Gebreegziabher Fana Kinfe – Assessments

As a Man Thinketh
Assessment by Gebreegziabher Fana Kinfe (Ethiopia)

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

The main idea the author is trying to explain in the book is that we are all the product of our thinking. The life we live today is the result of our previous thinking. It is important to know how to think (possibly positive thinking) in order to achieve the desired results. Deep and thought-provoking ideas usually win. The author states that most people will not be able to control their thoughts, so they will have unrealistic goals will be victims of other unachievable desires. Man is a product of his fears, his beliefs, his decisions, and his experiences. If we want to change our situation, we must examine the situational facts in a more detailed manner.

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

i. Self-awareness

It is our self-knowledge or the awareness of our skills, attitudes, weaknesses and strengths that makes things good and bad. Our destiny is in our own hands. If we feed our minds only the negative, we will have evil thought and actions; if we feed it positive things (if we be an optimist), we will be more virtuous. Our mind is the product of our daily activities or our thoughts. So to do this, we need to know ourselves. Recognizing one’s feelings and how they influence performance. It is the competence of knowing oneself and the ability to recognize a feeling as it happens. During discussions, most of the time I may have an idea to say something. However, I prefer to keep silent because I was afraid that it might offend people if I explained it. My opinion may be an input and a solution for the discussion. I learned from this idea that searching for the gold inside of me is important; it made me feel that I should examine my innermost thoughts and contribute to a fruitful outcome.

ii. Self-control

We need to develop the right, useful, and positive attitude and get to perfection by appropriately managing the negative thoughts in our minds before they can control us. As it has been said ‘‘do not decide when you become emotional (happy or sad)’’, we need to control the bad things that are hidden from us and try to correct them. Desire and prayer will be answered with the help of proper control of thoughts and actions. Unless and otherwise emotions are properly controlled, they will destroy everything at hand especially when you become a leader, it is a vital skill. Surprisingly, as I was reading this book, I was wondering when I look at the most brutal acts, people are committing against humanity especially in my own country, Ethiopia, and in different parts of the world, a question come to my mind “How ill socialized, nervous and misguided people are doing it?” This book made it clear to me that they had a bad idea that was hiding for a long time and that when their unconscious mind and that when their thought has got the opportunity; they had developed it into a character. Before this can happen, it is necessary to help people get rid of negative thoughts and ideas. Attitudinal transformation is needed.

iii. Emotions and Health

This idea is a very crucial idea to me because it teaches me that if emotions are managed properly, they are good advisors and if not managed well are terrible masters. My body appearance and health are the direct reflections of my thoughts. If I have bad and disorderly feelings, my body will get sick and grow old quickly; when I have good and beautiful feelings, I become healthier, younger and more beautiful. Fortunately, I really love to smile and always try to stay positive but I have never connected it with being healthy as it is stated in the book. Hence, I found the idea in this book as most important as it helps me to keep these thoughts with me forever to manage my emotions and to stay healthy as well.

iv. Commitment

I must have a life purpose and a vision to achieve. An endless thought without a goal and practice is meaningless. The idea in this book helps me to be encouraged in learning and growth through continuous, systematic, disciplined study and education; cultivation of self awareness. Working on self development i.e. it has been said ‘‘if I am not updated, then I am outdated’’. It helps me to have a commitment for the vision I have; it has always been my vision to see women in top leadership positions. Nowadays there are changes but it is not at expected level. To achieve my vision and to play my role on this, I am doing my part by delivering training for women who are at different leadership positions that was sponsored by Unwomen and other government and non-government organizations to increase the capacity of women in leadership and to increase their participation in politics and decision-making. However, they are still not getting leadership positions as they should because of a number of challenges. After reading this idea, it gave me a big message that I should try all the possibilities to achieve my vision.

v. Persistence

I have to always believe; if I give up, that means I never wanted it. I often blame situations and opportunities for not getting what I want (externalizing my weaknesses), but rather, the important thing is to know what is expected of me and be committed to; find the potential inside that leads to achieve my wishes and desires rather than blaming the external environment i.e. persistently using all the opportunities and possibilities at hand to succeed.

vi. Inspire a shared vision

To solve the current problems in the world a new level of thinking is needed; thinking out of the box. A person with good vision will one day succeed. We must strive to bring the vision that is in our hearts and rested into reality. Prior to reading this book I believe in fortune and chance. The book is important to me because it gives me a lesson that behind every success there are so many failures, struggles, scarifications and experiences. A vision cannot be achieved by fortune and chance. A vision to be achieved we need to avoid fear and use our full efforts and exercise with faith.

vii. Emotional Intelligence: (Social management)

This idea is important to me because it teaches me the ability to stay calm and clear headed under high stress or during a crisis. Letting me know one’s values, principles, intentions, feelings and acting in ways consistent with these actions. Being careful, self-disciplined and trustworthy is needed in attending responsibilities. Smart awareness of others’ emotions, concerns, and needs. Ability to recognize emotions in others; the capacity to read, be sensitive to and influence other people’s emotions and handling and managing emotions in other people, and doing so persuasively. I found this idea the most important ingredient for a person who aspires to be a leader and to achieve her/his vision; the key for all activities.

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

These lessons will help me in a practical way that my thoughts are the results of my beliefs, my actions are the results of my thoughts, my actions become my habits, values are the result of my habits and these all will decide my destiny. The importance of deep thinking and to be careful about these things to be the change I want to see in my community, country and the world and to live in peace. The idea shows me the need to understand why I want something else and this secret from various sources; to stimulate information throughout the body and to come to know. Knowledge is the key to set big goals, to dream big, and to feel good about myself when achieving my goals.

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

‘‘Thought in the mind hath made us, what we are by thought was wrought and built. If a man’s mind Hath evil thoughts, pain comes on him as comes The wheel the ox behind. If one endure
In purity of thought joy follows him
As his own shadow–sure.’’

This one has got my attention because it clearly stated the fact that we all are the reflections of our thoughts. Thought and life have direct relationships. Bad thoughts not only make us live a sad and unhappy life but also affect our social value; living a lonely and isolated life will be our fate. A person with a positive thought (optimist) is at peace with herself/himself and is always happy. Happiness is in ourselves and wherever we go, the peace and tranquility are intertwined. We can do and achieve whatever we want because no one is invincible in peace and goodwill.
“He that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.”

This statement attracted my attention because it states that if I have both the interest and the effort everything will be achieved. Ask and I will receive, seek and I will find because it is someone that asks who receives. If I really want to do something, I will find a way.

“He who cherishes a beautiful vision, a lofty ideal in his heart, will one day realize it.”

This one clearly explained a vision should be kept in mind. To believe with my whole heart that realizing it is possible. Show great determination, be a role model, make personal sacrifices, and take responsibility for my actions. Articulate clear shared visions and goals and how they are to be achieved. Having these in mind if I find all the possibilities, there will be no barrier or reason to realize my vision.

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 is no anything in the book that I do not understand. It is clear.

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?

I didn’t get any exercises in the book to complete

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

I don’t have any comments. Everything is covered in the questions above.

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

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

 

 

Jonathan Livingston Seagull
Assessment by Gebreegziabher Fana Kinfe (Ethiopia)

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

The author has clearly stated that success is not something that one can achieve overnight. That is to mean that someone needs first to have to set a goal or aim where he/she needs to go then he/she must have an interest and aspiration to change himself/herself towards the required goal. Then he/she should know that setting a goal and/or having interest by itself is not enough, what is more is understanding one’s own strengths & limitations, an intrinsic inspiration/motivation which says “I can do it” is an integral component as well, self-confidence, considering failure in some part of life should be taken in to account; putting an effort in recognizing what causes failure and turning those causes to our own benefits and use it as a springboard to go higher and above all a continuous effort or practice and self-esteem (a feeling of pride in yourself) to reach at the required goal too are very important components for a successful person to achieve and reach at where he/she needs to be.

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. Transformational Leadership

A change in the very condition or nature of a thing, a change into another world, a radical change in external form or inner character. It is a change of this extent and depth that is nurtured by transforming leadership. Before this idea I didn’t believe that someone can work against her/his nature. Seagull’s story is an important lesson to me because it teaches me transformation is a fundamental shift in the deep orientation of a person that the world is seen in new ways and new actions and results become possible that were impossible previous to the transformation. Jonathan Livingston seagull’s life clearly shows me that transformation happens at the individual level but must be surrounded in shared practices and norms for the transformation to be sustained. If I have an intrinsic interest that comes from within, it is the first step that I am making to achieve my goals.

ii. Goal

This is getting a mental picture where I am interested to end up that is called the vision, purpose and meaning. I am interested in becoming an effective leader; my interest should be accompanied by my goals. My goal is to be a reliable leader in bringing positive change for the community, country and the world at large. So, this idea was personally most important to me in such a way that for my goals to become effective I should have the imagination in what type of characteristics an effective leader should possess.

iii. Coaching

Helping followers who used to be benefited out of the goal; coaching practiced as a culture among the coach and followers regularly. The idea is important to me because it shows Coaching as a skill that a transformed leader practices as he/she achieves performance in teaching and guiding followers in solving a problem as a friendship intended to knock into the knowledge and capacities someone brings to the vision achievement process.

iv. Prioritize

I always try to give priority to my activities but sometimes it is really challenging. As a result, so many times I started to work many activities at one time and ended up without completing one engagement very well due to inability to put things in order. These ideas become practically important to me because it clearly shows me how to give first what needs to be given precedence. What factors should be given priority should be decided before taking action.

v. Self-esteem

Understanding the strengths and weaknesses that I have and having my strengths, I should work on my weaknesses so that my weaknesses might be the causes for my failures or in other words, I need to have the feeling of pride in myself. It was vital to me because it helps me to understand what matters most is how I see myself or the value that I have for myself.

vi. Independence

In the self-confidence, the belief in myself or the courage to say “I can do it!” When I start to practice by myself, I will develop the confidence to perform by my own. Continuous self-practice to achieve more perfection so that I will be closer to success – to my goal, is the stage where things are put into practice, working independently. Before I read the book my belief was that my life is the product of both circumstances and my decision. This idea is important for me because it makes me understand the belief that my life is a product of my decision not the conditions I am in or in other words taking responsibility for what I am doing.

vii. Interdependence

Most of the time I prefer to work alone rather than team work. This book was important to me because it shows how to work as a team; first independently achieve self-perfection, and then it is mandatory to learn to work together collaboratively in a way that I will share my experiences and learn from others in turn. This way my efforts will have a mutual effect for others as well.

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 first thing these ideas help me in a practical way is to have an interest towards my goal (both short and long term); to have a life with purpose to be achieved in my lifetime. Inspirational motivation that emanates from within the goal I set in getting a picture towards my vision, purpose and meaning. To have the motivation, aspiration and interest in my daily personal life and in achieving my vision an interest from me should come first; it is the first step I have to do to achieve my goals. These lessons help me to create a better world in a way to understand and practice the characteristics an effective leader should possess. It helps me to be a risk taker both in my daily personal life and in creating a better world i.e. taking responsibility for what I am doing. These lessons help me to identify my strengths and weaknesses in my daily personal life; to work on my weaknesses, to have the feeling of pride in myself and to give a value for myself. As leadership starts from self, I should have to start the change from myself. In creating a better world, I learned to develop self confidence to perform on my own through continuous practice.

Once Seagull achieved his goals, he didn’t stop but continued his journey to learn new things. Jonathan believes his best is yet to come; having the spirit of continuous learning. Aspires the process of learning new skills and knowledge on a continuous basis; runs to take self-initiative in taking new challenges. By this I can learn continuous learning, it is a great lesson for me that vision never ends and continuous learning can also be within me in enhancing the change I want to see which can be lifelong learning.

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.

“Look at Fletcher! Lowell! Charles-Roland! Judy Lee! Are they also special and gifted and divine? No more than you are, no more than I am. The only difference, the very only one, is that they have begun to understand what they really are and have begun to practice it.”

Well, this one has got my attention in that no one is specially gifted and divine than others, what makes someone perfect and others imperfect is the degree or extent of effort and practice that we put on something. I strongly agree that every person is equal. The difference most of all lies in our attitude and practice.

“The hardest thing in the world is to convince a bird that he is free, and that he can prove it for himself if he’d just spend a little time practicing? Why should that be so hard?”

The attitude that we have to ourselves greatly influences the way we perform. Unless and otherwise we tell ourselves that we are free and we can do everything as long as we put an effort into something, no one can prove our performance except we do it!!

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 idea the book explained is great and clear, especially the concept that was focusing on hard work and practice.

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 presented for the readers.

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. As it has been said humans are social animals and bounded and expected to abide by culture, religion and norms to function as intended in the society. The seagull in this book was socially isolated due to its distinct behavior. If the seagull was a human being, the social isolation that he experienced will result in stress, loneliness, anxiety and depression even though the experience that he had was great there is a probability that such abnormalities might occur. Therefore; it would be better if it included methods of solving the discrepancies that he has encountered with his fellow seagulls.

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

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

Keys to Success
Assessment by Gebreebziabher Fana Kinfe (Ethiopia)

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

The main idea the author is trying to explain in the book was that for sustainable accomplishment, the seventeen principles are the essence of action and attitudes of everyone, if we are able to apply them at the proper time we can succeed. Progress toward success begins with defining a goal. To achieve an outstanding success, applying a mastermind alliance is essential. If applied appropriately we can use others talents, experiences and skills as ourselves to handle any problem we face. The author states that to work on our personality and to have faith which is the process of relating ourselves to the vital forces of the world is a key for sustainable and lasting success. Developing the extra mile principle by telling ourselves to give the best service in the right mental attitude i.e. serving others even if it has no payment will make us to be remembered by the service receiver and may benefit us one day in one or another way. The book stresses commitment as necessary element since it is a base for work, advancement, attention, opportunity, the future and also an input in our way to go the extra mile. Creative vision is an important component to go the extra mile and it is not related with money rather doing the impossible; out of the box thinking.

The book further describes that the place we have in this world is the result of our attitude and effort. It also stresses taking steps to better ourselves, by learning new skills and avoiding bad habits through developing our capabilities and potential in enhancing quality of life and the realization of dreams and aspirations. We should always have to try to learn from others and to be thankful and let others in order to live the lifestyle we wish and to accept important and fruitful advice from others whom we trust. The book states the power of love; to love people as they are. To focus on our strengths rather than our limitations; sharing experiences with others also allows us to avoid the mistakes that are done by others and to keep the best ways to success.

The other idea raised by the book is to develop a wish to desire and a desire to hope; hope to belief then burning desire to faith. Finally make a plan in relation to what we want and to apply our faith with a positive mental attitude. It is our choice to have a positive mental attitude. To control and use our enthusiasm properly, it shows ways to develop our enthusiasm by examining every activity in order to shape it in a way that leads to enthusiasm. It also shows how someone’s enthusiasm changes others’ lives.
It prescribes that Self-discipline is important to control emotions, to have the intelligence to manage our emotions, to have the capacity for self-awareness and self-management. We should have to develop the discipline to control our physical intelligence, time, attitude and vision. It states the importance to know parts of mind in order to:
· Understand self-discipline,
· To protect an ego,
· To be reasonable,
· To relate imagination and purpose and to store pleasant memories
The book tries to convey the most common causes for failure; To recognize any that are the main causes for hindrance and it expresses not to criticize ourselves for their presence instead we must find ways to resolve and to do something about them. Learn from failure: Failure or defeat may be the starting point to your success. Not to frustrate for a failure rather learn from it and to change hardships into an opportunity.

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

i. A plan for reaching a goal.

I have to know my starting point during my journey to success; to have a clear and concise picture of what I am looking for. When I tell myself about the big picture daily it will grow inside, become a passion and so that my every activity leads me to my achievement. Writing out my definite major purpose enables me to be specific and to read it once everyday increases my passion towards my plan. Previously to be successful I believe that in addition to hard work someone must also be lucky. This book helps me to understand that to be successful first, I have to know what I want so that I can act accordingly rather than believing luck as a key to success.

ii. Be optimistic

We cannot succeed if we don’t have a positive mentality. It is the base for every success. To be successful or to live in poverty is our choice. I am responsible for my own thoughts. So, I can drive myself for the goal I wish to reach, to live a successful and satisfied life. I do have two choices either to use my mind in achieving my goal or leave as it is! That is to mean to be under the influence of others or set myself free. These ideas are most important to me because I am the only person to guide and control my mental attitude. I have to avoid fear and frustration and believe in my potential for success. The choice is in my own hand.

iii. Creating effective teams

To maintain supremacy and dominance I should form an effective team which is based on willingness. Committed to a shared purpose with common performance goals, complementary skills, and a common approach to their work which is mutually accountable for the team results or outcome. Rewarding the work of others is also important to motivate alliances; to benefit from the collective efforts, I should learn how to inspire the people I’m working with.

iv. Managing fear

It helps me to know how fear affects the parts, function and overall system of the body and to be aware of the main causes of fear; how to avoid fears because it causes serious mind disturbance and puts my life in danger. It gives a great lesson that to avoid and defeat fear or worry it is necessary to replace it with faith and understanding to myself. Previously I didn’t think fear and anxiety may have such an effect on mind and body. In addition, before I read this book, I do not expect that those fears and worries can be avoided by a good professional counselor. This book helps me to understand that by doing this I am expressing my commitment to my health and my definite major purpose. It makes me remember a well-known Ethiopian saying that is “the one you fear will come; the one you hate will inherit.”

“Which means when you repeat a fear over and over again the probability and the tendency to happen is more and you are approaching it. So, it is a great lesson that is to conquer fear before it defeats me and the best way to remove fear is to have a positive mental attitude.”

v. Time management

The concept of time is most important to me because it helps me to know more about time management on the job. Successful people manage their time well. One of the effective steps towards time management is to identify how I spend my time; to keep a log of how I spend my day and to write down how much time I spend on activities. This will help me to eliminate tasks that are unnecessary. Example: prioritizing my tasks by numbering them in order of importance and urgency by dividing a sheet of paper in to four equal sections and labeling the top left important and urgent, the top right important but not urgent, bottom left unimportant and urgent and finally the bottom right unimportant and not urgent.

vi. Appropriate use of money

Money should be spent with a definite major purpose in mind. To make saving as a culture is vital as it is an important weapon to fight the fear against poverty. Personally, I don’t have that much experience of giving some amount of my money to charity. After reading this book, I understand that it is part of budgeting money and I am so initiated to allocate some portion of my income to charity as it plays a key role during the extra mile journey. The importance of having adequate life insurance is also the most important lesson I got from this book as well.

vii. Building constructive habits

Any useless, damaging and unnecessary habit can be removed and replaced with a more inspiring one which is a worthy, constructive and necessary habit if I want it to be so. It is a means for incorporating all of the seventeen principles of success into my life. Example: keeping positive mental attitude by practicing self-discipline to and control a positive mental attitude so that a definite major purpose may be planted by faith, personal initiative and enthusiasm which will bring a vision in my 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 lessons will help me in a practical way that my progress toward success begins with the definiteness of purpose. The concepts show me that it is the starting point of all achievement. To know what I want in my life. If I am determined to get it, it becomes an obsession with continuous effort and sound planning then I have awakened and developed definiteness of purpose. To avoid difficulty in selecting the most important task, I ask myself what in the list is most important and urgent. Practicing effective time management will allow me to spend more time on the things that matter me the most. To assess my attitude towards time, it helps me to be a doer rather than drifter. Establishing a cooperation or union to adopt a purpose which is based on mutual agreement; to form and maintain an alliance everywhere and in most of my personal activities.

Food supply is used to maintain the good health of my body. These lessons help me in a practical way that to keep my digestive system healthy, I have to eat a variety of foods that my body needs, to pay attention to timely nutritional information, and to get a variety of foods. This book helps me to know what variety of foods I should take and keep my body healthy. Previously I ate what I got but it was important to be selective. Earlier I didn’t have a culture and time for leisure, these ideas help me in my daily life that relaxation is necessary to concentrate and run out of worries to exclude other thoughts. It means anything which will absorb me. It also helps me to be relaxing, exercising and paying attention to my health. The idea helped me in a practical way that to be exceptional and acquire specialized knowledge in my major area of interest.
Napoleon Hill incorporated so many experiences of successful people in his book. Personally, I learned so many experiences and I got a great lesson on the principles of success and how to apply them.

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

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

This one has got my attention because it clearly states that my mind is the result of my thoughts. If I always feed my mind thoughts of poverty and keep the current life as it is; my mind will achieve the way it conceives and believes. However, if I always think about success; my mind will push me the way I desire.

“If you would plant for days, plant flowers. If you would plant for years, plant trees.
If you would plant for eternity, plant ideas!”

This statement attracted my attention because it states that if my definite major purpose is for days, I am planting flowers because flowers will glow for only days and will disappear and if my purpose is for years, I am planting trees as trees age is not more than years but if I plant an idea, it will last forever since ideas can be transferred from generation to generation.

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 is no anything in the book that I do not understand.

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, there are exercises and they are so helpful because it helps me to assess the level to which I have made the principles of personal achievement as part of my life and to identify areas needing improvement.

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 don’t have any comments. Everything is covered in the questions above.

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

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

 

 

PsychoCybernetics
Assessment by Gebreegziaber Fana Kinfe (Ethiopia)

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

The book has raised so many life skills issues that are very important for the good of human beings’ life changing situations, especially it introduced the new concept of science i.e. the science of PsychoCybernetics that view the physiological functioning of human beings as a machine for themselves by themselves to achieve life-changing goals; starting from simple day to day activities to dramatically increasing their income. It clearly states that success is not only possible but remarkably requires simple understanding in the process of changing the self-image. The new science of “Cybernetics” has furnished us with convincing proof that the so-called “subconscious mind” is not a “mind” at all, but a mechanism; a goal-striving “servo-mechanism” consisting of the brain and nervous system, which is used and directed by mind. The latest and most usable concept is that man does not have two “minds,” but a mind, or consciousness, which “operates” an automatic, goal-striving machine. This automatic, goal-striving machine functions very similarly to the way that electronic servo-mechanisms function; as far as the basic principles are concerned, but it is much more marvelous, much more complex, than any electronic brain or guided missile ever conceived by man.

According to the book, a human being always acts, feels and performs in relation to what s/he imagines or believes to be true about himself and his environment. Our imagination or mental representation of our environment sets the goal ‘picture’ which our automatic mechanism works on. We act, or fail to act, not because of ‘will,’ as is so commonly believed, but because of imagination or self-concept. The book stresses on the way we create a good self-image, shapes the way our brain and nervous system constitute a marvelous and complex goal-striving mechanism, “a sort of built-in automatic guidance system which works for you as a “success mechanism,” or against you as a “failure mechanism,” depending on how “YOU,” the operator, operate it and the goals you set for it.

The book further describes self-image psychology as a bridge to fill the gap and how to resolve apparent conflicts between the various therapeutic methods used today. It provides a common denominator for direct and indirect counseling, clinical psychology, psychoanalysis, and even auto-suggestion. Obviously; this time the field of experimental and clinical psychology enables us to use “experiencing” as a direct and controlled method of changing the self-image. Since actual real-life experience can be hard and ruthless, teachers as “Throw a man in water over his head and the experience may teach him to swim.” The same experience may cause another man to drown. And therefore, it is vital to change the self-image and you change the personality and the behavior that you will have accordingly.

The goals that our own Creative Mechanism seeks to achieve are Mental Images, or mental pictures, which we create by the use of Imagination. The key goal-image is our Self-image. You act, and feel, not according to what things are really like, but according to the image your mind holds of what they are like. It follows that if our ideas and mental images concerning ourselves are distorted or unrealistic, then our reaction to our environment will likewise be inappropriate. Our Self-Image prescribes the limits for the accomplishment of any particular goals. It prescribes the “area of the possible” like any other servo-mechanism, our Creative Mechanism works up on information and data which we feed into it (our thoughts, beliefs, interpretations). Through our attitudes and interpretations of situations, we “describe” the problem to be worked upon. The method itself consists in learning, practicing and experiencing, new habits of thinking, imagining, remembering, and acting in order to:
Develop an adequate and realistic Self-image, and
Use our Creative Mechanism to bring success and happiness in achieving particular goals.
The other concept raised by the book was “rational thinking” skills for a successful life. It argues that it is the conscious thinking which is the “control knob” of your unconscious machine. It was by conscious thought, though perhaps irrational and unrealistic, that the unconscious Machine developed its negative and inappropriate reaction patterns, and it is by conscious rational thought that the automatic reaction patterns can be changed. According to Freud, since it’s the unconscious mind where the different hidden wishes, desires and fears are stored, these things will come out when they got a favorable condition and affect the person’s true personality. A person has to start in the present to acquire some maturity so that the future may be better than the past. The present and the future depend on learning new habits and new ways of looking at old problems. There simply isn’t any future in digging continually into the past; the underlying emotional problem has the same common denominator in every patient. This common denominator is that the patient has forgotten how, or probably never learned how, to control his present thinking to produce enjoyment. The main idea has stressed that self-image is the key to human success, personality and human behavior.

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

i. Self-Image

Having a good self-image about myself is an important element on the way towards success. This is just like an image we see in the mirror and it is a real or inaccurate view of who we really are. Based on this view, we develop either a positive or a negative self-image. The strengths and weaknesses we have accepted affects how we act today. We continually take in information and evaluate ourselves pertaining to our appearance, performance, and relationships. The idea is important to me because if I have developed a positive self-image, my tendency to recognize and own my assets and capabilities while being realistic about my strengths and limitations. Whereas if a negative one is developed, I focus on my faults and weaknesses, distorting failure and imperfections. Due to this, improving our true self-image is important because how I think, how I feel, how I interact with others about myself affects the world around me. Therefore; a positive self-image can enhance our physical, mental, social, emotional, and spiritual well-being. On the other hand, a negative self-image can decrease our satisfaction and ability to function in these areas.

ii. Imagination

Imagination is one among the most important things somebody can have, and it has the benefit of going beyond dreaming up new ventures. To be successful you need to have a clear imagination in problem solving. That is looking at multiple solutions to a problem, even when some may not be obvious, and the creative solutions usually generate better outcomes than would be possible otherwise. It has been said that greater poets, artists and other people with innovative ideas are coming into existence whenever we develop a creative imagination. Example: I personally have a tendency to try to imagine or create a mental image whenever I want to do something. Such as when I am working on my research or try to solve any problem, I usually develop a clear mental image of how I am going to work appropriately towards it i.e. before I start to work on the process.

iii. Dehypnotizing

Hypnosis is a state of mind that is characterized by focused attention and heightened receptivity for suggestions. It is either established by compliance with instructions or achieved naturally; the critical nature of the mind is bypassed during hypnosis and acceptable suggestions are delivered. It is commonly assumed that during hypnosis, the subconscious mind is in a suggestible state while the conscious mind is distracted or guided to become dormant. When the hypnotizing person develops an inferiority complex due to his false perception of himself that he is inferior, than thinking he is feeling inferiority. Dehypnotizing is very important. Example: If I am continuously measuring and judging myself in terms of other people’s achievement but not in terms of my own success, I will develop a feeling of inferiority. The problem arises when I thought I am inferior. During such situations, dehypnotizing the wrong perception is a vital one. It was found that hypnotic subjects are able to do surprising things only when convinced that the hypnotist’s words are true statements. When the hypnotist has guided the subject to the point where he is convinced that the hypnotist’s words are true statements, the subject then behaves differently because he thinks and believes differently.

iv. Rational thinking

It is better here to take the cognitive theorists perspective, it says that “the way we think, feel and express our emotional feelings and see things (the mental process) highly determines how we live or how we will live.” This perspective shows that a person has to start in the present to acquire some maturity so that the future may be better than the past. The ability of people to reason, analyze, decide, solve problems and evaluate are all undergoing inside our mind. The present and the future depend on learning new habits and new ways of looking at old problems. There simply isn’t any future in digging continually into the past; the underlying emotional problem has the same common denominator in every patient. This common denominator is that the patient has forgotten how, or probably never learned how, to control his present thinking to produce enjoyment.” So, this idea was personally most important to me in such a way that everyone is living to the extent of critical thinking skills s/he has. Since my present negative beliefs were formed by my thoughts plus feelings. Generate enough emotion, or deep feeling, and my new thoughts and ideas will cancel them out.

v. Success type of personality

A great many people want to “improve” themselves, and long for a “better personality,” who have no clear-cut idea of the direction in which improvement lies, or what constitutes a “good personality.” A good personality is one which enables you to deal effectively and appropriately with the environment and reality, and to gain satisfaction from reaching goals which are important to you. To achieve success, one must look for and seek out true information concerning him/herself, his/her problems, other people, or the situation, whether it is good news or bad news. In addition, you have to be able to change your failure mechanisms to your own advantage or make them towards you rather than working against you is one of the major principles of a successful personality. This idea is important to me in such a way that People’s Day to day activities are full of a number of obstacles and then we need to change these into our own benefit like that of an appendix is contributing for the person’s well-being.

vi. Emotional Scars

When you receive a physical injury, such as a cut on the face, your body forms scar tissue which is both tougher and thicker than the original flesh. The purpose of the scar tissue is to form a protective cover or shell, nature’s way of insuring against another injury in the same place. Or if an ill-fitting shoe rubs against a sensitive part of your foot; the first result is pain and sensitivity. But again, nature protects against further pain and injury by forming a callus, a protective shell. Many people have inner emotional scars who have never suffered physical injuries. And the result on personality is the same. These people have been hurt or injured by someone in the past. To guard against future injury from that source they form a spiritual callus, an emotional scar to protect their ego. This scar tissue, however, not only “protects” them from the individual who originally hurt them—it “protects” them against all other human beings. An emotional wall is built through which neither friend nor foe can pass. This is to mean that whenever an emotionally threatening situation happens to somebody, his feelings, thoughts, attitudes and emotions will be injured, and is then expected to heal those situations that create negative emotions. The idea in the book is significant because in our life we might have been injured due to different misunderstandings with our loved ones, if we do not work effectively on it whenever we meet with them, the tendency to get exposed to so many kinds of emotional scars will increase. Therefore, we must apologize or excuse them in order to lead the rest of life peacefully. The person with emotional scars not only has a self-image of an unwanted, unliked, and incapable person; he/she also has an image of the world in which she/he lives as a hostile place. His/her primary relationship with the world is one of hostility, and his/her dealings with other people are not.

vii. Tranquilizers

Tranquilizer drugs, which have become so popular during the past few years, bring peace of mind, calmness, and reduce or eliminate “nervous symptoms” by an “umbrella action.” Just as an umbrella protects us from the rain, the various tranquilizers erect a psychic screen between us and disturbing stimuli. Tranquilizers work because they greatly reduce, or eliminate, our own response to disturbing stimuli. Tranquilizers do not change the environment. The disturbing stimuli are still there. We are still able to recognize them intellectually, but we do not respond to them emotionally. These tranquilizers are like Freud’s defense mechanisms that people are using in order to defend their failures just like having “a foxhole in mind.”

Tranquilizing yourself is just like “escapism.” So is sleep “escapism.” Carrying an umbrella in the rain is escapism. Building yourself an actual house where you can retreat from the weather and the elements is escapism. And taking a vacation is escapism. Our nervous system needs a certain amount of escapism. It needs some Freedom and protection from the continual bombardment of external stimuli. We need yearly vacations where we physically “vacate” the old scenes, the old duties, the old responsibilities, “get away from it all.”

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 seven ideas help me in my personal, work life and day to day activities practically. For someone to lead an effective and happy life, s/he must have a positive view or a self-image having the right image of ourselves, imagination- the tendency to create a mental view of image of both ourselves and of others, the capability to develop rational thinking which is based on abstract reasoning, analyzing the situation, evaluating on what has been done and the skill of problem solving, most importantly one must believe in “there is a solution for every problem,” healing our emotional scars in a wise manner, and developing the skill of turning our problems or obstacles in to our own personal advantage is how these ideas help us in our day to day activities. These lessons help me to create a better world in such a way that if I have much of the skills in the seven big ideas, the probability of passing my everyday life obstacles will be very easy.

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

“A person has to start in the present to acquire some maturity so that the future may be better than the past. The present and the future depend on learning new habits and new ways of looking at old problems. There simply isn’t any future in digging continually into the past the underlying emotional problem has the same common denominator in every patient. This common denominator is that the patient has forgotten how, or probably never learned how, to control his present thinking to produce enjoyment.”
This one has got my attention in that everyone should not worry about the past since it is once passed, no need to worry about it. What we should do is that we must start from the present both to correct the past and to have a new beginning.

“No man ever became great or good except through many and great mistakes,” said Gladstone.

“I have learned more from my mistakes than from my successes,” said Sir Humphry Davy.

“We learn wisdom from failure much more than from success; we often discover what will do, by finding out what will not do; and probably he who never made a mistake will never made a discovery.”

This quote clearly shows that for somebody to use his/her full potential, one should take the risks and should not be afraid of failure. Because it’s through our failure that we can progress 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?

There is no anything in the book that I do not understand

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, there were exercises included in the book. I have completed it and I have used those exercises to check my understanding for the main context.

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, the book has discovered so many important psychological concepts for the development of proper personality. Though this is the fact, it would be very good if the book can include psychological theories that support the different ideas.

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

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

Success through a Positive Mental Attitude
Assessment by Gebreegziabher Fana Kinfe (Ethiopia)

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

The author has clearly stated that if there is readiness inside us for sure there is something wonderful to be happened. How to use the power of the subconscious mind and applying the principles of success through a positive mental attitude leads to properly using our thoughts into action and how to aim high regardless of the obstacles. The author is trying to convey the power of the book ‘‘success through a positive mental attitude’’ by providing experiences from people who read and apply the principles and became successful; bringing their desires to reality. The author states that PMA leads to success and helps people reach the peak of achievement. However, NMA is an obstacle not to climb the ladder of success and leads us to fall down in achieving our goals.
The book further describes that applying PMA and the rest 16 success principles is the right way to fulfill our desire and to achieve anything we value in life. To keep our mind positive we have to keep these success principles permanently in our mind and score success and failures in our daily lives. By doing this we can identify our weaknesses and strengths and help us to apply all the principles without missing one of them appropriately together with PMA to be successful since PMA alone cannot lead us to success.

If our questions are not answered, when it looks satisfactory solution to our problem is impossible; when we wish to improve ourselves and the world around us, we have to develop inspirational dissatisfaction because it can motivate us to succeed so did Albert Einstein; it can change our world or make us move forward in the direction we want to go. Developing an obsession, to help others, sharing ourselves without expecting anything from others will one day pay us for our good deeds in another way.
The other idea raised by the book is to be energetic before our health and desirable characteristics are subdued by the negative. Feeling out of energy is the time to recharge since PMA needs a good energy level. To maintain our level of energy we need to exercise both our mind and body; to achieve this we should make our meal to be based on a balanced diet. The book further describes that when we develop PMA, we don’t give up trying in fear of failure. I can be motivated and receive hope from successful experience.

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

i. Develop positive mental attitude.

Since we do have absolute control over our minds, avoiding the negative feelings, emotions, passions, habits, beliefs and prejudice enable us to develop our positive mental attitude. This idea was most important to me because it reminds me that I am the most important living person. I am the product of my family, environment, physical body, conscious and subconscious mind, experience and the powers known and unknown. I have the power, use, control or harmonize with all of them; and I can direct my thoughts, control my emotions and establish my destiny with a positive mental attitude.

ii. Think out of the box.

This idea was very crucial to me because it makes me understand that to be successful we have to think out of the box and try something different. This book helps me to understand that out of the box thinking and changing the status quo or the old way of doing leads to the road of success so did Alexander Graham Bell. These lessons help me to understand failure in a way that it could be the beginning to start a new way of thinking to find and try out something new in achieving what we want or to attain a goal.

iii. Self-understanding

To solve problems or misunderstanding with others we have to first start with noticing the weaknesses & strengths of ourselves. Examining my own mental attitude will help me to discover the negative attitude inside of me and to find ways to avoid these negative attitudes so as to live a happier life.

iv. Motivating self and others

It is the force that keeps pushing us to go on; an internal force to attain, produce, develop and keep moving forward. Self motivation pushes us to go on. This book helps me to understand that to motivate myself, I should have to understand the principles to motivate others; to motivate others understanding the principles to motivate myself is the most important lesson I got from this book. To establish the habit of motivating myself with a positive mental attitude and hope is the best element to motivate myself and others. Using negative emotions, feelings, thoughts and attitudes based on the situation is also good.

v. Use other people’s money (OPM)

Using other people’s money is the best way to acquire wealth. This idea was most important to me because when I can’t be able to finance myself to do something, OPM is the most important solution to buy time and allows me to do things in my business; the way to acquire great wealth. The basic unwritten premise in using OPM is that I will operate on the highest ethical standards of integrity, honor, honesty to be entitled to credit, loyalty, consent and the golden rule and apply these in my business relationships is the most important lesson I got from the book.

vi. Job Satisfaction

To enhance our job motivation, whatever our position is, we can use a positive mental attitude. Previously I thought that job satisfaction can come if we are working the job we like very much; this book helps me to understand that no matter our job, whether we like our job or not, we owe it to ourselves to find satisfaction as long as we have it. It is a great lesson for me that I do have the power to control my mental attitude so that I can find out the methods to bring satisfaction to my job and to live a happy and satisfied life. I am the only one to eliminate my limitations when I learn and employ the art of motivation with PMA.

vii. Attitude

Attitude is everything and makes a difference. Persons who want to be happy will adopt a positive mental attitude and be influenced by the PMA side of their talisman. Thus happiness will be attracted to them, and will be happy if we mostly experience that positive state of mind. The determining factor is whether we are under the influence of a positive or negative mental attitude; the factor we can control and the choice is in our hand.

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 first thing these ideas help me in a practical way is to have a PMA. These lessons help me to understand that I am the most important living person and to get myself recognizing the right mental attitude is essential. It helps me to know that if I am applying PMA with one or two of the success principles I am on my way to success. These lessons help me in a practical way that behind every success there is PMA. Recognizing my PMA is the beginning to find myself; having PMA is the means to aim high and to continuously find ways to achieve them.

PMA is the most important tool to develop mental and physical health and a longer life. However, NMA will damage mental and physical health and will shorten my life. These lessons help me to understand that it all depends on which side of the talisman I turn up; properly employed Positive mental attitude has a positive impact because someone close to them had a strong positive mental attitude. The authors of the book incorporated so many experiences and real life examples of successful people under each chapter of the book. Personally, I learned so many experiences and I got a great lesson on the journey to success through a positive mental attitude and how to apply them.

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.

“Anything in life worth having is worth working for!”

This statement attracted my attention because it clearly stated that if I want something enough, then I will do whatever it takes to get it. Nothing can ever stop me from doing anything in my control to accomplish that. If I believe something worth having, it is of course worth working and struggling for. I have to work hard for something I want. It is important to me because I have learned from this quote that anything in life worth having comes from patience and hard work.

“The whole is equal to the sum of all the parts and is greater than any of its parts.”

This one has got my attention in that something that is made of many separate parts can be more important or greater than all of the separate parts. Any part is smaller than the whole. Therefore to enhance the greater one it is important to add all the necessary parts. To bring the success we seek, we need something more to add. For instance let us take teamwork as an example; it’s known that every team member should contribute for the success of a given task. Therefore, the whole contribution of the team members has a higher effectiveness for the company’s success than that of a single member’s contribution for the task; however a single member’s contribution can only be seen as an input for the whole 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?

The ideas the book explained is great and clear

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, there are exercises and they are so helpful because it helps me to measure my success quotient.

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 don’t have any comments. Everything is covered in the questions above.

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

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

How to Win Friends and Influence People
Assessment by Gebreegziabher Fana Kinfe (Ethiopia)

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

The author clearly indicated the psychological techniques in how to influence people and bring a positive interpersonal interaction in order to reach a mutual understanding among and between people. The author has stated a number of basic tenets to reach an agreement with people as well. Among the many ways some of them are “do not criticize people, start with the idea that both people can agree, do not judge people, create a good impression, sympathize and so on. The other important concept that the book put vividly was that respecting people regardless of their origin, color and other characters, showing them that they are important in their every movement, more over it has described the concepts in relation to the different ways in how to be a leader by mentioning a number of examples from the author’s own and that of others experiences such as showing the employees polite treatment, the characteristics in effective leadership than exhibiting bossy behaviors, indirect positive ways of influencing employees than threatening employees even if they do against the organizational rules. In general, the book excellently presented with examples the skills that everybody should have in both our personal (in how to deal effectively with people) and work life (i.e in the organizational setting).

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.

Actually, the book has raised more than seven ideas which are very important not only for me only but for others too. Since this question (#2) only requested seven of them among the many, I have listed and explained the seven most important ones in relation to my own personal life as follows:

i. Talk About What People Want

Let’s say that somebody is interested in cream cake, when he/she want to go for fishing rather than putting a piece of cream cake on the hook if he use a worm or grasshopper at the tip of the hook it helps him/her to catch more fishes since he used in the interest of the fishes than his own. That is to mean that when I want to influence people and make them do what I want, rather than talking about my own interests, it is better to begin talking about what attracts or interests that person for effectively influencing the other person.
In other words, as Harry remarkably explained this concept in his book “influencing human behavior,” Action springs out of what we fundamentally desire and the best advice that he gave to people when persuading others is it could be in business, at home, in school, or politics, is that first we have to address the other person’s interests and desires. He/she who can do this has the whole world with him – i.e. he/she can do whatever he/she wants.

ii. Do not criticize people

Criticism has negative implications for the person who is receiving it. For instance while discussing with a person who is working with me, if there is a critique in between our talk, it creates a negative meaning or he/she may feel as if he/she is attacked, underestimated or rejected by his/her own ideas or thoughts. Therefore, the discussion will become pointless as it puts people on the self-protective, defensive situations and usually makes him/her to shield for him/herself as it may create anger too. In addition, criticism is hazardous since it injures the person’s valuable pride and hurts his/her sense of significance by arousing resentment. Thus, we should not criticize a person if we want to win.

ii. Show Interest in Others

In my day to day interaction with our friends or other people in the environment, I should show an interest towards people around me i.e. by telling that I am interested in them, by being a good hearted person and showing appreciation, I can have true and sincere friends. Just remember “what do you think dogs are living with human beings?” because dogs only make their living by giving you nothing but love. Likewise, if we can have a good attachment with people we can influence them easily and turn them to the direction that we want. It’s very important to bear in mind that you can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in them than wasting your time to get other people interested in you. Showing interest costs nothing from you but rather it enables more people to come around you. It’s the same concept with customer operators in telecommunication companies or airline operators, due to their polite treatment they show their customers the concern they have to them consequently, they are able to get much more customers. At the same time you can make your life easier and productive in the years ahead by showing an interest and using polite treatment.

iii. Be Sympathetic and Admit your Mistakes

When discussing with people, try to put yourself in their shoes so that you will be able to feel, think, and understand their viewpoints – this is called sympathy. Remember that other people may be totally wrong. But they don’t think so. Therefore, don’t condemn them. The selfish ones can only do that. Try to understand them. Only wise, tolerant, exceptional people are trying to do that. There is a reason behind why the other man thinks and acts as he does. Sympathy will make you understand others and will enable you to see other’s views. At the same time being sympathetic means you will be in a position to reduce the barriers in your communication and create a better understanding among you.

The other very important topic is that, there are so many points that you may disagree with others either due to the lack of sympathy, may be due to critics or your wrong understanding. During such situations you may find yourself having the wrong standpoint. What do you do then? Do you defend yourself to cover up the mistakes? Doing so will increase the disagreement. So, the best option that enables you to win is to admit your errors and apologize to your partner and then things will be on the right track. Apology is a powerful weapon that can kill your errors, mistakes and wrong perceptions and at the same time it will make you win over your partner and bring you into an agreement.

iv. Make people do what you want

If you need a person to do what you want, even though there are problems, we should begin by appreciating the person’s good side in order to show him/her how valuable he/she is for us. That is as Dewey explained it “the desire to be important” OR as Freud’s expression “The desire to be great” is a natural phenomenon in humans. In our day to day interaction with people if we express our respect and value for them we can win and at the same time we can lead others in the direction that one wants. Taking my own experience as an example; the first step to win people and work for me is letting them know how much that particular person is important for me and expressing my appreciation that his/her presence is very important in that particular time and place. However, when we say appreciation it doesn’t mean flattery but rather a sincere and heartfelt appreciation that develops the person’s self-esteem. In doing so, one can make people do what he/she wants.

v. Good First Impression by your Smile

There is an old saying that “Your first impression is the last impression,” this is to mean that the way that you first meet people in your company or other event is very decisive to either have a positive attitude on people or to create a negative one. I absolutely agree with this idea! But the question is how somebody can develop this positive impression? Most people when they read this may think of a very complex formula or they may think of wearing expensive clothes, shoes or putting on jewelry No, No that’s not the answer, even though you did this all, your entire feelings cannot be covered by it at all. However, the answer is simple: just “SMILE” anywhere when you meet people for the first time show them your heartily warm smile then their attitude, the image that they create about you inside of them will be automatically positive. Since SMILE is a messenger to your good will, it brightens the lives of all who see it, lets them know there is hope and joy in the world. Even when you are talking on a phone call, though the one who is calling may not see you smiling, it has a positive effect on the conversation because he/she feels, notices the tone of your voice during your conversation.

vi. Be a leader

Actually it takes quite a bit of experience in addition to knowledge to become a leader, especially to be a transformational leader. Though this is the fact, in the process of winning people you should have a leader’s character. A leader has so many qualities, some among the many qualities; he/she changes people without offending or arousing resentment. Just like McGregor’s theory “Y” assumptions of managers/leaders. In order to win people in the workplace, the leader should create opportunities for the employees to:
Perceive their job as relaxing and normal, to exercise their physical and mental efforts in an inherent manner in their jobs.
Self-direct and self-control with minimal supervision
Admit and recognize the responsibility through this they can even learn to obtain responsibility and most importantly
Believe in their skills and capabilities for its full potential and utilization.
In doing so, one can improve his/her organizations upward and downward communication effectiveness, efficiency and personal transformational leadership skills than totally considering people under you like that of McGregor’s theory “X” assumptions that is the opposite of theory “Y” since it creates employees dissatisfaction, anger and resentment.

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?

As I already explained in the previous questions, the author has stated a number of important elements in dealing with people. The points raised are really difficult to choose one over the other since they are almost all good points in everybody’s day to day personal and work life. It is obvious that for a person to be successful in his life in general, there must be a positive relationship both upwards (with your upper leaders) and down wards (with your subordinates). This book clearly stated the mechanisms that we should follow in order to bring success and win people both in our personal and work life.

For our effectiveness in the above aspects the seven selected ideas are very crucial. I should understand what people want, since it’s through prioritizing people’s interest that I can achieve what I want, being uncritical even though there are problems, using a positive mechanism to deal with problems is better than criticism as it creates a feeling of discomfort and futility. Finding out what people want is also the other one, being sympathetic is the next one i.e. putting yourself in others place and it opens a door to see things from a different angle for a better understanding, creating a good impression on the face of people because the first impression that you have in the people’s face determines your effectiveness achieving this positive attitude is one way of people in paving the way towards winning them. Lastly but not the least is being a leader, especially transformational leader the mechanism to change people without making them angry, as this skill will increase both workers efficiency and organizational effectiveness at the same time. In general, these ideas are very important that should be applied in my life.

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

I am impressed with this statement since it excellently stated the importance of sympathetic behavior. If I feel something is not good for me, I should not do it to others as well.

“Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.”

This statement reminds me that in order to win people, we should appreciate, encourage and build their morale in every activity they are doing. As there is no gain from critics rather than pain.

“Praise is like sunlight to the warm human spirit; we cannot flower and grow without it. And yet, while most of us are only too ready to apply to others the cold wind of criticism, we are somehow reluctant to give our fellow the warm sunshine of praise.”

The quote below tells that a few sweet words can make people more attracted towards you than a jar full of criticisms, warnings or other forms that can generate resentment.

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

This notifies me that whenever somebody is doing something wrong, rather than directly harming his/her personal or behavioral aspects directly there must be some form of polite ways of ordering techniques and a mechanism to correct that person from his doings.
“I am convinced now that nothing good is accomplished and a lot of damage
can be done if you tell a person straight out that he or she is wrong. You only succeed in stripping that person of self-dignity and making yourself an unwelcome part of any discussion.”

5. Is there anything in the book that you do not understand or are unclear about, or are there ideas which you disagree with and, if so, why? NO

The idea the book explained is as clear as water.

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

No exercises, but there are reviews for each reading!

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.

Everything is covered in the previous questions.

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

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

Creating your Path through Leadership
Assessment by Gebreegziabher Fana Kinfe (Ethiopia)

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

The writers clearly stated that when bad things happen in our life; it may be an end to the previous activity or engagement. However, it is also the beginning for another phase of life and success. The authors try to convey that attitude is everything; what matters most is the way we see things in life. Circumstances are essentially neutral. It is our beliefs and attitude that give them meaning. And it is the meaning we give them which causes our emotional or physical reaction. Helping others to achieve their dream; as an individual I have to be a solution for a problem.

It states the IIGL beginnings and how it comes true. The amazing and inspiring story of the IIGL founders i.e Michael Lightweaver (USA/NC) and Deborah Rosen (USA/WI). It states the fruit of IIGL and its achievements and activities that are currently going on. The activities and inspiring successes of IIGL students who joined the institute from different disciplines and backgrounds; the book states the experience of these students what they have learned and developed in themselves while studying with IIGL.

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 ideas which were personally important to me were:

i. Attitude

Previously when I missed a chance the first thing that comes to my mind is because of my fate. There is a saying in my country Ethiopia. “If you don’t have the chance, you will become poor.” Which is not a good idea that makes a person to simply sit and wait for his/her chance without doing anything; the saying didn’t inspire us to step out of our comfort zone and reach for our achievements. I believe that this idea was personally important to me because it states that circumstances are essentially neutral. It is our beliefs and attitude that give them meaning. It helps me to understand that finding an opportunity is ultimately an inside job and everything is about attitude. Never underestimate my personal idea; it may change the world.

ii. Be yourself

This idea is personally most important to me because wanting to look like the leaders we admire most is not good. Discovering our leadership potential does not mean doing and acting like them. The idea inspired me to become and find the best of me since there will not be another me in this world. I can help others and bring change when I have a clear sense of who I am.

iii. Leadership development (self discovery)

This idea is most important to me because it helps me to understand discovering the potential inside of me can’t happen overnight rather it is a gradual process. For example, to develop my leadership potential, learning from others is essential; I got important lessons from the ideas that are raised by IIGL graduates and students in such a way to know the value and the gold inside of me. It is important to me because it helps me to know to be the change I want to see in the world. Books that are introduced by IIGL can change a person’s life: change myself before I could change the world.

iv. Commitment

See for a problem in your community and be committed to be dedicated and part of the solution. For example: in my country Ethiopia there are so many problems and these ideas help me to be a leader in every activity and find a solution for every problem; it is a matter of commitment to be involved and take action. It is important to me because it creates a strong sense of intention and focus.

v. Think globally

Opening myself to another point of view; taking an authentic interest, without criticism. These ideas help me to think beyond my community and country and to think globally. To think about strategic actions that create the necessary global change. It inspires me to work towards a better future. It is when I do that I can be an international person. By avoiding the limitations of our environment we can be global citizens.

vi. Effective communication

Communication skill is one of the important qualities of a leader. This idea is most important to me because it helps me to understand that effective communication can be developed through time. Effective communication enhances interpersonal relationships. If I have effective communication skills, I can make good friends, work with teams and relate to the right people. If we communicate proactively, we can manage difficult people and situations.

vii. Find inner potential

We can be the person we want to be in life. We can create opportunities rather than blaming ourselves for the situation and others who never give us the chance. For example: previously I spent so many times blaming people who never gave me the chance; because of this there were also times I spent sleepless nights because I can’t stop thinking about those chances I have missed. This idea was most important to me because it helps me to know that I have more than enough capabilities to become what I want to be. It also helps me to understand that instead of looking outwards in order to change my situation, to look inwards and find my inner potential to change the situation and to be a risk taker for the outcome I receive; to search deep within me and tap my inner potential. This has helped me a lot in dealing with most of life’s challenges, and set me up for transformation in my personal life. I also learned to separate myself from the outcome/result I receive, always valuing myself as a person; what matters most is the way I see myself.

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

I know joining IIGL is one of the best decisions I ever made regarding my leadership discovery and development and the first thing these ideas help me in a practical way is my decision was right because I am really inspired by former IIGL students and graduates who said it is through this program they got their leadership potential. It helps me to discover the kind of leader I wanted to be and those I wanted to positively influence. These lessons help me to know one of the quickest ways to reveal my leadership potential is by surrounding myself with leaders who are passionate about creating positive influences, because the energy of such people will certainly rub off on me; to enclose myself with like minds. Reading the stories and testimonies of IIGL graduates inspired me to continue my study with persistence and interest.

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.

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

This one particularly got my attention because we can actually physically change our brain structure and become more empathetic. Reading can enhance mental health. Books can increase brain power and make us smarter. With our smart thinking we can solve the problems. Here I remember the well known quote by Albert Einstein ‘‘we can’t solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them’’ That means in every situation and problem we are facing, we need to transform our consciousness that created; A new way of thinking and this new thinking can come through reading.

“We are unlimited beings. We have no ceiling. The capabilities and the talents and the gifts and the power that is within every single individual that is on this planet, is unlimited.”

This one is important to me because we truly have unlimited potential and capacity. Our mind can do everything. Discoveries around the world that seem impossible prior to the transformation are the best proof that we have no ceiling. The power of imagination is unlimited. Once we tap into that power and start using it, we can achieve anything; nothing is impossible.

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 idea the book explained is great and clear

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 for the reader to complete

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

Everything is covered in the previous questions

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

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

Awaken the Giant Within
Assessment by Gebreegziabher Fana Kinfe (Ethiopia)

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

Though the author intelligently presented a very detailed concept in awakening the giant skills and potentials within a person that is gently incorporated in the book, I will try to put the main points in a concise and short manner about the general message intended to deliver to the readers about this people’s hidden capabilities. As it is clearly written, deep down within a person, there is a special gift given to everybody that enables his/her to make a difference and can touch others in a special way, ultimately when this special gift is properly cultivated the world will become a better place for everyone. In the book the author has explained in detail how to awaken this giant potential or special gift within us. The author believed that we all have a hidden potential within us, each of us has a talent, a gift, our own bit of genius just waiting to be awakened. It might be a talent for art, music or other. It might be a special way of relating to the ones you love. It might be a genius for selling or innovating or reaching out in our business or our career. Since everybody is created unique and with equal opportunities for experiencing life to the fullest, the difference lays in the effort that people make in order to awaken the giant potential within them. To do this a lot of commitment and strength is needed to bring these giants within us and bring our dreams come true.

To do this, among the many the author has stated some of them are, someone is expected to raise his/her standards, which means writing down all the things he/she would no longer accept in his/her life, all the things he/she would no longer tolerate, and all the things that he/she aspired to be in the future. Think of the far-reaching consequences set in motion by them who raised their standards and acted in accordance with them, deciding they would tolerate no less, changing the limiting beliefs that hinder a person from being achieving his/her goals, a change in their life strategy, emotional mastery, physical mastery, relationship mastery, financial mastery and time mastery are also very crucial elements that enable a person to awaken the giant and change him/herself and others as well. Having all these stated components we should set a SMART goal to be achieved in the near future.

The author also notes the power of making decisions. The skill that someone has in making decisions both in his life and work life are a vital part in the overall current condition of that person. Everything that happens in our life, both what we are being delighted with and what we are challenged by began with the extent of on time decision that we put on. It is believed that it’s in our moments of decision that our destiny is shaped, this is perfectly stated by Benjamin Disraeli as: “Man is not the creature of circumstances; circumstances are the creatures of men” it’s the person him/herself that creates the condition not situations that create people. The decisions that we are making right now, every day, will shape how we feel today as well as who we are going to become in our future life.

The book reminds me also that human beings are not random creatures but reasonable ones. Everyone does something with a driving force or reason behind. This force impacts every facet of our lives, from our relationships and finances to our bodies and brains. That is to mean everybody does something either to avoid pain or to gain pleasure. Recognizing and exploiting the forces of pain and pleasure will allow us once and for all to create the lasting changes and improvements we desire for ourselves and those of us who care about. Successful people’s lives have been shaped by what they’ve learned to get pleasure from, and what they’ve learned will create pain. The most important lesson we learn in life is what creates pain for us and what creates pleasure. These lessons are different for each of us and, therefore, so are our behaviors. We should understand that the secret behind success is learning how to use pain and pleasure instead of having pain and pleasure use you. If we do that, we will be in control of our life otherwise, life will control us.

Last but not least, the author has stressed the importance of neuro-associative conditioning, which is the most important concept taken from the Russian psychologist, Ivan Pavlov. He intensively worked his experiments on dogs to condition them to respond to the bell without giving meat i.e. after conditioning. Likewise, the author stated that the more we associate things or situations with more favorable events or happenings, we increase the extent of pleasure we experience and if we associate it with something negative thought we decrease our pleasure – increase our painful experience. That is to mean any time we are in an intense emotional state, when we are feeling strong sensations of pain or pleasure, anything unique that occurs consistently will become neurologically linked to our success and/or failure.

Therefore; most of the things that we value require us to be able to break through the wall of short-term pain in order to have long-term pleasure. You must put aside the passing moments of terror and temptation, and focus on what is most important in the long terms i.e. your values and personal standards. Remember, that it’s not actual pain that drives us, but our fear that something will lead to pain. And it’s not actual pleasure that drives us, but our belief; our sense of certainty; that somehow taking a certain action will lead to pleasure. We’re not driven by reality, but by our perception of reality.

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. Belief Systems

Beliefs have the power to create and the power to destroy your fate and life. Human beings have the remarkable ability to take any experience of their lives and create a meaning that dis-empowers them or one that can literally save their lives. It’s not the events of our lives that shape us, but our beliefs as to what those events mean. It is never the environment, the events of our lives, but the meaning we attach to the events—how we interpret them that shapes who we are today and who we’ll become tomorrow.
For instance, from my own experience, no one has a smooth life style, in order to get something while he/she is living in this world; it is a must to go through a number of ups and downs to lead our life. While this is the truth, people differ in their belief systems or in the interpretation or perception of various situations in which they are in. Some are easily disappointed by the situation while others have hope that things will change and use their current unfavorable situation as a mechanism to go higher or succeed while they are in a similar situation– this shows a difference in self- efficacy or belief in one’s own capacity and ability to change temporary pain. I believe that it is not the environment that mainly affects the person but rather the strong belief and commitment that predominantly determines the differences or success of people in their lives.

Thus; beliefs are what make the difference between a lifetime of joyous contribution and one of misery and devastation. Beliefs are what causes some individuals to become heroes, while others “lead lives of quiet desperation.” We need to understand that our beliefs have the capacity not only to affect us emotionally but they do have a negative impact on our health (can make us sick or make us healthy in a moment). It has been recognized to affect our immune systems. And most importantly, beliefs can either give us resolve, take action, or weaken and destroy our drive.

iii. Instant Changes

In this book what amazed me very much is that, the author believes that change can be achieved instantaneously and has clearly put the mechanisms involved in it. If we truly understood how the brain worked, argued, we could stop the endless process of analyzing why things had happened to us, and if we could just simply change what we linked pain and pleasure to, we could just as easily change the way our nervous systems had been conditioned and take charge of our lives immediately. This shows that when our brain is ready for change some physiological changes within the person takes place and the probability that change will come within a short period of time is higher.

Most people think change takes so long a time that they cannot change early but one reason, obviously, is that people have tried again and again through willpower to make changes, and failed. The assumption that they then make is that important changes must take a long time and be very difficult to make. In reality, it’s only difficult because most of us don’t know how to change! We don’t have an effective strategy. Willpower by itself is not enough; not if we want to achieve lasting change. The second reason we don’t change quickly is that in our culture, we have a set of beliefs that prevents us from being able to utilize our own inherent abilities.

Similarly in my experience, I myself believe that change is a continuous long process but after I read the book I have changed my mind. I do know so many people need change and want to live a good life but they consider the so-called “change” a long time taking phenomenon that cannot be achieved early. I think these people do not have the belief, strategy and Neuro-Associative Conditioning process by using the power of our brain that enables them to succeed not just once, but consistently. We’ve got to condition ourselves for success, for love, for breaking through our fears. And through that conditioning, we can develop patterns that automatically lead us to consistent, lifelong success. This step-by-step process can condition your nervous system to associate pleasure with those things you want to continuously move toward and pain with those things you need to avoid in order to succeed consistently in your life without constant effort or willpower.

iv. The Science of Neuro-Associative Conditioning

This concept states that if for example I want to change my behavior, there is only one effective way to do it: I must connect intolerable and immediate sensations of pain to my old behavior, and incredible and immediate sensations of pleasure to a new one; Neuro-Associative Conditioning (NAC). I.e. everybody through his/her experience of life, have learned certain patterns of thinking and behaving to get ourselves out of pain and into pleasure. This is to mean that people experience emotions like boredom or frustration or anger or feeling overwhelmed, and develop strategies for ending these feelings.
For instance, from my own experience people use shopping, some use food; some use sex; some use drugs; some use alcohol; some use yelling at their kids (which is called displacement according Freud). They know, consciously or unconsciously, that this neural pathway will relieve their pain and take them to some level of pleasure in the moment. Whatever the strategy we use, if people are going to change it, we have to go through simple steps, the outcome of which is to find a more direct and empowering way to get out of pain and into pleasure, ways that will be more effective and elegant. They are:

NAC Master Step 1: This is the process of deciding what you really want and what’s reinventing you from having it now. You should not spend your time thinking about what you really do not want to happen to you or on the things that you no longer want to experience. You have to bear in mind that people get whatever they focus on in life. If they keep focusing on what they don’t want, we’ll have more of it, the reverse is true also. From my experience, people are usually seen when they are focusing on the things they are afraid of not to happen in their life and the more they are thinking about them the higher the probability it will happen to them, there is a saying in my language “which is to mean that “something that you are afraid of will come, the hated one will be inherited.”

NAC Master step 2: Most people know that they really want to change, yet they just can’t get themselves to do it! I.e. lack of motivation. But change is usually not a question of capability rather it’s almost always a question of motivation. The problem, as it is stated, is that change is often a should and not a must. The only way we’re going to make a change now is if we create a sense of urgency that’s so intense that we’re compelled to follow through. If we want to create change, then, we have to realize that it’s not a question of whether we can do it, but rather whether we will do it. From our personal experiences, I usually hear people that they need change all the time they talk to their close friends and relatives or people around them but I do not see these people when they are engaging themselves in relation to their interests to bring a concrete change. In relation to this concept, we should also understand that bringing change is a part of NAC as well.

NAC Master Step 3: It is the process of interrupting the limiting pattern in our performances. The challenge is that most people want a new result, but continue to act in the same way; it’s just that you have a set of neuro- associations that habitually cause you to not fully utilize your capability. What you must do is reorganize your neural pathways so that they consistently guide you in the direction of your desires rather than your frustrations and fears. People may be highly motivated to change, but if they are repetitively doing the same inappropriate patterns all the time, their lives are not going to change and all we’ll experience more and more pain and frustration. For example, when people are working without a change in the strategies and ways of their old pattern in their work, there is a saying in my language this is to mean that “no one has ploughed with an old ox,” this proverb shows that there needs to have a change in the methods and ways that we do things in order to bring change.

NAC Master Step 4 is a step that requires creating a new, empowering alternative to the old ways of doing or experiencing things. The benefits of the old feelings or behaviors must be replaced by the new behaviors or feelings just to eliminate the side effects of the old ones. To do this, we have to have enough leverage on ourselves, if we just break our old patterns enough, our brains will automatically search for a replacement pattern to give us the feelings we desire. The key, then, is for us to consciously choose the new behaviors or feelings with which we’re going to replace the old ones.

NAC Master Step 5: This stage follows the above one. It is conditioning the new pattern until it becomes consistent enough. Conditioning is the way to make sure that a change you create is consistent and lasts long-term. The simplest way to condition something is simply to rehearse it again and again until a neurological way is created. If you find an empowering alternative, imagine doing it until you see that it can get you out of pain and into pleasure quickly. Your brain will begin to associate this as a new way of producing this result on a consistent basis. If you don’t do this, you’ll go back to the old pattern. If you rehearse the new, empowering alternative again and again with tremendous emotional intensity, you’ll carve out a pathway, and with even more repetition and emotion, it will become a highway to this new way of achieving results, and it will become a part of your habitual behavior. When we do this it is advised to use the behaviorists approach (B.F. Skinner and Thorndike) to reinforcement both (fixed vs. variable ratio and fixed vs. variable intervals) usually the variable ones are advised because a change that comes through variable type of reinforcement is more permanent and lasts for a long period of time.

NAC Master Step 6: then after going through all the steps, the only step left is to test it to make sure that it’s going to work in the future. One of the ways of doing this that’s taught in Neuro-Linguistic Programming is “future pacing.” This means that you imagine the situation that used to frustrate you, for example, and notice if in fact it still makes you feel frustrated or if your new pattern of feeling “fascinated” has replaced it.

v. The power of words

Words have power, both an enabling and disabling power. Words have been used to make us laugh and cry. They can wound or heal. They offer us hope or devastation. With words we can make our noblest intentions felt and our deepest desires known. Throughout human history, our greatest leaders and thinkers have used the power of words to transform our emotions, to enlist us in their causes, and to shape the course of destiny. Words cannot only create emotions, they create actions. From my experience, great motivational speakers from the religious or political areas use words which have power either to motivate to destroy or construct people according to their interest. It’s seen when people are using words according to their interest. The powerful nature of words is seen when those people who heard it are motivated to actions in both a positive and negative manner.

vi. The power of life metaphors

What is a metaphor? Whenever we explain or communicate a concept by equating it to something else, we are using a metaphor. The two things may bear little actual resemblance to each other, but our familiarity with one allows us to gain an understanding of the other. Metaphors are symbols and, as such, they can create emotional intensity even more quickly and completely than the traditional words we use. Metaphors can transform people instantly.

For example; in order to understand metaphors, we must first understand symbols. What creates more immediate impact: the word “Christian” or the image of a cross? If you’re like many people, the cross has more power to produce immediate positive emotions. It has the power to communicate a standard and a way of life to millions of people in the world. Now take that cross, twist it into a swastika, and contrast it with the word “Nazi.” Which has more power to influence you negatively? Again, if you’re like most, the swastika will tend to produce stronger sensations more quickly than the word itself. Throughout human history, symbols have been employed to trigger emotional response and shape people’s behavior. Many things serve as symbols: images, sounds, objects, actions, and, of course, words. If words are symbolic, then metaphors are heightened symbols.

vii. The Life values as personal compass

Value usually means moral ideas, general conceptions or orientations towards the world in general or sometimes simply interests, attitudes, preferences, needs, sentiments and dispositions specifically. Sociologists use this term in a more precise sense to mean “the generalized end which has the connotations of rightness, goodness or inherent desirability.” These ends are regarded as legitimate and binding by society. They define what is important, worthwhile and worth striving for. Sometimes, values have been interpreted to mean “such standards by means of which the ends of action are selected”. Thus, values are collective conceptions of what is considered good, desirable, and proper or bad, undesirable, and improper in a culture.

For example: If I raise the question “Who are the most universally admired and respected people?” The answer is very simple, those people who have a solid grasp of their own values, people who keep their standards, people who take a stand for what they believe and not only these but those who live their values are more admired ones. Values may be classified as:
Individual values: are those values related to the development of human personality or individual norms of recognition and protection of the human personality such as honesty, loyalty, veracity and honor.

Collective values: these values are connected with the solidarity of the community or collective norms of equality, justice, unity and sociability are known as collective values.
Therefore, people who have these qualities i.e. who keep the individual and collective values, who are in congruence with the societal, cultural, religious and moral values of the society will have a full acceptance to become a leader and at the same time, since they do have an acceptance there will be a probability to achieve whole rounded development of a certain nation.

viii. Identity: the key to expansion

What exactly is identity? It is simply the beliefs that we use to define our own individuality, what makes us unique—good, bad, or indifferent—from other individuals. And our sense of certainty about who we are creates the boundaries and limits within which we live. Your capability is constant, but how much of it you use depends upon the identity you have for yourself. Researchers have shown that students’ capabilities are powerfully impacted by the identities they develop for themselves. More powerful than any, though, is the core belief that is the ultimate filter to all of our perceptions. This belief directly controls the consistency of your life’s decisions. These are the beliefs you have about your identity. What we can or cannot do, what we consider possible or impossible, is rarely a function of our true capability. It is more likely a function of our beliefs about who we are. In fact, if you’ve ever found yourself unable to even consider doing something, where your response to someone is, “I could never do that” or “I’m just not that kind of person,” then you’ve run up against the barriers of a limited identity.

For instance, people who are considered as rude and cruel by the community due to some other external factors are sometimes changing their character and becoming their true human version. This happens when they find their true cultural and religious definition of being human they return back into the reverse – they start to perform something that their internal personality believes i.e. they start to develop their identity. This shows from the very beginning they have not been doing things from their internal belief but rather through external influences.

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?

Following and putting a maximum effort to put into practice these seven ideas is very crucial in somebody’s life. Because the concepts included in it touches every aspect of a person’s life. In order for someone to have success in his life, there must be a belief in the abilities, capabilities and in the things that he/she is doing. In other words, there must be a self-efficacy belief. Then when he/she truly believes in him/herself begins the change process. And then if you take the instant changes, most of the time people believe that change or the so-called change comes through a long time process and effort. This is the first time they fail in their life. People should understand the changes involved in the brain that is to mean, when a person is thinking about success or change there are physiological processes involved with in and therefore through these changes he/she should learn to associate the pain in to something happened before and the gain in to something that is happening now, in doing so there will be success within a very short period of time.

The other most important thing is the concept of neuro-associative conditioning, that is I must connect intolerable and immediate sensations of pain to my old behavior, and incredible and immediate sensations of pleasure to a new one; Neuro-Associative Conditioning (NAC). I.e. everybody through his/her experience of life, have learned certain patterns of thinking and behaving to get ourselves out of pain and into pleasure. This is to mean that people experience emotions like boredom or frustration or anger or feeling overwhelmed, and develop strategies for ending these feelings. In addition, I have clearly understood the power of words; I can make my noblest intentions felt and my deepest desires known. Throughout human history, our greatest leaders and thinkers have used the power of words to transform people’s emotions, to enlist them in their causes, and to shape the course of destiny. Words cannot only create emotions, they create actions. And metaphors have the power to transform positive emotions into actions as well.

Finally, among the seven ideas, there are values – which are signified as a basis for success. Understanding both individual and collective values pave the way for personal and societal changes and at the same time to bring success. Identity should also be taken as the key to expansion, it is simply the belief that we use to define our own individuality, what makes us unique—good, bad, or indifferent—from other individuals; it is our sense of certainty about who creates the boundaries and limits within which we live.

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

There are so many interesting statements included in the book. Some of them among the many are written as follows:

“I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward.”

This statement by Thomas Edison has got my attention in that it reminded me that I should not get easily discouraged by consecutive failures. Since failures show that I am one step ahead of the solution.

“The secret of success is learning how to use pain and pleasure instead of having pain and pleasure use you. If you do that, you’re in control of your life. If you don’t, life controls you.”

This statement explains people must have the skill and experience to benefit from pain and pleasure being discouraged by their experience i.e. when they do so, they can control and decide what is/will happen in their life than becoming the reverse.

“Men, as well as women, are much more often led by their hearts than by their understanding.”

This shows that it is an undeniable fact that what drives our behavior is our instinctive reaction to pain and pleasure, not intellectual calculation.

“Nature has placed mankind under the government of two sovereign masters, pain and pleasure; they govern us in all we do, in all we say, in all we think: every effort we can make to throw off our subjection, will serve but to demonstrate and confirm it.”

This statement depicts the vitality and hidden influence of pain and pleasure in our life. Understanding its presence and working or changing those things in accordance with our interests, desires and success is very important.

“There can be no transforming of darkness into light and of apathy into movement without emotion.”

It is to mean that there will be no transformation from darkness into light and unless somebody feels some emotion, change and success will not be evident without emotion. The intrinsic motivation and emotion are very important as it triggers a person towards action.

“Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.”

This saying tells people to focus on what their real nature and entire thinking is based without worrying about what others say i.e. emphasize on your real nature looking at the rumors and gossip by other people.

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

No, the idea the book explained is as clear as water!

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!

There were many practical exercises presented for the readers.

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

None!

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

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

Maximum Achievement
Assessment by Gebreegziabher Fana Kinfe (Ethiopia)

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

The book raises a number of all rounded very important issues that contribute to success, that is all those smart moves involved in order to reach at the top of the success ladder. How to improve one’s life, achieve goals and realize his/her full potential for success and happiness. No matter who you are or what your situation is, what you have within you, right now, the book clearly depicts the ability to accomplish more than you ever can before even while you are under pressure. It teaches the skills of breaking through even if you are under difficult societal attitudinal problems; there is a chance for someone to use his internal mind powers to pave the way towards achieving one’s interests and to go wherever he/she needs to be (Success). Various elements that are inseparable in our day to day life but are not usually noticed by most people are included in the book such as the seven laws of mental mastery, the master mind (harnessing mental power for success), master skills, master power, master decision, mastering personal relationships and the power of love. The book stresses that effectively exploring the mentioned skills and using those listed among the many for our success plays an important role during our journey to succeed. The way for you to be happy and successful, to get more of the things you really want in life, is to get all the combinations or spices for success that are clearly explained in each chapter.

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 seven laws of mental mastery

Even though the effects of mental laws on our physical conditions cannot be observed directly, it entirely affects people all the time and in almost every aspect of our life. Whenever my life is going as intended, it means that my thoughts and activities are in line and in accord with these hidden mental laws. If I am having problems of any kind, it is almost invariably because I am against one or more of these laws, whether I am aware of them or not. Because they are vital to my happiness, it is crucial that I become familiar with them and assimilate them into everything I do. The following are the mental laws:

ii. The law of control

The Law of Control says that you feel positive about yourself to the degree to which you feel you are in control of your own life, and you feel negative about yourself to the degree to which you feel that you are not in control, or that you are controlled by some external force, person or influence. This is the first mental law that took my attention in that I am happy and hope full in that if I feel that I am controlling everything in my life as long as it is in my locus of control.

iii. The law of cause and effect

This is the other important mental law that I have learned, states that every effect in my life has a cause, which is to mean that there are specific causes for my success and there are specific causes for my failure, the same is true for my health and illness, for my happiness and unhappiness. Therefore, if there is an effect in my life that I want more to experience, I am merely expected to trace it back to the causes and repeat the causes in order to let my success, happiness and health go on for the future.

iv. The law of belief

This states that whatever I believe with belief becomes my reality. That is if I believe that something good will happen to me, it is more likely that my thoughts will be real. This happens because people necessarily do not believe what they see but rather they see what they believe. There is a saying in our language this saying has the same concept as that of the law of belief in that it says “what you think will be real, what you fear will arrive’.

v. The law of expectation

The Law of Expectations says that whatever you expect with confidence becomes your own self-fulfilling prophecy. In other words, what I get is not essentially what I want in life, but what I expect. Expectations have a powerful effect in our life, imperceptible influence that causes us to behave and situations to work out as you anticipated. From this law I have learned that, the more I expect positive things, the higher probability that those things will become real. So being an optimist yields positive results.

vi. The law of attraction

As it has been explained in the book, our life is just like a magnet that attracts the thoughts, feelings and sensations that we experience at some point in our life. Our friends, our family, our relationships, our job, our problems and our opportunities have all been attracted to us because of our habitual way of thinking in each area. Our thoughts are a form of energy that vibrates at a speed determined by the level of emotional intensity accompanying the thought. The more excited, or scared, I am, the more rapidly my thoughts radiate out from me and attract similar people and situations back into my life. The same is true when I am not in a good mood, the vibrations that I release will attract the same bad situations towards me.

vii. The law of correspondence

This law believes that somebody’s outer world is a reflection of his/her inner world. This law declares that you can tell what is going on inside you by looking at what is going on around you. Which is to mean the environment in which we live is a reflection of our internal state of mind. Everything in my life is from the inner to the outer. My external world of manifestation corresponds with my internal world of thought and emotion.

viii. The law of mental equivalency

This states thoughts, clearly imagined and repeated, charged with emotion, become reality. Almost everything that I have in my life has been created by my own thinking, for better or for worse. People act in a manner in line with what you are thinking most of the time, one eventually becomes what you think about. And if you change your thinking, you change your life. Everything that happens in one’s life first begins and takes place in the form of thought. Becoming a skilled thinker in your own life means using your mental powers in such a way that they serve your best interests all of the time.

ix. The master mind (harnessing mental power for success)

At this stage, I have got the information in relation to using the subconscious mind which is the powerful storehouse of all our memories and previous performances. The subconscious is extremely powerful; if I start to use it effectively it can help me to progress forward in achieving my goals and interests. Depending on our usage, we can use our subconscious mind either to create or destroy everything around us. If I am able to harness this powerful mind, I will have the capacity to construct my life positively and even create an opportunity for others to change themselves. That means when you begin to believe that something is possible for you, your sub¬conscious mind begins broadcasting mental energies and you begin to attract people and circumstances in harmony with your new dominant thoughts. Therefore by using the subconscious power of our mind we can work and perform things smarter by using our mental powers than spending much time on our physical powers to achieve our goals.

x. Master skills

The master skills are the abilities to set goals and to make plans for their accomplishment towards success. Developing this skill will do more to ensure my success than anything else I could ever do. As it was stated earlier a number of laws have been discussed. When I have a clearly defined goal toward which I am working every day, all those laws discussed above work automatically, effectively and in harmony with my purposes. Due to a number of reasons if people cannot set goals, though they become hard workers, their effort will not be fruitful as they do not have clearly set goals in what they want to do in the short or long run. I have also learned the rules when setting goals, it must have harmony; it should not contradict with other, challenging; it must make you stretch out without overwhelming you, tangible; concrete that must be objectively measured and evaluated, short term goals; to be achieved with in a short period of time, or long term goals (to be achieved after five or ten years

xi. Master power

The master power is the ability to use our hidden powers in order to succeed. This hidden power has been named differently by great people from different disciplines such as super-conscious mind, the secret doctrine, infinite intelligence, supra-conscious mind, universal subconscious mind, the collective unconscious, the universal mind, and many people refer to it as the “God mind,” or the “creative subconscious.” Regardless of the differences in the naming; all great people of history agreed on the concept that using this powerful cognitive process will lead to success since it seeks us to dig out and use our hidden power and intelligence as a central part of the great success as it was also enjoyed by the hundreds of wealthy men and women in the world. Therefore, having a clear mental image or imagination before doing something, in other words using our internal naturally hidden power is one important way in order to reach the top of success as it is evident it has been practiced by successful people as well.

xii. Master decision

This is the process of feeling confident, responsible and optimistic in each and every activity of our life. A highly responsible person tends to be positive, optimistic, self-confident, self-reliant and self-controlled – a character that enables a person to decide in an effective manner which is based on information. A person at the lower end of the scale, with an attitude of irresponsibility, will be negative, pessimistic, defeatist and cynical, as well as aimless, fearful, unsure and often neurotic or mentally unstable. A character that may be explained in lack of responsibility and feeling of guilt in the works he/she does and decisions being made; it is a source of all the negative emotions and pessimism. According to Thomas Szasz, the controversial psychiatrist, says, “There is no such thing as mental illness; there are merely varying degrees of irresponsibility”. Here we can understand that the extent of taking responsibility is inversely related to mental illness that the more responsible that you are the higher the mental power that you experience and the less responsible that you are the higher indication that your mind is occupied with negative thoughts and emotions. Self-responsible individuals tend to be positive and mentally healthy. Irresponsible individuals tend to be negative and mentally ill.

xiii. Mastering personal relationships:

Relationship formations are very crucial in a person’s life. The way that people form relationships is determined among others by their determination to correspond and attract each other. For instance, the Law of Correspondence states that your outer world of relationships will correspond exactly to your inner world of thought and feeling. If your inner world is positive and loving, your outer world of relationships will be happy and satisfying. Likewise the law of attraction also states that life is just like a magnet that attracts the thoughts, feelings and sensations that we experience at some point in our life. Our friends, our family, our relationships, our job, our problems and our opportunities have all been attracted to us because of our habitual way of positive thinking in each area. This is to mean that you reap what you sow, or you get out of your marriage or your romance exactly what you put into it. The more of yourself that you put into a relationship, the more love, satisfaction and joy you will get out of it. In addition, in order to have a positive result in your relationship, you are expected to self-accept, develop self-awareness, self-disclosure, and intimacy. Understanding the relationship rules is also important, that is, similarities and opposites attract, and total commitments play a very crucial role in our relationship quality. Moreover, as part of our good relationships, problems might happen during our interaction and therefore there must be a clear awareness by understanding the root causes and how those relationship problems can be solved.

xiiii. The power of love

Love is an emotional attachment that a person has with his husband, wife, parents or other people. It is the most powerful weapon that men or women ever have though it requires patience and understanding to a great deal. It has also been said that lack of love lies at the root of most personal and behavioral problems. As it is stated earlier in the different laws of mental mastery (the law of correspondence, attraction, expectation and others) everybody is the result of his/her thought process or mental capacity. Self-love is the first love, when you love and accept yourself you will be able to give love to others.
The word love is an active verb. Love is not just only something that you feel; it is something that you do as well. In fact, because of the Law of Reversibility, whenever you engage in a loving behavior toward someone else, you deepen and intensify your feeling of love toward that person. The action of love and kindness generates the feeling of love and kindness. Just as you can act yourself into love, you can act yourself back into love, even if you feel that the love you experienced earlier has diminished or gone. This love has an undeniable power not only in our relationships with people but also in the journey towards success.

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

Following and putting a maximum effort to put into practice these seven ideas is very crucial in somebody’s life. Because the concepts included in it touches every aspect of both a person’s private life and work life. In order for someone to achieve maximum success in his life, he/she must be able to use the different powers of his/her mind that I have briefly explained earlier. In other words, he/she should develop the skill of developing and using the seven laws of mental mastery such as the law of correspondence, attraction, belief, expectancy and others. Develop the ability to harness mental power for success i.e. using the subconscious mind, which is the powerful storehouse of all our memories and previous performances. The subconscious is extremely powerful; if I start to use it effectively it can help me to progress forward in achieving my goals and interests. Depending on my usage, I can use my subconscious mind either to create or destroy everything around me. If I am able to harness this powerful mind, I will have the capacity to construct my life positively and even create an opportunity for others to change myself.

The other most important thing in my life is master skill which requires developing the skill ensuring my success more than anything else I could ever do. As it was stated earlier a number of laws have been discussed. When I have a clearly defined goal according to which I am working every day, all those laws discussed above work automatically, effectively and in harmony with my purposes. Due to a number of reasons, if I cannot set goals, though I become a hard worker, my effort will not be fruitful as I do not have clearly set goals and purposes in what I want to do in the short or long run. The next is master power, the concept of using the powerful cognitive process (subconscious mind) will lead to success since it seeks us to dig out and use our hidden power and intelligence as a central part of the great success as it was also enjoyed by the hundreds of wealthy men and women in the world. Master decision, the extent of taking responsibilities for our own works which is related to being an optimist, positive, confident and reliant on ourselves. In addition to those qualities the responsibility to be taken contributes for confident and informed decisions. The next is mastering personal relationships, which requires creating a positive personal relationships with others either it could be through the law of correspondence, attraction or expectancy, positive energies will be released and at the same time positive situations will be back to us. Finally, among the seven ideas, the power of love has an enormous effect on people. It could be both the source of happiness and sadness as well. It has also been said that lack of love lies at the root of most personal and behavioral problems. In general understanding all those mentioned seven ideas is a crucial one in order for a person to progress in the ladder of success.

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

There are so many interesting statements included in the book. Some of them among the many are written as follows:

“You can’t help the poor by becoming one of them.”

This statement by Abraham Lincoln has got my attention in that I should not try to help other people by being in the same condition as the other but by being a better one. It is necessary to create a better condition for yourself first and then try to help to get them out of their situation.

“The need to search for meaning in life.”

This statement explains people must have a meaning and purpose while they are living in this world. It tells that there must be a clear direction to be happy; you need to feel that your life stands for something that you are somehow making a valuable contribution to 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?

The idea the book explained is as clear as water!

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 many practical exercises presented for the readers.

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

No!

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

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