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on 2 May 2014
I love Brian Tracy. I love his voice, his stories, the way he charges me emotionally. If Brian was a woman, I would take him as my mistress. Enough about my darkest fantasies and onto the amazingly refreshing, but kind of scary 'Something for Nothing.' I read (listened to) this audiobook when I was heading out to the gym thinking it would be another light, energising insight into Brian's glorious world of goal setting and affirmation drilling. Many of Brian's works are very much the same dressed up differently. You will find that if you write down the principles in one of his books you have pretty much all the info you need to avoid the rest, but it really depends what angle you are coming in at: do you want to get fit, work more productively, or find a lover? He even has a course for raising kids: how's that for entitlement? Back to something for nothing - I was literally godsmacked when I realised this book was an entirely new approach from a sensational author. A real kick in the teeth for the lazy and the work shy, not to mention for the liberals. (democrats in america, labour and Libs in the UK) He condems state handouts, taxation of the rich, the desire for human beings to get everything faster, cheaper, with as little effort as possible. He calls us expedient. He remarks that we are all worthless and he will see us all in hell (ok this isn't true) but the rest is. It's a serious cup of literary coffee.

This was the book that really did it for me. All of Brian's other works I love. I like to listen to them at work, while I go to sleep, and when I have a bath. I could listen to him all day long, but the fact is that no matter much I listened I never really got the drive to do anything than I did from this book. It's not even a how to guide. It doesn't give tips on how to invest your £100 a month, or save 10% it doesn't tell you to dream big, or suck up to your boss, or work extra hours. Brian's aim here was to expose our very lazy nature as it truly shines through so that we could, as Sun Tzu would have remarked 'Know your enemy, and know yourself' We are the problem. The government owes us nothing. The police and the Health service owes us nothing. We are all the masters of our own fate. We need to stop waiting for a handout and make something of ourselves. The bear doesn't fish for Salmon to impress the chicks, or get approval from his boss. He survives. When I started to realise this I started working my butt off at work. I now do 60 hours a week, every week. I started actually setting goals (even though that's not in this book) I started to despise the free lunch, and I stopped downloading free music. I took myself from having £18000 worth of debt one and a half years ago, to having less than £3000 debt now, and I even have investments in funds. I am a much better person after reading this jolt fest.

Read this book, then realise you need to do something to change the world. You can do it, you just don't think you are responsible. You are responsible, we are all responsible and only some of us are aware of it and doing anything about it.
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on 24 June 2006
I am (had been) a huge Brian Tracy fan. For years I've read and benefitted from his work on personal development, but this (his first political) book has really turned me off him.

I would stress that it is not his political views that make this a poor book, but the manner in which he expresses them. It starts out fine with some basic stuff about human nature leading to a predisposition to laziness and greed. It takes on this theme and explains how the US had developed into a 'something for nothing' culture which threatens it's very future. Underlying all this is an argument for a free market economics. He provides much persuasive evidence to support his case.

The strange thing is I agree with him on all this. The problems come in the last few chapters when he begins to use the manipulative rhetoric of the far right that so often damages their case. By the end of the book he is coming across as an angrier, more bitter verison of Rush Limbaugh. One example of his ridiculous and misleading generalisations is when he criticizes the environmental movement. He alludes that the movement is based on "junk science", that all they are after is "free money", and that they go on "junkets to conferences where they often travel in limousines and stay in beautiful hotels". Either Brian know this sort of generalistaion is nonsense and he is dishonest, or he thinks it is true and and is ignorant. And this from a man who spend an entire chapter discussing the importance of character and integrity.

Sorry Brian, while I agree with your views, I abhore your methods. I think it was Stephen Covey who said you can not achieve a worthy ends with an unworthy means.

Anyone interested in this type of stuff should stick to Milton Friedman's 'Free to Choose' and people who are able to display some integrity.
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