July 15, 2008

Book Review: Never Give Up: How I Turned My Biggest Challenges into Success

I'm fortunate for my background where good enough is simply not enough, and to constantly aim high. Working in foreign aid and development has opened my eyes to poverty and the reasons behind it, perpetuating it, situations that unintentionally(?) encourage it. When most peoples' realities means that the basic aim of survival is aiming high, it's difficult to keep occasional bouts of disillusionment and apathy at bay. To keep upbeat, I seek out the occasional motivational book from the meager selections of used bookstores in Phnom Penh.

While the motivational messages (e.g. productivity, financing/ investing, self-help) tend to be regurgitated and re-packaged by points of view in different books, the nuggets of advice are useful reading for anyone working in developing countries hoping to motivate counterparts to aim high.

Never Give Up: How I Turned My Biggest Challenges into Success
My first review here, ironically enough for being in Cambodia, is by Donald Trump; it's an entertainingly inspiring read.

It’s a useful glimpse into the attitude and willpower it takes to realize big goals. Don’t expect original advice or a detailed how-to guide. To sharpen your game this book offers a package outlook on living life large with extraordinary goals, substantiated by Trump’s experiences in real estate and business.

Message: Success starts with vision and a subsequent smart and aggressive focus on your goals / targets; if grounded with a lot of passion, thirst for knowledge, tenacity and resilience, then the foundations for personal and business success are laid.

Delivery: Arrogant at times yes-- this is someone who enjoys life and its many challenges, honing success factors not inherent to many people. He deliberate places himself front-center where luck can’t help but find him and this is a great life strategy, whether born with a silver spoon or not. The grit and passion comes through in the first-person narration and effectively hammers his points across.

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