Obikoya Moradeke Atinuke – Assessments

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

vii. The body is the servant of the mind

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

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

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

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

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

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

“They themselves are makers of themselves.”

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

“You cannot travel within and stand still without.”

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

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

None.

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

No the book did not contain exercises.

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

None.

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

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

 

 

Jonathan Livingstone Seagull
Assessment by Moradeke Atinuke Obikoya (Nigeria)

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

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

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

i. The power of self-belief

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

ii. The ability to think beyond survival

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

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

iii. The years ahead hummed and glowed with promise.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

None.

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

No the book did not contain exercises.

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

None.

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

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

Keys to Success
Assessment by Moradeke Atinuke Obikoya (Nigeria)

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

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

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

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

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

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

ii. Continue to refine your philosophy.

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

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

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

iv. Specialization: Mastery is essential to success

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

v. Positive Mental Attitude

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

vi. Budget your time and money

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

vii. Thinking Accurately

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Hard work alone will not bring success.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

None.

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

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

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

None.

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

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

PsychoCybernetics
Assessment by Tinuke Obikoya (Nigeria)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

iv. Imagination

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

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

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

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

vi. Utilizing the power of rational thinking

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

vii. The snapback effect

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

None.

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

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

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

None.

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

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

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

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

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

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

i. The futility of criticism

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

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

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

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

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

iv. Be genuinely interested in others

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

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

v. How to win people to your way of thinking

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

None.

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

The book did not contain exercises.

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

None.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

v. Relationship Mastery

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.:

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

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

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

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

None.

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

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

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

None.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ii. My mental attitude is well within my control

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

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

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

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

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

iv. You are what you think

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

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

v. The principle of something more

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

vi. Sharing what we have

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

vii. PMA demands a good energy level and vice versa

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

None.

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

The book did not contain exercises.

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

None.

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

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