense of hope and motivation to press on despite the circumstances at hand.

Enhancing relationships: A positive mindset will improve my relationships with others. By focusing on positive thoughts, cultivating gratitude, and practicing empathy, I hope to improve my communication skills, build stronger connections, and foster healthier relationships with my family, friends, and colleagues or associates.

Guiding Goal Setting: The lessons learned will guide me in setting clear goals and objectives that can help me navigate personal journeys with purpose. The ideas from this book will guide me to define and pursue achievable goals and foster a sense of direction and motivation, ultimately leading to greater satisfaction and accomplishment in my life.

In terms of creating a better world, the practical lessons from the book will prepare me to spread the message, as well work towards interactions a better society. Here’s how:
Spreading positivity: Having embraced the idea of a positive mental attitude, I can radiate positivity and inspire those around me. By being kind, supportive, and compassionate, I can contribute to a more positive and harmonious social environment.
Promoting change and innovation: I shall use my positive mindset to foster resilience, creativity, and optimism to take risks, pursue innovative ideas, and strive for positive changes in their community or professional field.

Inspiring others: By embodying the principles outlined in the book, I hope to become a role models for others; by inspiring friends, family members, or colleagues to adopt a positive mental attitude and create a domino effect of positivity and personal growth.

Building collaborative networks: I shall use the knowledge and experience gained from this book to encourage collaboration and cooperation with Individuals who cultivate this attitude to seek common ground, bridge differences, and work together towards shared goals, contributing to a more united and harmonious society. I hope to establish both physical and virtual network of likeminded individuals and entities locally and globally.

In conclusion, I shall use the ideas and lessons in this book to empower individuals to improve their personal lives by overcoming negativity, building resilience, enhancing relationships, and achieving their goals. Furthermore, these practical strategies will have a broader impact by promoting positivity, inspiring others, fostering innovation, and contributing to a better world.

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 learned: when I am faced with a problem that involves misunderstandings with other persons, I must first start with myself. When I examined my own mental attitude, I discovered that it was negative. My problem was really not with my wife after all it was with me! In solving my problem, I found that I no longer had one will her.”

This statement means that the person realized that they were facing a problem in their relationship, specifically due to misunderstandings with their spouse (wife). However, upon self-reflection, they discovered that the root cause of the problem was their own negative mindset or attitude. By addressing and changing their own perspective, they were able to resolve the issue and no longer had any conflict with their wife. This is how a PMA person respond to issues. They don’t react, but take time to reflect and come out with a solution (not an answer). An answer does not necessarily imply a resolution or a fix to a problem, but rather provides a response or information. On the other hand, a solution is a way of solving a problem or addressing an issue. It implies a resolution or a fix to a specific problem or challenge.

“You become what you think about.”

This quote means that whatever you consistently think about and focus your mind on, you ultimately become. If you constantly think about positive things, success, and having a positive mindset, you are more likely to attract positivity and achieve success in your life. Conversely, if you think negatively and focus on negative thoughts, you may attract negativity and experience a less successful and fulfilling life. Essentially, your thoughts and mindset shape your reality and determine the direction your life takes.

“Faith without work is dead.”

This was one of the quotes in the book by Norman Vincent Peale who endeavors to motivate the reader to better himself. He quotes directly from the Good Book in which such people do believe: The phrase “faith without works is dead” is a biblical concept which means that having faith alone, without taking action or demonstrating it through one’s behavior or deeds, is essentially empty and meaningless. In other words, genuine faith should be accompanied by corresponding actions or good works. It suggests that faith and actions are inseparable, and one’s faith should be evident through their works.

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

This quote means that if you can imagine something in your mind and truly believe in it, then you have the ability to make it a reality. It suggests that having a positive mental attitude and strong belief in your abilities is crucial for achieving success.

“An insect may not be able to avoid being caught in the spider’s web. And when once trapped, it is unable to free itself. There is one thing, however, over which each person has absolute, inherent control, and that is his mental attitude. We can avoid mental cobwebs. We can clear them. And we can sweep them away as they begin to develop. We can free ourselves when once enmeshed. And we can remain free.”

This quote means that while an insect may be physically trapped in a spider’s web, humans have the ability to control their mental attitude. We have the power to avoid and clear mental “cobwebs” or negative thoughts. Even if we find ourselves mentally trapped, we can still free ourselves and maintain a positive mindset. The quote emphasizes the importance of having a positive mental attitude and taking control of our thoughts and emotions.

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 concept Positive Mental Attitude as a sole determinant of success cannot be taken as absolute. While the book strongly advocates for the power of mindset, it might also be argued that success is influenced by a multitude of factors beyond attitude alone. The book is silent on external circumstances, socio-economic backgrounds, access to resources, and systemic barriers that can also significantly impact one’s journey towards success. Maybe I need to be better enlightened on this fact (However, I may not be correct in my view here). I appreciate your feedback on this argument.

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 does include various exercises, end of chapter activities, and self-assessment tools to engage the reader in practical application of the principles discussed. I engaged in a few of the exercises and found them helpful in guiding me on self-reflection, setting goals, and developing a more positive mindset. The interactive nature of these exercises aids in making the PMA concepts more tangible and actionable. I hope to engage more of these tools/exercises as I make a more in-depth study of 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?

There was nothing left to address.

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? 9.75

Awaken the Giant Within
Assessment by Okot Stephen (Uganda)

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

The main idea that Anthony Robbins conveys in his book “Awaken the Giant Within” is centered around the concept of personal empowerment through changing our belief systems and raising our standards. It is about understanding and realizing one’s full potential, taking control of one’s life, and making conscious decisions to bring about positive changes. Robbins emphasizes the importance of developing a sense of certainty that we can achieve our new standards before actually reaching them. He highlights the significance of focusing on long-term goals rather than getting caught up in short-term desires, as persistence in the face of challenges enhances our chances of success. Overall, the author provides practical strategies, exercises, and principles for transforming one’s mindset, habits, and actions to unlock one’s full potential and live a fulfilling life.

2. What are the seven ideas which are personally most important in the book 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. Awareness of the massive (giant) power within.

That individuals have the power to create the life they dream about, by taking control of their lives, mastering their thoughts, emotions, behaviors, and beliefs is such an awesome revelation to me. The idea resonates with other proven concepts and revelations such as the psychologist, Orison Swett Marden who stated that “Deep within man dwell those slumbering powers; powers that would astonish him, that he never dreamt of possessing; forces that would revolutionize his life if aroused and put into action.” My Bible verse Genesis 1:28 declares, “And God blessed them(mankind), and God said to them, be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over …everything that moves upon the earth. Dominion means to have power (authority) or control over something, while subdue means to conquer or bring under control. Both words imply a certain level of power and control that the Creator has clothed us with. This is an amazing discovery! This truth has changed me from this point, going forward.

ii. The Power of Belief

According to Robbins, the first belief we must have if we are going to create change quickly is that we can change now. The second belief that we must have if we are going to create long term change is that we are responsible for our change, not anyone else. Believing in oneself and in the possibility of achieving one’s goals is thus crucial. Without belief in our capabilities, it’s easy to give up when faced with challenges. For instance, believing in my ability to learn and improve my skills as a manager and leader has motivated me to continually strive for better performance.

iii. Taking Massive Action

This means doing far more than the average person would do under the same or similar conditions. Robbins emphasizes the importance of taking bold and decisive actions to create change in our lives. For me, this idea resonates with my everyday experiences because I’ve witnessed how small, consistent actions over time have led to significant results. As an aspiring achiever, the idea motivates me to go further than anyone would typically expect of me. Taking massive action also means setting an impressive specific, measurable goal and making the act of accomplishing that goal. This is my (individual) duty, obligation, and responsibility as making consistent action is key.

iv. The Power of Focus

Focus is the ability to know what matters most and act on it. The power of focus helps us prioritize our goals, stay on track, and progress toward achieving them. By mastering the power of focus, you will get more things accomplished in less time and improve various aspects of your life. In my case, maintaining focus on my career and personal development through the IIGL program is on top of my priorities as these are essential for fulfilling my purpose as one aspiring to become an influential and successful leader in the society. Sustained focus is the most important component of my success journey.

v. Take control of your beliefs and values

This includes clarification of core values and beliefs, identity, personal vision, motivations and responsibility. By becoming aware of our beliefs and values, we can actively shape them to support our goals and overcome limitations. This is important because our beliefs shape our actions and potential. For example, I once held the belief that I was not good at leadership and always preferred to be a follower, which limited my opportunities to take on leadership positions. I also preferred to seek employment until I reach a retirement age and get my Social Security funds. By challenging and changing this belief, I was able to build confidence in my leadership abilities and pursue leadership and managerial opportunities on job applications. The IIGL program is also envisioning me to create my own Organization, an initiative that will not only transform lives but also create employment for many, thus empowering me to become a job creator and an employer. This is because I have taken an empowering faith path, not a disempowering or negative belief, which are self-limiting.

vi. Utilize the power of invocations (reciting empowering statements, positive self-talk, prayers and physical actions or rituals

Invocations involve combining words and physical actions (bold positive declarations, accompanied with affirmative action/sacraments) to reinforce positive beliefs and create a state of certainty in achieving our goals. I have witnessed Incorporating invocations (also religiously known as prophetic declaration and sacraments/rituals) into my daily routine has helped me develop a sense of confidence and motivation. By consistently reciting empowering statements while performing specific gestures, I have witnessed an increase in my self-belief and resilience.

vii. The power of making and taking decisions.

You decide your destiny. According to the author, “it’s our decision, not conditions of our lives that determines our destiny.” That if one can truly decide to, one can do almost anything. Robbins highlights the difference between being interested in something and being committed to something. That individuals have to decide the kind of person that he/she is committed to becoming. Our life changes the moment we make a new, congruent, and committed decision.

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

Mindset change and positive world view. Our worldview greatly influences how we navigate through life. We can shift our perception of the world by adopting a positive perspective and incorporating affirmations into our daily routine. By actively shaping my beliefs and values, I will view obstacles as opportunities for growth and transformation rather than as roadblocks. This can contribute to personal growth, self-confidence, and the ability to overcome obstacles. In a larger context, when by embracing positive beliefs and values, I will be able to inspire and uplift those around me, thereby contributing to a more empathetic and compassionate society.

Overcome Self-Doubt and Build Resilience: Positive self-talk encourages and motivates a person to keep going, look on the “bright side,” and put things into perspective even when the situation is tough and ugly. By incorporating positive self-talk and physical actions into my daily routine, I can improve my confidence, motivation, and self-belief. Using positive affirmations will help me overcome self-doubt and build resilience, empowering me to face challenges more effectively. In turn, by reflecting this positive mindset, I get emboldened to inspire and support others in their personal growth and development. This will strengthen and grow a network of resilient communities that will positively shape the future, and thereby raise a generation that will contribute to a better world.

Setting clear goals: Goal setting involves the development of an action plan designed in order to motivate and guide a person or group toward a goal. Clear goals provide a sense of direction and purpose, allowing individuals and organizations to prioritize efforts and allocate resources effectively. By setting goals, individuals and organizations become more focused, disciplined, and driven to achieve their desired outcomes. I am personally building a quality of a goal-oriented person, establishing clear goals in both short- and long-term pursuits. I also plan to establish a capacity building initiative focusing on empowering individuals and organizations to be goal driven in their endeavors. As we work towards our own goals, we can also inspire and motivate others to set and pursue their own aspirations, creating a ripple effect of empowerment and goal attainment. This will facilitate positive development and help create a better world for everyone.

Creating a culture of responsibility: By taking responsibility for my life, I will move away from a victim mindset and empower myself to make conscious choices aligned with my beliefs and values. By taking responsibility for my actions, decisions, and impact on others, I can foster accountability and integrity. Creating a culture of personal responsibility can help build a better world by fostering trust, collaboration, and ethical behavior. By creating a motivational speaking engagement, and being exemplary, my life and actions can inspire others to follow my good examples, thereby changing lives and making our world a better place to live in.

Surrounding myself with positive influences: I am reviewing my current relationships and social network to ensure I surround myself with positive people. Positive people often radiate optimism, uplifting energy, and a solution-oriented mindset. Their encouraging words and actions can help me cope with the emerging challenges of everyday life. By Surrounding myself with empowering, supportive and like-minded individuals, I will create a network of encouragement, inspiration, and collaboration. By seeking out and nurturing relationships with those who uplift and challenge me, I can create a support system that fuels personal growth, encourages resilience, and empowers me to pursue worthy goals. In turn, this positive influence can radiate to others, inspiring them to find their own support networks and contribute positively to making the world a better place for everyone.

Optimizing Performance: By applying the idea of taking massive action, I can effectively respond to challenges, push through the walls of limitation, and improve my performance. This will ensure achievements of goals, and success in all my endeavors. As a result, I shall be a role model for many to emulate. The ripple effect of role modeling will spread globally and help contribute to a network of people and a generation of change makers, whose influences and impacts will sustainably shape the future and help create a better and sustainable world.

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 not the creature of circumstances; circumstances are the creatures of men.”

The statement indicates that we (mankind) are free agents, and man is more powerful than matter. It serves as a powerful reminder that circumstances do not define us; rather, we define our circumstances. It recognizes our inherent freedom, responsibility for our actions, and commitment actively shape our lives.

“Your life changes the moment you make a new, congruent, and committed decision.”

In this quote, Robbins emphasizes that decisions are pivotal moments in our lives. When we truly decide to take action, it becomes a catalyst for change. The term “congruent” implies alignment. A decision is most impactful when it aligns with our values, beliefs, and goals. When our choices resonate with our true selves, transformation occurs. Robbins highlights the importance of commitment. It’s not just about making a decision; it’s about following through with unwavering determination. Commitment fuels progress. Change can happen rapidly, and when we commit to a new path, our life trajectory shifts immediately.
In essence, this quote encourages us to recognize the power of decisive action. By making congruent decisions and committing to them, we can shape our destiny and create meaningful change in our lives.

“If you can’t, you must. If you must, you can. Most people fail in life because they major in minor things.”

This is another powerful quote reminding us of the impact our mindset and decisions have on our lives. The “If you can’t, you must” emphasizes that when faced with challenges or obstacles, we should not shy away or give up. Instead, we must take action. Even if something seems difficult, we should approach it with determination and a “can-do” attitude.
The part “If you must, you can” emphasizes our commitment to what we have begun to pursue. Once we commit to doing something, we discover our inner strength and resourcefulness. When we truly believe that we must achieve a goal or overcome an obstacle, we tap into our potential and find a way forward.

“Most people fail in life because they major in minor things.”

Here, Robbins highlights a common pitfall: focusing on trivial matters instead of what truly matters. “Majoring in minor things” refers to spending time and energy on insignificant tasks or distractions rather than prioritizing essential goals and actions. In essence, this quote encourages us to: Take action even when faced with challenges. Believe in our ability to accomplish what we set out to do. Avoid getting sidetracked by unimportant details and stay focused on our major objectives.

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?

Yes, there are some aspects of the book that are unclear and may be misunderstood or provoke disagreement when presented among certain individuals. For example, Robbins’ strategies and techniques are presented as universal solutions that apply to everyone, regardless of individual differences or circumstances. While many of his principles are widely applicable, it may need to be adapted or supplemented with additional strategies to suit diverse needs and situations. A more distinct and individualized approach is necessary for effective personal development.
I believe, it’s important for readers to critically evaluate and adapt these teachings to their own unique circumstances and values. Different individuals may interpret and apply Robbins’ ideas in various ways, leading to diverse perspectives and potential areas of disagreement.

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, the book does contain exercises for the reader to complete. The exercises typically prompt readers to reflect on their goals, beliefs, values and behaviors, and to take practical actions towards achieving their desired outcomes. The exercises involve journalizing, visualization, goal-setting, affirmations, and other self-reflection techniques. I have done a couple of them and found them beneficial. Completing the exercises enhances understanding and integration of the book’s teachings.

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

None.

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

A. How interesting was it to read? 10
B. How helpful were the contents? 10
C. How easy was it to understand? 9
D. Would you recommend it to others? 10
E. What is the overall rating you would give it? 9.75

Creating your Path through Leadership
Assessment by Okot Stephen (Uganda)

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

Creating Your Path through Leadership is a compilation written by the students, graduates, staff, and the founder of the International Institute for Global Leadership (IIGL), sharing their career and leadership experiences. The book revolves around the idea that leadership is a journey that begins with self-awareness, intentionality, and a commitment to growth. The authors explore various aspects of leadership, including communication, decision-making, teamwork, and adaptability, providing practical insights and guidance to help readers navigate their own unique paths towards leadership success. Overall, it serves as a comprehensive resource for aspiring leaders seeking to enhance their abilities and make a positive impact in their respective fields or organizations.

2. What are the seven ideas which are personally most important in the book 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.

The seven ideas which are personally important in the book are discussed along with explanations for why each is important, drawing from personal experiences as follows:

i. The Leader’s attitudes and Belief systems.

The Leader’s attitudes and Belief systems such as; the inner mindset, values, and convictions that shape a leader’s behavior and decision-making. The book emphasizes integrity, optimism, adaptability, and resilience among important attitudes and belief systems that influences the leader’s effectiveness in navigating difficulties within and outside the organization. An example in my life is when I joined a well-funded local nonprofit organization in 2015, two years later there was an abrupt stoppage of funding for all the consortium members which affected our operations. The board of the organization decided to close the organization. They lacked optimism and resilience. By that time, I was not in a senior position to influence their decision. So, I move on to another Organization. Looking back now, I can see the importance of positive attitude and belief systems. Leaders with a belief in resilience see setbacks as opportunities for growth rather than impossible obstacles. The governing council (leaders) of the organization didn’t develop the beliefs and attitude to bounce back from failures, maintaining a positive attitude in the face of adversity. Leaders who embrace adaptability recognize the importance of flexibility in a dynamic environment, and are open to change, as well as encouraging their team members to embrace new ideas and approaches.

ii. Winning with Words.

This idea underscores the pivotal role that communication plays in personal and professional success. As a growing leader, I have witnessed the power of effective communication when conveying ideas, inspiring others, and fostering collaboration in my previous work places. I was able to communicate clearly and empathetically with both my junior team (subordinates) and superiors. This built trust and rapport with my team members, leading to higher productivity and morale. In my experience, learning to actively listen and provide constructive feedback has been invaluable in building strong working relationships and resolving conflicts.

iii. The Journey of Lifepreneurship.

According to Bikundo Onyai (IIGL Graduate) Lifepreneurship is about developing an authentic, personal vision for life and then going for it. My reflection is that the journey of lifepreneurship is about living with purpose, passion, and intentionality, while embracing the entrepreneurial spirit to create a fulfilling and meaningful life. Although the concept “lifepreneurship” is a new concept, it resonates with my leadership and entrepreneurial purpose and goal. As a leader with a vision for maximum success, I find this idea helpful as it suggests a holistic approach to living that integrates the principles and practices of entrepreneurship into various aspects of my life as a leader.

iv. Something good from the dumpsite.

This is all about being visionary as a leader. Like the concept of finding value in unexpected places, visionary leaders possess the ability to see potential where others may not. I was raised in a family where neighbors and other outsiders never saw any good thing or a future in us, we were like the dumpsite. But I keep telling people about my future and that of our family. I keep working towards my future. Others have been inspired by my persistence, and are also motivated to pursue something worthwhile in life. As a visionary leader, I find this idea helpful as it motivates me to set a clear and compelling vision for the future and inspire others to share in that vision, even in the face of skepticism or doubt. By articulating a compelling vision and rallying my team around shared goals and values, I can transform challenges into opportunities and guide my team and organization toward success.

v. Leadership and Creative thinking.

In our swiftly evolving world, traditional leadership methods are losing their effectiveness. Leaders who cling to rigid, top-down approaches risk becoming outdated. Instead, the demand is for collaborators or individuals who can transform and innovate. Leadership isn’t about titles; it’s about impact. This is the heart of my leadership vision-to be a high impact performer. Through creative thinking I can creatively solve complex problems, inspire others, navigate uncertainty, and drive innovation. By fostering a culture of creativity and embracing unconventional approaches, I can unlock new opportunities and lead their organizations to success

vi. Conscious Decision Making.

Conscious decision-making is the art of navigating life’s crossroads with intention and awareness. I have frequently practiced conscious decision making for about a year now and the results are amazing. The practice involves more than mere impulse or habit; it’s about deliberately choosing a path based on values, information, and reflection.

vii. Leadership and its discontent.

“Leadership and its Discontent” is a concept that explores the challenges and difficulties inherent in leadership roles. It draws upon the idea that leadership, while often rewarding and fulfilling, can also be upsetting with difficulties, frustrations and dissatisfaction.The concept resonates with my experience as someone who serves in the leadership capacity of an association within my community. As people’s leader, I experienced that leadership is not without challenges and discontent. But I always acknowledge and address these challenges, and put efforts to cultivate resilience, maintain well-being, and sustain long-term effectiveness in my roles. By fostering a supportive environment, seeking mentorship and peer support, and prioritizing self-care, I have been able to navigate the complexities of leadership and find greater fulfillment in my roles.

3. How will these ideas or lessons in the book 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 and lessons will have significant practical implications in both my personal life and in contributing to creating a better world:

Self-awareness: Being self-aware helps me to understand my strengths, weaknesses, and values, enabling me to make informed decisions aligned with my personal goals and principles. In my daily life, this can lead to more authentic interactions and better relationships. In creating a better world, I can make ethical decisions that consider the broader impact on society and the environment.

Positive Attitude and Strong Belief System: Developing a positive attitude and strong belief system helps my personal growth and resilience. By maintaining a positive mindset, I can navigate challenges more effectively, inspire others, and foster a culture of optimism and determination, thus contributing to a better world by spreading positivity and motivation.

Effective communication: Effective communication is essential for building strong relationships, resolving conflicts, and conveying ideas persuasively. By mastering communication skills, I can improve my relationships, enhance teamwork, and facilitate understanding among diverse groups, thereby promoting harmony and cooperation in various social settings.

Lifepreneurship: Lifepreneurship emphasizes taking ownership of one’s life and actively pursuing personal and professional goals. By adopting a lifepreneurial mindset, I can cultivate self-reliance, adaptability, and a proactive approach to problem-solving, leading to personal fulfillment and success. In turn, this will inspire others to take control of their lives and contribute positively to society.

Visionary Leadership: Visionary leadership involves setting ambitious goals, inspiring others with a compelling vision, and mobilizing collective efforts toward a common purpose. By embodying visionary leadership qualities, I can drive innovation, foster progress, and address pressing societal challenges, thereby contributing to positive change in the world.

Leadership and Creative thinking: Creative thinking enables leaders to explore alternative solutions, think outside the box, and adapt to changing circumstances. By Integrating creative thinking into my leadership practices, I can spark innovation, unlock new opportunities, and tackle complex problems more effectively, leading to meaningful advancements in various areas of life, with far reaching positive impact.

Adaptability: In today’s fast-paced and unpredictable world, adaptability is crucial for navigating uncertainty and thriving amidst change. Cultivating adaptability skills will empower me to respond resiliently to challenges, embrace new opportunities, and stay agile in evolving environments, fostering personal growth and resilience while also contributing to societal resilience and progress.

Conscious Decision Making: Conscious decision-making involves considering the broader impacts of choices on oneself, others, and the environment. By making decisions mindfully and ethically, I can promote fairness, sustainability, and social responsibility, contributing to a more just and equitable world.

Leadership and its discontent concept: Understanding the challenges and limitations of leadership can foster humility, empathy, and a commitment to continuous improvement. By acknowledging and addressing issues of leadership discontent, individuals can cultivate inclusive, empathetic leadership styles that prioritize the well-being and empowerment of others, fostering healthier organizations and communities.

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.

“Everything rises and falls on Leadership. Leadership truly develops from the inside out. If you can become the leader you ought to be on the inside, you will be able to become the leader you want to be on the outside.”

This quote emphasizes the central role of leadership in the success or failure of any endeavor. The statement that “Everything rises and falls on Leadership” asserts that leadership is the key determinant of outcomes in various aspects of life, whether in organizations, communities, or society at large. It suggests that effective leadership is critical for driving progress, achieving goals, and overcoming challenges. The phrase that “Leadership truly develops from the inside out.” highlights the idea that genuine leadership begins with self-awareness, personal growth, and values-driven behavior. It implies that effective leaders cultivate inner qualities such as integrity, empathy, and vision, which serve as the foundation for their external leadership actions.

“If you can become the leader you ought to be on the inside, you will be able to become the leader you want to be on the outside” emphasizes the importance of aligning internal values and character with external leadership behaviors. It suggests that authentic leadership stems from analogy between one’s inner convictions and outward actions.

“In every seeming adversity there is the seed of an equal or greater benefit.”

This statement emphasizes that even in situations that appear negative or challenging, there exists the potential for positive outcomes or opportunities. It encourages leaders to look beyond immediate setbacks and recognize the hidden potential for growth or improvement.

“Every challenge carries a gift.”

This phrase reinforces the idea that challenges are not merely problems to be overcome but also contain valuable lessons or benefits. It encourages individuals to approach difficulties with an open mind, seeking to extract meaningful insights or opportunities for development.

“One book can change a mind. One mind can change the world.”

The first part of this quote emphasizes the transformative power of education and knowledge acquisition. It suggests that a single book, with its ideas, insights, and perspectives, has the potential to profoundly influence an individual’s thinking and worldview. Reading can broaden perspectives, challenge beliefs, and spark new ideas, leading to personal growth and development. The second part of this quote underscores the ripple effect of individual transformation. When a person’s mindset shifts or evolves as a result of new knowledge or understanding, they may be inspired to take action and make a positive difference in the world. Whether through advocacy, innovation, leadership, or other means, a single individual has the potential to catalyze significant change and impact on a global scale.

“Leaders are readers and influence others only to the level of their own competence.”

This statement emphasizes the correlation between leadership effectiveness and the leader’s knowledge and skills. It suggests that leaders who are devoted readers and consistently seek to expand their knowledge base are better equipped to inspire and influence others. Additionally, it implies that leaders can only lead others effectively up to the extent of their own competence and expertise.

“You cannot lead people where you have not been.”

This statement underscores the importance of experiential knowledge and leading by example. Effective leadership often requires firsthand experience and understanding of the challenges and contexts encountered by those being led. Leaders who have navigated similar experiences are better positioned to empathize with and guide their followers.

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

The statement “Never Allow Schooling to Interfere with Education” is a provocative statement that can potentially be misunderstood or causes disagreements. Some may interpret the statement as advocating against formal education altogether, which could be seen as overly simplistic or impractical. Formal education often provides essential knowledge, skills, and opportunities for personal and professional advancement. Critics may also argue that the statement undermines the efforts of educators and educational institutions. Under the global policy of universal education, many governments around the world have adopted the policy of providing free primary and secondary education thereby ensuring everyone access and complete basic education. While formal schooling has its limitations, many educators work diligently to provide valuable learning experiences and foster intellectual growth. The ability to prioritize alternative forms of education outside of formal schooling may be a privilege not accessible to everyone. Not everyone has the resources or opportunities to pursue self-directed learning or alternative educational paths.

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 are no exercises in this 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.

None.

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

A. How interesting was it to read? 10
B. How helpful were the contents? 10
C. How easy was it to understand? 9
D. Would you recommend it to others? 10
E. What is the overall rating you would give it? 9.75

Maximum Achievement
Assessment by Okot Stephen (Uganda)

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

“Maximum achievement” by Brian Tracy is a self- help book that focuses on unlocking one’s potential for success and fulfillment in various aspects of life. The main idea the author conveys is that individuals have the ability to achieve their maximum potential by adopting certain principles, strategies, and mindset shifts.
Tracy emphasizes the importance of setting clear goals, developing a positive attitude, taking action, managing time effectively, and continuously learning and improving oneself. He argues that success is not a matter of luck or circumstance but rather a result of disciplined effort and mindset. Through the book, Tracy provides practical advice, exercises, and examples to help readers understand and apply the principles of achievement in their own lives. He encourages readers to take responsibility for their own success and to cultivate habits and behaviors that lead to personal and professional growth. Overall, the main idea of “Maximum Achievement” is that individuals have the power to achieve their highest aspirations by adopting the right mindset, behaviors, and strategies for success.

2. What are the seven ideas which are personally most important in the book and why? List there, seven ideas followed by an explanation after each one as to why it was important to you. Use examples from life experience.

i. Setting clear goals and creating a plan to achieve them.

This idea is important to me because without clear goals and a plan to achieve them, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and without a sense of direction. One example from my own life is when I joined the IIGL Program. Initially, I was overwhelmed with many other engagements including another educational program. But when I set a goal to pursue and complete my IIGL study program within a definite time frame, I have since remained focused, resulting in steady progress. By creating a study plan and breaking down my goal into smaller, manageable steps, I was able to successfully study and complete level one with this final (7th) book review. This also motivates me to keep the momentum through the entire program completion and earn my IIGL prestigious diploma or higher!

ii. Taking responsibility for my own success and failure.

This idea is important to me because it empowers me to take control of my own life and results. By acknowledging my role in both my successes and failures, I am able to learn from my mistakes and make changes to improve. For example, when my recent job application didn’t get me through, instead of blaming external factors or thinking I am under qualified, I looked at how I could improve my skills and better demonstrate my competence to increase my chances in the future.

iii. Developing a positive mindset and focusing on the possibilities rather than limitations.

This idea is crucial for maintaining motivation and resilience in the face of challenges. By shifting my mindset to focus on what I can achieve rather than what I can’t, I am able to approach obstacles with a more optimistic attitude. For instance, when I faced setbacks in launching my Car wash business, I chose to view them as learning opportunities and stayed positive about the possibilities for growth and success.
iv. Continuously learning and improving myself.

This idea is important to me because I believe that personal growth is key to success and fulfillment. By committing to lifelong learning and self- improvement, I am able to stay adaptable and relevant in a fast changing world. One example of this is when I decided to join the IIGL program to expand my career opportunities and broaden my leadership, managerial and entrepreneurial understanding and skills.

v. Use “zero-based thinking.”

“Zero-based thinking”is a concept introduced by Brian Tracy. The concept encourages individuals to approach decision-making by imagining starting from scratch, as if beginning anew in every situation. Zero-based thinking prompts a reassessment of past choices in light of present understanding and circumstances. It’s another important idea that encourages me to learn from my experiences, acknowledge any mistakes or missteps, and use that wisdom to make more informed decisions going forward. By adopting this mindset, I can strive for continual improvement and growth in all aspects of life.

vi. Surrounding myself with positive and successful people.

This idea is crucial for maintaining motivation and inspiration. By surrounding myself with individuals who support and encourage me, I am able to stay focused on my goals and push myself to achieve more. For instance, when I recently joined a networking group of likeminded leaders and professionals, I gained valuable insights and support that now helps me overcome challenges and grow in my career prospects.

vii. Taking consistent action towards my goals.

This idea is important to me because it emphasizes the importance of perseverance and discipline in achieving success. By consistently taking small steps towards my goals, I am able to make progress even when faced with setbacks or obstacles. For example, when I wanted to set up my own initiative, I committed to writing down the mission and vision, and other aspects of the project document, and gradually building it to full program initiative.

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

The ideas and lessons from “Maximum Achievement” can significantly benefit me in practical ways in my daily personal lives and in contributing to creating a better world. Here’s how:

Setting clear goals: Clear goals provide direction and purpose will help me prioritize my tasks and make informed decisions. By setting clear goals aligned with my values and aspirations, I am better equipped to contribute positively to society. Whether it’s volunteering for a cause I care about, pursuing a career that makes a difference, or advocating for social change, having a sense of purpose will guide my actions towards creating a better world.

Developing a positive attitude: A positive attitude fosters resilience, creativity, and collaboration. Leaders who maintain a positive outlook inspire and motivate their teams, even during challenging times. In personal life, a positive attitude cultivates optimism and emotional well- being, leading to healthier relationships and greater life satisfaction. Positivity has a ripple effect in society. By spreading positivity through my acts of kindness, compassion, and empathy, I can make a meaningful difference in the lives of others. Whether through volunteer work, community involvement, or any other positive actions can contribute to a more inclusive, harmonious, and compassionate world.

Taking Action: Action transforms vision into reality. Leaders who take decisive action inspire confidence and momentum among their followers. In my daily life, taking action moves me closer to my goals, preventing procrastinations and self-doubt. By consistently taking small steps toward their aspirations, I can make meaningful progress and achieve success. In contributing to a better world, taking action is essential for driving positive change. Whether it’s advocating for social justice, promoting environmental sustainability, or addressing community needs, individuals must take proactive steps to make a difference.

Continuous Learning: Lifelong learning fosters personal growth and adaptability. Leaders who prioritize learning stay ahead of industry trends and lead innovation within their organizations. In personal life, continuous learning expands my knowledge and skills, opening up new opportunities and perspectives. By embracing a growth mindset, I can navigate change with confidence and contribute positively to society.

Time Management: Effective time management maximizes productivity and minimizes stress. By mastering time management techniques and aligning my actions with my values and goals, I can lead a more fulfilling life and contribute meaningfully to positive change in society. By prioritizing tasks and optimizing workflow, I can achieve more with less effort. By modeling disciplined time management practices, I can set a positive example for my followers, fostering a culture of productivity and accountability that drives collective success.

Taking Responsibility: Accepting responsibility promotes accountability and integrity. Leaders who take responsibility for their actions foster trust and credibility among their followers. In personal life, taking responsibility empowers individuals to own their choices and outcomes, leading to greater autonomy and self-respect. By demonstrating accountability, individuals set a positive example for others and contribute to a culture of integrity, thereby contributing to an accountable, equitable and just world society.

Persistence and Resilience: Persistence and resilience enable individuals to overcome adversity and achieve long-term success. Leaders who embody persistence and resilience inspire perseverance and determination within their teams. In daily life, resilience helps individuals bounce back from setbacks and setbacks stronger than before. By cultivating resilience, individuals develop the grit and resilience needed to navigate life’s challenges and make a positive impact on the world.

Self-discipline: another important aspect of the book is developing self-discipline and willpower to overcome challenges. I can use this principle to improve my time management skills, work ethic, and overall effectiveness. By practicing self- discipline, I can set a positive example for others and inspire others to follow suit, thereby creating a better world for everyone.
Overall, the ideas and lessons from “Maximum Achievement” provide practical guidance for me to excel in my personal and professional lives. By applying these principles, I can cultivate a mindset of growth, resilience, and purpose, leading to greater success, fulfillment, and contributions to creating a better world.

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.

“My life has been one long, continuous process of personal and professional development, including reading thousands of books and articles, listening to thousands of hours of audiocassette recordings and attending innumerable courses and seminars.”

This quote reflects Brian Tracy’s deep commitment to self-improvement through diverse means of learning and development. It also serves as a testament to the idea that continuous learning is fundamental to achieving maximum achievement and success in life.

“My parents were good people and hard-working but we never seemed to have enough money. I still remember my parents saying over and over as I was growing up, We can’t afford it, we can’t afford it, we can’t afford it.” No matter what it was, we couldn’t afford it. They had been through the Great Depression and they had never fully recovered from the experience of worrying about money all the time.”

This statement highlights the profound influence of upbringing and early experiences on one’s beliefs and attitudes towards money. Tracy’s childhood exposure to financial struggle played a significant role in shaping his own perspectives on wealth and success, motivating him to seek solutions and strategies for achieving financial abundance and security.

“You are where you are and what you are because of yourself, nothing more, and nothing less. You can change where you are and what you are by changing yourself.”

This emphasizes the power of personal responsibility and self-improvement. It reminds me that I have the agency to shape my own destiny through my actions and choices. It encourages me to take ownership of my life and to continually strive for self-improvement.

“You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude toward what happens to you, and in that, you will be mastering change rather than allowing it to master you.”

This highlights the importance of maintaining a positive attitude in the face of adversity. It reminds me that while I may not always have control over external circumstances, I do have control over my response to those circumstances, it encourages me to adopt a mindset of resilience and adaptability, allowing me to navigate change with grace and strength.

“Whatever you believe, with conviction, becomes your reality, whether or not it is true or false.”

This underscores the power of belief in shaping one’s reality. It reminds me of the importance of cultivating positive beliefs and thoughts, as they have the potential to influence my actions and outcomes. It encourages me to challenge limiting beliefs and to cultivate a mindset of possibility and abundance.

“The quality of your thinking determines the quality of your life.”

This highlights the profound impact that our thoughts and beliefs have on our experiences and outcomes. It reminds me of the importance of maintaining a positive and constructive mindset in all aspects of life. It encourages me to cultivate a habit of positive thinking and to continuously challenge negative or limiting beliefs.
Overall, these quotes serve as powerful reminders of the importance of personal responsibility, positive attitude, belief, and mindset in achieving success and fulfillment. They inspire me to take ownership of my life, to approach challenges with resilience and optimism, and to cultivate a mindset of growth and possibility.

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?

“Maximum Achievement” is not a One-size-fits–all success principle or strategy, but the book complements other success motivational books such as those authored by Napoleon Hills, Andrew Carnegie and many others. Tracy’s advice is too prescriptive and may not resonate with everyone. Personal development is a highly individualized journey, and what works for one person may not work for another. It’s essential for readers to critically evaluate the advice offered in the book and determine how it aligns with their own values, goals and circumstances. This is, however, not to discredit the book in any way.

The book offers valuable insights and practical advice for personal and professional development, but readers should approach it with a critical mindset and be open to interpreting the ideas presented therein in a way that aligns with their own experiences and beliefs. It’s essential to recognize that no single book or approach has all the answers, and personal growth is an ongoing journey that requires self-reflection, experimentation, and adaptation.

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

The book contains exercises for the reader to complete. I completed a few of the exercises. The exercises provide a structured framework for applying the book’s principles to personal life. They offered me an opportunity for self-assessment, goal clarification, and action planning, which are helpful in translating insights from the book into tangible results.

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

None.

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

A. How interesting was it to read? 10
B. How helpful were the contents? 10
C. How easy was it to understand? 9
D. Would you recommend it to others? 10
E. What is the overall rating you would give it? 9.75

Unlimited Power
Assessment by Okot Stephen (Uganda)

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

The book “Unlimited Power: The New Science of Personal Achievement” by Anthony Robbins introduces techniques and strategies for personal development to help readers overcome obstacles, change their behaviors, and reach their full potential. The main idea is the concept that individuals have the power within themselves to achieve their goals and create the life they desire. The book emphasizes the importance of mindset, belief systems, effective communication, and goal-setting in unlocking one’s personal power and achieving success in various areas of life. Overall, Robbins encourages a proactive approach to personal growth and empowerment, emphasizing that individuals have the ability to shape their destiny through focused action and mindset shifts.

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

i. The Power of Beliefs

Robbins emphasizes the profound impact beliefs have on shaping our reality. Beliefs are incredibly powerful forces that shape our perceptions, attitudes, and actions, thereby influencing the reality we experience. For example, if we believe we can achieve something, we’re more likely to take the necessary actions to make it happen. Conversely, if we believe we can’t, we’re likely to sabotage our efforts. I was a procrastinator, always delaying to act because of lack of faith or belief in myself and in the unlimited power that supplies all our needs whenever we desire!. I kept waiting for a favorable opportunity, and for convenience to carry out my intentions. I recall when I thought about enrolling at a national college some years back, I didn’t have the courage to apply for the reason that I had no money. Later I was introduced to the subject of faith or belief system which motivated me to try again. So, I acted by faith, I had no money. How I completed and graduated with a National Diploma was an amazement, actually a miracle! Ordinarily it is hard to explain how I managed the heavy tuition. There was no logical formula for this achievement. I was taught that “Faith is a firm belief in something or someone for which there is an object of proof.” In other words, faith or belief does not depend on the external appearances of things or circumstances. It does not depend on our emotions or senses- how we see, feel, hear, or smell the situation at hand. Yet faith produces profound effects in our life. The Holy Bible is full of the faith subject. In John 20:29, Jesus said “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.” “And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you believe.” (Holy Bible).  Through belief in myself and that the universe is endowed with unlimited power that I can tap into and opportunities to seize, I am motivated to persist through challenges and will eventually succeed in whatever area of life. Therefore, this idea is crucial because it highlights the importance of cultivating empowering beliefs.

ii. The power of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP). 

Robbins emphasizes the importance of language and communication in shaping our thoughts and behaviors. By becoming aware of the language we use, both internally (self-talk) and externally (communication with others), we can identify and change unhelpful or negative communication patterns that may be holding us back. Understanding NLP techniques can help individuals reframe negative thought patterns, overcome fears, and build rapport with others. In personal interactions, I can use NLP techniques like mirroring and pacing to foster better communication and understanding.

iii. The Power of Visualization

The Power of Visualization: Robbins discusses the power of visualization in shaping our reality. By mentally rehearsing our desired outcomes and visualizing ourselves achieving our goals, we can strengthen our belief in our ability to succeed. This technique is a powerful tool for overcoming self-doubt and building confidence. Visualization can help us stay focused on our goals and motivate us to take action towards achieving them.

iv. The Power of Positive Thinking

Positive thinking fosters optimism, which in turn enhances resilience. In the year 2022, I faced an awful setback when the job for which interview I passed was finally turned down as the organization lost three quarter of the grants in undetected frauds. in spite of these, I remained optimistic, maintained a positive outlook and focus, keeping my hope alive for nearly  whole year before I got a new job. I got the new job without applying for it. The job looked for me (from another region) and found me in my home district, and I picked it. Positive thinking can improve our mental and emotional well-being, as well attract more positive opportunities and experiences into our lives.

v. The Power of Action

Robbins stresses that information is not enough. Action is what unites every great success. Action is what produces results. Knowledge is only potential power until it comes into the hands of someone who knows how to get himself to take effective action. Robbins gives the literal definition of power as “the ability to act.”. So, while beliefs, visualization, and positive thinking are important, taking action is ultimately what propels us towards our goals. Robbins stresses the importance of taking consistent, focused action towards our desires. By setting clear goals, creating a plan of action, and taking deliberate steps towards achieving those goals, we can make our dreams a reality. Action is the bridge between where we are now and where we want to be.

vi. Emotional and mental states Management

This involves actively managing our emotional and mental states to achieve peak performance. Robbins teaches techniques such as anchoring positive emotions and managing our focus to control our states effectively. Personally, when facing stressful situations, I’ve found that practicing mindfulness and focusing on my breathing helps me stay calm and composed.

vii. The Power of Questions

Robbins highlights the significance of asking empowering questions to direct our focus and stimulate our minds towards finding solutions. By asking better questions, we can uncover new insights and perspectives that lead to better outcomes. In my experience, asking myself questions like “What can I learn or gain from this?” “How can I turn this challenge into an opportunity?” has helped me approach setbacks with a growth mindset and find solutions more effectively.

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

The lessons in the book will help me in a practical way, both in my daily personal life and in helping to create a better world as follows:

The Power of Beliefs: By recognizing and challenging limiting beliefs, i can adopt more empowering perspectives and behaviors. This can lead to increased confidence, resilience, and motivation in pursuing personal and professional goals. Through my belief, I can influence and inspire others towards the vision of a better future of our world. I can use my empowering belief to inspire, mobilize, and empower individuals to work together towards creating a better world. By harnessing the collective power of belief, we can build a more just, equitable, and sustainable future for generations to come.

The Importance of emotional and mental State management: Learning to manage emotional and mental states can enhance performance and well-being in various areas of life. By cultivating positive states of mind, I can approach challenges with clarity and resourcefulness, leading to better decision-making and problem-solving. In helping to create a better world, learning to manage emotional and mental states effectively can empower me to create a better world by fostering effective leadership, constructive conflict resolution, innovation and collaboration, resilience and adaptability, empathy and compassion, and global cooperation. By cultivating positive states of mind, I can inspire individuals and societies to contribute to building a more peaceful, just, and sustainable world for all.

The Power of Rapport: Building rapport with others fosters stronger relationships and effective communication. In my personal life, this can lead to deeper connections and more fulfilling interactions. In my professional settings, it can enhance teamwork, leadership, and negotiation skills, ultimately leading to greater success and satisfaction. Rapport-building techniques, such as active listening, mirroring, and empathetic communication will help me to establish trust and connection between people which fosters collaboration and working together towards common goals. This trust forms the foundation for positive relationships and effective teamwork, contributing to a more cohesive and harmonious world.

The Principle of Modeling: By studying and emulating successful individuals, I can accelerate my own growth and achievements. The Principle of Modeling empowers me to learn from successful examples, I in turn inspire others through my actions, as well mentor and support those on their journeys to success, foster innovation and problem-solving, and promote collaboration and solidarity on a global scale. By leveraging the power of modeling, we can collectively contribute to creating a better world by driving positive change, building stronger communities, and fostering a culture of continuous learning and improvement.

The Power of Questions: Asking empowering questions can shift perspectives and lead to more positive outcomes. By reframing challenges as opportunities for my growth and learning, I can overcome obstacles with resilience and creativity. By harnessing the transformative potential of questions, I can contribute to the creation of positive change and building a more just, equitable, and sustainable world for present and future generations.
The Importance of Outcome Setting: Setting clear goals and creating a plan for achieving them provides direction and motivation. By defining what they want to accomplish and taking consistent action towards their goals, I can make progress and experience a greater sense of fulfillment and success in life. In creating a better world, the importance of outcome setting helps me contribute to a better world by aligning with my values and purpose, focusing on impactful actions, fostering collaboration and collective action towards a just and sustainable society. By setting clear goals and taking purposeful action towards achieving them, I can play a vital role in creating positive change and shaping a brighter future for humanity and the planet.

The Power of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP): NLP techniques can help empower me to overcome limiting beliefs, manage emotions, and improve my communication skills. By mastering NLP, I can enhance my effectiveness in personal and professional relationships, leading to more harmonious interactions and

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.

“Your life changes the moment you make a new, congruent, and committed decision.”

This quote highlights the transformative power of making decisive and committed choices in one’s life. It emphasizes the importance of taking responsibility for one’s actions and decisions, and it suggests that significant change can occur when individuals align their decisions with their goals and values. This idea  resonates with my everyday  circumstances as one on the journey to great success. The statement offers me hope and encouragement that positive change is possible, no matter my past circumstances or current challenges. It underscores the importance of intentionality and determination in shaping my destiny.

“The great end of life is not knowledge but action.”

 This quote by Thomas Henry Huxley emphasizes the importance of putting knowledge into practice. While acquiring knowledge is undoubtedly valuable, it is the application of that knowledge through action that leads to meaningful change and progress. This quote resonates with me because it highlights the idea that knowledge alone is not enough to bring about real impact on life and the world; it is the actions we take based on that knowledge that truly shape our lives and the world around us. As a result oriented person, this motivates me to act on practical knowledge to realize my desired outcomes.

“For every disciplined effort there is a multiple reward.”

The quote emphasizes the profound benefits that come from disciplined action and consistent effort. It suggests that when we apply discipline and commitment to our endeavors, the rewards we reap are not just proportional but multiplied. This quote resonates with me because it speaks to the importance of perseverance and dedication in achieving success. It reminds me that the challenges and obstacles we face are often opportunities for growth and advancement. By maintaining discipline and staying focused on our goals, we not only overcome obstacles but also open ourselves up to greater rewards and opportunities.

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?

While I find “Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP)” as a great tool for personal transformation and communication, as well as an effective technique in improving mindset and behavior, the concept appears skeptical of its scientific basis. Thus if for example i happen to make a presentation on the subject before a particular audience, I may find a bit of challenge before the skeptists or critics who would require scientific basis of this concept.

Robbins also emphasizes the importance of positive thinking or maintaining a positive mindset and focusing on empowering beliefs. While this approach can be effective for many individuals, it overlooks the complexity of human emotions and the need to address underlying issues rather than simply “thinking positive.” While the book carries an empowering  message for many, it tends to overlook general barriers and challenges beyond individual control.

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, the book contains exercises for the reader to complete. These exercises are designed to help readers apply the concepts and strategies discussed in the book to their own lives, fostering personal growth and development. I completed the exercises under each section provided and found them helpful in gaining clarity, setting goals, and taking action toward positive change.

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

None.

Please rate the following questions on a scale from 1 to 10.  Ten is good and one is poor.
A. How interesting was it to read? 10
B. How helpful were the contents? 10
C. How easy was it to understand? 9
D. Would you recommend it to others? 10
E. What is the overall rating you would give it?  9.75