Book notes: The Secret to Success by Eric Thomas

The Secret to Success by Eric Thomas book review summary and key ideas.

The Secret to Success by Eric Thomas

The Secret to Success by Eric Thomas book review summary.

Synopsis:

“Renowned speaker, educator, author, activist and minister, Eric Thomas is rising to national prominence by delivering a high energy message that tells youth through first-hand experience how to live up to their full potential and greatness and by breaking the cycles of crime, hopelessness, and despair that many face daily. Known for his engagingly personal approach, his messages are both dynamic and inspiring. When coupled with his own cycle-breaking experience, his blunt essays on reality and remarkable ability to reach even the most jaded of minds, has helped thousands of youth nationwide become peak performers academically, spiritually and personally.

Eric has electrified audiences ranging from Fortune 500 companies to urban educators, collegiate athletic programs and inner-city youth development agencies with the message of his own life’s struggles and the principles, insights, and strategies he used to overcome them. Eric is no stranger to the ills that plague our communities as he was born in Chicago, IL and raised on the streets of Detroit, MI. His childhood and adolescent years were difficult, and his life struggles and personal identity issues were intensified because like so many, he did not establish a relationship with his biological father until his early thirties.” -Audible

Opening thoughts:

I learned of Eric Thomas because of a motivational video/speech he made to I presume a class of highschool students, or maybe his GED class that went viral. The lesson was focused on the story about the man who wanted to be successful like this “guru” he met. The lesson learned was “if you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you’ll be successful”. I think this video was popular a few years back but is also the cornerstone of many motivational videos/audios still today.

I saw that this book was in Audible, I think in a 2-for-1 sale? I don’t remember but I thought I needed a bit of motivation for this New Year so I figured it would be a good choice.

Key notes:

Principle 1: Don’t make a habit out of choosing what feels good over what’s actually good for you
  • The higher the level of emotion, the lower the level of reason
Principle 2: Avoid being your own worst enemy
  • Don’t ever be the person to start a fight, you better be damn sure to finish it
Principle 3: You can change environments, but until you change yourself, nothing else will ever change
Principal 4: Learn to be curious
Principal 5: Don’t be afraid to explore your curiosity
Principal 6: You have to saddle your dreams before you can ride them
  • Questions:
    1. Write your role in the movie, who and what do you wish to be?
    2. What are your goals and dreams? What are your time frames for them?
    3. What would your average day, week or month look like if you were living out your dreams?
    4. What would be your major accomplishments in one year, five years, 10 years, or more
    5. What type of Legacy do you wish to leave behind for your friends, for your family, and for society as a whole
    6. What type of wealth would you need to have to accomplish all your dreams
    7. What type of information or knowledge would you need to acquire the type of support you need to make your dreams become a reality
  • In order to start change, ask yourself one question: what would it take to get from here where I am now to where I want to be?
  • Kinetic versus potential energy
    • Desire and imagination can be classified as potential energy
Principal 7: Choosing friends is a matter of life and death
  • Lesson 1: Look for people who believe in something and are passionate about their beliefs
  • Contrary to popular opinion, money, position, and power are not the true measure of success
    • Character is the foundation of all real success
  • Real friendship is not about what you can get, it is about what you can give
    • Real friendship is about making sacrifices and investing in people to help them improve their lives
  • Lesson 4: maintain a positive Outlook
    • He is a firm believer that people do good when they feel good
    • There is a real power in positivity
  • Lesson 5: Never underestimate the power of words
  • Lesson 6: A true friend respects your values
  • Chapter 7: Go where you’re celebrated, not tolerated
    • Ask yourself: is this soil the ideal environment for the type of harvest I’m expecting to gain?
  • Principle 8: The right environment is pivotal to your success
    • In the right environment, you should get the sense that you are being celebrated, not tolerated
    • In the right environment, you should feel upgraded
    • In the right environment, big I’s and little you’s don’t exist
    • The right environment allows realistic expectations while simultaneously providing pressure
  • Our disposition is related to our destination in the same way A steering wheel is related to a car
    • Our disposition controls the destination of our lives and places us in a position to succeed
  • Successful people were not successful because of some superior gene
    • It had more to do with their outlook on life and their ability to keep momentum on their side
  • ABCs of success: Ask, Believe, Claim it
  • Don’t let fear of rejection keep you from experiencing next level living
  • Believe you are worthy enough to have whatever it is you’re asking for
  • To claim something means to expect it long before it happens
Principle 9: Individuals who are able to maintain their momentum listen to their intuition
Principle 10: Stop sabotaging yourself
Principle 11: Just do it. If you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep getting what you’ve always got
  • Sometimes you have to find the right incentives to push you and drive you before you can reach your dreams
Principle 12: You need your undivided attention

Reader’s note: I love how Faith is such a huge part of Eric‘s journey and how he’s overcome so many of his challenges. That and the support he’s gotten from his church family. It’s so inspirational

  • All roads that lead to success have to pass through Hard Work Blvd
    • Unusual favor is bestowed on those that work
    • Work is an outward manifestation of an inward change
  • When you are passionate about your work and the process, it is like you are flying first class
    • You are putting yourself in miracle territory
  • Push until something happens
  • We must accept finite disappointment, but we must never lose infinite hope
  • Keep on sowing your seed for you do not know which will grow
    • Perhaps they all will
  • The secret to success is in the nature of the seeds, not how long it takes to see results, for what you sow you will eventually reap
  • His outlook on life changed forever after he heard the story about the guru and wanting to be successful as bad as you want to breathe
  • Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent

It’s not who you are that holds you back, it’s who you think you are not”

Eric Thomas
  • Summary points for Academic Success:
    1. Get support
    2. Set up the triangle offense
    3. Add weapons to your game
    4. Utilize your resources
    5. Maintain a balance
    6. Establish a routine
    7. Discover your learning style
    8. Take care of your body
  • Miracle territory is random. It happens when you least expect it
  • Effective means of working with students:
    1. Build a relationship
    2. Remember, each student is different
    3. Find a balance
    4. Create an energetic learning environment
    5. Involve the parents as much as possible
    6. Be a lifelong learner
    7. Give students a sense of purpose
  • There is no magical formula for success. It’s all about having a dream and being willing to work toward it no matter what the circumstances

Main ideas / Themes:

  • Character is the foundation of all real success
  • Real friendship is about making sacrifices and investing in people to help them improve their lives
  • Success has more to do with one’s outlook on life and his or her ability to keep momentum on their side
    ABCs of success: Ask, Believe, Claim it
  • Unusual favor is bestowed on those that work
  • Work is an outward manifestation of an inward change
  • When you are passionate about your work and the process, it is like you are flying first class
  • The secret to success is in the nature of the seeds, not how long it takes to see results, for what you sow you will eventually reap

Closing thoughts:

To be honest, this started off really slow for me. The first quarter of the book regarding his backstory, I kept thinking to myself, “okay…so what?” Ultimately, it would all make more sense later on. Or maybe rather, it got to the good stuff once his story was fully told. The beginning half of his story wasn’t as extraordinary or inspiring has the latter half.

Overall, the principles were solid and the advice was great. Not only that, but Eric himself reading the book is a HUGE bonus as he has such a distinct voice and tone. I feel like much of the impact of this audio book would have been lost had he not read it himself

Nutshell:

The rise of Eric Thomas as well as the secret to success: hard work.

Rating:

3.5/5

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