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No Excuses!: The Power of Self-Discipline
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139 of 142 people found the following review helpful
on May 14, 2011
What's the secret of success?

Self-discipline, of course. At least that's what self-help guru Brian Tracy claims in "No Excuses! 21 Ways to Achieve Lasting Happiness and Success." Tracy's latest book describes how you can use self-discipline to become a successful, "superior" person in 21 areas of your life.

Yes, Tracy does occasionally use the rather Nietzschian language of "superior people" vs. "weak and irresolute people." But his advice throughout "No Excuses" is so sound, and the book is so readable, that Tracy may just convert you into a self-disciplinarian by the last page. He certainly had me interested long before that.

What's Inside

Tracy quotes Elbert Hubbard to define self-discipline as "the ability to do what you should do, when you should do it, whether you feel like it or not." He tells you how to employ self-discipline in 21 well-organized, easy to follow chapters. These chapters are clustered into groups of seven, which in turn make up the three parts of the book.

Part I covers self-discipline and personal success. This part covers things like goals, courage, and persistence, and how self-discipline helps you master them. Part II tells you how to use self-discipline in business, sales, and finances. Part III talks about quality-of-life issues like personal health, fitness, and marriage, and how you can use--you guessed it--self-discipline to achieve success in those areas.

Each chapter features a number of end-of-chapter exercises to get you moving in the right direction. Unlike many other books I've read, these exercises are good. Tracy truly helps you figure out where you are in each area of your life, and what you need to do to find success. If you do all the exercises in the book, you'll make book worth your time and money.

Likes and Dislikes

Overall, I give "No Excuses" a ready thumbs-up. Tracy does a fine job of offering simple definitions of oft-foggy concepts like leadership, time management and character. He then tells you how to cultivate them using the secret sauce of self-discipline. Throughout the book, he uses studies, anecdotes, business concepts like the 80/20 principle, and self-help ideas like the Law of Attraction to support his points. It's an easy but profound read.

Two things about "No Excuses" gave me pause, although I don't believe they affect the quality of Tracy's advice. One, Tracy uses a lot of universal language without necessarily backing up where he got all of his ideas. "The Law of Concentration says that `whatever you dwell upon grows and increases in your life'" and "the core virtue of character is truth" are examples from the book. Perhaps it's self-help guru syndrome, but I did find myself wondering what gives Tracy, even with his years of study and experience, the authority to tell me what I should be doing in everything from my career to my marriage.

When I browsed Tracy's website to find out more about him, I discovered that he's actually a man of faith. This may explain that "universal truth" angle I picked up in some places.

Onto my second point, or digression, however you may classify it. Tracy's self-discipline reflects a well-honed Protestant work ethic. He advocates that you have, at the least, a full and productive day. After getting enough sleep, he writes that you should read something uplifting before getting out of bed. After reading, you get up and exercise. Then you go to work an hour early, work through lunch, and leave an hour late. Every day.

I can't imagine being relaxed, living like that. But there's little in the book about managing stress. I can only assume that what makes this kind of heavy schedule tolerable is the right mindset. That kind of mindset is really hard to cultivate, unless you had fabulous parents, or you're religious. And I can't help but think that for Tracy, that mindset is supported by God, though he doesn't mention anything about faith or religion in the book. A minor gripe, considering that it's a good book overall, but I'd feel remiss not to mention it.

Conclusion

"No Excuses" is a very good self-help tome. It's motivational by virtue of being simple, effective, and, I'm guessing, quite true. I'd recommend it across the board, especially if you're itching to get your act together. (Book review by Drea Knufken)
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39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon November 18, 2010
One of my favorite movie scenes is when Al Pacino is dressing down the faculty at the Baird School in "Scent of a Woman" when he tells of the many times he has come to the crossroads in his life. He says he always knew what was the right thing to do but never did it because it was just too hard. Too many people go through life just like the Colonel. That's why books like NO EXCUSES: THE POWER OF SELF DISCIPLINE, by Brian Tracy are necessary.

As the introduction states, "Your ability to think, plan and work hard in the short term and to discipline yourself to do what is right and necessary before you do what is fun and easy is the key to creating a wonderful future for yourself." Just like the Colonel, we know the right things to do, but often choose an easier route. This is why self discipline is the key ingredient needed to break the habit of mediocrity.

All of Brian Tracy's books are well worth reading, and I have to put this one in the top two or three. Here Tracy explores self discipline and how its' refinement and application benefit so many aspects of life. This is self discipline as it applies to everything from money to relationships; goal setting to problem solving.

The book is broken into three main parts, Self Discipline and Personal Success; Self Discipline and Business, Sales and Finances; and finally Self Discipline and The Good Life. Each part has 7 related chapters. Each chapter concludes with Action Exercises.

You won't have much success getting where you want to be in life without a big dose of self discipline. This book will help show you the way; how to build it, and how to apply it.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
In this ambitious work, Brian Tracy presents a formula for overcoming life's major challenges. It boils down to applying self-discipline to achieve overall success and happiness. Tracy's topics range from acting with integrity to making sales to strengthening your marriage. With such a broad span, his advice is necessarily general and elementary. However, if you avoid looking for specific solutions, and focus on the overall theme of the book, you will find it quite helpful. Tracy espouses that you need to accept responsibility for your own contentment and career. His "No Excuses" approach eliminates handy scapegoats and teaches that you must take charge of your own destiny. getAbstract recognizes that much of the book's counsel appears in various forms in this prolific author's previous work. However, that's no excuse for not giving it a thorough read.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on March 31, 2011
This book is a compilation of great ideas to keep or initiate a life of self discipline leading to success. I can see Brian Tracy bringing to the table the advice of many other successful people. What I like the most is the motivation that you get every time you read or re-read this book.

I bought this book a year ago and I still getting more and more from the book. I bought the audio version from audible.com (which belongs to Amazon). I wrote notes when I listened and just by revisiting my notes I get energy. Of course re-visiting a book and taking action from the advice it is what makes the difference! Actually it has impacted me more revisiting my notes over and over again than the first time I read the book.

The only point I don't agree is that he recommended to put an extreme amount of hours in the work, which I think contradicts to have a balance life with your family which is one of the topics he also addresses. This is minimum disagreement when I compare with all the good advice I got from this book. That is the reason I give my 5 stars.

I highly recommend this book as a reference book packed with a lot of wise advice for success. This is a book to read more than once.
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42 of 53 people found the following review helpful
on October 4, 2010
As someone who had never read anything by Brian Tracy before I found myself a little disappointed; there are short chapters on a variety of topics but none of the chapters go very in-depth into the subject at hand. I feel like this is a good refresher or reference book for those already familiar with his works, but probably not the best place to start if you want to learn more about his philosophy to success. I've bought another book by Tracy and I'm hoping that book will be more useful.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on December 29, 2014
Well, normally I don't write reviews. But this book is so idiotic, theoretical and hypothetical that I have to stop the potential readers from wasting their valuable time. At the end of this review, I have provided 3 self help books which are MUST to have.

Alright....So, I have read too many 'self help' books so to speak while most of them were very hypothetical and unrealistic, only a few were well written with practical advice and packed with some real good examples.

'No Excuses' by Brian Tracy is really hopeless. It is crazily hypothetical and it doesn't speak of anything which you might not probably be aware of. Like say Write the Goals, Read them everyday, Do this...Do that....etc. Alright, alright, we all know that goal writing is important but how the goals should be articulated is left open to public and most of which will do it wrong and eventually frustration kicks in. The missing point is what only a few books address (Well, I'm not saying that books which teach you how to set goals is better, my point is broader: A good book is the one which has some good nuggets that we can inculcate and become a better person). And this book is definitely not the one!

Let me give you an example: Our great Brian Tracy says that if you improve some 0.0001% every week then by 1 year you will be 1000 or so % better than what you are today....What non sense!!!! Don't we have smartphone to compound all this for ourselves?
As I said, this is one of the hypothetical stuff that he has mentioned.

Whenever we buy any self help book, it is basically to 1. enable us live a better life and 2. provide some concrete easy to follow guidance on being a better person on all fronts.

Agreed that all self help books eventually would speak something which we are typically aware of but still the quality of a book can be judged only by the real life examples provided in the book related to the exact advise being shared.

Take my words - The best self help books that I have come across till date (By the way, I have tons of books on my Kindle!) is:

1. Mastery - Robert Greene (Bit long but very practical and great examples to which he related all his advise)
2. The Practicing Mind - Lovely book - Excellent - This doesn't talk about "Set goals", "Write Goals","Read Goals" but it insists the reader to focus on the process rather than the product in an excellent way. You would love this book for sure!
3. The Compound Effect - Still reading this....

Once you have these three books then you need not look any further.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on April 13, 2011
It is great book. Everyone should read it and do action exercises which end up each chapter. It is the easiest way to change your life for much better in no time. I have read it 3 times and highlighted a lot of ideas, which are worth remembering. It is easy to find them if you have a kindle edition of this book. Strongly recommended.

(polish review) Naprawde warto przeczytac te ksiazke i to kilka razy. ja czytalem wersje angielska, bo polskiej nie ma w wersji na czytnik kindle. polski tytul to: nie tlumacz sie, dzialaj! Odkryj moc samodyscypliny. Goraco polecam i zachecam do robienia cwiczen podsumowwujacych kazdy rozdzial, bo ich efekty przynosza swietne rezultaty. Polecam kazdemu!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on April 2, 2011
"No Excuses" is a challenge to move beyond making excuses and blaming to the higher ground of taking personal responsibility for your life and charting your destiny. Much like the premise, the book is simple, straightforward and practical. If you have read or listened to Tracy's former material, there isn't much new here. The book is essentially a repackaging of his persistent themes. This "guide to living" is comprehensive but lacks much depth on any of the subjects covered.

Personally, I love to read Tracy's material. It is motivating and helpful. I also realize it is based on a syncretistic and simplistic worldview. The common theme is that failures and the unsuccessful are experiencing their current plight due to their own lack of discipline, unwillingness to delay gratification and general laziness. As a student of the Bible, it's like reading selected bits of wisdom from Proverbs but not the whole book or the whole Bible. You get one side of the truth. If you're looking for developing empathy for the downtrodden or encouragement in your struggles, this is not the book for you. If you are looking for a kick in the pants to have a success mindset, delay gratification and live a disciplined life - this is the book you've been looking for. Applying the principles of this book personally certainly could alter someone's life in a positive way. If you've not read much of Brian Tracy and need motivation and practical tools to a more productive life - I highly recommend "No Excuses."
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46 of 65 people found the following review helpful
on November 26, 2010
I have read many of Brian Tracy's books and most were very informative and useful. He is very knowlegible in the self improvement field. Unfortuantely, he now seems to be writing new books with the same basic information as before but simply subsitutes new words. For example in No Excuses, what he now says is self discipline had been previously referred to as determination, resolve, willpower, perseverance, etc. Also, I would not recommend the audio version. Mr.Tracy has a very monotone voice that makes keeping your attention a challenge.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 18, 2014
I like the wide ranging applications of self discipline that Brian Tracy encourages in this book. Each chapter is rather brief but there is always discussion on principle, and some tips and application actions. There are certain aspects on his points that I think needs to be balanced, eg his point about work really hard from the morning (arrive earlier), over lunch and in the evening (go home later) will also need to consider the need for break and rest to avoid burn out.
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