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Focal Point: A Proven System to Simplify Your Life, Double Your Productivity, and Achieve All Your Goals Paperback – Special Edition, October 1, 2004
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Focal Point is author and motivational speaker Brian Tracy's latest guide to professional and personal development. Combining the basic principles of career success and life balance he has advocated in the past with anecdotes for inspiration, the book proposes a unified approach to simultaneously achieving improvement at work and at home. The crux is finding the "focal point" in all pertinent areas--business, family, finances, health--and then launching a seven-step "personal strategic plan" that "helps you identify exactly what is most important to you ... identify what you need to do to achieve your most important goals (and) determine the steps you have to take to get from wherever you are to wherever you want to go." Tracy shows quite explicitly how to incorporate the specific phases of the process, including Values, Vision, Goals, Knowledge and Skills, Habits, Daily Activities, and Actions, into a drive for long-term growth and overall advancement. Not all who follow Tracy's program will find their incomes doubled and work hours pared while their personal relationships blossom, of course, but anyone who applies it diligently should see definite improvement. --Howard Rothman --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“This is a book that must be reread whenever you think you’ve lost your focus.”
— Jim Pawlak, syndicated columnist
“…his [Tracy’s] book offers relief to frustrated business people with too many professional and personal demands on their time — which is to say, all of us.”
“If you want to strengthen your life, your effectiveness, and your happiness, you’ll discover a great friend in Focal Point. And you’ll probably recommend it to your friends.”
--The Midwest Book Review
“…author Brian Tracy packs a punch that could assist anyone…in running their work lives and personal lives more efficiently.”
“After reading this book, you can accomplish more in the next couple of years than most people achieve in a lifetime!”
— Today’s Chicago Woman
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Basically the premise of the book is finding a leverage point, the "first domino to fall" kind of thing, where to "put the X" in certain areas of your life. After dividing your life up into areas (Brian gives examples of different life categories but I used my own), he gives a 7 step process for maximizing your efforts in improving that area:
1. the values that are most important to you in that area
2. your vision for that area if your life were perfect in 5 years
3. the goals it will take to achieve that vision
4. the knowledge and skills it will take to achieve the goals that are required to achieve the vision
5. habits that you need to develop
6. daily activities to build the habits
7. actions you need to take now
I have found the process to be useful. I'll be back in a year to update how it went.
You'll know what you're dealing with when you encounter the Orison Swett Marden quote at the beginning of the book:
"Every great man has become great, every successful man has succeeded, in proportion as he has confined his powers to one particular channel."
That's the message of "Focal Point"...pick one essential, critical goal and devote every waking moment to its pursuit as if your life depended on it...
...because it does.
Five-star effort fro Brian.
This is a fast read of 201 pages consisting of 12 well designed chapters, a very well developed Appendix and Index in the back. I will admit much of the information is pretty basic as compared to the advancements in personal development and self-improvement technologies since the initial publication of this book in 2002.
I did appreciate his methods for self discovery, simplification methods to life's challenges, and probing, thought provoking self-examination questions. Gives one a new perspective on their current, past, and future situations. Again, the primary point of this book is we each have the ultimate power to determine the success and failure in our lives. The only way outside forces change our circumstance is if we give them permission to have such power over us.
For one on a continuous journey of personal development, I recommend this book for your personal libraries as it adds value to your foundation and frame of reference.
He applies the "Focal Point Process" to financial, spiritual, community, and personal objectives. Chapters include "Improve Your Family and Personal Life", "Enjoy Superb Health and Fitness", "Make a Difference in Your Community" and Spiritual Development and Inner Peace".
The ideas may not be novel, but the combination is robust, and the touchstones are useful in shifting to a more positive and effective mindset. For example, the "1,000 Percent Formula" offers the approach of achieving great change incrementally. The "Law of Increasing Returns" states that the more you focus time on activities that bring the most value, the better and more efficient you get at doing them, so your returns on effort and energy increase. "Zero-based thinking" means asking yourself, "`Is there anything I am doing right now that, knowing what I now know, I wouldn't get into again if I were starting over today....If your answer is `yes', then your next question is, `How do I get out of this situation, and how fast?'"
Focal Point consolidates time management and prioritization guidelines useful in life and business. Collectively, the perspectives and questions both challenge current thought patterns (which may not be so productive) and suggest new ones (which are productive). Throughout, Focal Point encourages readers to concentrate on the activities through which they provide the greatest value, and accordingly, absorbing this underlying theme may be greatest value readers gain from the book.