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The Motivation Manifesto Hardcover – October 28, 2014
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"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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The Motivation Manifesto is a poetic and powerful call to reclaim our lives and find our own personal freedom. It's a triumphant work that transcends the title, lifting the reader from mere motivation into a soaringly purposeful and meaningful life. I love this book. -- Paulo Coelho
About the Author
After surviving car accidents, brain injuries, countless failures, and the demands of running his global online training company, he has dedicated his life to helping others find their charge and share their voice and experiences with the world. Meet him, and receive free resources on motivation and high performance, at BrendonBurchard.com.
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As an author myself in this 'self-help' arena; I think an author needs to focus on two main things. Engaging and entertaining the reader is the first part (it needs to be fun) and the second part is to impart useful and relevant information, insight, tips and tools. This way the reader is emotionally inspired plus has the tools to better their life. This is what I was hoping for with this book. But I was not really motivated by the end (more frustrated) and I found myself 'skimming' rather than reading the book to find the gems. There were definitely some great bits, but infrequently scattered throughout.
A huge portion of the book was focused on those 'idiots', 'fools', 'losers', 'naysayers', or 'bastards' that hold you back. This could have been mentioned a lot less, and the positives we needed to incorporate or focus on could have been the majority of the content. The writing also came across for me as a bit of a rant or bland (I am having some trouble clearly articulating why the delivery of the prose did not resonate with me - as I was surprised when it didn't).
This book is touted as a New York Times best seller, but I don't think it is a result of the masterful content or delivery of engaging prose or the awesome tips to crank up your motivation; but because of the expert and very strategic online marketing by Brendan and his large band of affiliates.
So my recommendation is if you have high expectations of this book you might be disappointed. If you wanted to feel motivated and inspired after this book, it might miss the mark, unless you are very new to this content. I actually feel a little bad because I recommended this book to a lot of people based on Brendan's past work, rather than reading it first. I definitely took that personal lesson away myself.
Ultimately, this book takes a very Ancient Greek, even Victorian, high-idealized view of humanity, thinking that simply imploring us to live to the Highest Standard Imaginable (lots of caps words are used to emphasize the Highest Form of the Word) will get us there ... or perhaps at least get those "Worthy of It" there. This is basically just the Western Approach, even the Old Testament Biblical approach, which causes a lot of pain, because it always sets the individual next to the Ideal, and against an ideal the individual must always fail.
The real danger of Burchard's work is that he presents it eloquently, emphatically and matter-of-fact-end-of-story-no-more-argument-style enough that I think many folks will be tempted to turn off their inner-critic whilst reading it. Dont buy into Burchard's sold fear that if you question the material in the book you might just be one of the "small-minded fearful ones" ... if you're going to read this book do so with an open heart and very open mind and let your critical mind stay active, watching your responses from a distance. If you feel your heart pinching or any self-loathing developing while reading the book, take note of that, and go ahead and question if it's a direct result of the language, tone and underlying attitude Burchard is using (don't immediately blame yourself!!!).
If you're looking for something very balanced, realistic, practical and effective beyond a purely theoretical and poetic level, I'd recommend Jack Canfield. I don't have any interest in his stuff byeond personal experience of it. Im promoting it here because Im impressed with it. Much moreso than Burchard's work.
Final note, wanna respond directly to a statement Burchard makes: "We can punish a selfish and callous child without becoming selfish or callous." The statement is such BS I almost don't have words to go into it. It's a quintessentially archaic view of humanity and really gives a one-sentence window into the contempt Burchard has and the pain he may be hiding/stuffing/suppressing with his idealized philosophy. A child is born the opposite of selfish/callous (a child has self-centeredness, but this is natural survival drive, and with good balanced loving parents grows into good balanced loving self-awareness) ... and if he/she has become selfish or callous it's 100% gauranteed the fault of the person in its life that thinks they need to "punish" it for being selfish/callous, state which they caused in the first place. And all that with a high-minded notiong of having "Intended Love" for the punished and chastised little brute. Man, this is such the Victorian Child Rearing view of hurting a child for it s own good, so it doesnt become a tyrant.
Burchard wants to treat his (and your) inner child in this same way, continuing to abandon and punish it, hating the pain and misery it has felt and acting as though all he, and you, need do is Choose to push it down and Overcome in order to no longer be controlled by the suffering of flawed coping mechanisms. This is no different than any other well-meaning by superficial (albeit eloquent) western philosophy. IN fact it's basically the same as what we've been getting for centuries, and are just now starting to realize has actually been the source of a lot of our pain.
We don't transcend by just transcending. If we could we would have done so already. Real transcendence comes from massive inner and external honesty and compassion and acceptance and accountability. Do the real work, feel the real feelings, revel in who you really are, all the flaws and hurts included.
Another recommendation is Internal Family Systems work ... really cool groundbreaking stuff.
So, good try Brendan, thanks for the eloquent exhortations, but please look a little deeper, and please pull this book and do a new edition with the help of some really insightful therapists.
It's not a cheery, get-up-and-go book, which I liked in that that style can get overdone. But it leaned too academic--not bone-dry academic but far more than I wanted in a book like this.
Now I'm thinking: "manifesto" should have tipped me off that this would be not work for me.