Sabtu, 12 Januari 2013

Review of Master Your Mind (Adam Khoo)

Do you ever wish you had more time, money, or other resources? If only you had all those things, you believe, you could make all your dreams come true. Alas, you don’t, and so, year after year, your dreams stay just that: dreams.

But it doesn’t have to be like that. In his book, Master Your Mind, Adam Khoo argues that all those perceived limitations are just illusions. The fact is, he writes, we all have everything we need to be successful. We just need to learn how to put it to use. And in this book, he teaches exactly how it’s done.

He starts with the premise that we all have basically the same neurological make-up. We all have roughly the same 1,000 billion neurons in our brains. It’s what we make of them that makes the difference.

So how is it that some people are able to accomplish so much with their 1,000 billion nerve cells, and others accomplish zilch? Adam argues that the key to those differences lies in the behaviors and habits that get installed while we grow up. The majority of people are not exactly brought up with a winning mindset. And unfortunately, most of those people never question what they do and never change their habits. It probably never occurs to them that they could. But of course we CAN change habits, behaviors and beliefs by stimulating our brains in the right way and creating new mental patterns.

The technology Adam uses to reprogram the mind is NLP, i.e., Neurolinguistic Programming, which has proven to be highly effective at that task. And after carefully reading it, I found that Master Your Mind is not just another book on NLP, useful as that may be, but it actually goes far beyond that.

First of all, Adam’s Master Your Mind offers a comprehensive, thorough, and easy-to-follow description of the actual techniques that are necessary to accomplish that goal. But it doesn’t stop there. It’s also an extensive workbook that helps the reader to put all those techniques to use right away. Thirdly, it offers a wealth of inspiring examples.

Adam Khoo himself is a case in point. Starting out as an academically weak student at the very bottom of the pile, he used some of those very strategies he teaches here to reprogram himself and turn himself into a top student. Moreover, unlike his fellow students who were satisfied with a normal career path and income come graduation, he set himself the goal to become a millionaire by age 26 – and achieved it. 

He started his first business while still in high school, and several more while in college, and he even became a best-selling author with his book on how to become an excellent student. He developed a program called Patterns of Excellence that he used to teach others to repattern their mind to achieve success as well.

So Adam is quite an inspiration indeed. And he provides us with many more inspirational examples throughout the book, from Sylvester Stallone to Richard Branson. 

From the outset, Adam urges us to have the right mindset: And one of the key parts of that mindset is planning for success by setting specific goals, developing strategies to achieve those goals, and putting them into action.

Of course, if you do enough challenging things, some of them will not work out as planned, which is something most people call “failure” and try to avoid at all cost. Adam, however, argues that there’s no such thing really. What may seem like failure is just feedback, and that attitude is essential for achieving any goal because paying attention to feedback helps us stay or get back on the right track and accomplish our goals.

He also introduces two more essential ingredients: an empowering belief system, and the right kinds of values. He doesn’t leave it at that, but provides plenty of specifics and work sheets that help his readers to establish those for themselves.

Next, Adam takes away our excuses! He urges us to stop playing the victim. Instead, he shows that taking absolute responsibility for everything that happens in your life is the key to self-empowerment. Which, by the way, does NOT mean blaming yourself. Far from it. Instead, it means that when something doesn’t go according to plan, you ask yourself what YOU can do to turn things around. Whether it’s customers that won’t buy or colleagues that are uncooperative, reclaim your power to change things. And the only person whose actions you really have control over is you.

And so, this is what it means that you can only change what you take responsibility for. If you believe something is out of your control, how could you possibly do something about it? 

Adam takes it even further: not only does he challenge his readers to take responsibility for their results, but also for how they feel. This book is not for whiners but for people who are prepared to do serious work on themselves.

And in keeping with that, each chapter features exercises and action questions that guide the reader through that work that will, as the book promises, help them master their mind.

Among the key aspects of Adam’s mind mastery program are beliefs and how to take control of them and turn them into the kind that will get results. He calls them the “tap to our personal potential” and provides evidence that they can even change our biochemistry.

Once again, that section is followed by an extensive workbook section where you can track down any limiting beliefs and change them into empowering ones.

And that’s just for starters. Adam goes on to provide detailed instructions on how to achieve key performance by gaining control of your emotional states. There’s a long section on successful modeling, one of the key concepts of NLP and a key tool for achieving success.

Next, a detailed chapter on how to manage your brain, with how to take control of all the aspects of your perception and imagination, by manipulating its submodalities, along with instructions on associating and disassociating. While I’ve read about these before, I’ve never seen them treated so clearly and in this much detail. Once again, it comes with detailed workbook so you can actually do it and not just read about it.

Of course, the techniques for manipulating submodalities and emotional states serve a purpose, to motivate yourself, to overcome procrastination, to remove intense negative emotions and change them into neutral ones, to change cravings to disgust, and much more. 

He even shows how to use the swish pattern technique to change lifelong habits almost instantly, including how to move from hitting the snooze button and going right back to sleep to jumping out of bed with enthusiasm as soon as the alarm goes off. 

There’s more, including a detailed section on anchoring, both on setting anchors for desired states of mind, and on removing unwanted anchors, and another section on meaning. 

All in all, this is a very comprehensive program on mastering one’s mind, and anyone who does all the exercises can hardly help but feeling profoundly changed.

Any drawbacks? Master Your Mind, with its 364 pages, is really long for an ebook, and it’s been a bit of a pain to read on the small screen of my ibook, what with having to scroll up and down all the time. But it was so worth it that I didn’t mind anymore once I got into it. Besides, if you have a bigger screen, that shouldn’t be an issue anyway. And, of course, you can always print it out.

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