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Jenny's Book Bag

I'm an avid reader, writer, and blogger. I have a diverse taste in books, everything from new releases to classics.

Get Smart!: How to Think, Decide, Act, and Get Better Results in Everything You Do

Get Smart!: How to Think, Decide, Act, and Get Better Results in Everything You Do - Brian Tracy Don’t let the size of this book fool you. It may be short, but it’s packed full of helpful information. It’s short because there’s no fluff, at least, not in my opinion. I took many pages of notes from this book because there were things that I didn’t want to forget.

Some of the advice in this book I’ve heard hundreds of times or more, but it’s worth hearing again. Most of us are very familiar with goal-setting methods. Brian Tracy gives you step-by-step instructions — writing down goals, prioritizing and executing them. We may have heard this advice hundreds of times, but I don’t think many people actually follow it.

There’s a great section with a systematic problem solving method and one on the “Seven Rs of Superior Thinking” (rethinking, reevaluating, reorganizing, restructuring, reengineering, reinventing, regaining control).

Not all of the advice was standard. There are exercises in this book, many questions to ask yourself, steps to take, and gold nuggets that get you to think about things a little differently.

I loved the chapter on negative emotions: fear of all kinds, envy and resentment, jealousy, inferiority, hate, suspicion, hostility, and distrust. We’re so used to feeling these emotions that they become a part of everyday living and we think that it’s OK. We don’t have to feel this way.

"It’s impossible to experience a negative emotion without blaming others for something that they have done or not done of which you disapprove. The minute you stop blaming, your negative emotions cease completely.”

Taking personal responsibility is hard for most people. We blame others for a large majority of the things that happen in our lives and only occasionally blame ourselves. We’ve all been wrong in life in some way, but we haven’t truly learned to forgive and this includes forgiving ourselves. If we stop complaining, learn to forgive and let it go, we would feel so much happier and be in a healthier frame of mind, which would help us accomplish more of our goals.

"The key to self-esteem, self-confidence, self-reliance, and self-respect is for you to accept 100% responsibility for everything you are and all that you will become in life. The instant you accept complete responsibility, with no excuses, you become calm, clear, and positive.”

Rich people have different habits and a different way of thinking than poor people. I love the distinctions Brian Tracy makes in this book. Rich people make a commitment to continue learning and developing new skills. They set clear goals. They get out of their comfort zone. They eat healthy and exercise daily. They let go of their fears (especially a fear of failure). They don’t use learned helplessness (the “I can’t” attitude). They watch less than an hour of television a day! They use their time wisely and this includes not spending time with people whose lives are going nowhere.

This is what he says about how poor people think.

“They fail to understand the direct relationship between what you put in and what you get out. They are always seeking to get something for nothing or for as little as possible. They want success without achievement, riches without labor, money without effort, and fame without talent.”

He reminds us that poor people gamble and buy lottery tickets.

Get Smart! How to Think and Act Like the Most Successful and Highest-Paid People in Every Field is a motivating book that reminds you that if you change your habits and your thinking, you can change your life in remarkable ways. Read it. I highly recommend it.