Unotida Nyoni – Assessments

As A Man Thinketh
Assessment by Unotida Nyoni (Zimbabwe)

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

The main idea of this book is to show that a man becomes what he thinks about.

To support this main idea, James shows how a small seed of thought can shape a man’s thoughts/character (Chapter 1), how it can influence circumstances (chapter 2), and how it can affect the body’s health system (Chapter 3). He shows how powerful thoughts can become if they are focused on a certain purpose (chapter 4), and how the thought factor is a powerful ingredient for achievement (chapter 5), how visions and ideals can be reached through concentrated thought (Chapter 6) and how a state of peace can be attained through the same thinking process. (Chapter 7)

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.

The seven most important ideas that were personally important to me are:

* Thoughts develop your character – James makes it clear that our character is a sum total of our thought life. W e can either build or destroy our characters using our thinking. This is a liberating thought because it means that we are personally responsible for our character development.

James says that “ A noble and God-like character is not a thing of favour or chance, but is the natural result of continued effort in right thinking, the effect of long-cherished association with God-like thoughts. An ignoble and bestial character, by the same process, is the result of the continued harbouring of grovelling thoughts.” – This removes the thinking that some people are born with a sweet character. We have to continuously work on the character.

* Thoughts can be used to influence what happens to us – In chapter 2 James says “the outer conditions of a person’s life will always be found to be harmoniously related to his inner state.” What James Allen is saying is that to a greater extent, we determine what happens to us. (I like the fact that he is careful not to say in all circumstances because they are some circumstances that we can not control). If we can grasp this and let it sink in our hearts, we would stop trying to change other people and focus on changing our thought life more. Our circumstances will them harmoniously follow our character which would have emanated from the seed of thought. When our circumstances change,

* Thoughts affect the body’s health system – In chapter 3, James describes the relationship between our thought life and out health. This was very interesting to me because this relationship is often disregarded when health issues are discussed. In fact many illnesses like high blood pressure, hypertension, asthma, etc are stress and depression related. James says “The body is the servant of the mind. It obeys the operations of the mind, whether they be deliberately chosen or automatically expressed” What a bold statement.

* Thoughts can produce powerful results if they are focused on a certain goal/purpose – In the fourth chapter, James is saying that thoughts should be directed to a central purpose. Everyone should have a central purpose in their lives as well. Otherwise if they don’t, they fall prey to all negative thoughts that will lead to failure. James says: “They who have no central purpose in their life fall an easy prey to petty worries, fears, troubles, and self-pitying, all of which are indications of weakness, which lead, just as surely as deliberately planned sins (though by a different route), to failure, unhappiness, and loss, for weakness cannot persist in a power-evolving universe.” However, those who have a central mission always come out big because they will be building something. I think this is very true. This is why every business/organisation should have a vision, mission and values to direct it. If the people in that organisation know what their vision is, they will work better to fulfil that vision.

* Thoughts are the seeds of achievement – In chapter 5. James says that we are personally responsible for our failures and achievements in life. His argument is that both states are a result of our own thoughts. No one else can change our thoughts unless we change them ourselves. To support this statement, he says “All achievements, whether in the business, intellectual, or spiritual world, are the result of definitely directed thought. They are governed by the same law, and are of the same method. The only difference lies in the object of attainment.

* Visions and dreams can be reached through concentrated thought – “Dream lofty dreams, and as you dream, so shall you become. Your vision is the promise of what you shall one day be; your ideal is the prophecy of what you shall at last unveil.” I agree totally. The promise of the future keeps us going. Without it, we have no reason to live.

* Anyone can attain a state of peace in their lives if they choose peaceful thoughts – In this chapter, James shows us how having a state of peace is way more important than having possessions and ambitions in life. In fact, it is a peaceful life that attracts all wealth health and happiness and everyone should work towards that.

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?

* Thoughts develop your character – This means that I should take time to create thoughts in the positive. I should take time alone to meditate and see myself as I want to become. I must proactively water the seeds of positive thoughts, cultivate the plant with diligence, not leaving anything to chance. I must also be very careful what thoughts I take in. Self limiting thoughts will limit me. Thoughts of evil will create pain and I must be careful to always replace them with thoughts that build my character. I must study good books and associate myself with people who can help me to build such thoughts. The same effort must be put on removing bad company in my life.

* Thoughts can be used to influence what happens to us. – I must make sure that I set goals and aim to achieve them because this determines what happens to me.

* Thoughts affect the body’s health system – I should always watch myself so that I don’t get engulfed by negative, impure and stress related thoughts. I must be happy always because diseases can not stay in a happy body.

* Thoughts can produce powerful results if they are focused on a certain goal/purpose – I should always focus and develop my mission statement in life so that I don’t get lost in the worries of life and so that I build a legacy that will help many generations to come.

* Thoughts are the seeds of achievement – I have always made it a point that I dream big, put them on paper and translate them into actionable goals. I review them on a weekly, monthly and annual basis. That’s a habit. I will continue to find out on how I can improve this system so that I am able to achieve more in less time and effort.

* Visions and dreams can be reached through concentrated thought – Same as above.

* Anyone can attain a state of peace in their lives if they choose peaceful thoughts – This is an area that I need to work on everyday of my life. To choose to be peaceful at all times. Its such a powerful state of mind. It attracts all the other states listed above. My personal belief is that it can only be found in God.

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.

“…that man is the master of thought, the molder of character, and the maker and shaper of condition, environment, and destiny.” – The foundation of personal development. You can only develop if you begin to take personal responsibility for your life.

“Man is buffeted by circumstances so long as he believes himself to be the creature of outside conditions, but when he realizes that he is a creative power, and that he may command the hidden soil and seeds of his being out of which circumstances grow; he then becomes the rightful master of himself.” – Same as above. Once this truth sinks into our minds, we will begin to work towards achievement. There is a tendency in Africa to always blame the west and former oppressors for the current state of things. I agree, this oppression has contributed to what we are and what we have, but its dangerous and self defeating for us to remain with that mindset. We are our own masters and we should know that we are responsible for where we are right now. That will make us wake up and begin to strive for a better future.

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

This makes me think about the condition of my continent Africa. There is so much poverty, disease and wars. These are outward circumstances that should reveal to us the characters that we have which have been built with our thought life as a people. It shows me that we need a mindset change when it comes to fighting poverty and getting richer – nothing else. Our minds need to go to school – not the formal schooling system, the school of psychology that transforms our thinking. If we can replace thoughts of poverty with thoughts of plenty, thoughts of sickness and death with thoughts of a good health and long life, thoughts of hatred with thoughts of love and unity, our circumstances would take the shape of our thoughts and our world would be a better world

“A strong man cannot help a weaker unless that weaker is willing to be helped. And even then the weak man must become strong of himself. He must, by his own efforts, develop the strength which he admires in another. None but himself can alter his condition.” – This is a relief for all the teachers and parents out there. They can only teach but it is the student/child’s personal responsibility to learn and to put what has been taught into practice. You can’t motivate someone. They can only motivate themselves.

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?

In this book, I did not find anything that I did not understand. I agree with Mr Allen’s ideas. I think this was a well thought out and well crafted book. He used his thoughts in a very skilful manner.

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. There were no exercises in the book

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

“Many men are slaves because one is an oppressor; let us hate the oppressor!” But there is amongst an increasing few a tendency to reverse this judgment and to say, “One man is an oppressor because many are slaves; let us despise the slaves. The truth is that oppressor and slaves are co-operators in ignorance, and, while seeming to afflict each other, are in reality, afflicting themselves. – This agrees very well with a statement that I heard that says that we only become inferior when we give others permission to make us feel that way. I agree.

A man can only rise, conquer, and achieve by lifting up his thoughts. He can only remain weak, abject, and miserably by refusing to lift up his thoughts. – – Can’t add anything there. It’s a fact

Spiritual achievements are the consummation of holy aspirations. He who lives constantly in the conception of noble and lofty thoughts, who dwells upon all that is pure and selfless, will, as surely as the sun reaches its zenith and the moon it’s full, become wise and noble in character and rise into a position of influence and blessedness – I have seen people who have developed spiritually through meditation, fasting and reading the word of God. My mother is one of them. Dr Guti is another, just to mention a few. I follow this path and I want to improve in this area.

The more tranquil a man becomes, the greater is his success, his influence, his power for good. Even the ordinary trader will find his business prosperity increase as he develops a greater self-control and equanimity, for people will always prefer to deal with a man whose demeanour is equitable. – – True that. Peace begets success and its children beget more.

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 Unotida Nyoni (Zimbabwe)

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

I think that the main idea of this book is to show the power of beliefs and thoughts. The author tries to show that unless one begins to change their belief system, they will always stay in a sorry state of life. The bad thing about it is they won’t even feel bad about it. I will be so normal. The people around will also approve this level of mediocrity.

We see this clearly when Jonathan says to himself

“There’s no way around it. I am a seagull. I am limited by my nature. If I were meant to learn so much about flying, I’d have a falcon’s short wings, and live on mice instead of fish. My father was right. I must forget this foolishness. I must fly home to the Flock and be content as I am, as a poor limited seagull.”

Jonathan struggled with this belief system that was in him and in the whole Seagull society. This system made everyone believe that they were created to eat and sleep. Jonathan’s turning points however comes when he decides to break the norm and it starts with his thinking. He thinks to himself “Such promises are only for the gulls that accept the ordinary. One who has touched excellence in his learning has no need of that kind of promise.”

As he fights for this excellence, he later on discovers that there is a world out there that is full of promise. It’s a world with no limitations to what one can do. He flies to a far place and finds out that there are more seagulls flying even better than him. After getting to know this truth and perfecting his skills more and more. He finally says to himself:

“I am a perfect, unlimited gull!”

The main idea therefore was to show that once our belief system changes, our lives change also.

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 first is that there is power in mentorship – Jonathan’s life was made a lot easier after he met his mentor Chiang. Chiang gave him confidence. He showed him that he could do anything that he desired. I have realised that in my life and I have several mentors who teach me how to excel in different areas of my life.

A deep desire for excellence and a higher calling is important for development. Jonathan’s deep desire for excellence in flying helped him in moving out of mediocrity. It made him search for different ways of flying better. It is this desire for excellence that made him excel until he realised a new world of seagulls that his fellow seagulls had not seen before. This is the same desire that brought me to this program to study how to develop myself. As my friends are playing and focusing on other things, I have chosen to focus on developing myself as a leader.

An open mind OR a willingness to learn – this is a key to excellent performance in life, Chiang tells young Jonathan something so solid. When he asks him if he can fly just as he (chiang) did, Chiang replied “If you’re willing to learn”. It’s amazing how people grow so complacent that they are not willing to learn anymore and thus learn to accept a life of mediocrity when a better life can be attained. Even in the world of top performing seagulls, Jonathan’s desire to learn allows him to excel and do better than them. And his friend Sullivan confesses: “You have less fear of learning than any gull I’ve seen in the thousand years.” I have taken this to be one of my core values. An open mind that is willing to learn from those who know.

It’s often very lonely at the top – When you want something higher than your society, you may appear to be a mad person, a man who doesn’t know what he is doing. People only get to respect you after sometime. That’s why Jonathan spent most of his time alone, searching for a higher calling, a life of skill and excellence. But even after that, he got fired from his society. If one wants to excel, they have to be willing face rejection. That’s why this website is known by a few people. A lot of people who hear about IGL think its just a way of making money and fail to see the wealth that is in the programs.

Love – a true principle that makes the world a better place. Chiang emphasises the importance of love when he says to Jonathan – “Without love, we wouldn’t be where we are Jonathan,…keep working on love.” How true this statement is. Without love, we would not be able to learn because there would be no teacher. Without love we would receive nothing because there would be no giver. I know that I would not have received an education if my parents had not committed themselves to loving me. And I make it a point that I show love.

The lower you are, the more you fight. When you realize how great you are, you have no threat to your life and so there is no need to fight.- ‘Those gulls where you came from are standing on the ground, squaking and fighting among themselves. They’re a thousand miles from heaven – and you say you want to show them heaven from where they stand!” -This statement is full of truth. Its only when you have not discovered your greatness that you will fight for resources, attention and other things. This is the predicament of Africa. The reasons why we fight for oil, gold and other minerals is that we haven’t discovered the gold that we have within us that can never be taken away by anyone. If we truly knew that we were created with a powerful resource of SHAPE, then we would not bother fighting for small things out there.

Practice is the only way to get better and better. It’s the principle of discipline and hard work. That’s what made Chiang excel. Whatever area you’re focusing on, make sure you practice more and more because the more you practice, the better you get

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?

Mentorship/ Association – Associating with people who are better than me will help me to be a better person. I want to associate with excellent communicators, wealthy businessmen, leaders in industry, world leaders, fellow Christians with integrity so that I can become a better communicator, a better Christian and a better businessman. As I improve in these areas, people around me will begin to notice the change and thus will want to follow my footsteps

Desire for excellence – I want to live a life that is above mediocrity. I want to establish a huge business empire. I know that will take a desire for excellence. It will mean that I will have to read so many books, do my research, practice sales, financial management, leadership etc. As I strive for excellence in this area, I will achieve my goals and will be able to help others to do the same.

Willingness to learn – This is the same as point 2. I will do whatever it takes to be a better person. If it means that I have to submit myself under the leadership of other people, I will do so – so that I can be a better leader, Christian and family man and businessman

Lonely at the top – I am willing to face rejection, criticism and ridicule as I pursue my goals and dreams. That will not stop me from making it. It will be the fuel I use to get even better.

Love – Like Chiang and later on Jonathan – I am willing to coach other people to get better. Right now I have a protégé in Malawi whom I talk to as I coach him on how to progress in his career.

The lower you are the more you fight – Every time I fight or argue with someone, I will stop and think through the reasons for the fighting. If I focus on my goals, I will have no time to fight with other people. My time will be used for investing in personal development.

Practice – In my Accounting field, I will enroll for more finance courses and write the examinations. As a speaker, I will create opportunities for me to speak and practice. As a family man, I will fit family time into my schedule and review the progress in my relationships regularly. I will study, practice and teach my beliefs at all times.

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

“The trick, according to Chiang, was for Jonathan to stop seeing himself as trapped inside a limited body that had a forty-two-inch wingspan and performance that could be plotted on a chart. The trick was to know that his true nature lived, as perfect as an unwritten number, everywhere at once across space and time.” – I need to keep on developing my belief system so that I can do better.

“Why is it,….that 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 practising? Why should that be so hard?” – An oppressive belief system is hard to change.

“Poor Fletch. 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.” – If we look at life with our physical eyes only, we will be limited. We have to visualise the lives that we want to live. Once we can see it inside, it can manifest outside

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?

“Sully, for shame!” Jonathan said in reproach, “and don’t be foolish! What are we trying to practise every day? If our friendship depends on things like space and time, then when we finally overcome space and time, we’ve destroyed our own brotherhood! But overcome space, and all we have left is Here. Overcome time, and all we have left is Now. And in the middle of Here and Now, don’t you think that we might see each other once or twice?” I did not understand the meaning of the statement made to his friend when he was about to leave. Doesn’t sound sensible to me

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. There were no questions or exercises in the book.

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

* Seeing the good in everyone. The best way to love. Learnt this from Jonathan’s statement as he speaks to Fletch, his protégé.

“Oh, Fletch, you don’t love that! You don’t love hatred and evil, of course. You have to practise and see the real gull, the good in everyone of them, and to help them see it in themselves. That’s what I mean by love. It’s fun, when you get the knack of it.”

Great leaders always leave at the right time, to give their followers permission to grow as well. Chiang had to leave so that Jonathan could grow. Jonathan taught Fletch and left him later on. A good leader knows how and when to leave.

One other lesson that is kind of implied here in the story is: You can’t coach people how to fly unless you are better than them. If you have not flown that high and have not experimented with your flying like Jonathan, then you are not yet qualified to coach. I can’t start teaching financial freedom until I get it myself.

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? 8
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 Unotida Nyoni (Zimbabwe)

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

The main idea of the book is to show the principles that one should follow if they want to succeed in life. Napoleon broke the principles down to seventeen. Each principle has a detailed description with action steps and examples that show how others have succeeded in life.

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

* Definiteness of purpose – This was the most powerful idea of the book. It highlights a critical decision that everyone has to make in their lives if they are willing to be successful. It’s so simple, and yet most people leave it out of their lives and just go ahead and live without a specific purpose. Napoleon says 98% of the people around the world are failures because of lack of purpose. Napoleon had his purpose which was “assembling and publicizing the principles by which great individuals achieve enduring success.” That is why I am reading and analysing his book right now. He achieved his major purpose and became a very wealthy man. He even states that his family would encourage him to focus on practicing law, which was his area of training, but because he knew exactly what he wanted, he focused on the personal development industry. He was one of the pioneers of this industry which is now pumping in billions for other people. All the personal development coaches I’ve read quote his books. His mentor Andrew Carnegie had his purpose as “to make and market better quality steel than anyone else”. No wonder why he became one of the wealthiest men in the country during his time.

* Applied Faith – Napoleon makes it clear that “faith without works is dead”, thus the use of the word, “applied faith”. He makes it clear that God is there, even if we can not see him. The belief in this Supreme Being is the starting point of inspiration for achievement.

* Going the extra mile – The idea of rendering more than what you are paid for is very important. It all goes back to what one of my mentors used to say “Work harder on yourself than you do on your job. How important that is for our lives. The moment we know that we work for more than just a pay check, we work so that we can become better people, develop our skills and attract more in our lives, the moment we realise that, we become masters of our own destiny.

* Thinking Accurately – I understood this principle as the ability to make well informed decisions. There are so many opinions that are flying in the world based on so many factors. Some of them may not be true, but they affect our daily lives. Napoleon brings to light, the fact that successful people take responsibility for their own thoughts, decisions and ultimately their actions. He encourages us to separate facts from opinions, fictions, unproved hypothesis and hearsay. Caution is also given to accurate thinkers. “Everyone except accurate thinkers has an overabundance of opinions, and these are usually worthless”. The techniques of evaluation of sources of information are also important.

* Establish a Mastermind Alliance – A mastermind alliance is built of two or more minds working actively together in perfect harmony toward a common definite objective. In whatever work we want to do, there is need for this alliance. Napoleon believes that this starts from personal harmony first – knowing what one wants to do in life, and then goes on to encouraging others to join. I agree. I need to agree with myself on what I want to do in life. Unless I am clear, other people can not join me because I would not have that sense of purpose that it takes to be a leader. The second important step is to choose the alliance carefully looking at ability/skill-set and the willingness to cooperate. Rewards need to be clear and then finally, the time and place of meeting have to be set. The guiding principles of an alliance are confidence, understanding fairness and courage. These alliances can be used in many different areas of our lives.

* Assemble an attractive personality – I have observed that the people I like to hang around usually have something attractive about their personality. It’s in the way they talk, in their smile, sincerity, courtesy, self control, frankness in speech, a keen sense of humour. They have faith in God, in themselves and in the people around them. That and much more is what gives an attractive personality. When I realised that effective speaking makes a big part of an attractive personality, I made a decision to actively pursue it. Whenever I can make a speech, contribute in a meeting, listen to good speakers, I make sure that I do so. And it has earned me a lot of friends; given me international exposure and I don’t feel like stopping at all. In fact, effective speaking and writing are a major part of my definite chief aim in life. I therefore have to improve them in every way.

* Enforcing Self Discipline – This is the process of being able to control and balance our emotions and reasoning. Napoleon gives an example of a reservoir that has been amassing potential power. I should learn to release the power in precise quantities and specific directions. That is the essence of self discipline. The combination of the positive and negative emotions must be controlled so that they work for my good. He also says that I must learn to consult both my feelings and my reason before I reach any decision. It took me quite sometime before I got an understanding of this principle. Love is a positive emotion and can work for good, but when it is not controlled can be very dangerous. Anger is a negative emotion, but when controlled, can be channelled to bring positive results. There is therefore need for control of one’s emotions through willpower. I have fallen prey to an overdose of emotion without reason many a times, and that has given me some tough lessons, so I understand what Napoleon is saying.

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?

* Definiteness of purpose – This book helped me in making my definite purpose in life very clear. My purpose is to “study, practice, and teach personal development principles to the whole world.” I want to become the best in this industry, to come up with business and life’s philosophies that will change the way other people think and act so that they can reach their desired goals for the greater glory of God. My messages will be taught all over the world, on audio, videos, and through seminars. I want this information to be readily available to every one on planet earth at a very affordable price. It has to reach the poorest man/woman as well as the richest. It has to be in many different languages so that everyone can easily understand the messages. My businesses shall support this work in a big way. I will build a multinational group of companies that will provide different products and services across the world.

* Applied faith – I will do exactly what Napoleon says. I will cultivate my vision everyday in every way I can. I will read the books that I have to read, I get into every training course that is relevant to my calling, I will develop my businesses and put my best in the work that I do. I will affirm the object of my desire through prayer, morning and night. I will inspire my imagination to see myself already giving seminars all over the world, flying to many nations, developing world class personal development programs and attaining the wealth, health and happiness that I desire. I will ensure that I don’t stop progressing by setting bigger, better and more attractive goals every year. I will write down the advantages of my definite major purpose in life.

* Going the extra mile – I will make sure that I do more that what I am asked to do at work, in my family and in the numerous organisations in which I serve. I will go the extra mile especially in creating deeper friendships that have nothing to do with financial gain. I have friends who enjoy my company, who are rich in their character, knowledge and energy. I will make efforts to visit them and become a helpful person in their lives.

* Thinking Accurately – I will make sure that before I make any decisions, I will take personal responsibility to study/research on that particular subject. I will ask experts in those particular areas to give me advice, and then I will look at examples of others and come up with my concrete decision of how to make it in that particular area. I will not take any opinion as a fact. I will be critical of people who give me free advice (advice that I would not have asked for).

* Establish a Mastermind Alliance – In my definite chief aim in life of studying practicing and teaching personal development principles, I need to partner with people who have the same passion for life as I have. I have identified a few who are willing to take this up and who have different skill sets from the ones I have. These are the qualities that I am going to look for
* Integrity
* Competence
* Courage and
* Faith.
* Team player

The areas that I will need assistance in are:

* Training ability – Everyone in my team should have the ability to train or teach because that will be the main skill that we will be selling. We need to teach others the principles of personal achievement.

* Marketing/Selling Skill – Unless we can sell what we produce (books, magazines, emails, programs and seminars), we will not make an impact in the world. One way to start off is to get a franchise or an already existing company with the same vision as mine, and use their brand name to teach these principles. There is no need to reinvent the will.

* Research/Journalism – This area will help to ensure that all our publications are supported with truly substantiated facts. Examples in Africa and beyond will be sought.

* Finance Management & Investment – This is my area of training and therefore I will manage this area in the company.

* Legal affairs – This can however be outsourced as and when needed.
Rewards will come in different forms, but mainly that we will eat what we kill together. There is the financial rewards, recognition, and a sense of being socially responsible.

* An attractive personality – There are certain aspects of an attractive personality that I need to develop. These include promptness of decision. Sometimes I take a long time to make important decisions in my life and that costs me. Tact is another one. I should never speak disparagingly of people in front of their friends. I should also learn to be aware of and in control of my facial expressions by practicing in the mirror. I should learn to tolerate others who have different views, different lifestyles and different religions. I used to think a certain religion was full of evil until I went to a nation with so much of it. Most of the people who assisted me and who went an extra mile for me were from that religion. My perspective changed. Now, I have very good friends who are different from me. The good part is that we respect each other. Being versatile is an area that I can do better in. My interest in the world in general has to grow. I should keep myself acquainted with the issues of the day and I should maintain a few more pursuits than the ordinary ones. I can try playing golf, taking more interest in soccer, world news, etc.

* Enforcing self discipline – I was very impressed with some decisions that I have been making in my life as far as my career is concerned. There are some opportunities that have come my way which I could have taken easily, but which could have hindered my progress in the long run. The ability to delay gratification for a greater cause or for the long term is always plausible. And yet at the same time there are some relationships that I just rushed into, which I feel I could have used control in. I should be careful however, not to be overcautious up to the extent where courage does not find its way. Life gets exciting when there is some form of risk taking. I am fully aware of that and will make sure I take courage through feeding on the word of God.

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.

* Pg 6. “Any dominating idea, plan or purpose held in your conscious mind through repeated effort and emotionalised by a burning desire for its realisation is taken over by the subconscious and acted upon through whatever natural and logical means may be available” – This is the principle that I want to master. I want to keep repeating to myself, that I am going to be the best personal development coach in the world. I will study, practice and teach these principles to create a positive impact in the world.

* Pg 13 “Our real wealth is the intangible power of thought”, “Our most precious resource is not our mineral deposits or our beautiful forests. It is in the mental attitude and the imagination of the people of every generation who have mixed experience with education to deliver goods and services… around the world” – I wish that the generation of our young people could realise that truth. That we have more than what can be seen by our physical eyes, that we can imagine things and mix that with experience and education to change our world.

* Pg 22 – You will take charge of the efforts of others, only when you take complete charge of the power of your mind. -That’s true. If I can not lead myself and get myself to work, to love my family and to take responsibility, no one can ever follow me.

* Pg 58 – There is nothing more important than learning the art of keeping your mind focused upon the things, conditions and circumstances you really want. -The problem that we face most of the times is that we keep our minds focused on the things that we do not want, and we are surprised when they do happen. I pray that God may help me to keep my mind focused on the greater things above. Greater things like love, peace, joy, happiness, health and wealth. O should apply this principle in my church, at my workplace and in every other area of my life.

* “You will never command more than average compensation unless you become indispensable to somebody or to some group.” -Going the extra mile. Now that is the stubborn truth of life. If you are easily replaceable, then you have less value in the market place. But if you have the habit of going the extra mile at work, in your studies and in execution of your duties, then you become a person of much more value and you get extra-ordinary compensation.

* Pg 75 – Do not cut-off relationships which are poor in financial rewards but rich in other qualities, for no matter how much service you render, others will recognise your one-sided approach. – That’s what Jesus said. We should not get into friendships simply for personal benefit. We should also be engaged so that we can give to those that are less fortunate.

* Pg 89“…every adversity, sorrow, or defeat whether or not you caused it to happen, contains a seed of an equivalent benefit which you can nature into a blessing that soars above the disaster that brought it.” -I consider this at every time that I make a loss or meet with defeat. I have to come out a winner, all the time. There’s got to be a reason, I have to find the light in the darkness.

* Pg 89 “Make yourself understand that what whips you isn’t defeat, but your mental attitude towards it.”

* Pg 92“Abstain from negative conversations, especially carping, gossip, or tearing apart other people’s reputations. These activities condition your mind to think negatively” -That’s true. I have nothing to add or subtract here.

* Pg 154 On teamwork – “People will work harder for personal recognition and a word of commendation where it is deserved than they will for money alone. No one wants to feel as if he or she is merely a cog in the wheel.” – I should make sure that I thank my team all the time, and recognise their efforts when they do well.

“Causes of failure
* Inadequate education
* Lack of persistence and follow through
* Poor selection of spouse
* Poor choice of a vocation or occupation
*Egotism and vanity”

Education is very important. I have heard some misguided fellows saying that it’s not important because the richest men in the world do not have it. My argument is that: they do have it and they apply it through the people who work for them.

I should never give up on the things that I start. Persistence should be a big value of mine.

Spouse – May God help me to choose my future spouse wisely. Association is so powerful that I can not play games with it.

Vocation – May God help me to use what I have to move into a vocation that I am the best in, and that I enjoy most, and that will make the best impact in the world.

I pray for the gift of humility and sound judgement everyday.

* Pg 164 “Creative vision belongs only to the people who go the extra mile, for it recognises no nine to five working hours and isn’t concerned with monetary rewards. Its aim is doing the impossible.”- That is so true. Many of the solutions that I have had for my workplace have come at midnight or during weekends. One who watches the clock can not work.

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?

In chapter 3, on page 40, Napoleon lists seven positive emotions that must be developed. One of them is sex. I honestly do not understand how sex can be a positive emotion. I think that he should have put more explanation into it. In his book “Think and grow rich”, he refers to it as sexual transmutation. I have read it over and over again, but it is not very clear to me.

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?

Pg 39, -Napoleon encourages readers to practice smiling, facial expressions, gestures and speech itself. I’m working on it.

Pg 43, – “Keep yourself acquainted with the issues of the day, and maintain a few pursuits other than your business. They will broaden your character and deepen your knowledge of yourself as well. If you understand yourself, you will be better able to understand others and they will appreciate you more for it.”

44, – “Always seek to divert attention from you to other people”- That’s how I should be always. I should not keep talking about myself but about other people. I should expose their greatness, and they should know it.

60 – The steps on how to use applied faith – Will use them every day
Pg 90 – Steps on how to build a positive mental attitude. I will use them everyday.

PG183 – You need to engage in aerobic exercise for a period of twenty minutes at least 3 times a week to keep your heart and lungs strong. I am doing that every week. I jog for about 20 minutes, 3 times a week.

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.

This man (Napoleon Hill) was a great teacher. I desire so much to be like him and to do even much more.

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 Unotida Nyoni (Zimbabwe)

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

The main idea of this book is that the achievement of goals and desires in life can come through an optimistic mindset or outlook. The author argues that anything worthwhile can be achieved if the pursuit of such a thing is done with a positive mental attitude (PMA). He gives reference to the 17 principles of success amongst which there is this principle of PMA. He argues that this principle is the most powerful key to success as it automatically attracts other principles.

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

A) How to meet a problem with PMA (Chapter 6). – Napoleon changed my view of the challenges that I meet in life. He encourages the reader to look at every problem as a good thing. That is very crucial because we do not see life the way it is, but in the way we are. Changing our perspective of the circumstances we meet therefore means we begin to change our circumstances and to influence the things that happen to us. Napoleon argues that “repeated victories over your problems are the rungs on your ladder of success.” That is a perfect way of viewing the challenges that we meet in life. If I were to take every challenge that I meet in life as a stepping stone and not a stumbling block, there is no way I could be depressed because I would know that once I’m done with that challenge, I would have managed to go a step higher in my life.

The part that impressed me most in this chapter was the formula on how to meet with problems. After reading the book, I started to use it on the challenges that I was facing and it worked. The six steps are:

Asking for divine guidance – I found that most times I would start crying about my problems and consulting a lot of friends instead of asking for God’s help first. Asking for divine guidance is asking for extraordinary intervention. It raises my faith and therefore creates a good ground for me to get extraordinary ideas on how to tackle my problem. In some instances, problems can be solved at this stage as God’s power quickly solves whatever is troubling me. However, in most instances, God gives me ideas at the second stage.

Engage in thinking time -> I like the fact that I have to separate myself from the problem and then begin to think about how to solve the problem with PMA. I’ve started writing the problems down and looking for possible solutions. I discovered that once one possible solution comes out, you get many more possible solutions and the burden becomes lighter. This is the time when consultation also comes in. By asking a few reliable friends/mentors, I get some ideas and I get to choose the ones that look more reasonable to me.

Stating the problem and defining it – -> This helps especially when there are a number of issues troubling me. By stating them separately, I realise that they are smaller than I think and thus I begin to create better solutions for them.

State to yourself enthusiastically – “That’s good” – This is the most difficult part, but this is where PMA comes into play. The optimistic mindset is then used to change my view of the issue at hand.

Asking specific questions – This helps the mind to start looking for other solutions.

Keep searching for answers – I’ve realised that once I started applying this formula, I don’t have to get the answer immediately, but subconsciously, my mind will be doing the work for me. The moment I come across an idea that is related to my problem, I will know what to do. B) How to motivate yourself (Chapter 9) In this chapter, there are 2 important things that I got to know.

Hope can get you places. Napoleon defines hope as the “desire with expectation of obtaining what is desired and the belief that it is possible.” That is the formula that the successful cosmetic manufacturer used. He didn’t sell instant success through the use of his products, but he sold hope. Hope is what kept him selling and also what kept his customers buying. Without hope, we have no desire to see the next day but with hope, we have a reason to wake up and act.

“You are more apt to succeed if you do what comes to you naturally” – I totally agree. I know what comes to me naturally and I always seek for ways to express it. Every-time I try it out, not only do I succeed, but I enjoy it. I would love to turn what I love into a full time profession.

C) The shortcut to riches (Chapter 11) – The shortcut is “Think with PMA and grow Rich”. When I read this chapter, I could not go any further that day. I had to stop and ponder over what this short chapter meant. My interpretation was this – If I always work with a positive mental attitude in what I do, and I am totally obsessed with it, I will be motivated to act and get what I want, thus become richer by each day.

D) Using Other People’s money –OPM (Chapter 13)– This is an eye opening chapter. Napoleon and Clement here bring out the fact that almost all millionaires use other people’s money/resources for them to get what they want. All you have to do when you want to use other people’s resources is to ensure that they get what they want in the process. This takes some planning time, just like Clement Stone did to buy off the Insurance Company that he wanted. In that story, I also learnt that when you want something so badly, you can go ahead and get it. The story also teaches the secret to finding what you want – tell people about what you are looking for. The phone call that Mr Stone received from Joe Gibson was received because Mr Stone had been talking about what he was looking for throughout that year. I also realised that Mr Stone relied on divine guidance in all his dealings and that gave him all the answers that he was looking for.

The secret is also in befriending your banker by making sure that your bank account is maintained well with savings. I agree with that totally.

E) How to find satisfaction in your job (Chapter 14) – This is one of the most important keys to happiness – enjoying what you do. Work takes up half of my day and therefore I should enjoy every moment that I spend at my workplace. Combining work with PMA is important especially when one is working towards a certain goal in life. In Success through PMA, satisfaction at work is found when one does the following:

Studies and understands the rules and techniques of the job so well that they begin to produce excellent work naturally.

Sets higher career goals. If I’m able to see beyond my current position, I can go through my work with the hope that tings will get better in the future.

Keeps a positive mental attitude – This is the most important part because being negative will only make a poor performer.

Enjoys the satisfaction that comes with an excellent job- this means that I should congratulate myself every time I do something perfect.

F) Having a magnificent obsession to help others. (Chapter 15). In this chapter, the giving principle is explained in a practical way using examples of people who were very wealthy. Their wealth is traced to the giving principle. I was personally touched with the story of the boy’s clubs and how their philosophies changed the way other young people behaved, and ultimately changed their destiny. It also reminds me of how I grew up and the institutions that shaped my value system. I’ve gone to Lutheran and Catholic schools (a result of giving), grew up in a Lutheran priestly family, am a member of great organisations like IIGL, Africa Christian Business Fellowship and Junior Chamber International (JCI). I don’t know what kind of person I would have become now, if I hadn’t been exposed to these institutions. I realise that the founders of such institutions had giving hearts- they all had a magnificent obsession that they wanted to address. They were able to influence people positively, not only in their generation, but in the generations that followed. I too, should build something that will last using my God-given abilities.

G) The secret to attracting happiness (Chapter 18) – It is amazing how my happiness is very intertwined to another person’s happiness. By giving to others, that which makes them happy, that happiness comes back to me and I become a better person. And the list of things that I can give is endless. It is not only the material things but even the intangible things like avoiding gossip, giving compliments and writing good letters to the people I care about.

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?

A) How to meet a problem with PMA (Chapter 6)

I will keep applying this formula in the problems that I meet. I will ask for divine guidance, engage in thinking time, state the problem, ask the right questions and will keep searching for answers. Like Mr Stone, I will develop the habit of setting goals that empower me to overcome my problems in every area.

I will teach this principle – As a trainer, I will train on the problem solving formula that will assist individuals and organisations to tackle their challenges in an effective way.

I will use it in my counselling sessions- I get people approaching me very often for counselling. I will use the questions to assist them to find solutions on their own.

B) How to motivate yourself (Chapter 9)

I will spend time everyday thinking about the person that I would like to become so that my wishes can turn into powerful hope and faith.

I will help others to see their future and be hopeful in order to motivate them

I will keep searching for a way to do what comes to me naturally on a full time basis until I find that way

I will help others to realise what comes to them naturally by teaching them about purpose.

C) The shortcut to riches (Chapter 11)

I will make sure that each morning I plan how to tackle my problems with PMA
I will suppress and destroy the NMA that easily encroaches my life and replace it with PMA

D) Using Other People’s money –OPM (Chapter 13)

Realising that my resources and ideas may be lying in other people, I will talk about the things that I intend to do until I get the necessary assistance that I deserve, just like Mr Stone. I will not be silent about it.

I will continue to seek for divine guidance as to fulfill my purpose
I will save money and create a good relationship with my bankers

E) How to find satisfaction in your job (Chapter 14)

I will study my work and see what I can do to make my work more valuable to my partners

I will set higher goals for my career and thus use my current position as a stepping stone to where I’m going.

I will keep a PMA in whatever I do

I will teach my team members on the principle of enjoying what they do.

I will congratulate myself every time I do something good and seek to do it better next time.

F) Having a magnificent obsession to help others. (Chapter 15).

I will write motivational books that will inspire other people to excel in their lives
I will study, practice and teach success principles all over the world

G) The secret to attracting happiness (Chapter 18)

I will make it a habit to make someone happy everyday.
I will use emails to communicate messages that will help others to feel better.

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.

Page 26 – ”You were born a champion and no matter what obstacles and difficulties lie in your way, they are not one tenth so great as the ones that have already been overcome at the moment of your conception.” – I totally agree with that. I would like to tell myself everyday, that all the problems I meet are smaller than my ability to overcome them.

Page 82 – “When you receive a flash of inspiration, write it down. This may be something more than what you are looking for. We believe that communication with infinite intelligence is through the subconscious mind” – I’ve been practicing this principle for a long time now but from now on, I will take it more seriously as it has been highlighted in this book a number of times.

Page 84 – Dr Gates “did creative his thinking by sitting for ideas” – This is something that I have to start doing especially when I have a problem or even when I review my progress on a weekly basis. Dr Gates believed that he would receive his ideas from 3 sources during his quiet time which include Infinite intelligence, his mind (ideas and education) and other people’s ideas. I believe that sometimes we never put our education to good use. We only take the information and use it to pass our exams, but never take the time to solve our daily problems and to create ideas that could solve our problems.

“DO IT NOW” – A self motivating statement that reminds everyone that things have to be done as soon as they come into the mind. I will use it to avoid procrastination.

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?


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 had a number of exercises on almost every chapter. As each chapter is closed, a number of review points and action points are asked. I found these to be useful as they helped me to remember the important concepts in each topic.

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.

Page 103 – How to transmute the power of sex into the good

* “Keep your mind on the things that you want and off the things that you don’t want. The instinct of sex in the subconscious mind will be patient if it has hope that you will fulfil life’s mission.” – Good point. I will put more effort in clarifying my purpose and mission.

* “Work long hours at a labour of love” – Will try and extend my working hours because it reduces unnecessary desires.

* “ The boy or girl who is truly in love and plans to marry will not have the sex problems that he/she might otherwise have.” – Good thought. I wonder how true this is.

* “If there were often earlier marriages, there would be fewer sex problems. Life’s mission to procreate is fulfilled in marriage, however marry for love beyond the sex instinct.” – Interesting statement

Please rate the following questions on a scale from 1 to 10.

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