on 6 September 2013
AG (17yrs old) - Book review of 'How to be Brilliant'.
This is definitely the best book I have read so far. I have learnt so much from it and already have achieved / am achieving goals. I feel much more in control of my future and even though I am still unsure about how to get there, I am certain on who and where I want to be in 10+ years time.
I have collected pictures to visualise my goals, and written affirmations to go with them along with a date that they will be achieved by. I will look at these daily to keep my vision clear. I have also written down my ideal values, and a commitment to who I want to be in the future. To me this was the most exciting part of the book because it gave me something(s) to look forward to. My life in the future will be brilliant! I also applied it to life now, because it is so important to be happy and brilliant now! Therefore I wrote down, along with my ideal values, when I feel them. (Present and future) e.g. I feel success when my friends smile/laugh at something I do or say because I created that. Or I feel healthy when I've had a good night's sleep (8+hours) or after I've exercised, or after I've exfoliated my face / showered. There are many more of these! I find them very important and I read them every day when reading over my goals and looking at my pictures, to remind me of when I will feel that value.
The biggest lesson in the book I think is `Massive actions = Massive results'! I will always remember this because now I know that just visualising something isn't enough, it's the actions that follow it!
One of my 90day targets is to complete something straight away! `I get things done as soon as I am told / think of them' - I have said this instead of `do not procrastinate' because I have changed / am changing my language to a more positive selection of words. I also write my goals in the Present Tense. This is one of the 3 P's (Personal, Positive and in the Present Tense) I have learnt whilst reading that these 3 P's are the key to brilliant goal setting.
The first thing I learnt in this book was about the Wheel of Life, which I will refer back to on a monthly basis. It allows me to clearly focus on each important area of my life and help me improve and achieve the best I can in each area.
The next chapter taught me about the 5 characteristics of brilliant people:
1. Positive Actions / Positive Language: no more saying `I'm so tired' instead I need to train myself to say `I could do with more energy' (this is just one example) - Basically it's all in the mind!!! -I've picked up on others' negativity when I've asked `how are you today?' usually the reply is `tired' or `good' I want to be different from them.
2. Break out of your comfort zone - hear I read an interesting story about a guy who stayed in his comfort zone and wouldn't take any risks - turns out he missed out on being Richard Branson's business partner. The lesson is to take risks! And if people don't like your idea, don't shy away, find out why not and improve it!
3. Think differently - `think transferable' -apply anything to YOUR life and how it will help YOU. Closing your eyes helps. Dig deeper than what you read/ hear and find a way to relate it to you and your success! (I can try this when reading other people's life stories, or even in a magazine - like a guy named David in the book who is inspired by reading articles in random magazines. Also using the Take 2 technique (whereby if I catch myself being negative in my language or thoughts I simply say to myself `take two' and go again and rephrase to be more positive.
4. Manage stress - ways to relax, e.g. yoga, breathing techniques, whatever works for you. Getting enough sleep also helps. For me personally I have realised that going for a swim or a walk helps me de-stress.
5. Massive actions - which I have already talked about, however I know how important this is. Massive actions = massive results, so do it now!!!
It is the key to success. I must make massive actions in order to get massive results, for myself. But I also need to make massive actions for people around me (like friends and family)
This came up on a couple of occasions, which goes to show all aspects link in one way or another. When I was writing my values, one of them was contribution. I realise I must go the extra mile to do something for somebody else. For example my friend Caitlin was worrying about her future (going to Uni) -just by listening to her I was doing a poor job, therefore getting no results, so I suggested she did some work experience first over summer to help her decide what she wanted to do as a career (still producing no results.) Therefore I needed to go a step further, so I had a look online and some places I thought she might like to try out. I told her about them and she thanked me for it. - I think I did a good job but this means poor results (as I have learnt in the book) and a good job is no longer recognised anymore - it's just standard and what you'd expect, it isn't `wow!'. You have to do at least a fantastic job in order to get good results. And a step up from that would mean you are Brilliant with brilliant results - this is how you become brilliant. There is a great story in this chapter about the author and the effort he goes to for his little girl. And another about a hotel he and his wife stayed at and the service provided.
So after reading about how to be brilliant - I had to take action and decide what I wanted to be brilliant at. I understand that brilliance doesn't happen by accident - it is going to take hard work, dedication and commitment but I have confidence in myself and I know I can do whatever I aim to do. As it is such hard work, I had to pick no more than 3 things that I wanted to be brilliant at. So I picked... a brilliant family member (daughter, sister, etc.) a brilliant friend and a brilliant business owner.
I then had to write down what it was that was holding me back. I wrote down: money, lack of confidence (even though I am confident enough to take a risk, I still don't feel ready to become that millionaire and don't want it to go wrong), my age(only 17), lack of an idea (don't know what business I'd set up yet, I want a genius idea and I don't have one yet), lack of creativity, location (where I'd run it from) , and finally, knowledge (I know little about the business world.)
This was all to do with having a brilliant belief system. I understand now what makes it strong - it's evidence (reasons why I think it) e.g. a belief system of `I am a funny, wonderful, excellent person!' -the evidence for this is because I can make people laugh or when I do something nice for someone else and I see their appreciation - that means I'm wonderful etc. this is just 1 example, I can have many different belief systems relating to different aspects of my life. I just need to remember how important it is to stay positives! I'm already pretty good at finding the positives in a situation, I just need to maintain this and think about it more! An important lesson is this: `if you have a belief system, you WILL find the evidence to support it.
So, after I had identified what was holding me back, I wrote down how I could overcome the easy ones, such as the confidence one - I'll gain more knowledge by reading more and asking questions so I feel ready to take on the challenge. I will also change my language `I am so confident, I have all the confidence I need!' My age - I'm young, full of energy, passion and enthusiasm. I can do anything I put my mind to' and as for money - `I'll continue to work hard and get paid' and if I really want it bad enough I will find a way to get it.'
The biggest item on the list - the most difficult to work around is called my `rock'. My rock is the feeling that I have lack of creativity & lack of time whilst still at college. I put this into my Circle of Concern (the pity part - what holds me back) and the Circle of Influence (where I need to focus my attention to (how I will act-the part that will make a difference.) I wrote in my Circle of Influence ` I can open my mind to anything - I'll be surprised by what I can imagine when I close my eyes and let my mind go' & `I can find time for anything that is important to me now.'
The circles are a technique to bust my rock! - destroy it! -which does wonders for my confidence too! Secondly I just need to work on changing my language completely!! Difficult - but do-abloe with practise! (remember the `Take 2' approach.)
Another way to overcome what is holding me back is to create a Mastermind group. When I first tried this it didn't work - I think this was down to me not concentrating or trying hard enough. People in my mastermind group so far are: Alan Sugar, Richard Branson, Simon Cowell, Jessica Ennis, Emma Watson, Michael Heppell (author) and Obama. I can keep adding to this as often as I want. The point of the Mastermind group is for me to imagine I am in a room with them all, talking to one of them / each of them and asking for their advice (what they would do in my situation) I'm not looking for a big, complex answer, just something short. E.g. `Richard Branson, how do I make a lot of money?' `Work hard.' < Now I must use this advice! I need to trust myself because whatever comes to mind during this Mastermind session is right most of the time. I just need to believe in it and be there 100%.
This book has taught me so many lessons; another example is how to approach people when you need their help. I am getting into the habit of saying `I need your help.' Michael Heppell says these are the magic words. And he gives an example (page 91) on how this is better than saying it in a different way. I also learnt to ask the right people, I need to get to know the person / people first and build up a relationship with them) as I have done with people at work now, e.g. Clair in Sales, I recently discovered she used to live in Florida, which is where I want to go, so I am keen to find out how she got there and what she thought of it. When asking people for help, I need to remember 3 important things first, which are to be Generous, Honest and Faithful. (Basically be respectful.) However if I need to step it up (more serious matters e.g. Business) I need to find inspiring people for advice. Uninspiring people are happy with below average results - I am not.
When asking for such help, I must be prepared. I must mentally rehearse (another big lesson in the book) I need to be organised and have a plan. I need to be certain about what I am asking for help for. It could be: specialist knowledge, practical advice, how to's, mistakes to avoid, faster ways to achieve, to borrow resources, or to review what you have done.
Next in the book, I had to come up with a Life Question. -something I think about daily, and I said mine was either `what am I going to do as a career in the future?' or `Where am I going?' Then I found out that it is better to reword my question to make it empowering (with more to it!) Therefore I said instead `What have I got to look forward to today / tomorrow /this week?' Then I find all the positives of the day / week ahead. This Empowering question I am thinking of each morning since I read the chapter (8).
Teamwork was also mentioned in this book, the highlight of the chapter for me was the quote: `brilliant teams get things done.' Meaning they don't procrastinate, they focus and know their goals (the outcome/ what they are aiming towards) using the 3P' to ensure all members are driven towards achieving the goals. - I will revisit this chapter because one day I will be a manager / leader of a team and need to know how to deal with it. However, I suppose I am part of a team now (2 in fact) , within my friendship group (booking this holiday next summer) and at work (as part of a lifeguard team). Ways to overcome procrastination are set out in this chapter also. And I will remember them, they are as follows:
1.Set worthwhile goals that intensely motivate.
2. Visualise the task as completed (close your eyes, visualise the exact outcome you want.)
3. Affirmations- do it now!!
4. Refuse to make excuses.
5. Overpower the biggest task first (use the rock busting techniques!)
I mentioned briefly earlier about mental rehearsal. I have used this already and I know it works, but in order to be brilliant I have to use it more. Ways I can use it are, when preparing for a speech, a presentation, a meeting, a swimming race, a telephone conversation, an interview and many other ways. In fact, I can mentally rehearse anything I feel I need to. It helps when I close my eyes as I can concentrate better.
Next in the book I discovered beyond brilliance, staying at the top and getting to the next level! The most important lesson first of all is to challenge myself! If I am the best, then my biggest competitor is me. I need to raise my game. Lesson two was to do something completely different, for example learning a new language or taking up a new sport or visiting somewhere new but not far from home - it could be ANYTHING! The point is to keep interested and to try something different (out of your comfort zone. Thirdly I have to look beyond my sector (I have discussed this already, about the guy named David who found inspiration in magazines in newsagents at airports (completely out of his sector). The secret is to not limit yourself to the simple `what you see' take it further, let your mind go and you'll be amazed with what you'll find - this helps my creativity skills / thinking differently.
The biggest, most relatable lesson in this section of the book is about being a master reframer. I love this because I already do it and I feel good for doing it. It's all about looking at a situation from another's point of view. However this time it is described in a slightly different way, which I cannot wait to try out at the next opportunity. Firstly, you elevate yourself above the situation (looking down on it) notice how you look, and how the other person looks. Then move to their point of view, what can they see, what do they notice, how do they feel? - There is a story here in the book about Michael Heppell in a meeting with his colleague, which helps him improve his meetings in the future.
I know that even though these skills are about staying at the top and going beyond being brilliant, nothing is stopping me from applying these skills now. They will only help me to achieve faster ☺
The last chapter of the book talks about overcoming obstacles. The most common setbacks are:
1. Procrastination - you must be truly committed from day 1!! It's vital to keep the actions visible, such as my images, my goals, etc.
2. Other people - do not let others put you down or stop you! If they are uninspiring / negative and you've tried to help but can't, then don't bother with them - you don't need them. As Michael Heppell says `you can lead the group or leave the group' - I choose to lead! Unless I don't think I can, then I can leave. It's my choice. I must put myself being brilliant first.
3. Levels of energy - this is a big one for me that I am working hard on!! I need to learn (especially for September) to be enthusiastic in the morning! I can do this by getting a good night sleep and a good breakfast. I am training my brain! Ways to get brilliant energy levels are:
a. exercise (swim, jog, gym)
b. drink lots of water (fill my bottle up 3 times a day at least!)
c. Eat the right stuff! (5 portions of fruit+ veg a day!)
d. Positive attitude (change my language `I'm full of energy' `I'm wide awake' - but continue to smile and be happy.)
4. The resources - e.g. Money, time, information etc. - lesson = if I want them bad enough I will find a way to get them!! I need to look harder and be more active!
5. Setbacks - they are going to happen so you just accept them. They are an opportunity to learn (as I have learnt in another book). Everything happens for a reason.
The final chapter discusses life lessons. Of course I have learnt life lessons by myself in the past, however these just gave me more of an idea and more to remember / work with in the future. The most valuable life lesson was...
If you don't love it - don't do it. I knew this already but seeing it written down in a book I trust made it even more worth remembering.
2. You'll meet people who want to help you and give you a chance, let them.
3. Brilliance only happens with planning, hard work and skill. Don't give up.
4. Read, read and read!!! - keep learning!
5. Never judge people by their appearance! You don't know their story (I knew this already too.)
6. The right people turn up at the right time (everything happens for a reason - I strongly believe in this.)
7. Being busy doesn't mean you are being successful (think about all the other areas of your life - they need to be balanced! - use the wheel of life!)
8. Family are more important than a career (the lesson I knew already = people matter more than things.)
9. Even when there are a dozen reasons why not, you just have to go for it anyway! (Prove people wrong if you strongly believe YOU can do it!)