Author: Walter Doyle Staples
Publisher: Pelican Publishing Co
Reviewer: Goke Ilesanmi
Dr Walter Doyle Staples, the author this book holds a Ph.D. in Behavioural Psychology. Staples is one of America’s most highly acclaimed authors on the issue of human potential. He is the president of Staples Training and Development, a firm specialising in personal growth and professional development.
According to Staples, regrettably, most people are not conscious of the first law of nature that stipulates that what you are thinking now will create your future. With this assertion as his analytical foundation, Staples explains in this book, how you can gain happiness by controlling your negative thoughts and feelings. This author says whether you are alienated from your loved ones or just too confused to act, this text will provide you with the desired motivation to turn your life around.
By way of structure, this text is divided into 16 chapters. Chapter one is entitled How to motivate yourself. According to this motivator here, “Motivation has long been recognised as vital to the fulfilment of human potential. It has never been so important, however, as in our current era of drastic social and technological change and the stress that necessarily results.”
Going by way of literary/classical allusion, this author says A.H. Maslow, in his classic Motivation and Personality, formulates his now popular hierarchy of inherent human wants and needs, and divides them into five basic categories, that is, creature comforts; security; the social instinct; ego gratification; and self-actualisation. “Maslow points out that the satisfaction of these needs is not, by itself, motivation. Motivation is a person’s inner drive and desire to obtain the next higher satisfaction,” Staples submits.
Chapter two of this book is based on the concept of positive-assertive behaviour as key to successful living. According to this motivator here, everything has a beginning and in personal development, to begin is everything. He says this book commences by describing in some detail how you can develop within yourself positive and assertive personality traits through a simple self-development programme, and how you can apply these new skills and attitudes of mind effectively in concert with basic principles of human relations.
“You will see how positive-assertive people are more likely to engage in meaningful and satisfying one-on-one encounters with others, as well as to exploit the powers of their subconscious mind for the benefit of themselves, their family, friends, associates, and society as a whole,” asserts Staples, adding that the terms Positive and Assertive are complementary. He explains that Positive implies constructive affirmation, and Assertive implies active declaration.
This author says positive-assertive behaviour is evident in personal communication that is open, direct and honest; and it demonstrates that you are willing to assert your rights in the proper circumstances and in an appropriate way, while at the same time recognising and respecting the rights of others.
In chapters three to eight of this book, Staples examines the concepts of how to create Process-Plus human equations; your Ego needs as your rewards; the importance of the self-image to personal development; motivation based on positive-assertive behaviour in the organisation; allowing your mind to work for you instead of against you; and getting happy with yourself and your environment.
Chapter nine of this book is entitled Let your greatest defeat be the reason for your greatest success. According to this author here, “The majority of people go through life taking many things for granted. They accept the vicissitudes of life as their rightful fate…seldom wondering if this price is worth the occasional pleasure, or seldom questioning why inner peace has always seemed to lie just beyond their reach.”
This motivator says you should note that your attitude whenever you lose determines how long it will take until you win again. According to this author, many people take several years to fully recover from a major defeat without realising that rational thought and clear thinking could have greatly helped them in viewing the event in a completely different light.
In chapters ten to 13, Staples notionally X-rays the concepts of how to reduce stress through stress management; the path to higher achievement; motivation and effective behaviour in the family; and imagination, wealth and a sense of morality.
Chapter 14 is entitled Successful goal-setting. According to this author here, we are all capable of programming some ‘no limit’ thinking into our mental computers. He advises that you should develop a sincere interest in your work and you will find that you will be able to control it instead of it controlling you, adding that when you do consistently what you are best at, you cannot help but succeed. “All accomplishment, whether big or small, begins with an idea. Although ideas in general are not in short supply, creative and innovative ideas are, and so are people who can turn them into reality,” reflects Staples.
He says when formulating your personal goals, you should endeavour to keep this simple PROBE rule in mind. That is, make the goals P–Practical; R–Reasonable; O–Obtainable; B–Big; and E–Exciting.
In chapters 15 and 16, this motivator examines the ten principles of motivation based on positive-assertive behaviour; and journey’s end.
Conceptually, this book is deep and creative. As regards style, this book can be said to have achieved a high level of success both in presentation and language. This book contains more than mere instruction, because it is filled with exercises to motivate readers to action. Staples makes use of classical literary allusions as well as reflective and insightful illustrations to achieve notional reinforcement and concrete understanding.
His use of an acrostic (PROBE) on page 152 reflects his level of brilliance in artistic structural manipulation and notional creativity. At the end of each chapter, he includes boxed-message segment where he radiates essential tips. This author provides a Workshop segment to synthesise all the principles in the book, and lays out the specific steps an individual can take in order to control his own destiny. He also uses graphics to achieve visual reinforcement of understanding
However, it is better to harmonise chapters two, six and 15 or arrange them in successive order for the purpose of notional compactness.
Finally, use this book to design a happy and successful life for yourself, more so that Staples says “by design or default your everyday thoughts and feelings create your world”.
GOKE ILESANMI (FIIM, FIMC, CMC), CEO of Gokmar Communication Consulting, is an International Platinum Columnist, Professional Public Speaker, Career Mgt Coach and Certified Mgt Consultant. He is also a Book Reviewer, Biographer and Editorial Consultant.
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