Friday, 11 February 2011

Book Summary Preview : Success is a State of Mind

By Praveen Verma
Wisdom Tree, 2004
ISBN 81-86685-71-5
208 pages

The Big Idea

There are three kinds of people – or perhaps it would be better to say that everyone falls into one of the following categories:
  • Those who wait for things to happen
  • Those who make things happen
  • Those who wonder what's happening
Under which category do you fall? This is a question everyone needs to be able to answer, success and excellence are most likely to come to those who fall into the second category. But that is not to say that if you happen to fall under either of the other two, success is automatically out of your reach.
Your state of mind can help you orient yourself to success in this game called life. Success is really no more – and no less – than a state of mind.

Why You Need This Book

When you realize that what is going on inside you determines your success, then you make another important realization. Success is a choice that you can make. This one realization has an amazing power that cannot be underemphasized.
Success is a decision. Make the decision and this book aims to help you implement your new choice. Success is an inside job.

People Who Wait For Things to Happen

The Art of Living teaches us to be here now, in this moment. Think of all the wonderful things you have to be grateful of today. Your health, your job, your intellect, your physical body, your home, your friends – the list is as infinite as you are.
Take a moment to reflect, to embrace the real you, the true you that respects people and is creative, the true you that is sacred.
Pause for a moment! Breathe!
Listen to the song inside you – that wonderful resonance inside you that longs to be heard. Feeling present, feeling grounded, enjoying the moment and allowing you to be you!
As you make your way through your day, remember this feeling – the feeling that you have all that you need to fulfil your desires. You know that you are on the right path, embracing each moment for its sweetness and beauty, even if it seems difficult. As you do this, you will attract what you most passionately desire!

People Who Make Things Happen

They are the real go-getters and the belief – borne out by experience – is that most successful persons in all areas of life fall into this category.
Like the people who wait for things to happen, these people also live in the present moment most of the time, but the difference between the first type and this type is that they can and do go back to the past. While they do look to the future, their actions revolve around the present moment.
Such people aim for two things in life:
  • Prosperity
  • Peace of mind
They achieve this through the following steps:
  • Adopting a positive attitude
  • Taking life as a series of choices to be made
  • Setting goals and working towards achieving them



The Pleasure Prescription

By Paul Pearsall, Ph.D.
Magna Publishing, 2004
ISBN 81-7809-264-6
232 pages

The Big Idea

Are you stressed and unhappy? Are you feeling burned out? Anxious? Unmotivated? Do you feel you have too much to do in too little time? You are not alone. More and more of people struggle with a lack of pleasure in their daily lives and the illness that go along with stress.
Take a Pleasure Prescription! Psychologist and author Paul Pearsall is an expert on the relationship between pleasure, stress, and the immune system. According to him, it isn’t too much stress but too little joy that is killing people.
We know more than we think we know, Dr. Pearsall reassures us, about what is good and healthy for us. He invites us to embrace a new contentment, and his compelling lessons gleaned from science and an age-old wisdom light the way.

Why You Need This Book

This book shows how the latest research in physical and emotional health validates the Oceanic Way – the principles and practices of ancient Polynesian cultures. The five key components of this Way are patience, connection, pleasantness, modesty and tenderness.

The Pleasure of Patience

There is a mental illness called cyclothymia. It is a type of “impatience madness,” and it refers to a person who is in a constant state of flux between lively, “up” moods and feelings of depression.
Cyclothymia has been called “the fine madness,” a mood disorder that relates to a sense of failed perfectionism and under-development of the seventh sense resulting in lack of daily life pleasure.
  1. Elevated self-esteem, accompanied by cynicism
  2. Abundant energy to the point of agitation, followed by periods of complete fatigue and withdrawal
  3. High productivity accompanied by periods of no motivation or direction
  4. Distrust, discomfort and inability to receive compliments, perhaps because they serve as stimulants for even more effort
  5. Impatience with others’ flaws and with one’s own
  6. Excitability and quickness to anger
  7. Strong convictions about the correctness and validity of their own views
  8. Grandiosity to the point of poor judgment, accompanied by destructive impulsivity
  9. Chaotic intimate personal and professional relationships
  10. Disregard for personal health and safety, to the point of substance abuse, sexual promiscuity, reckless driving, and other life-threatening behaviors
On the first day, place three pennies in a pocket, which you will now call your “patience pocket.” Every time you become impatient or irritated with yourself or others, reach into the pocket, gently turn one of the pennies between your forefinger and thumb, and count ten breaths without taking your hand out of the pocket. Then, take one of the pennies from the pocket and give it to someone, or leave it where someone can find it.
At the end of each day, see how many pennies you have left. If you still have pennies in your “patience pocket,” save them and add them to three in your pocket the next day.
If, as the week draws to a close, you begin to jingle as you walk, congratulate yourself on developing equanimity, and celebrate by taking your pile of pennies and putting them in a charity container!


Think Positive & Things Will Go Right

By A.K. Kamath
Lotus Press, 2006
ISBN 81-8382-087-5
140 pages

The Big Idea

Positive thinking is the practice or result of concentrating one’s mind affirmatively on what is constructive and good, thereby eliminating from it negative or destructive thoughts and emotions. Whether it be about their business, family or health, the most fulfilled and successful individuals all think positively.
Since the concept of positive thinking has not been clearly defined, positive thinking usually is bypassed or used incorrectly and is often simply referred to as mere optimism. Those who do so run the risk of leaving out key aspects of positive thinking – a definite no-no if one wants to be successful.

Why You Need This Book

This is an inspiring book that will help you create a positive change in your life. This concrete work on self-esteem and success will help you learn how to break the worry habit, get other people to like you, avoid ‘the jitters’ in your daily work, believe in your self and everything you do, develop the power to reach your goals, and so much more.

Good Thoughts vs. Evil Thoughts

A good thought has three important applications:
  1. It benefits the thinker by improving his mental body.
  2. It benefits the person about whom it is entertained.
  3. It benefits all mankind by improving the general mental atmosphere.
An evil thought has three equivalent disadvantages:
  1. It harms the thinker by doing injury to his mental body.
  2. It harms the person who is its object.
  3. It harms all mankind by vitiating the whole mental atmosphere.

Power of Positive Thinking

Positive thinking brings inner peace, success, improved relationships and better health. The daily affairs of life move more smoothly, life brightens up, and there is more happiness and satisfaction.
You need to develop a positive attitude toward life, expect a successful and beneficial outcome in whatever you do, and also take any necessary actions to ensure your success. It is not enough to think positively for a few moments, and then let fears and lack of belief enter your mind. Some effort and inner work are necessary.
You can develop a positive attitude that will lead you to happiness and success by following the guidelines given below:
  • Choose to be happy.
  • Look at the bright side of life.
  • Find reasons to smile more often.
  • Have faith in yourself and in the Power of the Universe.
  • Contemplate upon the futility of negative thinking and worries.
  • Associate with happy people.
  • Read inspiring stories.
  • Read inspiring quotes.
  • Repeat affirmations that inspire and motivate you.
  • Visualize only what you want to happen.
  • Learn to master your thoughts.
  • Learn concentration and meditation.

Develop Positive Thinking

The first step in developing positive thinking is to change our inner conversations.
  • What should we be saying? One approach is called the three C’s: Commitment, Control and Challenge.
  • Commitment : Make a positive commitment to yourself, to learning, work, family, friends, nature, and other worthwhile causes. Praise yourself and others. Dream of success. Be enthusiastic.
  • Control : Keep your mind focused on important things. Set goals and priorities for what you think and do.
  • Challenge : Be courageous. Change and improve each day. Do your best and don’t look back. See learning and change as opportunities.
Studies show that people with these characteristics are winners in good times and survivors in hard times. Positive thinking can change, enrich and transform your life. Just by becoming a positive thinker you can become a winner!

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