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4.6 out of 5 stars
Why People Fail: The 16 Obstacles to Success and How You Can Overcome Them
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on November 11, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Highly recommend for business-minded achievers and even family-minded readers. For example, did you know that drinking less coffee, or thinking about an octopus can help you succeed? Or, that your client roster can double from an outrageous and ridiculous idea like being rude? Parents, did you know that you can increase your child's potential for success each and every night by ensuring they don't sleep in a room with a night-light?

Reynolds offers research-based studies and makes a case on failure and success being highly predictable inside Why People Fail. Reynolds, a high achiever and business coach for companies including, Apple, BP, Citibank, IBM, IKEA, Sony, and Volvo, has been studying the science of failure and success as related to human behavior for more than 20 years. During this time, he isolated 16 barriers to success and presents them alongside research-based facts, along with rules, exercises, and techniques for surmounting failure, such as:

* Devote 30 minutes each day toward mastering your industry. "Within just one year, I guarantee your coworkers will consider you an absolute expert in your field," states Reynolds.

* Pause for a minute and appreciate the momentous impact of the following con- cept: You may not be the person you think you are. Research has proven that the average person has around 60,000-70,000 thoughts a day, but the extraordinary fact is that around 70 percent of those thoughts are recycled from yesterday. We believe that we are thinking new thoughts, but in reality our think based processes are mechanical and highly conditioned to our environments and beliefs. The key is to retrain your brain.

* Enhance your relationships, and subsequently yourself, by identifying Inner and Outer Circles of Influence. Use social media applications like Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn to expand and strengthen personal and professional relationships.

* Fail and persist. It's not a secret that society is more accustomed to titles like How People Succeed. In fact, there are very few books on failure. By titling this book Why People Fail, Reynolds hopes to retrain readers to not fear failure, but to embrace it as a natural occurrence on the road to success. As Reynolds states, "A common reason people don't persist is that they believe there is something wrong with failure. I believe differently. Failure is a normal and customary part of high achievement. If society adopted this view, people would be more likely to persist. We would be a world of supermen and superwomen. Currently, to our own detriment, this is not the case. More often than not, failure is viewed as a dark shadow on success. I am here to challenge and change this fear-based thinking."

Great read--especially in these economically-tough times. Would make the perfect graduation present as well.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on July 1, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I have read lots of self-help books and this is the best book out there. Reynolds has also read 1000's of self help books and that is what attracted me to this book to begin with.
For the first time in my life, I have actually begun to get out of a 'hole' I thought I couldn't get out of. I can. I will. He has given sure tested ways of moving out of yourself into yourself and knowing you can do, what you want to do.

I was stuck on 'not knowing what I want out of life'. Depressed most of the time, and wandering from project to project (I'm a Fine Artist).
Reynolds guides you step by step into a wonderful world!!! I 100% recommend this book. Thank you Siimon Reynolds!!

He mentions the 16 areas to look at. You are asked to then pick out 1 to 3 areas you would like to work on right now. I did that, and as I did I found my answers at the same time. BANG there they were coming out as I wrote down my goals. I now know, at 58, why I do art, why I am inspired! I really didn't understand myself because I was not focused on the right things. Siimon teaches you how to focus...no one to date has been able to teach me. After hundreds of self help books, lots and lots of counselling, I have now found all the answers right in Why People Fail, by Siimon Reynolds.

This will be the best buy of your life.
See you 'in the world of happy, successful'.
Nonie Ava Ault
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on November 21, 2011
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
I recently bought Why People Fail.

Highly highly recommend it! It's the type of book that inspires you, and then shows you the way to make your goals happen!

I literally sat there with a highlighter and a bunch of post-it notes.

Right now I am feeling like my life has taken on a new direction and I can't wait to put all that I have read into action.

Highly recommend it for anyone that feels that they've lost their focus or just need a bit of help reaching their goals (or even setting their goals!!!).

Why People Fail will get you back on track!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on December 17, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I rarely give 5 stars but for this one I did.

I normally like reading about success although I do always say Fail Often, Fail Fast, Fail Cheap.

I loved the book. It starts with a chapter "Unclear Purpose". It is so obvious - the main cause of failure is not lack of clarity. "Vagueness leads to failure". The chapter goes on with concrete examples of how you can set your purpose. It even suggests setting a purpose for the week. For me, purpose comes before goals. The book tends to lump them together.

There is a good chapter on low productivity and what to do about it (perhaps a trick like planning ahead might work).

And one of my favourites - Daily Rituals (or habits). We are the product of what we repeatedly do. And having habit makes things take no willpower.

I guess if I have any beef with the book, it is the negativity of the title. It really is a success book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on September 6, 2012
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
Overall I thought this book was quite good. The author's presentation of reasons people fail and how to avoid those pitfalls seems right on the money. I found the concepts to be lucid in their presentation and walk away from the book feeling like there are some specific areas I can pay attention to and ideas for what to do differently.

What I found lacking was concrete real life examples - ones that can be verified. So many "business success" books now are filled with vague things that happened to "some guy" or, purportedly, to the author. There were some specific examples about people you have heard of, but they were all stories I had heard before in other books. The ones that were new to me - ones from the author's own life or people he knows - were fuzzy. No names of companies or real specifics that could be verified. Maybe it's just me, but it bothers me. If the topic you are discussing as an example in your book happened, then spell it out with details so the reader knows it is true, not some feel good story you made up for the book. He also followed the boringly predictable pattern of "tell them what you are going to tell them; tell them; tell them what you just told them" for the book's general outline. That's great for a talk to the local rotary, but it you are going to take the time to write a book, perhaps a some more work on the craft of writing is called for.

The book was good, but it could have been great if the author had put more work into it and had given more fleshed out responses to how to change your behavior so you don't fall into the same traps of failure. Surely there has been research done that could actually be cited. Basically, it seems to me that the author is no writer and was a little lazy in his rush to press. I liked the book. I think it has very valid ideas that I can and will use, but this could have been so much more. A little more Michael Pollen (exhaustively researched with footnotes, resources and a bibliography) and a little less Tony Robbins ("I have made it my life's work to study success"...blah, blah, blah...) would have allowed me to give it 5 stars.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on November 15, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I have always been attracted to books of titles with words like "failure" and "fail". So far, most of them satisfied my intelligence and knowledge needs well. This book is no excception. Despite its misleading title that there were actually very few case studies and was in the standard "dos and donts" format (please check the table of content here on Amazon), the good organisation and fluent writing did charm me to read it through. In short, recommended!

p.s. Below please find some of my favorite passages for your reference.
Here's the truth about success: You don't have to be smarter than everyone else, or better looking, or more connected, or luckier to make it big in life. You just have to focus - really focus on what you want and how you can get it. Pg1
Here's the truth: success is a struggle. Pg55
Energy really is important to success. You need energy to work long hours, to think clearly, to remain positive. Yet very few people work on keeping their energy levels strong and powerful....Low energy is a very big reason that people don't succeed. So many people would like to work harder and aim higher in life, but they've become weary from life's setbacks. Soon they forget their dreams and instead start focusing on just getting through the day, merely surviving rather than thriving....Some of these proven energy enhancers: Good quality sleep is crucial (Darkness, Low electrical fields, Remove dust, Get at least seven hours' sleep); Examine your diet; Improve your environment; Exercise; Stretch; Get daily sunlight; Regulate your lifestyle; Increase music; Reduce coffee; Positive self-talk; Drink green plants Pg55-66
Under Chapter 6 Weak energy, the author had challenged readers of whether we had asked ourselves ther right questions, including: What are my values? What would l do if I knew I couldn't fail? What could go wrong? How could I make 10 times more money? What would X do? Should I even be involved with this? How could my competition defeat me? What's the best use of my time right now? When I die, what kind of life would I like to have lived? How could I improve that performance? Pg67-79
Your self image is like your mental operating software; everything you do stems from it. It's like your mental blueprint....telling what you can and cant achieve, should and shouldn't do. It's like the thermostat in an air conditioner. Your self image is set at a certain level and you perform according to that level. Pg108-9
In Chapter 10 Not enough thinking, the author had introduced several ideas creation techniques, including: The Dictionary Method; The ridiculous Idea Method; The Different Industry Method; The Star Emulation Method; The Famous Method; pg 121-132
The typical person's view of failure is that it shouldn't happen. They believe that if they fail at something then that is terrible. So it's no surprise that after they fail three or four times their emotions get low and they're ready to give up....When champions go for a goal, before they even start out they know they are going to fail numerous times....They expect bad things to happen - lots of bad things - and know they must create solutions to these roadblocks, not just give up and stop. Pg176
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 31, 2014
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
"Why People Fail" is for absolute beginners. There is nothing new and what is presented is so basic that reading it for real information was an exercise in futility. It was frustrating for me trying to get something meaningful from this book. It is a mix of basic psychology and self-help that is so simplistic that it must be written for those who know nothing at all about failure.

After all, people don't fail for the same reasons and this book only covers what may be the reasons why some people fail. Also, fail at what, business. I'm not sure as the title, which should have warned me away, doesn't state what people fail at.

For instance, a person can fail at relationships and excel in business. Is the book about relationships, creating art, rearing children or is it about business failure only? Not sure.

People fail because of destructive thinking, low productivity, weak energy, not enough thinking, etc., the list is okay, but it didn't work for me, too general. There are literally hundreds of reasons why a person might fail at something. This author gave you his 16 reasons based on his research. I read the book, yes, but it was too general (no meat or substance) and thus disappointing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 4, 2013
Format: Hardcover
This is a fantastic book. It is very direct and provides some very concise and helpful information about what you can do to take your business and life to the next level.

Simon Reynolds is 100% correct that we spend way too much focusing on why people succeed instead of focusing on why people fail - and then learning what they are doing wrong. This is a similar concept to Jim Collins' advice of focusing more on a 'Do NOT Do" List as opposed to a "To Do" List. Eliminating the negative stuff is much more important than trying to do the positive stuff. This is a very profound book and in the month since I read it, I find myself thinking about it a lot. It is very good.
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on July 27, 2013
Format: Hardcover
when things are going well it is often hard to put your finger on exactly why. When things fail, it is usually easy to see why and fix that problem. As the author points out for this book, there are thousands of books written about success but not many on failure and yet this is what it is easier to learn from. Just by avoiding the major failures means your pathway will be at least heading in the general direction for success.

i enjoyed the book and think its structure makes for easy reading and helps you quickly get value from it. the book is broken up into about 16 short stand-alone sections each dealing with a major human 'failing' such as 'negative thinking' for example. Easy and quick, it only takes a couple of minutes reading of each stand-alone section to see if you might have tendencies towards that failing. If so, pay more attention to this section and the tools and follow-up reading that the author suggests to build awareness and a toolkit of thinking/behaviour strategies to overcome the problem. If you think you dont suffer from that particular failing you can count your blessings and quickly read on and see how you go on the next potential failing?

Big bonus for this book is that the author has read hundreds of self-improvement books and picked a few of best that he thinks add value to address each failing. Thus, in our time-poor world with information overload, he has done much of the homework for us and this can save lots of time if you want to follow-up with extra homework for each particular failing.

As Mark Twain said "The person who does not read good books has no advantage over the person who does not read". I would recommend this book to anyone wanting to improve happiness and success for their life and their family
good reading
david in melbourne australia
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on June 21, 2014
Format: Hardcover
My broker recommended this book so I got the audio version of it on Audible, and couldn't stop listening to it; finished it in 4 days. Great presentation of ideas, structured well and makes you rethink why you may not be where you want to be. Yes, a lot of the ideas are not new, but then again, the fundamentals never change, they're old, as Jim Rohn likes to state. All in all, a great book that will put your life in perspective in terms of you reaching success, however you define it.
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