It’s not often that I use an essay to provide a book review. I have plenty of other outlets for my book reviews; I don’t need to clutter my essays with them . . . unless . . . unless . . . I have found a spectacular book that offers profound advice. This is not actually a book review anyway.
Now, I have to tell you up front why I think the advice I’m going to share with you in this essay is so profound. There is a simple reason for it. It is the advice I have been sharing in my classes, lectures, popular books, and textbooks. This is advice I have been giving for my entire professional life, and what is remarkable, I have found so much of it in one book!
Rather than go over my review of the book, Darren Hardy’s THE COMPOUND EFFECT:: JUMPSTART YOUR INCOME, YOUR LIFE, YOUR SUCCESS (NY: Vanguard Press, 2010), let me refer you to my review of it on Amazon.com. For awhile, it was the lead review of the book. In this way, I can dispense with the accolades and proceed with the advice.
There is no order to the "profound advice" that follows; however, it follows the order in which I discovered it in this book, and I have placed page numbers as reference points just in case you purchase the book and are interested in the context of the quotation. My first selection simply underscores Darren Hardy’s (he is the publisher and editorial director of SUCCESS magazine) credentials.
[After citing his past 16 years as a leader in the personal-development industry] "When you have such an exhaustive view of this [self-help] industry, and wisdom gained through studying the teachings and best practices of some of the world’s most successful people, an amazing clarity emerges—the underlying fundamental truths become crystal clear. Having seen it, read it, and heard most all of it, I can no longer be folled by the latest gambit or self-proclaimed prophet with the newest ‘scientific breaktrhough.’ Nobody can sell me on gimmicks. I have too many reference points. I’ve gone down too many roads and learned the truth the hard way" (p. 3).
"Earning success is hard. The process is laborious, tedious, sometimes even boring. Becoming wealthy, influential, and world-class in your field is slow and arduous. Don’t get me wrong; you’ll see results in your life from following these steps almost immediately. But if you have an aversion to work, discipline, and commitment, you’re welcom to turn the TV back on and put your hope in the next infomercial—the one touting promises of overnight success, if you have access to a major credit card" (p. 4).
[Explaining one of his Dad’s core philosophies] "‘It doesn’t matter how smart you are or aren’t, you need to make up in hard work what you lack in experience, skill, intelligence, or innate ability. If your competitor is smarter, more talented, or experienced, you just need to work three or four times as hard. You can still beat them!’ No matter what the challenge, he taught me to make up in hard work for wherever I might be disadvantaged" (pp. 6-7).
"As a nation, our entire populace seems to have lost appreciation for the value of a strong work ethic. We’ve had two, if not three, generations of Americans who have known great prosperity, wealth, and ease. Our expectations of what it really takes to create lasting success—things like grit, hard work, and fortitude—aren’t alluring, and thus have been mostly forgotten. We’ve lost respect for the strife and strugglek of our forefathers" (p. 18).
"Everything in your life exists because you first made a choice about something. Choices are at the root of every one of your results. Each choice starts a behavior that over time becomes a habit. Choose poorly, and you just might find yourself back at the drawing board, forced to make new, often harder choices. Don’t choose at all, and you’ve made the choice to be the passive receiver of whatever comes your way" (p. 23).
[In a seminar when Hardy was 18, the seminar speaker asked] "‘What percentage of shared responsibility do you have in making a relationship work?’ I was a teenager, so wise in the ways of true love. Of course I had all the answers.
"‘Fifty/fifty!’ I blurted out. It was so obvious; both people must be willing to share the responsibility evenly or someone’s getting ripped off.
"‘Fifty-one/forty-nine,’ yelled someone else, arguing that you’d have to be willing to do more than the other person. Aren’t relationships built on self-sacrifice and generosity?
"‘Eighty/twenty,’ yelled another.
"The instructor turned to the easel and wrote 100/0 on the paper in big black letters. ‘You have to be willing to give 100 percent with zero expectation of receiving anything in return,’ he said. ‘Only when you’re willing to take 100 percent responsibility for making the relationship work will it work. Otherwise, a relationship left to chance will always be vulnerable to disaster’" (pp. 28-29).
"You alone are responsible for what you do, don’t do, or how you respond to what’s done to you. This empowering mindset revolutionized my life. Luck, circumstances, or the right situation wasn’t what mattered. If it was to be, it was up to me. I was free to fly" (p. 30).
"Your core values are your internal compass, your guiding beacon, your personal GPS. They act as the filter through which you run all of life’s demands, requests, and temptations, making sure they’re leading you toward your intended destination. Getting your core values defined and properly calibrated is one of the most important steps in redirecting your life toward your grandest vision" (p. 65).
"Personally, I’m always happy when something is hard. Why? Because I know that most people won’t do what it takes; therefore, it will be easier for me to step in front of the pack and take the lead I love what Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Said so eloquetly: ‘The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments ofr comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge’" (. 90).
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"The Six Components of a Champion’s Success System"
I thought Chung’s conclusion to his essay was especially motivational: "When you do, you will be good for yourself, good for your family, your friends, your environment, and the list goes on. Otherwise, we may be good for nothing...and we all know of people like that. When you embrace this perspective, everything else falls into place! You will also find all the other secrets to success, the other laws of success can all be impacted and propelled forth but only from out of such an attitude...constantly confronting ourselves, so as to challenge ourselves towards peace and clear conscience, if not for greater heights. Interestingly, they say that the only constant in life is change; hence we need to do it constantly."
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Copyright September, 2013, by And Then Some Publishing LLC