Self Help Book Parade: Goals!

Whenever Manfriend sees this book lying around the living room, he rolls his eyes at it. I don’t blame him: It’s the most American-looking self help book I own. I mean…the ALL CAPS title, the subtitle, the super-American smile of the author Brian Tracy..But hey, if we have learnt one thing from cheesy sayings and songs, it’s that you should not judge a book by its cover. Not even when the author is staring at you with his best Prodent-Smile and You Can Do It photo-face.

Discovery: After ‘Eat That Frog‘, which is one of my favorite self help books ever, I bought this book for 17.99 here You can also sign up for Brian Tracy’s newsletter on his website and receive the .PDF as a welcome gift, but being stuck with his incessant newsletter for years (I could unsuscribe all I wanted but as if his newsletter was some whacko Self Help E-mail Serpent that grew three heads everytime I unsubscribed, I only got more e-mails) I really don’t recommend doing that.

Subject: GOALS!!! And “How To Get Everything You Want — Faster Than You Ever Thought Possible.”

…Just not quite as hysterical as the cover might suggest.

This book contains a Brian Tracy’s own story, which is quite inspirational to begin with, and from that point on it contains practical and straight forward chapters. On goal setting, goal setting in different life areas (health, business, but also romantic and family relationships!), potential challenges and how to deal with them, and the qualities you need if you want to be productive and effective.

Kookiness Scale (1-1): Just the 1, I think. See, Brian Tracy is into business and management and that clearly shows throughout the book: He just wants to get shit done and he gives you the way to do it.

He brings up the Law of Attraction very briefly, but he’s way more interested in telling you about proven psychological phenomenon, like learned helplessness and Maslow’s theory (although little research, still very popular) and how the reticular activating system is possibly important in attention processes.

Plus, Brian Tracy writes very pleasantly. No chest-pounding “YOU CAN DO IT!” or trying really hard: Just straight forward, normal sentences that look deceivingly simple but that contain pretty powerful stuff.

Some of my favorite quotes:

  • “From this moment forward, see yourself as the president of your own personal services corporation. View yourself as self-employed. See yourself as being in complete charge of every part of your life and career. Remind yourself that you are where you are and what you are because of what yo have done or failed to do. You are very much the architect of your own destiny.”
  • “Make sure that everything is consistent with the beliefs that you want to have and the person that you want to become.”
  • “The act of writing is a psychoneuromotor activity. This means that when you write down a goal of any kind, you activate your emotions, your intelligence and your physical body.”
  • “Goal setting enables you to use vastly more of your thinking powers than most other people.”
  • “Aristotle wrote that the very best way to develop a virtue if you currently lack it, is to imagine and to behave in every respect as though you already had the virtue whenever that virtue is called for.”
  • “Each time that you persist in the face of adversity and disappointment, you build up the habit of persistence. you build pride, power and self-esteem into your character and your personality. You become stronger and more resolute. You deepen your levels of self-discipline and personal strength.”

You should buy this book if…

  • You want to have the main base of Brian Tracy’s knowledge, all in one book. This book also contains most of his 21 principles from Eat That Frog, which is also extremely useable in real life.
  • You like a simple straightforward approach with clean writing that still inspired and motivates.
  • You want to get more into goal setting and achieving, obviously.
  • If you’re not scared of Prodent-Smiles and You-Can-Do-It photo-faces.

Self Help Hipster’s Stamp of Approval: Yes. Clean, practical, motivating and not nearly as corny and make-the-American-dream-come-true as you’d think. I occasionally grab it for a chapter and I always read something new that I can use. It’s got my blessing, cover and all.

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