The Success Principles, by Jack Canfield

The Success Principles: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be; 10th Anniversary Edition (2015); by Jack Canfield, with Janet Switzer.

Jack Canfield is one of my favorite motivational speakers. I regularly watch his seminars and his informative shorts on YouTube. I decided to read The Success Principles after seeing it on a list among the “Most Inspirational Books”. Having a familiarity with Jack Canfield’s seminars and ideas, I thought it would be a review of the information I had already gathered, so as to solidify the concepts in my mind. However, I soon found that this book was so much more than I expected.

In The Success Principles, Jack Canfield, along with several co-authors and contributors, describes 67 principles to change your life. These 67 principles are broken up into six sections. The first section is “The Fundamentals of Success”. This outlines the basics of what it takes to get started on a life-changing journey. It gives information to change your thinking and to get you to take initiative. Also, there are “assignments” meant to raise your awareness and establish standards for yourself, such as setting goals, developing habits, and learning to take action.

The second section is “Transform Yourself for Success”. This section is all about using these fundamentals to develop your mindset to change your day to day habits toward success. This information is invaluable, as it helps you to reflect on yourself and see where your errors in judgment are. Your current lifestyle and habits say a lot about where you currently are in life. If you’re not where you want to be, it is only your own fault, and more importantly, it is your responsibility to correct the deficiencies.

Section three is “Build Your Success Team”. Focusing on who you are, will identify who you will attract. This applies not only to your personal life, but also to your professional life. You want to spend time around people who share your values. You want to be around people who are likewise driven to succeed. This section also discusses the importance of being a leader and learning to network. Even if you feel anti-social, like me, you must focus on developing leadership and communication skills. Because nobody accomplishes anything great alone. Find people who uplift you and challenge you. Those are the relationships worth having.

Which brings us into section four: Create Successful Relationships. This means having the proper moral purpose toward people. This means actively listening. This means being honest and direct as often as you possibly can. I have applied some of the communication skills outlined here, to much success. There are people I work with who I felt didn’t think much of me. After applying some better interpersonal skills, I came to found out that they were just waiting for me to take an interest in them. I let the people I work with know that they were appreciated, and my presence became something worthwhile to them. Not that one should place their self-worth in others perspective of them, but it is essential that you are held in esteem by others in order to introspectively have esteem for yourself.

Section five branches out into finances. “Success and Money” is the heading. This was impacting for me, especially considering how I was raised and my family’s financial situation. We were not destitute poor by any means, but there were plenty of times that our finances were made clear. We didn’t take vacations. We didn’t have fancy things. One side of my family is hard-working laborers. Salt of the Earth individuals with enough knowledge and skills to match a Bachelor’s or higher in their relative field. My Father can do anything, I’m sure of it. He has the knowledge and skill of ten men. But he has worked hard to make ends meet all of his life. I figured that was my fate as well.

However, I had to learn from this book that I had negative perspectives toward money and wealth. I had several financial self-limiting beliefs that I have to work on correcting. Then, the author continues to describe not just why, but how to improve your financial situation. How to invest in your self and your future. Very helpful information for improving your financial IQ.

The final section is a newly added section: “Success in the Digital Age”. The internet has brought a great wealth of readily available information and knowledge into the world. Unfortunately, it has also brought a lot of excess, distraction, and frankly, meaningless, time-wasting garbage along with it. The effective use of technology is essential to success in the modern era. From representing yourself effectively on social media, to mastering the technology that can advance your goals. These are very important concepts that few people give thought to.

In addition to the book itself, it is accompanied by a wealth of online resources and footnote references to other authors and works.

Overall, if you have any interest in self-improvement and personal development, not only would I say this book is great, but I would say it is an essential addition to your personal library. Jack Canfield is an extraordinary individual. I would also recommend his seminars on YouTube. If you want to take it even further, I would recommend attending his seminars and conferences in person.

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Understanding the Humorous and Ironic Title of the World’s Most Famous Novel

I’m sure most of you have read, or at least heard of the fictional story called Don Quixote, written by the most well-known Spanish author Miguel de Cervantes in 1605(1st Part) and 1615(2nd Part). Alonso Quixano is a fifty-year-old gentleman from the region of La Mancha in central Spain. He obsessively reads books about chivalric knights from the not so long-ago Middle Ages. He reads so much so that he decides to take up his lance and sword to defend the helpless and destroy the wicked, creating chaotic plots.

The protagonist Alonso Quixano calls himself Don Quixote. The novel is a parody of the brave knights of old legends. The irony of the novel is embodied in the full title of the two-part novel-El ingenioso hidalgo Don Quixote de la Mancha.

To understand the title is to see Cervantes’ comical manipulation of words. Ingenioso means clever. Don Quixote is not a clever man. His decisions are made based on irrational thinking. When he sees a windmill, he thinks he sees a giant and rushes in to fight it. When he sees two groups of sheep, he believes he is seeing an army of men ready to fight. Again, he runs into the fight and tries to subdue all the “men.”

Hidalgo is a man of low-born nobility, or a hijo de algo (son of something). Also, knights were considered hidalgos. Alonso Quixano is not a man of wealth who belongs to a family of nobles, even low-born nobles. But he thinks he is a knight and tries to do chivalrous deeds, only to end up looking like an heroic fool.

Don is an address that this man gives to himself. A don is a Spanish gentleman meaning Lord or Sir. Quixano gives himself the title “Don” in front of “Quixote.”

The name Quixote is based on the protagonist’s real last name, Quixano, which he gives himself to sound more like a famous knight such as Sir Lancelot. In Spanish, this English hero is called, Lanzarote- Lanzar-ote. The suffix -ote serves another purpose when it is attached to the end of a word, meaning big or clumsy.

“Quixot” originates from the Catalan word cuixot which means armor that protects the thigh. So his name Don Quixote translates to Sir Big Thigh Armor. However, the protagonist is physically the opposite; his body is thin and emaciated.

The word “Quixote” has changed over the last four hundred years. Originally, the “x” filled in the name because, the original pronunciation sounded like “sh”. So, “Quixote” sounded like “Kee-sho-tay.” Today, the sound is “Kee-ho-tay.” So, “Quixote” is spelled “Quijote” in the Spanish-speaking world. The English version kept the “x”. So, part of the title reads, “Don Quijote.”

Don Quixote is from La Mancha – a large area located in Southeastern Spain that is the most arid, desolate unfertile land in the country. It is believed that Cervantes chose for Don Quixote to be a native from this area because it is the most inappropriate place for a romantic, chivalrous hero to seek adventure. In Spanish, mancha means “spot” or “stain” but mancha actually derives from the Arabic word meaning “dry” or “arid”.

So, when we translate the title, we get something like: The Clever Low-Born Noble, Lord Big Thigh Armor from Spain’s Most Desolated Area. The title is oddly appealing, strange, and certainly humorous. It’s ironic since Alonso Quixano is not clever, noble, or anyone who deserves earning a title like “sir” or “lord.” Also, Quixano has an extremely lean body who doesn’t wear armor for a robust knight. He is from la Mancha- Spain’s most infertile wasteland.

We know Miguel de Cervantes’ best known literary work as “Don Quixote (Quijote),” or as the Spanish natives call it “El Quijote.” We can decode the humorous irony of the novel by its full title. Once you read the first and best-known fictional novel in the world, you become aware of the full humor and irony presented in its extensive plots generated by Don Quixote’s strange, active imagination.

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How to Get Your Point Across in 30 Seconds – Book Review

Why is that important you might ask, well if your message is clear and to the point your recipient will know exactly what you are talking about. In business clear messages save time and misunderstandings and this is equally important in every-day life. The conversations do not need to be terse of formal just clear and to the point.

Once you have mastered the techniques you will have learned to focus your thinking, speaking and writing. Your conversations won’t wander aimlessly up a blind alley. You will become more logical and easier to listen to, the result a better success rate in your endeavour.

30 seconds is probably the amount of time a person can concentrate, so to catch their attention and get your message across aim to do it in 30 seconds. If you consider adverts on TV they are condensed into bites of around 30 seconds. Why, because it has been found the most successful amount of time for people to absorb the content.

“The little book How to Get your Point across in 30 seconds” by Milo O Frank gives you all the pointers necessary to improve your communication skills. It covers areas like knowing your single objective not complicating matters by having several agendas in one conversation. Talking to the right person, finding the best approach, having a hook to capture attention and using humour. How to develop your subject by painting a picture verbally and of course clearly asking for the result you require.

All through this little book the author has laid out a clear progression for improving your techniques and not being afraid to ask for what you want to achieve. Another book “Ask for the Moon and Get It!” Percy Ross also states in order to succeed, ask for what you want and keep asking.

So in business as in everything else the answer is to know what you want, be specific, clear and concise. This doesn’t mean you can’t be friendly, but be memorable by painting a picture, have a hook to capture attention and finish by asking clearly for your objective. All this should be confined to a 30 second sound bite. Develop this skill and you should find doors open for you and your progress being made.

So wishing you success in your future communications!

Books mentioned:

“Get Your Point Across in 30 seconds” by Milo O Frank

“Ask for the Moon and Get It!” By Percy Ross

Would you like some marketing tips, that could help you expand you business?

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Steel Fetters by Tina Fernandez

Miss Afia Rana is a beautiful young lady who has landed her dream job. She’s an airline stewardess flying for India’s Southern Airlines. She makes frequent trips to Bombay, Mumbai, and the famous Juhu Beach area surrounded by the Arabian Sea. Exotic and romantic, Afia also attracts the man of her dreams and he’s the head of a Steel empire. His business takes him across the middle east as a frequent flyer. Afia is flying high and loving her life, until her baby arrives and the years slowly turn to Steel Fetters as she challenges the “false morality of the 1980’s.” Her endless love for her child gives her the strength to rise again and again against a difficult backdrop and an unfair situation that life has handed her.

The author, Tina Fernandez, does a good job with this personal experience story. It describes the plight of countless women during this era. While every country had its own way of chastisement for these brave single mothers there is little wonder why abortion became so popular. There were no easy choices and no easy answers for the women who faced the dilemma, especially in India.

Before the baby, Afia’s father held a different dream for her. It followed traditional. He wanted to choose a husband for his daughter. She would retire from flying, become a loving wife and raise a family. This is the way it was done in India, except Afia hated this dream and wanted no part of it. The situation threatened to tear the family apart. Afia’s mother would also have choices to make and they would not be easy.

Tina Fernandez is a successful author and business woman who keeps the cause of single motherhood close to her heart. She champions associations that support these brave mothers as they choose life for their children. She knows what a high price they are paying in a society that has false values and, “false morality,” when it comes to unwed mothers. Her book will speak to women of all ages, especially single mothers. It may also speak to the children of these single moms; the children who appreciate the sacrifices their moms made to keep them safe. On a deep level, Steel Fetters is a story about society and moral norms that do not serve humanity and how one woman challenged them. She broke through what seemed like steel to build a secure and happy home life for herself and her beloved son.

S. Marie Vernon is a book and product reviewer who has her own blog at The Write Review. http://smariev.blogspot.com and you may also find her work at Pacific Book Review. http://www.pacificbookreview.com

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The Stars Shine Down by Sidney Sheldon: A Book Review

I got tired of mouse clicks and clicking pages on my laptop. Instead, I badly wanted a feel for solid pages in my hands. That’s when I thought I would take a break and enjoy reading a novel, flipping through its pages for real by my favorite author, Sidney Sheldon.

I went to the nearest bookstore and felt compelled to buy three novels by him and hoped to enjoy weeks reading them which is exactly what I did. One of these books was, “The Stars Shine Down”. I do want to provide a review of this well-structured, well-plotted and well-crafted novel. Read on for the review.

The novel describes a 17-year old girl, Lara who has a hate relationship with her Dad because no matter how much she wants to impress and love him, he always passes on stinging remarks about her. After her Dad passes away, she dreams of erecting a building in a nearby spot from where she currently lived in a boarding house. Eventually she materialized her dream and that was how she got into real estate business.

She also aged and became a beautiful lady and everyone was mesmerized at the first glance. Yet she was America’s princess travelling London to New York, from Rino to Rome constructing buildings, hotels and shopping centers. She was successful and became a self-made billionaire. Of course, she had help all along. She also came across her soul mate while travelling, who happened to be a pianist. They fell in love and married each other. Yet they were from different backgrounds, one erecting high rise and the other engrossed in music.

When all her valuable assets seemed to be crashing down and she almost broke off with her husband, a surprise birthday party from her husband, friends and colleagues made it all a happy ending for her.

This is a fabulous book to encounter. I would recommend it to anybody who is interested in reading novels.

Some of Sidney Sheldon’s blockbuster novels are “The Sky is Falling, “Tell me Your Dreams”, “The Best Laid Plans”, “Morning, Noon & Night”, “Nothing Lasts Forever” and a countless other ones. Almost all have been number-one international bestsellers. His first book, “The Naked Face” was acclaimed by the New York Times as, “the best first mystery of the year” and received an Edgar Award. Most of his novels have become major feature films or TV miniseries and there are more than 300 million copies of his books in print throughout the world. Undoubtedly, Sidney Sheldon reigns as one of the most popular storytellers of all time.

Rosina S Khan has authored this article, giving a review on one of her favorite author’s novels, “The Stars Shine Down” by Sidney Sheldon.

Apart from his novels, Rosina S Khan is herself a burgeoning and captivating writer of a wealth of free resources based on stunning fiction stories, amazing self-help eBooks, commendable articles, quality scholar papers and valuable blogs and much more, which are all assembled in one place on her website: http://rosinaskhan.weebly.com. You will be glad after having visited it.

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A Review of the Book Half-Cut, A Police Thriller by Arnold Eslava-Grunwaldt

A complex mystery, combining thrilling police action and great characters, what more could a fan of the genre look for?

A police thriller that is as clever as it is suspenseful; Half-Cut makes a noticeable entrance into the ever-growing genre of police thrillers. Author Arnold Eslava-Grunwaldt delivers with this debut novel, which is a well-orchestrated thriller that builds in intrigue, portrays sympathetic characters, and introduces readers to central character Detective Sergeant Hamilcar “Ham” Hitchcock, a seasoned and wise detective on the Yonkers, NY police force.

Readers will find themselves immediately drawn into the intense world of Detective Sergeant Hitchcock, as he finds himself called to the residence of Bernard “Barney” Bloemker. At first glance, it appears that Barney died of a heart attack. However, something seems out of place with the corpse when it is noted that half his head has been shaved bald. Barney’s unconventional haircut did not match the plain interior set up within his apartment. The mystery continues to grow, as another oddity about poor Barney’s corpse arises. The medical examiner notices a telltale sign of arsenic poisoning indicating that a much more sinister scenario was beginning to unfold; Bloemker’s death may have been murder.

Consequently, Hamilcar Hitchcock and his team of detectives go into action. His squad is a hearty group of distinct personalities who work arduously to solve the deepening enigma of the Bloemker case. Altogether, not an easy case by any means, the detectives struggle to make headway with the investigation of Barney Bloemker’s death while simultaneously managing their own internal struggles. Meanwhile, more “half cut” bodies turn up. Is there a connection between the deaths or, is there a serial killer loose in Yonkers? Hitchcock and his team find themselves facing these questions and more with this bizarre murder case that reaches deep into the past, but affects the present, in dangerous, and dramatic ways.

As a whole, Half-Cut was an exciting read that I recommend to fans of police thrillers. I enjoyed being immersed in the unique storyline and watching the drama unfold while being made privy to the inner workings of a police investigation as it ran afoul of human nature at its worst and best. The thoughtful characterizations were solid, realistic and emotionally evocative which helped to make this book a worthy read. Overall, Author Arnold Eslava-Grunwaldt told a good story and I look forward to the next book in the series

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Taj Mahal Is a Hindu Temple Reveals the Book ‘World Vedic Heritage’

The book under review ‘World Vedic Heritage – A History of Histories’ is written by a great research scholar P.N.Oak after years of research on this subject.

This was written way back in 1984 and I have read it long back with wonder. Some of the topics like Taj Mahal was a Hindu Temple, Vedic stanzas are in Koran, Aurangazeb’s grave is in a Goddess Temple-Yard etc. attracted me very much. While I am reading this book now, still it fascinates me.

Even though the subjects are controversial, the author has given ample authoritative evidence for the readers.

The author says that the dome of the Taj Mahal in Agra, near New Delhi, the capital of India, has lotus petals. The lotus petals in inlay-work girding its base, the inverted lotus on top of the dome and the trident pinnacle are all Hindu, Vedic features indicating that the fifth generation Mogul emperor, Shahjahan only requisitioned the Tejo Mahalaya Shiva Temple.

Most of the area in around the main building is under Archaelogical Department’s control and no visitor is permitted there. Oak says that there is ample evidence to prove his point in those areas.

The book has 92 chapters in 1312 pages. The Vedic culture in the East, Vedic past of Japan, China, Korea and Manchuria, West Asia etc. are dealt in detail by the author. Supporting his theory, the author has given 56 photos also in the book.

The book makes an interesting reading. It is argued in the book that the first immediate reaction of a large section of the public on reading an unheard of thesis of the kind expounded in this book is likely to be one of shock, disbelief and rejection. But the cogency of the argument, the continuity of the thread of the history and the comprehensive evidence are likely to be persuasive factors which may ultimately make the theme more agreeable and acceptable.

A detailed bibliography is also attached at the end of the book quoting 114 sources.

The reader may draw his own conclusion after digesting all the facts put forth in the book. Lastly, after going through the contents of this book, one will get the impression that the Indian history must definitely be re-written correctly.

Purushottam Nagesh Oak (Birth: 2 March 1917; Death: 4 December 2007), commonly referred to as P. N. Oak, was an Indian writer, notable for his Hindu-centric brand of historical revisionism. Oak’s “Institute for Rewriting Indian History” issued a quarterly periodical called Itihas Patrika in the 1980s. He has written more than twelve books. He was on the editorial staffs of the newspapers Hindustan Times and The Statesman. He joined in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, India and served as class I officer for a long time.

In all, those who are interested in Indian History, should read this book without fail.

Nagarajan has written more than 3000 articles in Tamil in 18 magazines and published 52 books. He is revealing Eastern Secret Wisdom through T.V. Programmes, magazine articles, seminars, courses. He has covered various subjects in his wide range of articles which include Mantras, Yantras, Yoga, Meditation, Astrology, Astronomy, Space Science, Science and Spirituality, Hollywood cinema, Women’s progress, Aura, Significance of Colors, Reincarnation, Divine Geometry, Power of Prayer etc. As an ardent seeker of Truth, he has collected scientific experiments on mantras, mind, Auto suggestion etc. He has written many articles on para psychology also.

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