Saturday, March 4, 2017

Book Review: Awaken the Giant Within

'Awaken the Giant Within' by Anthony Robbin is about harnessing the principle of concentration of power; about the giant capacity we can immediately command when we focus all of our resources on mastering a single area of our lives.
Starts with the recipe for bringing change into one's life effectively, in four steps. Step 1, the first thing, raise your standards. Follows by Step 2, eliminating the limiting beliefs, and finally comes Step 3, changing one's strategy. Which is followed by a discussion on the importance of decision, and ways to harness such things like beliefs, plans and goals to shape one's life.
Next comes the process of actually incorporating significant changes, like that of adopting a new belief, or discarding an old, to one's life. How and why we do reinforcement of beliefs and plans, and how important is focus. Also discussed are the different techniques of staying focused.
The necessity of a plan for deriving pleasure, and its relevance, comes next. The importance of words and metaphors follows. How, to consciously control our lives, we need to evaluate and improve our vocabulary to make sure that it is pulling us in the direction we desire instead of that which we wish to avoid.
The need to effectively use one's emotions, since those are meant to serve one, is covered, describing a six point method of emotional mastery. Also, how to understand and react appropriately to (a) action signals, like discomfort, fear, guilt, loneliness, etc., (b) emotions of power, like love, curiosity, determination, etc.
Some books become a hit by it's content, and some, by presentation. This book belongs to the latter. What attracted me most is the effective use of anecdotes, and other historical snippets, making an already endearing format, even more appealing.
'Re-Awaken the Giant Within' is taken from the above book, but presented in a more organized way.
Part I discusses the way ahead. Focus needs to be on where one wants to go, not on what one fears. Here the author discusses the prerequisites of his strategy, and describes, beginning with the emotions of power. What are, Avoidance,  Denial,Competition, or Learning and using, it can make one feel any way one chooses at any moment in time, or, reaching greatness. Then comes ten emotional seeds one can plant, like love, gratitude, curiosity etc. If these seeds become the focus of one's attention and feeling, one can hold oneself to a standard of greatness.
Part II discusses the implementation of these strategies in ones life. It begins with the significant value, we must attach to 'values'. How the values that Founding Fathers held most dear have shaped the nation’s destiny: The values of freedom, choice, equality, a sense of community, hard work, individuality, challenge, competition, etc. How values—whatever they are—are the compass that is guiding one to the ultimate destiny. How, if we structure our lives in a way where our happiness is dependent upon something we cannot control, we experience pain, and how, this can be used to raise or lower ones standards appropriately to lead oneself to enjoyment, despite the conditions of the moment. In other words, be committed to being intelligent enough, flexible enough, and creative enough.
It then talks of controlling, friendly forces like love, health, and security, that moves one towards values, and opposite forces like rejection, failure, and anger, that takes one away. A fearsome enemy comes next - the phrase "I am just this way", and lists ways of dealing with uncertainty issues. Like how, as we develop new beliefs about who we are, our behavior will change to support the new identity.Part III talks about how, these approaches will shape ones life.
Then comes the last part which is about reaping the benefits, "The only way to do so with a lasting sense of fulfillment is through unselfish contribution—because the secret to living is giving. So don’t look for heroes; be one!"

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