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Saturday, October 22, 2011


EVERY ACCOMPLISHMENT STARTS FROM WITHIN


TITLE
: ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING:10 Life- Changing Steps to
Turning Attitude into Action
AUTHOR: KEITH HARRELL
YEAR: 2004
PAGES: 251
PRICE: $11.55 (Amazon Price)
REVIEWER: NKECHI OBIANIGWE

What readily comes to mind when we hear names like Barack Obama, Lance Armstrong, Martin Luther King Jr, Helen Keller, Bill Strickland amongst others? One would say they pursued their dreams and impacted the lives of others against all odds. Another would mention the fact that they ignored the trepidation that evolved as a result of their present circumstances or their immediate environment that would have held them down from achieving what they have so far. The inference that Keith Harrell has deduced from the lives of these personalities in this book, is the fact that there was the conscious effort each made to maintaining a “positive attitude” regardless of their circumstances.

Keith starts by giving a clearer view of what the term “attitude’ truly means. After giving different definitions of what the term really means, he concludes that the word in itself means “life”. From our waking up in the morning, and our retirement at night, our attitude speaks in everything. He explains that we have the power to determine our attitude in any given situation, whether positive or negative; while a positive attitude portends a healthy living, a negative attitude forestalls prosperity, growth instead, it breeds depression and dormancy.

He goes further to explain the fact that we have to use words of affirmation, likewise our power of visualization to dispel every negative attitude. The power of faith is also expressed here, he cites an example to corroborate what this can do. For example, when Keith desired a job at IBM, at a time when new staff members were not needed, he usually went for interview practices at his cousin’s places, when there was no hope in sight that he would get the job. But his positive attitude and dogged faith, made his getting the job possible.

Also in one of the ten steps (step 8), he mentions the fact that there is the need to build supportive relationships, which he calls the A-team. These are people we can rely on and who can in turn rely on us, likewise motivating us to explore our God-given potentials.

Keith explains the impact of a positive attitude in every sphere of our lives most especially our work places or whatever we find ourselves doing a daily basis. He highlights the fact that 92 percent constitutes our attitude, while the other 8 percent constitutes our talents or knowledge about our chosen profession.

Inotherwords, a positive attitude towards our work (even with little knowledge) can help provide more insights on the job because we are completely sold out to the cause, whether in sales or any other field thereby giving rise to recognition and eventually promotion . In the words of Martin Luther King Jr, Keith quotes thus:

He who has been called to sweep streets should sweep streets like Shakespeare wrote poems, like Michaelangelo painted, like Beethoven composed songs. He should sweep so well that the earth and heavens would stand and say, here lives the street sweeper who did his job well.

Keith explains that there are several avenues which could give rise to a bad attitude, one of which is change; change from the usual to the unusual and anything that tends to separate us from our previously desired comfort zone. He affirms that change is an opportunity that must be embraced and thoroughly explored, thus a positive energy should be channeled towards this.

According to Keith, leaving footprints in the sands of time is essential. Contributing to a cause gives a sense of accomplishment and fuels positive attitudes in the lives of those who benefit from this cause.

Keith does not just prescribe what should be done in these 10 steps, he backs his claims with true life examples that can be verified. His steps are practical and with a sense of consistency can be achieved. To assure the readers of the credibility of his facts, he expresses in details how all these steps had a positive impact in his own life.

The author makes use of words that are easy to understand, so it can be readily understood by every individual who chooses to benefit from what the book has to offer.

Like a popular Nigerian pastor says "your attitude determines your altitude in life”, hence there is the need to chose a positive attitude that will allow one achieve God’s given purpose for their lives.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Book review- Why you act the way you do



UNDERSTAND ‘YOU’ AND ACT BETTER

TITLE : WHY YOU ACT THE WAY YOU DO
AUTHOR: TIM LAHAYE
YEAR: 1993
NO OF PAGES:366
PRICE: N550
REVIEWER: NKECHI OBIANIGWE

As humans, we seldom understand that everyone has been created with different personalities, thus we hear individuals say things like “I can’t tolerate her”, “she acts strange and weird”, ‘I can’t just understand him’, ‘he is so unpredictable ’, ‘I can’t work with him, he’s without emotions’ and so on. Tim Lahaye in his book 'Why you act the way you do' helps to dispel some of these fears and uncertainties we have while dealing with people by helping us understand the personality type of every individual.

According to Tim, we are influenced to a large extent by our personality types. Although as a spiritual person, the weaknesses we exhibit as a result of our personality tends to become less obvious, but we cannot deny that this personality doesn’t exist. He mentions the fact that there are four different personality types in every individual and these personalities possess weaknesses which should be appreciated. These personality types include: The Sanguine, Choleric, Melancholy and Phlegmatic.

He explains the fact that the “sanguine” are happy people, they love to live life to its fullest, they are usually very friendly and as a result, people feel comfortable around them. ‘Cholerics’ are a serious set of individuals, they are usually the workaholics, they are focused and determined regardless of unpleasant events that occur while trying to pursue a particular project. In otherwords, they are the ones who really see blessings in every disappointment. The ‘melancholics’ are a very analytical set, they have very high IQ’s and are artistic. Individuals who are phlegmatics are usually quiet, easy going and don’t like to offend people.


However, Tim emphasizes the fact that it is somewhat impossible to have an individual exhibit only one personality type, hence the need to classify them into primary and secondary personality types.
He mentions the importance of aligning one’s self to the Holy spirit so as to better appreciate the strengths inherent in one’s personality, while also gradually erasing some of the weaknesses that has deterred one from functioning maximally as God has always designed us to.

From the weaknesses the author identifies in every personality trait, he explains (with biblical evidence) that the presence of the Holy spirit would go a long way in ensuring that we behave better and enjoy God’s will for our lives. According to him, true repentance and constant study of scriptures would help us in achieving this.

Asides the positive traits that has been mentioned above, Tim makes to identify the weaknesses of each of the types: Sanguines because of their care free nature, are disorganized, proud, and as a result are prone to anger, and their tongue is one good way of escape; Cholerics are usually the ‘workaholics’ in their vocation, they are termed ‘emotionless’, and prone to anger just as the sanguines. Asides the fact that they have the highest IQs (especially within their families), melancholics are well known for criticisms and self condemnation, they fear and worry more than any other personality type. It is for this class of people that Tim says would need to have a lot of faith. The phlegmatics on the other hand, are usually complacent, they are slow and would rather not initiate anything. For the fear of hurting others, they would rather go along with what they say, they tend to worry a lot as well.

Regardless of the weaknesses associated with these personality types, Tim provides practical steps that could be taken to curb them.

One interesting thing about this book, is the fact that the author did not propose any idea in isolation of some facts. Most of his ideas are backed with some biblical evidence. Some others are based on his experience as a counselor and a pastor, thus giving some credence to his work.

This book is a must read for everyone as the author explains our different temperament in different aspects like vocation, family, marriage and sex. It is a total guide on how we can identify the problems that exist in these areas and with our knowledge of different personality types, manage it effectively.

Friday, October 7, 2011

GLAD TO HAVE YOU HERE...!

Hello everyone,

The ideal thing for everyone who has just created a blogsite is to make a brief introduction of what the blogsite is all about right? I apologise for not doing that and am hoping this is not late afterall. I realised the need for this, when people say "oh, you ve got a blog, that's cool, so what's it about" and I would have to keep explaining before I ask them to go check the site for themselves.

I am truly grateful to everyone. who has taken time out to view what this blog is all about (even those who have not), but let me give a brief overview of what we would be expecting from this blogsite as we go on.

Most people say"people don't like to read anymore". According to them, it's almost as if when one is through with the tertiary institution stage, they bid books farewell. Some other individuals complain about not having the time to do so because of the amount of time they have to put into their career, and everyone deserves a good rest afterwards right? I also realised the fact that most people can take out time to read a good book, that is when they know the book to read that would help address the issues they would want resolved or that would aid their development.

It is in view of these facts that i have mentioned, that I set up this blogsite to enable the readers to see the books that could interest them. I used the word "see", because a book review, is like an eye that let's you know at a glance what the book is all about. In otherwords,the aim of a book review, is not to give just a summary of the book, but to also do a kind of critique that lets you know whether or not the book is worth your time.

I would really appreciate your comments here because it would be an opportunity for growth and improvement for me because I hope to learn a whole lot from what you would say and who knows it could help me as an author someday in the future. I hope we would all have a good time here.

For my last words on this introductory page, I want to commend the efforts of one of my lecturers and a good friend, Dr. Nnamdi Ekeanyanwu, for his contributions, because without putting me through the subject of what a review entails, I would not have been able to do this effectively.

As a great preacher once said "when you stop reading, you start dying". i wish you all a "Happy living"