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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Life is hard, but we do not have to be slaves to our circumstances
I bought this book on a lark. I am glad that I did.

Rom Brafman points out that for as nearly as long as can be remembered in mental health services that what happened to you dictated what you did. By and large, he states, "The prevailing notion in the field used to be that few could realistically overcome their circumstances" (Bram, 2011 p. 12)...
Published on March 6, 2012 by Joe

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nothing groundbreaking here
Ron Brafman's "Succeeding When You're Supposed to Fail" is a smooth and agreeable read that attempts to shed light on his notion of "Tunnelers" which Brafman describes as persons constrained by adverse circumstances that manage to positively defy the odds thanks to certain personality traits. Most of these notions and traits are nothing you haven't heard of before -...
Published 15 months ago by Sibelius


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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Life is hard, but we do not have to be slaves to our circumstances, March 6, 2012
By 
Joe (West Michigan, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Succeeding When You're Supposed to Fail: The 6 Enduring Principles of High Achievement (Kindle Edition)
I bought this book on a lark. I am glad that I did.

Rom Brafman points out that for as nearly as long as can be remembered in mental health services that what happened to you dictated what you did. By and large, he states, "The prevailing notion in the field used to be that few could realistically overcome their circumstances" (Bram, 2011 p. 12).

They can't help it, they were born into a really bad situation. Their parents were (fill in the blank). Look at the hand they were dealt, no wonder they do what they do.

Then one day it all changed. Brafman points out that it was by accident that the field discovered that there were people who overcame their circumstances. They didn't allow the pathology of others to drag them down. They didn't allow being born into bad circumstances hold them back. They didn't allow being captured by an enemy to break them or keep them from achieving amazing things. He calls these people tunnelers, which is a science term.

The field discovered people who succeeded when they should have failed. When many would have written them a pass for failing. When many would have been willing to chalk up that failure to circumstances outside of their control. Brafman states that when the masses of people who have succeeded when they should have failed are studied six characteristics emerge.

They are:

1. The limelight effect--Tunnelers have a high sense of inner locus of control. This means that they believe they control their destiny.
2. Meaning making--Tunnelers find meaning in what is before them and what they are doing.
3. Unwavering commitment--Tunnelers believe in themselves and their calling. They will stick with a task as long as necessary.
4. Temperament and success--Tunnelers believe in developing an "even tempered disposition" They're unwavering commitment means that a loss or set back or a series of them will not cause them to lose faith.
5. Humor counteracting adversity--Tunnelers enjoy laughing and humor. It helps them deal with the different opportunities that life tends to send their way.
6. The importance of a Satellite--Tunnelers have someone in their life (sometimes only for a necessary season) who invests in them and acts as a satellite.

This book is a great read. If you are one of the people who society seems to think "should fail" read this book. It may encourage you. If you believe that people are a simply a product of their what life has dealt them, read this book. It will challenge you.

Life is hard, of that there is no doubt. But we do not have to be slaves to our circumstances.

If you enjoyed this review, you may enjoy more which can be found at my personal webpage. (...)
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding!, January 5, 2012
By 
Succeeding When You're Supposed to Fail takes a close look at people who had everything in life stacked against them, and yet somehow succeeded. By looking at not only the stories, but years of research, the book examines six characteristics these people share.

It's inspiring and life-changing.

Brafman describes these people, who can seemingly tunnel through the chaos that is their lives and come out the other end, as "tunnelers" (appropriately enough). But more than that, as you go through the book you gain a road map for how to integrate these six principles in your life and in so doing, become a tunneler yourself.

Having an aunt who was a tunneler, the books brings all the pieces in play.

Simply put, this book is solid. A must-have in anyone's library.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great info and great stories to back up the data., January 26, 2012
In his memoir, __Education of a Wandering Man__, Louis L'Amour, author of over 80 novels said something like, "That book or person who makes me think a new thought or think in a new way is my friend."

That is exactly what the author and book, __Succeeding When You're Supposed To Fail__, will do for you: make you think about difficult circumstances and their effects in a new way.

The book makes its main case stating that people who are internally directed are more successful than those who are externally directed. In other words, if the meaning a person creates from the circumstances of life is that s/he can't control anything then s/he is more likely to fail.

Contrast that to a person who understands circumstances but who also takes responsibility for his/her part. That person will be successful, because s/he will focus on the work and change him/herself as needed. That is the only way major growth and change can occur.

Great book with fantastic examples of people from real life, such as the guy who was imprisoned in Egypt as a POW, but who led himself and others to grow so much that one prisoner said upon his release, after 3 years, that he wasn't ready to leave, because he had so much more to do. Amazing.

It's an easy read and not too long either. Packed with information and good stories from real life. Definitely worth the price and time to read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A motivational book for those facing adversity in their lives, February 2, 2012
This review is from: Succeeding When You're Supposed to Fail: The 6 Enduring Principles of High Achievement (Kindle Edition)
The eleven pages of notes (pp. 181-191) should really be called "Further Readings," not notes, because that is precisely what they are. They are helpful for readers to find information beyond what is in the book, but they are not notes.

This book is an easy, fun, quick one to read. It is well-written and full of interesting examples. Also, the way Brafman incorporates research throughout the book is both enlightening and informative.

Basically, this is a motivational book. If, for any reason, you are facing adversity in your life, you will find this book helpful.

If you want to know why some people who face adversity come out stronger because of it, or why some people who succeeded but were not supposed to now live their lives differently, or how you can stay strong when everything around you tries to pull you down, read this book.

Brafman is a working/practicing psychologist who holds a Ph.D. in psychology and has taught university courses in personality and personal growth.

His explanation of the differences between "externals" and "internals" was well done; the discussion of the importance of having an even-tempered disposition was insightful (and how general temperaments, in general, follow individuals throughout their lives); and his discussion of the value of humor in boosting success and its role as an anxiety shield (how it protects people from the intensity of stress), was useful and worthwhile.

The author's specific advice (pp. 164-167) is practical: 1) Shift the focus back to you, 2) Search out meaning, 3) Stay calm, 4) Stay the course, 5) Give yourself a break, 6) Don't be afraid to use humor, 7) Be on the lookout for satellites (those who seem interested in you, or seem reliable, respectful, and willing to challenge you), and 8) Allow yourself to become inspired. This is good advice---not earthshattering or particularly new---but helpful.

There is advice, too, for employees (pp. 167-170), and for children (pp. 170-176) as well.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I love this book, December 8, 2012
By 
Corey (Carlsbad, CA) - See all my reviews
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This is probably one of the most inspirational books I've ever read. It helped me a ton through a hard part of my life when I wasn't making the money I wanted, things weren't really going right, and it helped me "tunnel" my way out of it and really press to not stop and increase my productivity(I'm in sales). Because of sticking through the thick and thin and not giving up, I've actually been promoted twice in the last 6 months and am living much more comfortable than I was previously. Nice investment!!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly Good Book, March 19, 2012
By 
Book Fanatic (Houston, TX, United States) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This is a fairly short book, based upon word count anyway. However, it packs a surprisingly good message. It's starts out questioning why such a surprisingly large percentage of people who should fail don't. Why so many disadvantaged kids do so well in school for example. The bottom line message is that while circumstances do seem to matter, many people seem to overcome them.

Throughout the book Brafman details the personality factors that allow some people to as he puts it "tunnel through" their circumstances. This book is not just theory, but is also practical. You will learn what you can do to tunnel through your circumstances and succeed despite the obstacles. Brafman lays out six different characteristics:

1) Internal vs. External Locus of Control
2) Finding Meaning in What You Do
3) Commitment / Persistence
4) Even Temperament
5) Humor
6) Supportive Others

This is a fine book and I can easily recommend it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Gift arrived day before Christmas, January 14, 2014
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It was a requested gift by my successful daughter who had read it and wanted it for her sister who does not always do so well. Hopefully it will go well. Looked new.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Thoughtful insights, January 14, 2013
By 
James (Wheaton, IL, United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Succeeding When You're Supposed to Fail: The 6 Enduring Principles of High Achievement (Kindle Edition)
Listened to this on a 14-hour flight - kept my interest then and I refer back to it a lot. Especially liked the "pursuit of meaning" discussion - found that a helpful insight which the author unpacks nicely.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and Practical Advices, September 26, 2012
This book is very enjoyable in storytelling. However, if you just want to get the advices, read the last chapter and epilogue. It's all condensed there. The advices are commonsensical and easy to understand. However, they are still valuable to hear one more time.
1. Focus on what you can do, not what are done to you.
2. Get the meaning of your actions, so you will have a passion. If you cannot find the meaning in a short term, you will still grow in the process of looking for meaning.
3. Be persistent. Don't give up for small obstacles or setbacks.
4. Have an even temperament. Don't be disturbed by pressure and surprises.
5. Use humor to tie you through difficult times and to release tension between you and others.
6. If you meet someone who can help you, hold on to him/her.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very Pleased!, March 25, 2012
This review is from: Succeeding When You're Supposed to Fail: The 6 Enduring Principles of High Achievement (Kindle Edition)
I have a habit of checking books out of the library and never completing the first chapter. If a book does not grab me right away, I find it difficult to continue reading. I found the title of this particular book intriguing but like all others it had to catch me from the very beginning. It did not disappoint, and gave me a new insight into my own outlook on life. I believe that I am one of the people that look at the changes that I can make from an inward perspective, as described in the book. However I have raised 3 children and one of them tends to be the kind of child that sees outwardly. This book opened my eyes to the way he sees the world and how I can better interact with him. I highly recommend this book.
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