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Posted on September 4th, 2012, by

Nine Things You Simply Must Do: To Succeed in Love and Life by Henry Cloud is a book which aims to teach readers to be successful in life.

Henry Cloud uses his psychological experience and skills of the writer in order to share his findings with his readers. He presents strategies of successful people and gives advices which can help to use these principles in different spheres of everyday life. Principles presented in the book are easy to follow but they contain profound knowledge about life. The book contains not only theoretical data. It presents practical advices and directions for people who want to achieve success and master their lives. The book is valuable because it accumulates experience of successful people. The author made a great job finding common ground which helped successful people to become successful and he gladly shares his discoveries with his readers. The book can be applied to correct different spheres of life, such as health, career, faith and personal relationships.  Strategies of success can be applied to different spheres of life and all life situations. This makes the book a good source of wisdom for the most different  situations.  The author made an interesting discovery he noticed that all successful people handle life in some particular ways and he gladly shares his ideas.  The book contains advices which can help people to build healthy relations, to distinguish right goals in their lives and to fill their lives with sense and purpose. The author describes nine things, which are aimed to help people to become successful. These things include: investigating of deepest needs and desires, getting rid of things which prevent a person from moving forward; keeping in mind the future results of the actions; performing active actions; defining smaller steps which may help to fulfill greater plans; not letting negative feelings to destroy happy future; orientation on higher order and common good; humbleness; keeping in mind your interest at the first place. He also gives the list of steps which may help to accomplish nine things mentioned above.

These steps are important because they help to use knew knowledge from the book in practice.

I liked an approach presented by the author.  In contrast to the most of contemporary psychologists Cloud centers not on the reasons which do not let ordinary people to be successful. He rather investigates things which helped successful people to reach their goals. This approach is interesting because it helps to center on the desired results and forget about the problems.  My personal experience proves this approach to be effective one. I remember that while my study I got better results when I centered on the experience of more successful students. This approach proved to be more effective than a detailed analysis of my own mistakes. When I centered on my mistakes I usually became disappointed and frustrated and lost confidence in myself. When I followed an example of more successful people I became more self-confident and gained more faith in my own success. I believe that the success of other people can be really inspiring and the author of the book very skillful uses this positive experience.

Despite the book is very good and interesting I believe there are some things which could be improved in the book.  Some biblical quotes narrow the circle of people who may perceive the information from the book. People who do not share Christian beliefs may be disappointed by the religious part of the book.  I believe that applying Christian psychology to different spheres of life may become new and interesting experience but not all readers may be open to it.  The good part of the book is that the author formulates his strategy in 12 steps.

Usually people are frightened of serious changes but easy steps presented by the author give the readers more confidence and are much easier to perform.  Detailed explanations of each step help to start acting. At the same time some advices, which are listed as necessary things are too abstract and not easy to follow. For example, paying good for evil or being humble sounds good and are most likely to be a very good strategies but they are very hard to follow by the ordinary people of our society. People who read advices like these ones may feel inconsistency between their own actions and demands of the author. Being humble, same as being kind is a part of human personality and it contains a set  of qualities which should be developed through the hard work and the author’s position assumes that people can change such personal characteristics easily.

Nine Things You Simply Must Do contains a lot of important insights which can be helpful for my personal growth and development. It can also become a good aid in counseling practice. I am going to apply some advices from the book in my everyday life. The first things mentioned by the author following the desires of the heart became an important advice for me. I know that each person has special skills and talents. Unfortunately we very seldom count on them on our way to success. After reading a book I decided to dedicate time and effort in order to define my unique skills. I believe that these approach can also be useful in counseling practice. Finding source of self-confidence inside of yourself may become the first step for people who feel lost and frustrated. Getting rid of negative habits and behavioral patters is another step which I decided to perform after reading the book. I absolutely agree with the author that there are things which prevent us from being happy. I would like to make a careful analysis and distinguish those things and also try to get rid of them.  Another important information I got from the book is an advice to keep the desired result in mind. I believe that this approach may be really useful as it prevents from negative thoughts and helps to concentrate on the good things which will follow in life.  Concentration on positive results may become an important factor of personal success in all spheres of life. This approach may be useful for my personal development same as for my counseling practice. Another important advice I am going to use is an accent on action. As states the author, any kind of action is better than doing nothing. Any steps performed for the realization of person’s dreams will help to approach it, even if they are not the most effective ones. This idea gave me much food for thought. I hope that this approach may help to overcome the fear on the way to success. Actions and right way of thinking will make that good combination which may become a good way to achieve desired results.

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