Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Knock Knock

For anyone who may have read this blog before and who might be keeping a watching eye on it...sorry about the slight (7 months?) delay in posting anything new. You know what it's like, sometimes life takes a hold.

Anyway I've been working on some new ideas and have been keeping up my self-help reading so I plan to set out some thoughts over the next few weeks.

So bear with me chaps...

Monday, April 10, 2006

Now I know The Secret...

I posted a while ago about the hype surrounding a movie called "The Secret". Now The Secret is out and I saw it last night (you can see it on the internet at The Secret).

The movie is basically a slicing together of "teachers" talking about the Law of Attraction, for that is what The Secret is. That might sound tedious but it certainly managed to keep my attention for the duration. I was pretty engrossed in it from start to finish and my pen struggled to keep up with my desire to take notes.

Did I learn anything? It would be true to say that it was mostly nuances on a philosophy with which I am already very familiar. Anyone who has read The Master Key or Think and Grow Rich would not be surprised by anything in the movie. But it re-awaken my interest in the area of how we attract things into our lives.

For me the most challenging aspect of the film was the predominance of Esther Hicks. For those who are unfamiliar with Esther Hicks she claims to channel a group of spirits known collectively as "Abraham". For those of a similar mindset to my own you will already see why I'm "challenged" by that! Channeled by a group of spirits....hmmmmmm.

But having said that what she said seemed to make sense, even without the spiritual overtones. If you go around looking for something the odds are you will find it (my inelegant summary version of the law of attraction!).

Now the question is whether the law of attraction works. In my case the jury is still out. In the movie Jack Canfield speaks persuasively about the law and how it worked in his own life. I'm going to play with the idea of testing it, as Mr Canfield did, and see how it works out.

So go and see the movie people...

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Life is not a dress rehearsal

One of the biggest challenges in our lives, in my opinion, is how remind ourselves, every day, that this is the only life we get (or for those who believe in the afterlife or reincarnation - that this is the only life we get to our knowledge!). Most of us act as if our lives will go on forever and concentrate on what's in front of us which is mostly irrelevant in the grand scheme of things.

The challenge as I see it is to remind ourselves daily that our lives will one day end and that we should make the most of them while we still can. It's that sense of true perspective which we miss on a daily basis.

I'm toying with the idea of designing a coloured wristband (similar to Lance Armstrong's Live Strong wristbands) which might act as a daily reminder of our own mortality.

Imagine the things you would do, imagine the fear you'd lose and imagine the love you'd show if you kept that thought ever present in your mind.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Getting Things Done - David Allen

There is probably just one self-help/personal development book that I would recommend unreservedly to anyone and everyone and that's David Allen's Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-free Productivity

I've tried many ways to organise myself and my time and the only method that I come back to time and time again is set out in this book.

When I work the system effectively my life is so much better organised and nothing drops through the cracks.

I particularly like the way that Allen sets out the principles and the methodology behind his thinking but also sets out very specific and practical steps to getting things organised.

I will come back to Getting Things Done (or "gtd" to those who advocate it) on other occasions but my full and thorough review amounts to BUY THIS BOOK!

Rating: 10/10

ps For those who want a taste of the gtd methodology before buying the book the web is full of sites setting out ways to implement the methodology and people's experience of putting it into practice. Some of my favourites are:

43 Folders

Office Zealot

GTD Resource List (someone had some time on their hands...!

Monday, January 16, 2006

"The Game" - not just for pick up artists...

The Game: Undercover in the Secret Society of Pick-up Artistsby Neil Strauss got quite a lot of publicity in the UK a few months ago and not all of it good.

Neil Strauss, an ex Rolling Stone journalist has written about his experiences of the seduction community. For the uninitiated there is a whole world of professional pick-up artists out there who spend their time honing their techniques on unsuspecting HBs (that's "hot babes" to you and me).

The book is an expose of these guys and their techniques.

I am aware that the book would turn off a lot of people due to its subject matter but I've read it and I loved it!

And I loved it because it's not just about how to pick-up women. If you read it as a guide to how to sell yourself and your services it's a great primer.

I may write more about it at another time but for now I will share with you just a few concepts that can be applied to your life and to your career/business.

One of the big techniques is to Demonstrate Value. You need to show your prospect that it's worth their while talking to you. How many of us do that deliberately with prospective clients or customers? Shouldn't we?

"Style" (Strauss's alter ego) uses the following routine:

1. open
2. Demonstrate higher value
3. Build rapport/emotional connection
4. Physical connection

Ok so maybe we should leave out the physical connection but other than that what a good framework for first conversations with prospective clients!

There are other little nuggets such as "See life obstacles as levels in a video game to get through".

So my advice is - get the book and see how it can be applied to the rest of your life (assuming you don't want to pick people up of course).

Rating : 8/10

Saturday, January 14, 2006

The Success Principles - Revisited

Since I last posted on this book I have been through it quite a few times (dipping in and out).

My overall impression is pretty much the same as it was initially. This is a very good collection of ideas, techniques and exercises. Most of the material I have seen before in various guises so nothing earth shattering in itself but the sort of book that I would keep on my shelf and take down to get ideas about how to handle situations or when I wanted to set goals, visions etc.

It's not a book that has set my heart on fire but a very good collection of stuff and probably an excellent introduction to these ideas for those who, sensibly (!), haven't read the amount of self-help material that I have.

Rating : 8/10

Monday, January 09, 2006

Million Dollar Student

This morning I read about a student who will make over $1 million from his website. The story of how he came to create the website is a great reminder of how a simple creative thought can lead to success.

Alex Tew used nothing more than a pad and some creative thinking to come up with an idea (in 20 minutes) which has netted him a seriously large amount of money. He's now got more than enough to pay off his student debt, tuition fees and a large tab at the student union bar!

Alex's weblog also gives a fascinating insight into how the whole thing came together.

I'm not suggesting that we can all come up with such a lucrative idea but it reminds us of what is possible for our lives. I'm sure that there are plenty of ideas still unexplored for all of us.

For myself the lesson that I draw from this story is that I can often see success as a complicated path. For Alex Tew it clearly wasn't complicated and maybe it needn't be for the rest of us either.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

The Secret and the Master Key

There has been a lot of buzz on the internet it seems about a TV programme which is due to air across the world in February this year. The website, What is the secret , provides a tantalising trailer.

But what is the secret?

It seems that it might relate to a book by Charles Haanal called "The Master Key". Haanal is one of the faces shown in connection with the Secret.

The suggestion is clearly that wealth and power can be yours if you read and apply the Secret.

At the moment it's hard to see what this programme could be about. It's also possible, I suppose, that it's an elaborate internet hoax but I hope not.

Anyway it's made me find an ebook version of the Master Key that I've had lurking around on my system for some time. I will read it and report back on its contents.

If anyone reads this and wants to be pointed in the right direction for a legitimate free copy of the Master Key I will look out my link.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Steve Pavlina is a wonderful guinea pig...

Ok so now I've got your attention I'll explain what I mean.

I am an avid reader of Steve Pavlina's blog and his articles generally . It's a great site for personal development with some amazing free articles and blog entries.

And the thing that impresses me most about Steve is that he is prepared to try stuff. He's been trying polyphasic sleep recently and he provides a fascinating series of entries on his experiences.

Now I'm not going to be trying polyphasic sleep at the moment given the demands of my day job (lawyer) but reading about it from Steve has inspired me to consider what I CAN experiment with in my life.

Which brings me to the title of this post. Steve is prepared to be a guinea pig and experiment with stuff that might or might not work and that's one of the reasons why I go back to his blog - I want to see how things turn out and whether I can learn anything from his experiential approach.

It's a nice contrast to the usual self-help approach which is basically "here are some rules/principles which work and which you should apply to your life".

We need more people like Steve who are prepared to just try things out and then report back from the front.

So I say good on your Steve and keep up the good work.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

The Success Principles - Jack Canfield

I bought this book when it first came out and, as is ofen the case, I was very excited when I started reading it.

The first 6 pages have testimonials from people like Tony Robbins and Brian Tracy and they are very complimentary about the book.

I have to admit I struggled with it when i firsted started it. I think it was because it's a huge book and each chapter deals with a "success principle" which makes it seem slightly disjointed at first if you are reading it straight through. It went the way of many of my books - I put it to one side and failed to finish it.

But then recently I've come across a few posts on the Tony Robbins Forum ) which have commented very favourably on the book and so I picked it up again a few days ago.

I have adopted, in part, the approach suggested by the authors of the new Mind Gym book and have "speed read" it by reading the first and last paragraphs of each chapter and then the first and last sentence of each paragraph.

This time round I'm a lot more impressed. I see the book as a great compendium of self-help advice. There are some really good chapters on goal setting and discovering your mission as well as time management and relationships with others.

It's too early for me to say whether it works as well as I hope it does but so far so good.

A little about me...

I have been reading self-help books since discovering Wayne Dyer's "Your Erroneous Zones" at the age of 15. I'm now 37 and in the meantime I've read hundreds of self-help books and listened to hours of tapes and CDs.

Some of the material I've come across has been inspiring and has made some difference to my life, some of it has been useless and trite.

My intention in publishing this blog is to post some thoughts/reviews/comments on the stuff I've read and really to explore that which works.

So the journey begins...