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The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable by Nassim Nicholas Taleb.

Main lesson of the book: Events outside of our imagination can and will happen.

This book is a lot more philosophical than the other books I’ve read so far. And within that lies its value. This book tackles the need for humans to simplify and quantify the world around them. There is a false believe that everything in this world can be broken down with numbers and explained through math. The beauty of this is that they tend to use these math based models as a tool to predict the future. With the mind state of “To know where you are going you need to know where you have been” or “History repeats itself.” Its this exact belief that by reading history  we are able to predict the future. The problem with that way of thinking is that we tend to think that nothing extreme will happen that can upset or drastically change the future that we imagined. And right there is where Nassim came in and coined the terms Mediocristan and Extremistan.

In Mediocristan everything is standard and no big deviations happen. Whereas in Extremistan one event can destroy all preconceived notions and disrupt everything that was prepared. We humans love to act as if we are living in Mediocristan and what happened before can be used as a point of reference to what might come. The book gives the perfect example for this. Imagine a turkey that for the last 1000 days has been fed by humans. It would be a safe assumption for the turkey to make that humans are trustworthy and that being fed is the standard way of life. Until day 1001 when the turkey is brought to the slaughterhouse. This event was outside of what the turkey expected. There were no signs of it coming, there were no possible indications of what might happen. To the turkey this was a Black Swan. An event that he did not even imagining happening.

There were several Black Swans that shaped our world. The Black Swans had a lot more impact on our world than we think. We tend to think that inventions and revolutionary events happen because of constant effort. But a lot of our greatest accomplishments are due to sheer accident. Nassim makes it a point in this book to make sure that the reader understands that luck plays a major rule in success. Perhaps more so than actual skill or talent. Bad luck or good luck are often outside of our control. But humans tend to be over positive with their thinking and always hope that they will be the lucky ones. And what’s more, the lucky ones often think that they got where they are because of their skills and perseverance and not luck. Because how in the world could luck bring them where they are? Nassim brings up an amazing point and that is that humans always tend ignore the graveyard filled with people who have the exact same qualities but lacked luck. So many people are diligent, motivated, positive, focused. They persevered, they sacrificed their time and money and worked to the best of their abilities to gain what they wanted. But they didn’t make it, and we will never hear their stories because of that. And the simple reason they didn’t make it, is because they weren’t lucky enough to get that break.

Another amazing point the book makes is the concept of silent evidence. This point was without a doubt one of my favorite points in the book. The example the book uses is the story of worshippers praying and then surviving a shipwreck. Which shows us that praying will help you survive a calamity. But the question you should then ask is “what about those who prayed and still drowned?” Society is based on confirmation and because of that we get what can be called Confirmation Bias. Because our facts and reality will then be based on what we can verify. And there is a lot of comfort in that and perhaps that is why we tend to do that. The issue however is that there is an infinite amount of things we don’t know and by only focusing on what we do know we can get surprised by a Black Swan. Silent evidence teaches us to focus on what we don’t know or what gets ignored when reality is presented to us. There are literally millions of poets (or what this current generation would call poets) on Instagram, but there are but a few who can make a living with their writing. Now some people would believe that they became famous because of their immaculate writing abilities and promotional prowess. But I can promise you without fail, that within the million other poets on Instagram you will find those similar in talent and marketing ability but with a lot less followers. Never discount the power of luck when dealing with success.

Nassim has a very strong distaste for the Gaussian Bell Curve which seems to be the “natural” enemy of the Black Swan. The Gaussian Bell curve focuses on the theory that things can be normally distributed and things can be calculated using a standard deviation. The issue with the Bell Curve is that it doesn’t account for extreme events that will completely destroy the model. And I feel like this is the point that Nassim wants to make with the book. People want to force the world into a “normal” model that can be understood and read as a simple mathematical equation. The Modern Portfolio Theory which focuses on managing risk and using it to the benefit of the investor was based on the Bell Curve. The Modern Portfolio Theory actually won a Nobel Prize. What is surprising is that this Theory which focuses on creating a safe investment strategy was completely annihilated by a market crash which can only be described as a Black Swan. A system designed for risk management can only be as effective as the risk it can foresee. And therein lies the beauty of the Black Swan, it lies outside of the imagination of the person or people experiencing it.

The turkey literally died from surprise but for the butcher it was nothing more than a day at the office. The key to understanding the Black Swan is that it can’t be understood. History doesn’t go backwards, it moves forward. You can not think that a Black Swan will repeat itself simply because you think you understand why it happened and see the same things happening again. The world is a lot more complex than we would like it to be. And no matter how much we try to control everything around us we will always be surprised by things that we didn’t expect or account for. It is impossible to know everything and thus is it impossible to predict anything. And try as you may, you will only fail. The most you can do is try to look at your prediction and try to find where you went wrong and why. This is something I wish a lot of bankers and stock brokers did.

I learned a lot from this book. There is no certainty in this world as long as there are things that I don’t know. And I will never know everything. A very humbling feeling to know that.

The Science of getting Rich by Wallace Wattles

Main lesson of the book: Man can form things in his thought, and by impressing his thought upon formless substance can cause the thing he thinks about to be created.

This was nothing if not an interesting read. I loved the fact that this book equated the process of getting rich to something as fact based as math. It stated in several paragraphs that the process of getting rich can be broken down into very simple steps. These steps are then all based on the following principles.

  1. There is a thinking stuff from which all things are made, and which, in its original state, permeates, penetrates, and fills the interspaces of the universe.
  2. A thought, in this substance, produces the thing that is imaged by the thought.
  3. Man can form things in his thought, and. by impressing his thought upon formless substance, can cause the thing he thinks about to be created.

These 3 main points are repeated throughout the book in several chapters as the author wants to make sure that they stick. The beauty of this book is that it seemed to be the perfect follow up to Think and Grow Rich. By itself the book would have also be a valid read mind you, but in combination with the extensive research and effort that went into Think and Grow rich this book really shines. Because it goes into depth about a specific point mentioned in Think and Grow rich and that is the connection to “Intelligence”.

This book focuses on the concept that people have within them the power to define and construct their reality however they deem fit. The point it stresses however is that to reach your goal you will have to act and behave a certain way to achieve or get it. This may sound simple and according to the book … it is. There are of course several factors that the book requires me to follow to make sure that I attain my goal and stay upon the right path. One of the biggest points is that I shouldn’t focus on being competitive but rather I should focus on making sure my actions benefits all of mankind or at least all those who deal with me. By doing so, the law of nature who the author of this book calls Formless Intelligence will see that I am sincere in my transactions and will reward me justly. Another main point the book stresses is that I should be grateful. I should be grateful for being able to be given the chance to receive what it is that I want, and once I receive it I should be even more grateful. This will make sure that the connection between me and Formless Intelligence will remain intact.

Those two points are the corner stones for what he would call “acting a certain way”. Now acting a certain way means that you behave and speak in a manner that works towards your goal at all times. Put all your effort into whatever it is you do and grow beyond your station in life, only then will Formless Intelligence allow you to grow past where you are now. This sound simple but in truth its actually really hard. Because to me, what he is saying regardless of what it is you’re doing, do your best everyday and look for chances to excel. I don’t know what your job is like, but my job has limited chances for promotion, limited options for growth as an individual and the tasks I perform are so basic and set it stone that changing isn’t appreciated let alone improve them.

But The science of getting rich is adamant that one should grow beyond where they are and they will be rewarded for their hard work. Which doesn’t mean that you should just do your job to the best of your capabilities, because that would make your employer value you for that exact position and nothing more. So grow beyond that position and show your employer your potential. I have to admit that I haven’t been doing that, I was just happy getting by and receiving my paycheck with the most minimal amount of effort I could put forth. If I want to get rich, I will have to make sure that I do all my duties to the best of my capabilities and look for chances in corners I haven’t looked before.

The chapter that really got to me in this book was Chapter 3. In this chapter the author went into depth about why one doesn’t have to be competitive when it comes to attaining riches. One only has to be grateful and understand that there is enough for everyone. When I accept the fact that my thoughts can become reality, I accept the fact that I have within me the power to make something out of nothing. And thus there shouldn’t be a fear of there not being enough because Formless Intelligence is an infinite source of energy and matter. If I were to tap into Formless Intelligence I can bring forth everything I desire because it wants me to grow and wants to give me everything I want. What’s interesting is that The Science of getting Rich truly linked the concept of Formless Intelligence to the laws of nature. Because the book states that Nature wants life to grow so that it can sustain itself. Which makes total sense no matter how I look at it. And if I then apply the concept of “Nature wants life to grow” to me wanting to be rich, I only need to change my perspective on becoming rich as me “Growing in life”. For me to grow in life I will need nature’s help and Nature wants to help me because it wants, no NEEDS growth. If it didn’t provide it, it would be going against its own laws. Now I don’t know about you, but to me it feels really reassuring that even Nature wants me to get rich.

All it needs me to do is focus my thoughts, be clear in what I want, imagine me already owning it, and act accordingly.

What was interesting about this book is that it says in several chapters that it is the only book you will ever need to read on the subject. And you shouldn’t listen to other religions that disagree with what is in the book for it will only cloud your judgement. You shouldn’t listen to naysayers or watch news that will create a negative view of the world for it too will cloud your judgement. Just believe in this book and follow the steps within it and you will reach the riches you so crave.

I was rather impressed with how bold and confident the author was in this book in telling me it’s the only book I need. But I made a promise to myself to read at least 40 books so I can’t just stop because one book told me so. But this is without a doubt a great follow up on the books I’ve read so far.

Rich Dad’s Increase Your Financial IQ by Robert T. Kiyosaki

Main Lesson of the book: Understanding how to invest and what to look for

This was without a doubt the perfect follow up to Rich Dad Poor Dad as it goes into depth on how you can improve your financial IQ. At this point I am actually a few book in on how to improve my financial IQ and how I am meant to get rich. This book actually shows me possible methods on how I may increase my assets. While making sure that I also understand the underlying mind state of why I should increase my financial IQ along with my wealth. Because wealth and money are fleeting concepts but your IQ is the true constant. So if you were to lose everything, you can still make it back because you still have your IQ. That concept in itself made this book worth reading.

Rich Dad’s Increase your financial IQ makes sure to hit certain key points of how one should go about investing. One of the main things that really jumped out to me was the point the book made regarding Control and Leverage. Now, this book drops a lot of terms and numbers at a pretty quick pace which means that those who have trouble with math might have to reread certain chapters a few times. I took my time and made sure I followed along at a pace that suited my own learning curve. Control and Leverage sound pretty simple but when it comes to investing and buying assets these two seem to be key elements in increasing your wealth. Stocks are assets one can buy and from that point on you will have to wait and see what will happen to the stock. Mutual Funds from how the book explained it to me, they are: “a hodgepodge of good and bad stocks.” But because they supposedly rise pretty consistently, they are deemed safe and a good way to diversify. But it is still a stock, and thus you will still have to wait and see what will happen.

Mr. Kiyosaki has made clear on several occasions not only in this book but in Rich Dad Poor Dad as well that he prefers real estate investments. But in this book, he explains why in great detail and the main points that stuck were Control and Leverage. With real estate you own the building, you own the asset and the asset can actually create cashflow. Here is where control comes when owning a building. People pay rent for their apartment and the rent is often based on the quality of the housing provided and the location of the building. If I were to own a building, I can repaint it to make it look nicer. Add in extra facilities such as washers and dryers to enhance the living experience and with that I would be well within my right to up the rent and thus increase my cashflow. That is what Mr. Kiyosaki means by control. By buying a stock you buy an asset but you lack control and thus remain in a certain amount of uncertainty, but with real estate you can exert control to increase or decrease the value of the asset.  I know that the only thing I can control in life are my own actions. So if I with my actions can control my assets it is without a doubt the most logical route to take.

Leverage is the concept of using other people’s money to fund your purchases. Doing more with less and maximizing what you do own. If I buy stocks the bank will not help me, but if I were to buy a house the bank will help me pay for it. In the book Mr. Kiyosaki states that in his case the bank actually put up 80% of his purchase. Which means that he put in 1 dollar to buy something worth 5 dollars. Which gives him a leverage of 1:4.

Those two concepts really opened my eyes to the restrictions and possibilities that lay in each investment I could make. Another great point he further explained was the concept of Pay yourself first. I have to admit that I am guilty of always trying to pay my bills as soon as they come in to avoid the headache of having to remember it or not having enough money by the end of the month. But in the book Mr. Kiyosaki opens up about the process he went through as he paid himself first. And regardless of how much he was behind in paying his bills he said that he would always find a way to pay them in the end. He and his wife would do odd jobs or take on extra projects to pay the bills they could have paid from the beginning had they paid themselves last. But thanks to that they were able to increase their assets to the point where they could retire early. And they improved their financial IQ to the point where if they lost all their money, they could just do it again. That is a life lesson that will stay with me. Don’t work harder, work smarter while investing in yourself. Valid advice if I ever heard it.

The chapter that really enlightened me was actually chapter 1. In chapter 1 he lays down the foundation for everything that comes after and he builds the foundation on the understanding he embedded in Rich Dad Poor Dad. In 1971, President Nixon took America off the Gold Standard. Which means that the US dollar would no longer be backed by gold but instead be backed by the BELIEF of the people who use it. Think about that for a second, our money is literally based on nothing other than what you or I think. The moment Nixon changed the concept of money the dollar became a currency. And a currency is based on the concept of a current, which means that it has to keep moving. It has to keep being believed in. The problem with this is that historically every currency eventually stops moving and dies. If history truly repeats itself it means eventually the value of every currency will become 0. That is what the book states and I am inclined to believe it because a quick Google search revealed a lot of old currencies that are no longer used in this world. And because currency is now the main form used in buying and selling instead of money the rules of how to make and keep it have changed. There is such a thing as good debt and bad debt. Good debt is one that creates leverage and bad debt is one where you pay out of your own pocket. Another big change is the fact that companies no longer fully take care of their employees pension. Instead they only help fund it.

The book goes into more detail about how Nixon’s decision changed the world and how business is conducted but it is very clear in that the old way of doing things should no longer apply and yet they do. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the 5 points of financial intelligence stated in the book as crucial points one needs to make sure they become rich.

Financial IQ #1: Making more money.

Financial IQ #2: Protecting your money.

Financial IQ #3: Budgeting your money.

Financial IQ #4: Leveraging your money.

Financial IQ #5: Improving your financial information.

The Art of War by Sun Tsu

Main lesson of the book: How to control situations by understanding self and the opposition

This book is famous for several reasons and each one of them is valid as long as you use the proper perspective. Now I am making the assumption that none of us will actually use the tactics as they are intended in the book. But we can however take the lessons from the books and use them as reference points for our own lives. That is exactly what I did as I read this book. The book covers what one should do when preparing for war, engaging in battle or how one should conduct themselves during war times. The beauty of these lessons is that Sun Tsu has some core philosophies he abides by as he teaches you how to wage war.

One of the main things I learned from the Art of War is that you can only become victorious if you know yourself and know your enemy. This sounds simple but Sun Tsu goes into depth about the rules of what you should be aware of when you are about to engage. Know the location, understand all possible outcomes of the fight, know all the routes in and out of the battlefield and the state of your men. Know if the enemy is retreating or advancing and act accordingly. There are more rules to this very simple statement of know yourself but these to me seemed to be the key ones. I tried to translate these points into something that I can use for my own personal growth or financial IQ.

The main lessons I learned from the Art of War is that managing people with a just mind is the way to go. What was very interesting is that the book taught me that managing an army is the same as managing one person. Give those who work for you rewards when they excel and punish them justly when they make mistakes. Never slack on this because it will tarnish your authority. Keep that in mind from the very beginning as you start by being strict and making sure that they respect your authority. Another interesting lesson from the book is that once you conquer another army show them mercy by letting them live. No need to destroy those who you have defeated. This is an interesting concept to me, because the way I read it, it means that your victory should be sufficient and that once you achieve your goal you should let everyone around you bask in your light. This is a beautiful concept because it tells me that I should not try to destroy or compete with all those around but rather work with them to make sure all our lives improve.

The Art of war isn’t necessarily a financial book nor a true management book but the lessons it holds are as valid then as they are now. Business can easily be seen as war and thus the book can help you develop the necessary knowledge and skillset to make sure you become successful in business. I want to mention that there is a follow up to the book called Mastering The Art of War written by  Zhuge Liang.

Rich Dad Poor Dad What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not! By Robert T. Kiyosaki

Main lesson of the book: How to escape the rat race

There are a few books out here in this world that can complete change your point of view. Rich Dad Poor Dad is one of them. I am sure that most of us have been embedded with the concept of “Go to school, Get a good job, Get promoted, Retire”. And I have to be honest, for the longest time I saw nothing wrong with this way of life. Everyone around me was on that path, my parents were on that path and thus pushed me to be on the same path. It seemed to be the way society functions. With this in mind I never gave up on the concept of school and made it my main source of education. I was able to get 2 Bachelor degrees with international experience in a business and marketing related field. Now one would think that with those 2 degrees the next step should be pretty easy, which is to get a job. After 200+ rejections I started to get extremely depressed. At first my rage and depression stemmed from the fact that I kept being rejected for positions that were either beneath my educational level or matched it perfectly. But now I know that part of my frustration was born  from the fact that I wasn’t able to progress further in the steps set out by society. Which made me feel worthless in the eyes of a world that values productivity.

I was never taught that there are other options out there. And that is what Rich Dad Poor Dad focuses on. Telling us that there is another option available for those who are willing to look. The book focuses on an amazing array of topics that range from understanding money to the different mind states of the rich and poor. One of the biggest differences the book states between the rich and poor is that the poor pay themselves last while the rich pay themselves first. Meaning that the poor will make sure all their bills are paid and then with what’s left deal with life. While the rich pay their bills last and use a part of their money to increase their assets. And with what’s left they pay their bills and if they come up short, they have to think of a way to make more money.

Now this might seem weird to most but it opened my eyes in a pretty interesting way. Rich Dad Poor Dad really puts a lot of emphasis on the concept of “Financial IQ”. By paying yourself first and putting yourself into a tight spot financially, you are forcing yourself to think of how you can make more money. The more you think, the more ideas will pop up, the more you think the better your financial IQ will be. Essentially, you’re training your brain to think of money as a problem to solve while investing it into your future. By doing this I can learn how to make sure that my assets grow while maintaining my standard of life. I have to admit that this isn’t for everyone. Because it comes with the understanding that you will have to work extra hard to make sure you can pay for everything while there might be no direct benefits. And the fact that there are no direct benefits will most likely irk a few people. Which is understandable but your financial future will not improve by ignoring it. That is one of the main lessons of the book.

Another amazing lesson that made me smile from ear to ear is this: Buying a house is not an asset. That line upsets a lot of people. But to really understand what it means we will have to look at how Rich Dad Poor Dad defines Assets and Liabilities. The standard definition of Assets is” items on a balance sheet showing the book value of property owned”, and the definition of liability is “a company’s legal financial debts or obligations that arise during the course of business operations.” But Rich Dad Poor Dad defines it as Assets make money, Liabilities cost money. This made so much sense to me that I smiled from ear to ear. I had accounting in my high school days but I don’t remember all that much from it. But I do know that this definition isn’t one that is taught in school. But it made my heart beat faster and gave me a headache at the same time. Because it was right then and there that I realized I had no assets. My liabilities were luckily also extremely low, but the fact that I had no assets really hurt me. For years I thought I was doing ok in life and that once I reach the winter of my life everything will be fine. But that one line made me realize that I have been neglecting my financial IQ and financial future.

Rich Dad Poor Dad is all about understanding that your future is your own and that we live in a world where you’re taught to work hard for a company, climb the corporate ladder and build up a nice pension fund. That exact same world will also try to take all your money or shortchange you as you grow older. So to make sure that you will be ok in the years to come, you will need to increase your assets column. The only way one can effectively leave the rat race is by hard work on improving his or hers financial IQ and building their assets. This means that their money will work for them and they will not be dependent on a paycheck which will only cover their bills, taxes and if lucky food.  By having your money work for you, you are taking control of your freedom, your life, your dreams and your chances. All of this sounds really simple and self-explanatory but the way Rich Dad Poor Dad explains it and puts it right in front of you is something else.

The chapter that really made me nod along as I read was chapter 6. This chapter is called “Work to Learn—Don’t Work for Money”. Even before I read Rich Dad Poor Dad I was never motivated by money because I thought that money wasn’t important. Money wasn’t necessary for me to be happy. Money was nothing but a tool and should never be the end goal. Chapter 6 agreed with me on the point that I should never work for money but always try to learn more about the world and expand my knowledge. The big difference between my mind set and that of Rich Dad Poor Dad is that I collected knowledge for the sake of collecting it. But Rich Dad Poor Dad really made it clear that all the knowledge I have gathered can be used to increase my financial IQ and my assets column. Instead of just sitting in a dusty corner of my mind. This chapter really showed me that understanding how to manage your cashflow and people can help you to grow both mentally as well as financially. I’m a little late to the party but one of the reasons I started writing this book is because of Rich Dad Poor Dad and how it showed me that I am lacking in my financial intelligence.

Rich Dad Poor Dad is filled with an amazing amount of quotes that can change your life. But there is one that made me change my definition of a concept that I have held for a long time and that is Wealth. Rich Dad Poor Dad introduced me to the definition of wealth as stated by R. Buckminster Fuller which is: Wealth is a person’s ability to survive so many number of days forward—or, if I stopped working today, how long could I survive? Think about it, if my cashflow matches or exceeds my expenditures I am wealthy. That made the concept of wealthy very approachable and thus very reachable. An amazing book I can recommend anyone who feels caught in the rat race to read.

Think and grow rich by Napoleon Hill

Main lesson of the book: Find your path to connect with infinite intelligence.

Napoleon spend over 25 years to complete this book. He mentions it in several chapters as to make sure that the reader is aware of the extensive amount of research and dedication that went into the book. And after finishing it, I can honestly say I understand why it took 25 years because the intensity of his words, the way they feel more like facts than opinion really show the work he put in. He spent a lot of time with business tycoons of that age and what is even more valuabe than that is that he spent a lot of time with the so called “failures” of that age as well. Because as the book makes clear on several occasions, there is no success unless you understand why you’re failing.

Think and grow rich really focuses on the individual and what he or she can do to make sure they reach their financial goals. What I learned from reading this book is that I am in complete control over my own reality. This might sound like common knowledge to most but a lot of us underestimate the power of this concept. Think and Grow rich really focuses on the concept of not only being in control of your reality but guiding it into one where you get everything you want. The book does make the assumption that you will want monetary gain but that is still up to you.

The beauty of this book is that it doesn’t just tell you that you can define your reality it shows you how to do it. The first step you’re asked to take is to actually write down your goal and then state how you will reach said goal and what you’re willing to give up for that goal. I was then asked by the book to make sure to repeat what I wrote down every day until the words became second nature to me. This might sound weird to some of you but I already knew the power of telling yourself something until you believe it before I read the book. I just never knew that it could have been applied to making money as well.

The reason you’re asked to repeat it over and over again is to make sure that it gets embedded in your subconscious. And your subconscious will then make sure to tell Infinite intelligence what you desire, and Infinite intelligence will then hand it over to you. Napoleon Hill uses the term Infinite intelligence as a reference to the laws of Nature. The rules of cause and effect and the perfect beauty of energy. Energy is the key element in making sure that I or you can turn our wants into something tangible.

But to turn want into reality we will need to tell Infinite intelligence that we will do whatever it takes to make it happen. And the only way to tell Infinite intelligence that is to use our subconscious. I learned that I have complete control over my subconscious as long as I keep telling it what I want it to know. If we don’t tell our subconscious what we want it to tell Infinite Intelligence it will just deliver whatever emotion is dominant in our mind. I have to control my thoughts then my mind and then Infinite intelligence will make sure that reality follows my instructions. In the book this is called Auto-suggestion and it is perhaps the most powerful tool in the entire book. Because with Auto-suggestion you can not only boost your confidence, you can change the way you look at the world and thus your very reality.

I am a huge believer in the power of words and like I said, I have tried this several times without knowing or understanding what I was using. To learn that what I did was tuning my mind to link with Infinite Intelligence brought me endless joy.

Think and grow rich is an amazing book for the sheer fact that it requires a lot of self-reflection on the part of the reader. The self-reflection will then allow the reader to assess his own position in this world and see where and how his chances lie. These chances will not come forth unless I make sure, to be honest with myself and make changes to my personality or behavior wherever fit.

The book goes into depth about what keeps most men back from success. And why most people will never become rich. The main point of which is that they have relinquished themselves to the path they have been set upon. Scared to move from their path because it could lead to poverty, critisicm or failure. Fear is a common thread throughout most the chapters because Hill wants to make clear that people are to afraid of life to actually chase what they want. That is why only those who want something enough to the point to where it becomes an obsession will succeed.

Before I started reading this book, I always believed that one should either go all in or don’t start at all. The reason I say that is because as long as you give yourself a way out, you will HAVE a way out. Hill reaffirmed my belief in several chapters as he makes clear that there can be no retreat on the path to success. And only by never giving up and keep on moving forward can I show Infinite intelligence that I am indeed sincere in my quest for whatever it is that I want.

A few steps that can not be ignored are those where Hill makes clear that you can never reach success alone. Intelligent people hire those who are more intelligent than them. They will also have a team which Hill refers to as the Mastermind Group. The Mastermind group is where one learns and grows from one another by exchanging ideas and thoughts. Hill believed that by doing so in a harmonious way will allow the group to tap into infinite intelligence.

The chapter that resonated with me the most was without a doubt Chapter 14: The Sixth Sense. In this chapter Hill describes what can only be said to be his own vivid imagination. His uses his own imagination to create his own personal heroes. He then converses with his heroes in the hopes to learn from them what made them successful and their traits. He created a Mastermind group using nothing more than his own imagination and a bit of research of who the men were in their lives. I thought this was a beautiful concept that any and all of us can do with just a bit of free time and effort. And it could proof immeasurably valuable as a learning tool.

This book to me was more about self awareness than anything else. Understanding that you’re in control of your own reality and that you are capable of tapping into the laws of nature and converting that energy into whatever you wish. The belief in self needs to be so strong that no one or no thing can stand in your way. Be it failure, be it man, be it circumstance. My world is mine and as long as I am willing to control it and put forth the effort to do so, nothing is outside of my reach.