You Are Not So Smart PDF Summary

You Are Not So Smart PDF Summary

So, you think you’re so smart, don’t you?

Well, David McRaney has some horrible news for you:

You Are Not So Smart.

Who Should Read “You Are Not So Smart”? And Why?

You Are Not So Smart covers 48 cognitive biases, most of which you’ve probably already heard about or read in books such as Dan Ariely’s Predictably Irrational.

If you haven’t, then this book is a great introduction; if you have, then read it anyways, because your memory has probably betrayed you in the meantime.

Finally, if you think that you’re a rational human being and that cognitive biases are for suckers – then definitely buy this book; you’ll be surprised how wrong you are.

About David McRaney

David McRaney

David McRaney is an American journalist and psychology aficionado.

As a journalist, he has covered Hurricane Katrina for several newspapers and magazines and has written many other articles for The Lamar Times and The Huffington Post.

However, he owes his fame to his blog, which served as the basis of this book.

Currently, he works as director of new media for a broadcast television company, for which he has also produced a TV show about the music of the Deep South.

“You Are Not So Smart PDF Summary”

As we have told you quite a few times, your brain is a complex machine which follows a set of all but unbreakable rules.

You Are Not So Smart collects 48 of them – all of them interesting, most of them working in a counter-intuitive manner.

In other words, no matter how smart you think you are, your brain is preprogrammed to tell you lies from time to time, either because that’s what helped your ancestors survive or because you are simply built in an imperfect manner.

Our species may be rightfully dubbed sapiens when compared to other species, but the truth is, writes McRaney, that

there is a growing body of work coming out of psychology and cognitive science that says you have no clue why you act the way you do, choose the things you choose, or think the thoughts you think. Instead, you create narratives, little stories to explain away why you gave up on that diet, why you prefer Apple over Microsoft, why you clearly remember it was Beth who told you the story about the clown with the peg leg made of soup cans when it was really Adam, and it wasn’t a clown.

These lies, these narratives, these little stories are either cognitive biases, logical fallacies, or heuristics. McRaney defines them concisely and illustratively thus:

· “Cognitive biases are predictable patterns of thought and behavior that lead you to draw incorrect conclusions.”
· “Heuristics are mental shortcuts you use to solve common problems.”
· “Logical fallacies are like math problems involving language, in which you skip a step or get turned around without realizing it.”

Let’s look at the 48 of them – selected and thoroughly analyzed by McRaney for his book.

Key Lessons from “You Are Not So Smart”

1.      Priming
2.      Confabulation
3.      Confirmation Bias
4.      Hindsight Bias
5.      The Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy
6.      Procrastination
7.      Normalcy Bias
8.      Introspection
9.      The Availability Heuristic
10.      The Bystander Effect
11.      The Dunning-Kruger Effect
12.      Apophenia
13.      Brand Loyalty
14.      The Argument from Authority
15.      The Argument from Ignorance
16.      The Straw Man Fallacy
17.      The Ad Hominem Fallacy
18.      The Just-World Fallacy
19.      The Public Goods Game
20.      The Ultimatum Game
21.      Subjective Validation
22.      Cult Indoctrination
23.      Groupthink
24.      Supernormal Releasers
25.      The Affect Heuristic
26.      Dunbar’s Number
27.      Selling Out
28.      Self-Serving Bias
29.      The Spotlight Effect
30.      The Third Person Effect
31.      Catharsis
32.      The Misinformation Effect
33.      Conformity
34.      Extinction Burst
35.      Social Loafing
36.      The Illusion of Transparency
37.      Learned Helplessness
38.      Embodied Cognition
39.      The Anchoring Effect
40.      Attention
41.      Self-Handicapping
42.      Self-Fulfilling Prophecies
43.      The Moment
44.      Consistency Bias
45.      The Representativeness Heuristic
46.      Expectation
47.      The Illusion of Control
48.      The Fundamental Attribution Error

1. Priming

You think that you know when “you are being influenced and how it is affecting your behavior.”

However, studies have shown that “you are unaware of the constant nudging you receive from ideas formed in your unconscious mind.”

In other words, many of the things you believe in you believe in because someone has meddled with your unconscious.

While you were casually going about your way.

Think Coca Cola and Santa Claus.

2. Confabulation

Even though you think that “you know when you are lying to yourself,” the truth is – you don’t.

“You are often ignorant of your motivations and create fictional narratives to explain your decisions, emotions, and history without realizing it.”

3. Confirmation Bias

If you are like most of the people, you want to be right about everything.

How should you not be?

After all, you’ve studied everything objectively and rationally for years!

That – of course – is not true.

The truth is that you continuously ignore information which challenges your preconceived notions; in other words, your opinions are a direct result of years of effort of trying to confirm them.

It’s a vicious circle.

This is why most of your friends agree with you.

4. Hindsight Bias

Has someone who hasn’t seen you for years told you, at a certain point in your life, that you’ve changed a lot?

That’s because you probably did – even though you think you didn’t.

Studies have shown that instead of admitting that we’ve changed, we create stories which make us seem far more consistent that we actually are.

“You often look back on the things you’ve just learned and assume you knew them or believed them all along.”

5. The Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy

“If hindsight bias and confirmation bias had a baby,” writes McRaney, “it would be the Texas sharpshooter fallacy.”


Because, as Nicholas Taleb has repeatedly shown us, we tend to ignore randomness in our lives, even though it’s so important that we don’t.

In hindsight, we give random events some meaning when we want them to have one.

It’s like a cowboy shooting randomly at a wall in a bar and only afterward drawing a bull’s eye over the spot where the bullets are clustered the most.

In hindsight, it seems as if he is a great shooter.

However, that’s not the case.

6. Procrastination

Do we really need to tell you anything about procrastination?

Oh, yes – one thing: you don’t suffer from it because you’re lazy.

Procrastination is such a good friend of yours because you’re human.

It is “fueled by weakness in the face of impulse and a failure to think about thinking.”

7. Normalcy Bias

You think that, when disaster strikes, your “fight-or-flight” instincts kick in immediately and you’re ready to answer appropriately?

Well, that’s not exactly the case!

The truth is that “you often become abnormally calm and pretend everything is normal in a crisis.”

Don’t believe us?

Please, spare a moment or two and hear Anton Williams out!

8. Introspection

The misconception is that “you know why you like the things you like and feel the way you feel.”

The truth: “The origin of certain emotional states is unavailable to you, and when pressed to explain them, you will just make something up.”

9. The Availability Heuristic

You tend to believe more the things you remember well, because of your inherent bias that if you can recall something well enough, then it must be important.

This is why you tend to base your beliefs and opinions often on recent news.

And that’s why you think that most of the crimes are committed by terrorists or immigrants – when, in reality, those are merely the stories more available to you.

Stats show that you are very wrong.

And yet – you don’t believe us.

10. The Bystander Effect

Have you ever heard of Kitty Genovese?

If you haven’t, that girl was stabbed and murdered back in 1964, even though her shouts for help were heard by no less than 38 people.


Well, precisely because there were 38 and everyone expected someone else would rush to Kitty’s help.

The truth is – if there was one, he would have.

11. The Dunning-Kruger Effect

According to John Cleese, this effect is responsible for half of the things that are wrong with this world.

The problem: some people are so stupid that they have no idea how stupid they are.

Bluntly put, you can’t expect from someone to understand his own stupidity: he’s not smart enough to do that.

12. Apophenia

That funny sounding word was coined by a German only six decades ago, and yet – it explains so many things about humanity ever since it sprung into existence.

The idea behind it: our brains are constantly looking for patterns, which is why there are such things as gamblers, traders, or astrologists.

The simple truth is: coincidences are a routine part of life (it’s a matter of statistics), but any meaning applied to them is because your brain wants them to be meaningful.

13. Brand Loyalty

You drink only Coca Cola, use only Apple products and will play games on nothing but your Xbox?

Believe us, that’s not because your products are better than their rivals, nor because you’ve rationally came to that conclusion.

It’s because you’ve rationalized your past choices “to protect your sense of self.”

Simple as that.

14. The Argument from Authority

If someone you think is smart tells you something, you’re inclined to believe that something even without checking the validity of the information.

For example, if Einstein was alive today and told you he would vote for Trump, no matter how much you hate Trump, you’ll be affected by Einstein’s judgment.

However, genius is not transferrable, and, as brilliant physicist as he was, there’s no reason why Einstein should be an expert in politics.

(By the way, sorry Albert: it was only for the sake of our argument).

15. The Argument from Ignorance

You think that when you can’t explain something, you focus on what you can prove?

Well, the truth is that “when you are unsure of something, you are more likely to accept strange explanations.”

16. The Straw Man Fallacy

You know which one is the easiest way to defeat your opponent?

Reframe and simplify his position in a manner which will allow you to attack it forcefully.

Well, news flash: your brain knows this full well!

And, in any argument, it tempts you to use this tactic so that you can win the discussion.

Who cares about arguments or the truth?

17. The Ad Hominem Fallacy

While we’re on the topic of dirty tactics, this one’s the mother of them all!

And you know how it works from practically every second political debate: when you can’t attack the arguments, attack the man.

Even though what someone says and why he says it are two completely different things.

18. The Just-World Fallacy

We can translate this fallacy to you in terms of a few proverbs: “what goes around comes around;” “you reap what you sow;” and, our favorite, “everything happens for a reason.”

Well, it doesn’t.

The world is not just, and some good people suffer simply because things didn’t go their way, even though they tried their best.

Some bad people, on the other hand, are wealthy and happy because they got lucky.

And that’s it.

19. The Public Goods Game

You think private property and no regulations are the solution to all of our economic and social problems?

Guess again!

The public goods game proves – over and over again – that “without some form of regulation, slackers and cheaters will crash economic systems because people don’t want to feel like suckers.”

20. The Ultimatum Game

The misconception, in this case, is that “you choose to accept or refuse an offer based on logic.”

However, the truth is that “when it comes to making a deal, you base your decision on your status.”

21. Subjective Validation

Subjective validation explains, once again, why there is such a widespread acceptance of some paranormal beliefs and practices, such as astrology or fortune telling.

Also called Forer or Barnum effect, subjective validation says that you’ll believe any vague statement or prediction if it addresses you personally and if it is a positive one.

22. Cult Indoctrination

This is scary, but, nevertheless, true: you are not smart enough to not join a cult. Because the truth is that “cults are populated by people just like you.”

“The research on cults suggests you don’t usually join for any particular reason; you just sort of fall into them the way you fall into any social group.”

23. Groupthink

Even scarier than #22: two heads don’t think better than one.

Contrary to popular opinion, two heads tend to avoid confrontation and reach a consensus which usually leads to suboptimal results.

Groupthink, in other words, hinders progress.

24. Supernormal Releasers

Supernormal releasers are the reasons why Australian jewel beetles have sex with beer bottles.

Wait… what?!

It’s true: they do because beer bottles are bigger and shinier than any female beetle. They are better than the real thing.

Supernormal releasers are the reason why men have sex with RealDolls and why women marry eight-year-old millionaires.

Believe it or not, they are not insane or gold-diggers.

Or, at least, not necessarily.

25. The Affect Heuristic

You think: “I am capable of calculating what is risky or rewarding and even more capable of always choosing how to best maximize gains while minimizing losses.”

The truth: “You depend on emotions to tell you if something is good or bad, greatly overestimate rewards, and tend to stick to your first impressions.”

26. Dunbar’s Number

This one’s easy: there’s no way you can maintain more than 150 stable relationships with people at any one moment in your life.

But, then again, that’s more than plenty.

27. Selling Out

The misconception: “Both consumerism and capitalism are sustained by corporations and advertising.”

The truth: “Both consumerism and capitalism are driven by competition among consumers for status.”

28. Self-Serving Bias

The misconception: “You evaluate yourself based on past successes and defeats.”

The truth: “You excuse your failures and see yourself as more successful, more intelligent, and more skilled than you are.”

29. The Spotlight Effect

The misconception: “When you are around others, you feel as if everyone is noticing every aspect of your appearance and behavior.”

The truth: “People devote little attention to you unless prompted to.”

30. The Third Person Effect

The misconception: “You believe your opinions and decisions are based on experience and facts, while those who disagree with you are falling for the lies and propaganda of sources you don’t trust.”

The truth: “Everyone believes the people they disagree with are gullible, and everyone thinks they are far less susceptible to persuasion than they truly are.”

31. Catharsis

This one’s as counter-intuitive as they get!

Contrary to what everyone else says, studies have shown that cursing and venting your anger doesn’t reduce stress and doesn’t prevent you from lashing out later at your family or friends.

Oh, no: it’s the other way around!

Namely, venting increases aggressive behavior.

So, don’t use this as an excuse anymore.

32. The Misinformation Effect

Your memory is not a film recording.

It’s actually a palimpsest, i.e., a manuscript on which later writing is superimposed on an effaced earlier text.

Let us make that even clearer: you don’t remember the things you remember the way they happened; you remember them the way you’ve convinced yourself that they happened.

And every time you recall the memory – the memory gets ever more blurred and more affected by your present.

33. Conformity

Conformity is a survival instinct.

And you will conform if an authority figure or a social group pressures you a bit in that direction.

Even if that means increasing the voltage past the XXX point on the scale – despite the fact that you know the subject who’s being electrocuted might die if you do so.

Conformity is the reason why this thing happened as well.

34. Extinction Burst

You think that if you stop engaging in a bad habit, you’re done with it!

Well, think again!

Your brain will always make one last attempt to return you to your habit.

But, then again, that’s already happened to you, hasn’t it?

35. Social Loafing

The misconception: “When you are joined by others in a task, you work harder and become more accomplished.”

The truth: “Once part of a group, you tend to put in less effort because you know your work will be pooled together with others.”

36. The Illusion of Transparency

The misconception: “When your emotions run high, people can look at you and tell what you are thinking and feeling.

The truth: “Your subjective experience is not observable, and you overestimate how much you telegraph your inner thoughts and emotions.”

37. Learned Helplessness

The misconception: “If you are in a bad situation, you will do whatever you can do to escape it.”

The truth: “If you feel like you aren’t in control of your destiny, you will give up and accept whatever situation you are in.”

38. Embodied Cognition

The misconception: “Your opinions of people and events are based on objective evaluation.”

The truth: “You translate your physical world into words, and then believe those words.”

39. The Anchoring Effect

The misconception: “You rationally analyze all factors before making a choice or determining value.”
The truth: “Your first perception lingers in your mind, affecting later perceptions and decisions.”

40. Attention

The misconception: “You see everything going on before your eyes, taking in all the information like a camera.”

The truth: “You are aware only of a small amount of the total information your eyes take in and even less is processed by your conscious mind and remembered.”

41. Self-Handicapping

This is a great one – so we’ll break the pattern once again!

You think that you always do your best in order to succeed?

Well, it turns out that you don’t.

In fact, you often create conditions for failure even before you start your endeavor.

Why would you do such a thing?

Well, because that way, if you fail, you’ll have an excuse and your ego will be protected.

Your brain is a wondrous thing.

42. Self-Fulfilling Prophecies

Remember that time you justly predicted that that guy is actually a bad one and was merely faking it?

Chances are – you’ve made him act in such a manner!

Many of your predictions about people come true because you (un)consciously nudge things in that direction.

43. The Moment

The misconception: “You are one person, and your happiness is based on being content with your life.”

The truth: “You are multiple selves, and happiness is based on satisfying all of them.”

44. Consistency Bias

The misconception: “You know how your opinions have changed over time.”

The truth: “Unless you consciously keep tabs on your progress, you assume the way you feel now is the way you have always felt.”

45. The Representativeness Heuristic

The misconception: “Knowing a person’s history makes it easier to determine what sort of person they are.”

The truth: “You jump to conclusions based on how representative a person seems to be of a preconceived character type.”

46. Expectation

The misconception: “Wine is a complicated elixir, full of subtle flavors only an expert can truly distinguish, and experienced tasters are impervious to deception.”

The truth: “Wine experts and consumers can be fooled by altering their expectations.”

The even more interesting truth: there’s practically no such thing as wine tasting science; nor do older wines taste better; just different.

47. The Illusion of Control

The misconception: “You know how much control you have over your surroundings.”

The truth: “You often believe you have control over outcomes that are either random or are too complex to predict.”

The even more interesting truth: you’re no expert at trading; no one is.

48. The Fundamental Attribution Error

The misconception: “Other people’s behavior is the reflection of their personality.”

The truth: “Other people’s behavior is more the result of the situation than their disposition.”

That’s why – as quite a few smart people have said once or twice – never ascribe to malice what you can to ignorance or stupidity.

Like this summary? We’d like to invite you to download our free 12 min app for more amazing summaries and audiobooks.

“You Are Not So Smart Quotes”

You are a story you tell yourself. Click To Tweet If you see lots of shark attacks in the news, you think, 'Gosh, sharks are out of control.' What you should think is 'Gosh, the news loves to cover shark attacks. Click To Tweet You can't rage against the machine through rebellious consumption. Click To Tweet We reach for the same brand not because we trust its quality but because we want to reassure ourselves that we made a smart choice the last time we bought it. Click To Tweet The more pessimistic your explanatory style, the easier it is to slip into learned helplessness. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

If you want to learn all about how your brain is deluding you – then You Are Not So Smart is the book for you.

“Every chapter is a welcome reminder that you are not so smart – yet you’re never made to feel dumb, writes Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of then he goes on: “You Are Not So Smart is a dose of psychology research served in tasty anecdotes that will make you better understand both yourself and the rest of us. It turns out we’re much more irrational than most of us think, so give yourself every advantage you can and read this book.”    Take this summary with you and read anywhere! Download PDF:   

Rebel Talent PDF Summary

Rebel Talent PDF Summary

Why It Pays to Break the Rules at Work and in Life

Sometimes, the practices and principles that look decent and worthy to follow are the ones you need to question.

In this book, Francesca wittingly propels the idea of inner revolution which breeds creativity and flair. It stands to reason, why the book is called “Rebel Talent.”

Without further ado, let’s get more precise about it.

Who Should Read “Rebel Talent”? And Why?

If you are on the fence about emerging talents, then this book will show you why every person has that enormous potential to seize the day.

It all rests on his/her shoulders to make something happen, and that’s not subjected to any alteration whatsoever. With that said, we wholeheartedly endorse the narrative presented in this book and believe that “Rebel Talent” is recommended for the broader audience.

We urge you to polish up your skills and think everything over.

About Francesca Gino

Francesca Gino

Francesca Gino is an Italian-American behavioral scientist, researcher, and author born in 1978. She currently works as a Tandon Family Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School.

Prior to joining Harvard, Francesca taught at the University of North Carolina.

She’s been receiving many accolades for her amazing achievements and was even venerated as one of the top US professors under the age of 40.  

Francesca’s work has been featured on CNN, the Economist, Financial Times, New York Times…

“Rebel Talent PDF Summary”

Rebels don’t create trouble, but trouble creates rebels.

This simple but powerful analogy illustrates the beginning of a revolution with regards to craftiness.

Chapter One – Napoleon and the Hoodie

Napoleon’s conquests in North Africa were predicated on the idea of challenging British dominance. With an intention to capture Cairo, French troops led by Napoleon had to defeat the Mamelukes whose rule wreaked terror on the locals.

Even though the French were outnumbered, Napoleon managed to protect his flanks by disposing his army in a circle-like formation. The Mamelukes’ cavalry notorious for its close-combat fighting, was wiped out.

Many interpretations follow this battle, but most believe that Egyptians were liberated from the brutality of the autocratic rulers.

Bonaparte was driven by a constant thirst for new military knowledge that could enhance his prowess as a commander and political leader. He was regarded as France’s new savior, and he derived some of his ideas from Pierre de Bourcet.

Bonaparte modified the justice system and enacted laws that applied to every citizen – the very pillar of democracy.

Chapter Two – The Dog Named “Hot”

In this chapter, Francesca tells us a story that revolves around novelty by every stretch of the imagination. Accompanied by her husband, she paid a visit to an unorthodox show which exhibited a new form of acting. A man pulled up a chair and sat in the center of a small stage.

He then started steering his imaginary wheel, while another woman “ascended” from the crowd and tapped her on the shoulder. It was at this moment that Francesca realized that this whole improvisation was part of the act, where one person starts the whole show and others merely jump on the bandwagon.

This is why “novelty” has a pivotal role in keeping that fire burning in the relationships. Francesca and Greg feared that routine is the biggest killer of marriages, therefore, injecting spontaneity could spice things up a bit.

In addition, Francesca speaks about her wedding day, and why she decided to follow traditions, unlike her siblings.

Chapter Three – The Vanishing Elephant

You all have probably heard stories about Harry Houdini whose stunts, illusions, and magic left the crowd speechless. He mastered in escaping from handcuffs, ropes, chains; you name it. Widely reputed as one of the top illusionists of the 20th century, he was able to flare up the audience with ease.

Houdini’s extraordinary performances could not be fitted into one category. He did far more than just escaping while being locked up, as his remarkable accomplishments will continue to echo throughout the “illusionist” history.

For the sake of argument, please bear in mind that we know nothing about magic, so if we overestimate or underestimate some of his stunts, it’s simply a lack of knowledge.

He once managed to swallow a pack of needles, and twenty yards of thread helped only by a glass of water. The trickery commenced from an early age, whereas he as a child learned to unlock cabinets where his mom kept the pies and sweets.

In the vicinity of the Hippodrome, a noisy and intense drum sound filled the air and announced the act. The stage pistol gave the official go-ahead as the doors of the box at both ends opened simultaneously. The elephant was gone; knocking the socks off of everyone in the audience.

Chapter Four – The Hudson River Is a Runway

The name Chesley Sullenberger didn’t ring any bells up until that horrifying calamity that could have caused the deaths of hundreds of people.

On January 15th, flight 1549 took off from LaGuardia Airport, heading for Charlotte, North Carolina. A bird strike prevented them from continuing their journey, as Captain Sully tried to make it back toward LaGuardia and attempted Teterboro for an emergency landing, but none of that came to pass.

He was forced to land in the Hudson, with 150 souls on board. Despite the risk, every single person survived that day, with minor injuries. Harten testified that in the past decade, he never once failed to assist an airplane crew in making the right choice.

The control tower offered Sully runway 13th as a potential option for an emergency landing, but he declined the proposition as impossible to pull out. He was then instructed to turn right toward Teterboro, but that option was also dismissed as too risky and out of the question.

Prior to landing in the Hudson, Capt. Sully made an announcement:

Brace for Impact

After the incident, many questioned Sully’s expertise and decision-making, but they found out that if he didn’t follow his instincts that day, the consequences would have been disastrous.

Chapter Five – Uncomfortable Truths

DuVernay came to prominence when she was nominated for Selma in 2014. At that time, Ava DuVernay had already caught the attention of movie elitists like Sean Bailey, president of Motion Pictures Production at Walt Disney Studios.

He started pondering about the possibility of giving DuVernay a shot to direct the adaptation of A Wrinkle in Time. They even had a meeting, discussing a potential agreement.  

Raised in a rough neighborhood, Ava had a tough time moving forward through life. Nonetheless, she doesn’t believe that this situation reflected some kind of disadvantage, but quite the opposite. It made her stronger, and independent to work hard and follow her dreams.

As a matter of fact, entering a male-dominant industry wasn’t a piece of cake.

Her leadership was always under scrutiny, but that didn’t stop her from crushing the stereotypes. As we mentioned, thanks to Selma – the story of the 1965 voting campaign spearheaded by Martin Luther King Jr. Ava became a renowned movie director.

The Disney pair caught a glimpse of her potential, and Ava was given full support to adapt A Wrinkle in Time. Her passion and skill emerged as some sort of a package deal.

Chapter Six – Coach Cheeks Sings the National Anthem

Back in 2003, Portland Trail Blazers were hosting the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA Playoffs series – best of seven. Dallas had won the first two matches on their home court, but now it was the Blazers turn to show why they won thirteen of the last fifteen games against the Mavericks in Portland.

Prior to the match, thirteen-year-old girl Natalie Gilbert was invited to do the honors and sing the national anthem. Unfortunately, she caught a flu that morning and was unable to perform at its best. Nonetheless, she plucked up her courage and went on anyway.

On the second line, her voice suddenly switched off, and she wasn’t able to pull herself together. Coach Maurice Cheeks won the hearts of millions when he approached her and started to sing alongside her, giving Natalie the support to continue.

Later on, Natalie told the press that Maurice was her “guardian angel,” while Coach Cheeks remained humble in his words.

The Trail Blazers lost that night, even though they put up quite a fight. They won the next three games and tied the series, but the Mavericks managed to win the decisive Game 7.

Coach Cheeks told the press:

I never thought about doing it before I did it. I’m a father. I have two kids myself. I’d have wanted someone to help them if they could.

Chapter Seven – The Secret of Story

In this chapter, Francesca addresses a problem and explains how our decisions are sometimes irrational. She recalls a situation that helped her to see the big picture. One time, upon boarding the plane, she overhears the instructions laid out by the flight attendant and the rest of the crew.

In the meantime, Francesca prepares a group exercise for 40 people and doesn’t pay attention to the actual schooling in case of emergency.

Upon landing, she conducts the exercise and finds out that people’s mindset is often inspired to act in a given manner based on the group mood. This mindset conflicts with rationality and puts people’s position in jeopardy.

In addition, she also realizes that disengagement is very expensive because it hampers commitment, responsibility, and productivity overall. This short-attention span is proving to be a problem not just in the States but globally.

Catching people’s attention hangs in the balance and breaking the ice is harder than ever.

Chapter Eight – Become a Rebel Leader

Last but not least, we all wonder what it takes to develop into a true leader! So, here’s the 8-step process one must follow to accomplish just that:

  • Seek Out the New
  • Encourage Constructive Dissent
  • Open Conversations, Don’t Close Them
  • Reveal Yourself—and Reflect
  • Learn Everything—Then Forget Everything
  • Find Freedom in Constraints
  • Lead from the Trenches
  • Foster Happy Accidents

Key Lessons from “Rebel Talent”

1.      Embrace change and work your way through life
2.      Keep your hopes up
3.      Don’t let your guard down

Embrace change and work your way through life

How many times have we witnessed stories that belong in the same trilogy as “David & Goliath.” That serves as a proof that despite the odds, you have what it takes to come out as a winner on the other side.

Let this be a motivation, not a guide for you to circumvent a problem, but to face it and deal with it. It’s a wake-up call that could signify the start of a new day.

Keep your hopes up

Not everything goes according to the plan, and that’s fine. You shouldn’t be the one passing judgments, nor pointing those poisonous arrows at your heart.

Leave the interpretation to others, and you focus on the action!  

Don’t let your guard down

Sometimes, the environment you excel in can be subjected to various influences that impede the process of evolvement.

Even in those kinds of circumstances, one must keep its eyes peeled and be on full alert for potential twists and turns.

Like this summary? We’d Like to invite you to download our free 12 min app, for more amazing summaries and audiobooks.

“Rebel Talent Quotes”

One of the biggest surprises in my research has been the discovery of how important, and meaningful, rebel talent can be in one’s personal life. Click To Tweet At their core, rebels are engaged. They have abundant energy and mental resilience, they invest in their work and in their personal relationships, and they persist even when the road gets tough. Click To Tweet As professional opportunities expanded, women weren’t the only ones who benefited. There were gains for the companies they joined and for the economy more broadly. Click To Tweet Even outside of work, when we think about self-improvement, we tend to focus on weaknesses. Click To Tweet In a crisis, when we think about what we should do, we focus on the most apparent courses of action, often those we relied on when making similar decisions in the past, whether we are following a checklist or not. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Every chapter has its separate story, one that reveals people’s knack for all sorts of things. The ineptness in one thing can be compensated with a proclivity for something else.

In all honesty, we all have these tendencies and urges that are worth questioning. Hence, one can become aware of its talents, and build up from there.

With this in mind, you get the idea of why we think “Rebel Talent” would be an excellent addition on your bookshelf.    Take this summary with you and read anywhere! Download PDF:   

Captivate PDF Summary

Captivate PDF SummaryThe Science of Succeeding with People

Not exactly a people person?

The good news: it’s not in your genes.

The even better news: Vanessa Van Edwards has all the scientific facts you need to help you become more sociable.

And she’ll teach you how to:


Who Should Read “Captivate”? And Why?

The 21st century is all about networking.

So, whether you want to hire the right employees, be hired by the right clients or, simply, meet the right people – you need to improve your social skills.

And Captivate is undoubtedly a great starting point.

About Vanessa Van Edwards

Vanessa Van EdwardsVanessa Van Edwards is an American behavioral investigator and a bestselling author.

Inspired by numerous awkward experiences in her childhood, Van Edwards founded Science of People, a Portland-based research lab where she and her team study the science of human behavior.

Captivate is her first book.

“Captivate PDF Summary”

In a world that’s all about networking and the people you know, your social skills can either make or break you.

If you don’t want to be a victim of the latter, Vanessa Van Edwards’

Don’t Play Their Game: Beat Them at Your Own

“The eagle never lost so much time as when he submitted to learn of the crow,” wrote once William Blake.

According to Vanessa van Edwards, the same can be applied to human relations: you don’t need to act like you belong everywhere; you don’t need to act like you excel in all situations.

Want a proof?

Well, a survey done by Vanessa’s lab, Science by People, has revealed that 86,9 percent (out of 4.361 participants) are capable of identifying a fake smile.

So, even when you think you’re fitting in, if you are fake smiling, you’re probably already recognized as an impostor.

How can you change that?

The simple answer is: you can’t. The better one: by avoiding these awkward social situations.

After all, it couldn’t possibly be that all the people at a party matter to you!

Focus on the right ones!

Just take a page out of the authoress’ book.


Vanessa explains how one of her YouTube followers once complained to her in a comment that she needs to look more professional, and, in order to do that, she needs to get rid of her casual clothes.

Of course, Vanessa’s knee-jerk reaction was to go shopping.

However, soon she realized that she doesn’t do the YouTube videos for the people who can be distracted by her apparel.

She wanted only those who could focus.

You don’t need to appeal to everyone.

Focus on the right people. And be yourself:

When you try to be the same as everyone else, it’s boring. When you try to fit into a mold, you become forgettable. When you try to be “normal,” you become dull. Just be yourself, because no one is like you. If you’re a little weird, own it. The right people will like you for it.

The Triple Threat of First Impressions

“Whether we like to admit it or not,” writes Vanessa Van Edwards, “we decide if we like someone, if we trust someone, and if we want a relationship with someone within the first few seconds of meeting them.”

Great, you say!

Now you’ve taken the pressure off of me… not!

Hey, of course we’re not going to say that so many things depend on your first impression without sharing with you a great hack to use this to your benefit.

It’s called the Triple Threat, and you can use it as much as you like. People are capable of identifying fake smiles, but they can’t seem to see through the Triple Threat.

So, you’re biologically OK in this case!

The Triple Threat is all about body language.

First, start with your hands.

It is incredibly important to keep them visible at all times.


Interestingly enough, because of evolution. Namely, people still feel distrust for people who hide their hands because a few millennia ago, that could have signified that they are carrying some weapon.

Hack this instinct to your benefit!

Next – moving on to posture.

You already know that the Wonder Woman stance can do wonders for you in terms of confidence; however, it’s not exactly one you could strike in a casual conversation during an event organized by, say, your networking agent.

Which is why you should learn the Launch stance!

Pull your shoulders backward and downward, push your chest forward and let your arms fall gently away from your body.

Now you’re ready for the final piece of the puzzle: eye contact.

Eye contact stimulates the production of oxytocin, the “I trust you” hormone.

In other words, maintain eye contact with someone two-thirds of a conversation, and you’ve got yourself a new friend!

Microexpressions and the Seven Universal Emotions

As we’ve already told you, Paul Ekman – aka Tim Rothman in Lie to Me – is “the best human lie detector in the world.”

One of his most important contributions to the field of psychology is his discovery of the human microexpressions, involuntary emotional responses which, unlike other facial expressions, are fast, brief and impossible to hide.

Be attentive of their manifestations, and you’ll be able to uncover which one of the seven universal emotions the person you’re talking to is going through.

#1. Anger, for example, generates two vertical lines between the eyes and pinched eyebrows; in addition, the mouth is tense, either tight-lipped and shut or open wide as if before a shout.

#2. Contempt is defined by something we generally refer to as a smirk, aka the smile that isn’t (or, even, the Mona Lisa smile). As in a smile, a smirk comes with a mouth skewed to one side; however, it indicates dislike or displeasure.

#3. Unlike contempt, happiness shows all over the face; in other words, people are not smiling only with their lips, but also with their cheeks and eyes; but, then again, you’ll know a happy smile when you see one.

#4. Fear is expressed mainly through the eyebrows and the wide-open eyes; additionally, people who fear usually open their mouths: an evolutionary instinct to stimulate extra inflow of oxygen.

#5. Surprise is similar to fear: wide-open eyes and raised eyebrows; however, in fear, the eyebrows pull together; in surprise, they pull apart.

#6. When someone feels disgust, his/her upper nose wrinkles, his cheeks raise and his upper lip lifts; you know, the thing everybody does after taking a bite of a bad sandwich.

#7. Just like happiness, sadness is easily distinguishable; just look for a frowning, downward and drooping expression.

Swim the OCEAN: The Five Major Personality Traits

In the 1980s, Dr. Lewis Goldberg discovered what we now call the Big Five personality traits, often represented by the acronym OCEAN, because, well, the first letters of these traits somehow – and strangely – form that word.

They also form another one – CANOE – but the OCEAN model sounds less confusing than the CANOE model, which, let’s face it, few would think is an attempt at psychological taxonomy.

So, we guess you won’t blame us for preferring the first order:

#1. Openness to Experience. This trait explains how curious or adventurous you are. A good rule of thumb: if you like your daily routines and you’re not that into traveling, then there’s a high chance that you’re not that open to experiences. On the other hand, if you want to self-actualize through peak experiences, then you are.

#2. Conscientiousness. This trait is related to how efficient/organized you are or, contrarily, to how easy-going or careless you can be. If you like to make to-do lists and you follow a specific schedule, then you are conscientious; if, however, you are spontaneous and flexible then you rank low on this scale, and it’s entirely possible that you’re a bit sloppy and unreliable.

#3. Extroversion. You know this one. If you are outgoing and energetic, and you seek simulation in the company of other, then you’re an extrovert; if, however, you feel most energized when alone, you’re an introvert.

#4. Agreeableness. The more you are compassionate toward others, the more agreeable you tend to be; if, however, you’re antagonistic and suspicious by nature, then you are not that agreeable. The catch: the more agreeable, the more naïve you are.

#5. Neuroticism. This trait describes your tendency to psychological stress. The higher you rank on this scale, the less stable you are as a person.

The Three Types of Stories

Storytelling is awesome.

It played such a big part in our evolution – and, by all accounts, it should go on playing – that some think, instead of being called “wise man” (homo sapiens), out species should be called pan narrans, the storytelling chimpanzee.

Be that as it may, neuroscientists discovered what makes storytelling so powerful.

In a nutshell, its capability to make you feel the very same the storyteller feels. Brain scans of a storyteller and his listener revealed that, by the end of the story, the listener’s brain acted almost the same as the storytellers.

Even though the listener had never gone through the personal experiences the storyteller was trying to relate.

Use this to make connections with other people.

There are three types of stories:

#1. Trigger Topics Stories. These are the ones most people talk about; they are about generic subjects such as the latest news, the traffic, the weather or any other thing which affects all people.

#2. Sparkling Stories. These are, usually, personal stories which tend to communicate at a deeper level. They are either anecdotes or some dramatic experiences which engage the listener. At best, they tend to make other people experience a strong emotion, one of the seven universal ones we’ve gone through above.

#3. Boomerang Stories. These are the stories which start with the storyteller, but end with the listener. Any story can become a boomerang story if you end it with: “Has this ever happened to you? Something similar, perhaps?”

Key Lessons from “Captivate”

1.      Make a Good First Impression Through Your Body Language
2.      Storytelling Is Awesome – and There Are Three Ways to Use It to Your Benefit
3.      Want to Be Closer to Someone? Ask Him a Small Favor!

Make a Good First Impression Through Your Body Language

First impressions matter; in fact, they matter so much that there’s a high chance 90 percent of the people you like, you’ve liked from the outset!

If you want to leave a good first impression, however, your body language is just as important as your words.

Escape the triple threat of failure by never hiding your hands (evolutionary, hidden hands may mean hidden weapons), standing up straight with your shoulders back (in a launch stance), and maintaining eye contact (for two-thirds of any conversation).

Storytelling Is Awesome – and There Are Three Ways to Use It to Your Benefit

Everybody wants to listen to other people’s stories – when they are interesting; and from the same reason everybody likes to watch movies or play video games – simply put, humans like narratives.

There are three types of them, and using each craftily will help you become a more effective people person.

The first type of stories are the trigger stories – you know, the latest news, the weather, the traffic; the second type are the sparkling ones – personal anecdotes, dramatic experiences, etc. Finally, the third type are the boomerang stories – those which bring the story back to the listener.

Prepare yourself a story stack – and mingle!

Want to Be Closer to Someone? Ask Him a Small Favor!

We’ve already told you about this one, but let us remind you.

Once, Benjamin Franklin asked to borrow a book from a political rival and a would-be legislator; he returned it with a thank-you note.

Suddenly, they weren’t rivals – but friends.

Because everybody likes better people unafraid to show that they are vulnerable.

Don’t believe us?

Just ask Brené Brown.

Like this summary? We’d like to invite you to download our free 12 min app for more amazing summaries and audiobooks.

“Captivate Quotes”

Being a highlighter is about constantly searching for the good in people. When you tell people they are good, they become better. When you search for what’s good, you feel great. Click To Tweet

If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. Click To Tweet

Whether we like to admit it or not, we decide if we like someone, if we trust someone, and if we want a relationship with someone within the first few seconds of meeting them. Click To Tweet

When you produce dopamine during a conversation, you not only give your partner more enjoyment, you are also assigned more significance, which increases your memorability. Click To Tweet

Don’t try to impress people, let them impress you. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

According to Joe Navarro, a former FBI agent and the author of What Every BODY is saying, “Captivate is packed full of useful information for anyone interested in improving their social skills—it’s a must-read.”

“Nearly every page contains surprising insights and practical tips to help you succeed more in life,” adds Chris Guillebeau.

But John Acuff is both most succinct and straightforward: “Hello Captivate, good-bye awkward moments.”    Take this summary with you and read anywhere! Download PDF:   

The Messy Middle PDF Summary

The Messy Middle PDF SummaryFinding Your Way Through the Hardest and Most Crucial Part of Any Bold Venture

They say that the beginning is always the hardest.

Scott Belsky begs to differ: true, starting things may be difficult, finishing them full of twists and turns; but the real problems come once you get to the middle.

The Messy Middle.

Who Should Read “The Messy Middle”? And Why?

OK, so you’ve started a project or a company, and everything was going fine for a while.

And then the first problem came; you successfully managed to tackle it, but you barely found the time to take a deep breath when another setback struck.

If the paragraph above sounds familiar, then The Messy Middle is the book for you.

And you can be sure that the three-phase process Belsky advocates in it (endure-optimize-finish and repeat) works every time!

Not only because it has helped Belsky become a millionaire, but also because The Messy Middle is based on insightful interviews with many of today’s leading entrepreneurs.

So, if you are trying to implement a big idea and you need a fresh insight – or simply motivation to get through the challenges of implementation – read this book and follow Belsky’s no-nonsense advice.

Suddenly, the unpredictable will look much less random.

As Seth Godin says: “The Messy Middle will help you see that you have more control than you dare to admit, and the ability to make a difference if you care enough.”

About Scott Belsky

Scott BelskyScott Belsky is an American entrepreneur, early-stage investor, and bestselling author.

After graduating from Cornell University and receiving an MBA from Harvard Business School, Belsky got a job at Goldman Sachs.

However, after a while he quit his job at the investment bank and left Wall Street altogether, using the $18.000 he had managed to save to start his own company.

The company would grow to become the largest online portfolio platform, Behance. In 2012, seven years after he had cofounded it, Belsky sold Behance to Adobe, where he was offered a job as a VP of Products, Mobile and Community.

Four years later, Belsky left Adobe and joined Benchmark Capital, where he is still a Venture Partner. He is also a Board Member at Cheddar Inc.

Belsky is also an early investor and advisor at successful companies such as Uber, Pinterest, sweetgreen, and Periscope.

The Messy Middle is his second book; we also have the summary of his first one, Making Ideas Happen.

“The Messy Middle PDF Summary”

“It’s not about the start and the finish,” writes Scott Belsky, “it’s about the journey in between.”

Well, consider The Messy Middle your roadmap: as you know full well, you can only get to your final destination if you have one.

Now, we don’t need to tell you that roadmaps are pretty detailed, and filled with many names and labels, icons and numbers.

So is The Messy Middle.

Nominally broken into three large sections (Endure, Optimize, and The Final Mile) the book lists hundreds and hundreds of lessons.

We’ve tried to list some of them in the Key Lessons section.

However, for the purposes of our summary – due to the space limitations – we opted to select the best ones in each section and analyzed each of them in detail.

The Inevitability of the Messy Middle

In retrospect, Apple, Microsoft, Twitter and Facebook were always going to succeed, right?

You can’t even imagine people like Steve Jobs or Bill Gates going to investors and being turned down by them with the ideas they had.

And you certainly think that if you had known Mark Zuckerberg or Evan Williams when they started their companies, you would have been a millionaire by now; because, well, why wouldn’t you invest in social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook?

And yet – at one point during their development, all of these projects seemed all but doomed to fail.

Don’t believe us?

Have you ever watched the HBO series Silicon Valley?

Well, Bill Gates says that that series is your best chance at understanding how the Silicon Valley works. In other words, no matter how good your idea is, you’ll encounter quite a few problems before you stop working for it, and it starts working for you.

Or read, for example, Nick Bilton’s Hatching Twitter.

Its short summary: one of the most successful social networking services in history was born accidentally, managed poorly and became successful by mistake.

And that’s rarely the story.

Usually, the second part looks a bit differently: many companies fail because they are incapable of swimming out of the inevitable Messy Middle.

When in it, everything is so tumultuous that it basically looks like hell – or a telenovela!

Either way, we’re not meant to experience so many ups and downs in life, so nobody would blame you for calling it quits after two or three of the latter.

Did we say nobody?

Well, Scott Belsky would.

Because that’s the first lesson he wants to share with you.

To paraphrase him using the words of a Nobel Prize winner: “If you’re going through hell, keep going.”

Endure: Short-Circuit Your Reward System

Scott Belsky founded Behance at the end of 2005, and for many years the company was struggling to make sense even to its own employees.

During this period – Behance’s Messy Middle – Belsky lost all appetite: he could only maintain it by taking anti-nausea pills.

And yet – he needed to endure.

One of the first things he did?

He hacked the company’s reward system.

You see, the main problem with big projects – whether writing a novel or building a profitable company – is that the real result comes only after years of effort.

And we are not biologically built to wait for rewards for such long periods of time.


Because up until recently – as late as the XVII century – the average life expectancy was about 25 years of age.

“For early humanity,” notes Belsky, “the prospect of spending five or ten years working toward an eventual outcome, however great it might be, was just not rational.”

Your nausea, tiredness, and lack of will – that’s just your body telling you that you may die soon and that you haven’t experienced anything before that.

Belsky’s conclusion:

Our addiction to short-term validation is so engrained that trying to defy it is hopeless. Accept this fact. While many people paint an incredible long-term vision for their teams, the prospect of long-term rewards is insufficient for long-term motivation.
It is virtuous to aspire to these goals, but a noble venture is not exempt from the need to feel incremental progress and be rewarded for it. Rather than fight the need for short-term rewards, you must hack your reward system to provide them.

For example, when Behance was founded, Google auto-corrected the search query to “enhance.”

When it finally stopped, Belsky organized a party – a kind of reward.

1 milestone down. 15641 to go.

Optimize: Learn How to Be an A/B Tester

Now, the problem with having many ups and downs is not only our biological incapability to endure them easily; it’s also the effect this has on our thought processes.

It’s only natural that when you have an idea which eventually doesn’t amount to anything, you are crippled by self-doubt and lack of confidence; and you don’t even want to find out whether the next one will work.

The opposite is also true: when something works, your ego starts working against you.

“The number-one killer of start-ups,” writes Bo Peabody, “is when entrepreneurs confuse ‘being lucky’ with ‘being smart.’ You must possess the humility to distinguish one from the other.”

Belsky can do you one better: it’s not only about humility and about self-awareness – but it’s also about implementing a good process which can help you distinguish between what’s smart and what’s merely lucky, between what’s good and what’s bad.

It’s called A/B testing and just about everybody – from Google to the smallest startup – does it.

You want to change the color of a button on your site?

Test it and compare the results with the current state of affairs!

If the color change brings new customers – then do it; if it doesn’t – then it’s probably the wrong decision.

It’s that simple!

And it applies to everything:

A/B testing isn’t just for digital buttons—you can use it to advance all areas of your life, from A/B testing your daily habits to how your team functions. A team might change how and when they meet, or an individual may try using a new tool for a week. If it works, the change is made permanent. If it makes things worse, you simply revert to the previous version.
The best optimizers are always trying to figure out why something works.

The Final Mile: Always Repeat, Never Finish

And now the most interesting part.

Eventually, if all goes well, you’ll make it: you’ll emerge victorious from the Messy Middle and reach the final mile.

Scott Belsky’s suggestion: it’s time to go back now!

Wait… what?

But isn’t the very idea of enduring and optimizing getting out of the Messy Middle? Why would I ever want to go back and ruin my life all over again?

Well, because, that’s the price you pay if you want to be successful. “The paradox of making progress,” writes Belsky, “is that it moves us past the early period when we’re the most willing to make the bold moves that actually accelerate progress.

Take Facebook for example!

If you ever get a chance to walk around its headquarters, you’ll notice many posters and laptop stickers saying the same thing: “This journey is 1 percent finished.”

And there’s probably no need to remind you that the only two websites more visited than Facebook are Google and YouTube.

However, Facebook keeps evolving because it always tries to sustain the “we’re still just getting started” mentality.

You want an example of a company which instead of sustaining this mentality attempted to sustain its final product.


That’s right: you’re either a Facebook always in the early innings or a Myspace which believes a single touchdown brings the victory.

It’s always a long season, and then another one, and then another one.

After all, nobody said it was going to be easy.

Key Lessons from “The Messy Middle”

1.      First, You Need to Endure
2.      Then, You Need to Optimize
3.      Finally, You Need to Repeat

First, You Need to Endure

The Messy Middle part of your journey – be it a large project or a large company – is always the most difficult one.

However, if you want your journey to be successful, then you must endure it.

Start by short-circuiting your reward system: ascribe milestones, so that you have many goals and rewards instead of one.

Embrace the uncertainty and take a dose of OBECALP to suspend your disbelief in others (read the word backward if you want to know what we mean by it).

Reset if that’s the only way forward.

And do the work regardless of whose work it is.

Then, You Need to Optimize

IF you want to endure – hire endurers; foster apprenticeship and keep your employees moving.

Be an A/B tester: you don’t know if something works until you compare it to something else. That goes for everything: whether your product, your team or yourself.

Accommodate free radicals: usually, they are the ones who move things forward.

Simplify. Iterate.

Question core assumptions.

Finally, You Need to Repeat

And when you get to the finish line – turn around and go back.

Always stay in the early innings, because continuing to learn is the elixir of life.

And because, well, to be done is to die: “for those who love what they do… the creative pursuit never ends. Creativity is never finished:”

The messy middle miles that you endure and optimize your way through don’t get any easier and never repeat themselves, because they are the moat between vision and reality. The messy middle is a life’s work, and when anyone crosses the finish line and pushes an extraordinary creation out to the world, we all benefit.

Like this summary? We’d like to invite you to download our free 12 min app for more amazing summaries and audiobooks.

“The Messy Middle Quotes”

One of the greatest motivators is a sign of progress. Click To Tweet

Don’t seek positive feedback or celebrate fake wins at the expense of hard truths. Click To Tweet

To create what will be, you must remove yourself from the constant concern for what already is. Click To Tweet

Be frugal with everything except your bed, your chair, your space, and your team. Click To Tweet

A lot of big problems don’t get solved because we can solve small problems faster. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Joe Gebbia, co-founder and Chief Product Officer at Airbnb, provides us with one of the best descriptions of The Messy Middle you’ll find anywhere:

“Starting a new venture is like jumping off a cliff and sewing a parachute on the way down. This book is the parachute.”

Of course, Gebbia is not the only one with this opinion.

“Having been through the ups and downs of the Messy Middle many times,” writes Tony Fadell, the inventor of the iPod, “it’s critical to understand the challenges ahead.”

And then he goes on: “This insightful book empowers you to approach them head-on. Belsky’s powerful toolkit, based on hard-earned experiences, is an essential guide to building a compelling product, revolutionizing an organization or growing your leadership abilities.”

It’s difficult to add anything new without echoing Gebbia and Fadell.

Then again, who could blame you for taking their words at face value?

After all, they’ve gone through the Messy Middle quite a few times. And emerged – as millionaires!    Take this summary with you and read anywhere! Download PDF:   

Nicomachean Ethics PDF Summary

Nicomachean Ethics PDF SummaryWant to learn something more about ethics?

Then you’re at the right place!

With 12min, Aristotle and his most famous book on the subject: Nicomachean Ethics.

It’s the Dream Team.

Who Should Read “Nicomachean Ethics”? And Why?

If you need to read just one philosopher in your life, then it has to be either Plato or Aristotle.

And if you need to read just one book by the latter, then it has to be the Nicomachean Ethics.

So, who should read this book?

Everyone who has even the slightest interest in philosophy.

Or, for that matter, everyone who wants to become a better person.

About Aristotle

AristotleAristotle was an Ancient Greek philosopher, together with his teacher Plato, the most influential thinker in the history of Western civilization.

He studied under Plato in his Academy for two decades between the ages of 17 and 37, after which he left Athens to tutor Alexander the Great. Even though he was Plato’s best student, after Plato’s death, Aristotle shifted from Plato’s idealistic teachings to empiricism.

He contributed to numerous different fields – from physics to metaphysics, from logic to ethics, from biology to zoology, from politics to economics, from poetry to music – and almost every single thing he has written is still object of academic debate.

He also founded a Peripatetic school of philosophy at the Lyceum, where he also established a library of immense importance.

“Nicomachean Ethics PDF Summary”

The Nicomachean Ethics is Aristotle’s best-known work on ethics and, quite possibly, the most influential book on the subject ever written.

It consists of ten books – all of them originally written as separate scrolls – and is based on Aristotle’s notes from his lectures at the Lyceum, the ancient university founded by the great philosopher in Athens in 334 BCE.

The “Nicomachean” part of the title refers to Aristotle’s son Nicomachus, to whom (quite probably) the work was dedicated; it is also possible that he was the one who edited it. Some scholars, however, claim that the Nicomachus this work is dedicated to is actually Aristotle’s father, who was also called Nicomachus.

Be that as it may, Nicomachean ethics deals with a problem both Plato and Socrates were interested in – namely, how should men live their lives in the best possible manner.

According to Aristotle, Socrates had shown first that this is not a question that should be dealt with merely theoretically, but one which is more specifically a practical matter.

That’s why Nicomachean ethics not only explains what is good and why it is good, but also gives advice as to how one should live to consider his living here on earth good, respectable, and virtuous.

But – we’re running ahead of ourselves.

Let’s walk you through each of the ten books.

Book I

“If there is some end of the things we do, which we desire for its own sake, clearly this must be the good,” Aristotle writes at the beginning of the Nicomachean Ethics.

And then he asks: “Will not knowledge of it, then, have a great influence on life? Shall we not, like archers who have a mark to aim at, be more likely to hit upon what we should? If so, we must try, in outline at least, to determine what it is. “

So, that is the topic of the Nicomachean Ethics: to discover what’s the thing humans desire for its own sake and how should they act so as to most easily attain it.

After a lengthy analysis, Aristotle concludes that whatever we like to have – be it money, cars, women, football or sex (OK, he doesn’t use these examples per se) – we like it because it makes us happy.

However, as one can easily deduce, some of the things that make us happy, tend to make us unhappy afterward.


Simply put, because they are not good.

And what is good?

To quote Aristotle:

Human good turns out to be activity of soul in accordance with virtue, and if there are more than one virtue, in accordance with the best and most complete. But we must add “in a complete life.” For one swallow does not make a summer, nor does one day; and so too one day, or a short time, does not make a man blessed and happy.

Book II

So, to sum up, Aristotle says that many things can lead to temporary happiness, but only virtuous actions lead to a happy life. And since this is something everybody wants, then it’s necessary to discover what virtue means and how should one reach it.

In the second book, Aristotle points out that, just like a lyre-player, no matter how talented, must learn and practice to become a virtuoso, a man, no matter how naturally inclined towards virtuous actions, needs education to attain the proper, virtuous habits.

And then Aristotle lays out the simplest definition for virtue: treading the middle way between two extremes.

What does that mean?

It means that anything in excess or deficiency is bad; and that everything in just the proper amount is virtue.

Or to use a famous example:

Anyone can get angry — that is easy — or give or spend money; but to do this to the right person, to the right extent, at the right time, with the right motive, and in the right way, that is not for everyone, nor is it easy.

Book III

At the end of Book II, Aristotle lists many character virtues and starting with Book III, he analyzes many of them in-depth.

But first he explains, foreshadowing Sartre, that you’re responsible for almost everything you do, because you always have a choice not do it (Sartre would add: even if the latter leads to death).

If that is the case, then even ignorance – not knowing what is good – is not actually an excuse, because you always have a choice to learn.

So, more or less, Aristotle says that if you’re not, it’s your fault for not having read his book.

And then he proceeds to explanations of what he means when he says that we should tread the middle way.

The two examples he uses in this book are courage and temperance.

Courage, according to Aristotle, is the mean between fear and confidence; in excess, it leads to fearlessness and overconfidence, both of which are bad; if deficient, it leads to cowardness, which is also bad.

Temperance is the mean between pleasure and pain; in excess, it leads to wastefulness; in deficiency, it makes a man insensible.

Book IV

Book four deals with a second set of virtues, in four groups of two.

The first group deals with two very similar virtues: generosity and magnificence.

Generosity may, once again, lead to wastefulness if in excess, and to stinginess if lacking; magnificence leads to vulgarity and tastelessness when excessive, and to paltriness if not enough.

The second group of virtues are magnanimity and ambition.

Magnanimity is located between vanity (excess) and smallness of soul (deficiency), and ambition is located between, well, overambitiousness and lack of ambition. Sorry, guys, nobody has thought of better words for now.

The third group of virtues are gentleness and friendliness.

Too much of a gentleness leads to irritability, and not enough of it to spiritlessness (they really need to find better words); too much of friendliness leads to either flattery (if for own advantage) or obsequiousness (if for no purpose).

The final group of two virtues analyzed here are truthfulness and wittiness.

If you are more than truthful, you’re exaggerating and boastful; if you’re deficient in truthfulness, you suffer from a form of self-deprecation and self-irony. If you are more than witty, you’re a buffoon; if you’re less of it, you’re boorish.

Book V

Aristotle says that justice, the highest of virtues, deserves a whole book; which is why Book V deals with every single aspect of what it means to be a just person living in a just society.

Why should Aristotle deal with just societies in a book about ethics?

Because, as he explains, justice is not exactly a virtue for isolated individuals; it’s not anything in that case; justice can only be made sense of in a community.

Now, If you know anything about Plato and Aristotle – or about how much you liked your teachers in high-school – you already know that in describing his ideal community, Aristotle is, almost explicitly, criticizing Plato’s Republic.

Because, unlike Plato, Aristotle doesn’t think that a just society is a strict hierarchy ruled by a benevolent dictator, but something which is built around the values of equality, commensurability, and proportion.

Book VI

In Book VI, Aristotle enumerates the five types of stable states of the soul (hexis) which can be considered intellectual virtues:

#1. Art – making things in a way which can be explained;
#2. Knowledge – axiomatically graspable concept: “all knowledge seems to be teachable, and what is known is learnable.”
#3. Practical Judgmentjudgment used in making good decisions upon overall actions (when specific, it is art)
#4. Wisdom – a combination of common sense (nous) and knowledge; it only belongs to the wise; however, we don’t need it, since we have:
#5. Common sense – or intellect, it deals with unarticulated truths and is what helps us perfect our virtues.

Book VII

Here Aristotle discusses self-restraint.

If one is virtuous only when treading the middle road, then self-restraint is a very important value one must learn to acquire.

It is also something that must be furthered by the laws of a country, which means that the lawgivers should really understand the essence of not only pleasure and pain, but self-restraint as well.

The good news: self-restraint is not a vice, and can be taught.

In other words, practical guides for self-mastery are as old as time.


“Without friends,” writes Aristotle, “no one would want to live, even if he had all other goods.”

This is the reason why Books VIII and IX are dedicated to the topic of friendship.

There are three types of friendship, according to Aristotle: useful, pleasant, and complete.

The complete friendship is the one everybody should strive for – it is one in which friends are capable of seeing what is likable in each other.

Unequal friendships, on the other hand – whether between rulers and subjects, or dominant and submissive people – are no friendships, and unjust societies hinder the possibility for real friendships.

Book IX

Still on friendship.

If you’re in a bad one, then you’re probably expecting from the other person things that he or she cannot offer, and/or vice versa.

If that is the case, you’ll never be satisfied, and it’s better that you break off the bond as soon as possible.

Of course, you should, first of all, understand your self because your friend is actually your second self.

This is why it is all but impossible for a person to be happy without having friends; and why sad people can be cheered up by, you’ve guessed it, friends.

When you have a good friend, it’s like you’re talking to yourself.

Only kindly.

Book X

According to Aristotle’s final book of the Nicomachean Ethics, happiness is tightly linked with pleasure.

All beings – whether rational or irrational – instinctively tend toward pleasure and away from pain.

The only life worth living is the one in which you enjoy the right things in the right amounts – because, basically, that is what happiness is.

Key Lessons from “Nicomachean Ethics”

1.      Aristotle Says That Self-Help Books Are a Good Thing
2.      One Can Learn to Be Good
3.      The Golden Mean

Aristotle Says That Self-Help Books Are a Good Thing

You can think that you’re good, but unless you demonstrate your goodness through your deeds, nobody would believe you.

In other words, if you talk the talk but refuse to walk the walk, you’re the opposite of good: you’re a liar, and a hypocrite, and an altogether lousy person.

Analogously, according to Aristotle, there’s no point in merely theoretically analyzing what is good and what is virtuous; the point is teaching people how to be good.

Which is precisely what many self-help books are doing today.

We feel that Aristotle would have endorsed them.

One Can Learn to Be Good

The good news: you can learn to be a good person.

The bad news: it requires a lot of effort.

And don’t pat yourself on your shoulder thinking that not knowing that something is bad gives you an excuse for doing it; you can always learn, so this is always merely a temporary alibi.

No matter who you are.

The Golden Mean

If you need to take away one thing of the Nicomachean Ethics, then, by all means, let it be this one: treat the golden middle way.

Excesses and deficiencies destroy virtues, says Aristotle, which can only be found in moderation.

Too much courage leads to recklessness; too little of it to cowardice.

And this is true with all other virtues.

Like this summary? We’d like to invite you to download our free 12 min app for more amazing summaries and audiobooks.

“Nicomachean Ethics Quotes”

For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them. Click To Tweet

Philosophy can make people sick. Click To Tweet

The good of man is a working of the soul in the way of excellence in a complete life. Click To Tweet

Freedom is obedience to self-formulated rules. Click To Tweet

With the truth, all given facts harmonize; but with what is false, the truth soon hits a wrong note. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

It is difficult to exaggerate how revered and influential Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics has been throughout the history of philosophy.

Quite possibly, it may be the single most debated ethical work ever written.

Which renders our critical review all but obsolete.    Take this summary with you and read anywhere! Download PDF:   

What to Say When You Talk to Yourself PDF Summary

What to Say When You Talk to Yourself PDF SummaryWell, this is not a problem Shad is addressing but an everyday reality.

Either consciously or unconsciously we all indulge in self-chat and puzzle over a wide variety of things in our moments of wasted time.

This book tries to ascertain the real prowess of this phenomenon and how we can capitalize on it.

Let’s roll!

Who Should Read “What to Say When You Talk to Yourself”? And Why?

If you prefer to play on the safe side, you are probably inclined to agree that a daily dose of motivation is all it takes to come out victorious. But, why then so few people manage to break the ice?

Only those whose lives are perfectly aligned with their inner needs can be exempted from reading this amazing masterpiece.

To put it differently, we believe that flipping through the pages of “What to Say When You Talk to Yourself” would be beneficial.

Shad HelmstetterAbout Shad Helmstetter

Shad Helmstetter is a renowned author and a self-development figure whose methods are unconventional.

A life-coach, who explains the mind-programming in need of a complete overhaul.

He is also the author of The Selftalk Solution; Who Are You Really, and What Do You Want?; Selftalk for Weightloss; Network of Champions.

“What to Say When You Talk to Yourself PDF Summary”

Chapters 1-5 — Setting Up a Plan

Frequently, we have been told that we can achieve anything we crave for if we put up the necessary effort. Nonetheless, in practicality, the people sharing these tips don’t have the credibility since no one has rolled out the red carpet before them.

In all honesty, they love the glamour and limelight as much as the next person. Why then we fail in reaching our goals, or making things work the way we want it to be?

The everyday life which takes most of our energy and engrossed us entirely is the biggest bottleneck one can come across against.

The answer to this struggle is almost always right underneath your nose, but we tend to overshoot the destination. After being engaged in constant learning, you’ll find out the unvarnished truth regarding the process of exceeding your expectations.

Shad talks about his path to becoming a real goal-setter and achiever.  

Are you ready for the bitter truth?

Top-notch behavioral analyzers and researchers have uncovered that the lion’s share (70%) of the inner phenomena is comprised of negative sensations. To spice things up, it’s also brought to light by doctors alike that most of the illnesses are self-induced.

Wow, that’s a revelation!

Since the old programming of the mind is the “engine” which controls and cultivates the habits, you should zoom in on the practices you apply to your life.

The author ponders about the probability of maintaining high-intensity which could lead to full reformation, inwardly. So why then, we fail to establish good habits, even though we’ve read dozens of self-help books and exerted ourselves in following those ground rules?

A general rule of thumb is that self-improvement is an endless process, not an overnight sensation.

It stands to reason why most people just go back to their previous lifestyle and abandon the idea of alteration.

To make up for this loss, Shad pinpoints three key elements omitted from self-development literature:

  • Permanence
  • Knowledge of the brain functions
  • The idea of developing a specific programming vocabulary

Chapters 6-10 – Self Management

Can we find a single soul on this planet who doesn’t indulge in self-talk? Well, that’s on the same wavelength as saying – let’s find a person who doesn’t need oxygen. The emotional expression can either be put into words, pictures, thoughts and we all one way or the other rely upon the mind to make decisions.

So, the answer to that question is – No!

With that being said – a thought doesn’t have any real power until you pour belief into it. In other words, ideas and concepts mean nothing without the person to inflict judgment and ruminate on something.

Years and years of researching and exploring have led the author into noticing that most of the self-talk falls into the unconscious realm. It means that people do it out of habit, and are not keenly aware of the sensations that emerge.

If you go back a little bit and reminisce about the dreams that you once had and the craftiness you possessed but didn’t follow that intuition – you’ll find out that most of the self-talk is negative.

You could have turned them into a real-life experience, but something insurmountable cropped up!


  • Behavior
  • Feelings
  • Attitudes
  • Beliefs
  • Programming

How can we define Self-Talk?

Self-Talk is a way to override our past negative programming by erasing or replacing it with conscious, positive new directions.

The Five Levels of Self-Talk

  • The Level of Negative Acceptance
  • The Level of Recognition and Need to Change
  • The Level of Decision to Change
  • The Level of The Better You
  • The Level of Universal Affirmation

In the last chapter, the author focuses on the pros and cons of the positive-thinking rhetoric. As a rarely criticized concept, the author is curious regarding its practical nature.

Is it just a good theory, or is it applicable in day-to-day encounters?

Shad cast doubt on the idea of developing a mindset which can subdue the urge to produce negative thoughts – forever. For precise the same reason, leaning on the notion of developing into a positive-thinker is short-lived.

The human mind wants ACTIONS, WORDS, COMMANDS, not some commercialized belief-system that a large chunk of the population nurtures.

Chapters 11-15 – New Attitude

Shad starts by attempting to unpuzzle the myth of motivation. He makes it crystal clear that there are different kinds of motivations and motivators most of whom have an audience of anxious listeners whose life has turned upside down, and he/she is ready to wave its wand and make all the sorrow disappear.

It’s all done energetically so that once a person leaves that collective magnetism would feel psyched up to beat the odds! Even companies endorse the same attitude when trying to motivate their colleagues and conclude businesses.


If you don’t want to be led astray and want to avoid veering off course, then you have to understand that you need an internal shift.

Corporate executives and managers should heed these warning indicators. If at some point, you felt like your motivational speech didn’t have the effect you were hoping for, you should understand that external motivation is not linked to permanency.

Many people confuse this part with hypnosis. Although they pretty much share the same features, hypnosis helps you enter a “trance” state, while Self-Talk guides you through the process of achieving your goals, consciously.

When it comes to practical use, you should know that an overly complex system that requires much time, energy will never be put into use!

Advocate for simplicity, and you’ll immediately see the positive change. Also, it is critical to understand the possibilities regarding self-talk:

  • SILENT SELF-TALK – The concealed chatter
  • SELF-SPEAK – Anything you say out loud
  • SELF-CONVERSATION – Anything you say out loud while holding both ends of the conversation
  • SELF-WRITE – This one is self-explanatory
  • TAPE-TALK – Listen to your thoughts on a recording device

Chapters 16-20 – Lean towards Problem-Solving

Self-Talk can be further subdivided into four categories:

  • Habit-Changing
  • Attitude-Building
  • Motivational
  • Situational Self-Talk

State your goal in the present tense and remain persistent! The subconscious mind is not sure whether your statement is true or false, therefore, you should always insist on telling it to act upon that energy.

I always do everything I need to do when I need to do it. I never argue or let my emotions work against me. I don’t smoke! I have a good memory.

I easily and automatically remember any name or anything that is important to me. I eat only what I should.

I am a good listener-I hear everything that is I am attentive, interested, and aware of everything that is going on around me.

Try to get as specific as possible, and that will help you change your attitude. Your attitude will determine the outcome; it’s that simple. You should also bear in mind that attitude has a critical role in the portrayal of yourself!

As we progress throughout this book, you also start to get the big picture and act upon given instructions. This is the essence of problem solving and accomplishment.

Also, don’t misuse the term “goal” and try to be as consistent as possible. Once your projections are in tune with the reality, it will be easier to conquer the world.

Chapters 21-23 – Self-talk and Its Effects

The last three chapters revolve around the idea of spearheading a campaign that will enable you to create your own self-talk.

Emphasize honesty and try not to embellish your daily encounters. Keep it real and loud by knowing your current standings.

Example: Today has been a tough day.

We also advise you to run through the Self-Talk checklist to see whether you are moving in the right direction:

  • Is your self-talk stated in the present tense?
  • Is it specific?
  • Does it get the job done without creating any unwanted side effects?
  • Is it easy to use?
  • Is it practical?
  • Is it personal and is it honest?
  • Does your self-talk ask enough of you?

The author highlights the following statement:

You are everything there is,
Your thoughts, your life, your dreams come true.
You are everything you choose to be.
You are unlimited as the endless universe.

Key Lessons from “What to Say When You Talk to Yourself”

1.      The truth behind “I can do it” mentality
2.      Find out what really works
3.      Educate yourself and dive deep into your unconscious tendencies

The truth behind “I can do it” mentality

Ask yourself, can a 75 year-old-man from Texas beat Usain Bolt in 100-meters race? Don’t care who your motivational speaker is, the truth is that not everything is possible.

Genetics, culture, environment, financial and physical capabilities – all of these can affect the outcome.

Make smart moves, and you can end up exceeding your expectations.

But believing that a 45-year-old dude who has never been a basketball player, can defeat Lebron James in one-on-one game is crazy.  

Find out what really works

Shad merely implies that an internal shift is 100x more powerful than millions of external motivational boosts.

They wield no real power, and you should not lean on them for overcoming temporary setbacks.

Educate yourself and dive deep into your unconscious tendencies

Read, ponder, and puzzle over concepts engrained deep inside you.

Don’t allow your shallowness to stand in the way of full victory in terms of achieving your goals.

That is the essence of prosperity.

Like this summary? We’d Like to invite you to download our free 12 min app, for more amazing summaries and audiobooks.

“What to Say When You Talk to Yourself Quotes”

The brain simply believes what you tell it most. And what you tell it about you, it will create. It has no choice. Click To Tweet

A lot of people have lived richer lives because someone who cared took the time to listen. Click To Tweet

Give life to your dreams, give strength to your visions, and give light to your path. Click To Tweet

You will become what you think about most; your success or failure in anything, large or small, will depend on your programming—what you accept from others, and what you say when you talk to yourself. Click To Tweet

The more you think about yourself in a certain way, the more you will think about yourself in that same certain way! Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Well, it is good to something that questions the concepts which are overly commercialized – such as a positive mindset.

It’s of enormous importance to have someone who fears not in letting the cat out of the bag!

Shad Helmstetter gives us the lowdown on how self-talk affects our decision-making, and how we can make use of it!    Take this summary with you and read anywhere! Download PDF:   

The Law of Success PDF Summary

The Law of Success PDFMost of us prefer system over tips.


Because, unlike tips – a well-designed system guides you from one stage to the next, and helps you put all pieces together.

One of Napoleon’s best works surely delivers an all-encompassing scheme for one to follow.  

Who Should Read “The Law of Success”? And Why?

Most of you do know that “The Law of Success” traces from the pre-Great depression America, or to be more precise – 1925.

According to modern-day readers and book critics, this book is one of the few evergreen pieces of written art. As such, we find it entirely absurd to divide the audience in one way or the other.

Inasmuch as we want to do it, it goes without saying that this book will benefit the entire world.

Napoleon HillAbout Napoleon Hill

Napoleon Hill was a renowned figure of the 20th century and managed to preserve his authority long after his death.

He was born on October 26th, 1883 and passed away at the age of 87 (in 1970) while leaving a legacy of astonishing classics – including “Think and Grow Rich.”

“The Law of Success PDF Summary”

One can say with absolute confidence that Napoleon Hill is one of the founders of motivational and self-development rhetoric. His works are a treasure trove of ideas which continue to inspire almost a century after they first have been published.

That being said, Napoleon in his classics emphasizes a person’ inner aura. By putting it into words, he maintains a good vantage point to evaluate the effectiveness of one’s actions.

The number of people who weren’t cagey to share their secret recipe with the rest of the world can be counted on one’s fingers. Napoleon Hill is surely among them!

If you prefer not to be led astray, then you have to take into account several key factors. Amongst them, one must comprehend the inconsistencies in every environment and adjusting to them means that you are flexible to achieve success.

In the business world, building, for instance, iron-clad strategies at scale is tougher due to increased competition. Even in the digital age one must adopt an open-minded approach and ponder about the decisions made on a day-to-day basis.

Evidently, it’s incongruous to ask for advice from someone who hasn’t tested the road.

Therefore, we wholeheartedly endorse the previously defined formula for success which consists of harmonious but battling attitude. It keeps you sharp between the ears, and your eyes peeled for a potential entanglement.

Is it as straightforward as it sounds?

Of course not, because the research conducted by Napoleon Hill and those after him add a layer of doubt regarding the achievability of this process.

It stands to reason why such a small fraction of the population managed to climb the ladder. It also lays the fundamentals of understanding the external forces that may hamper or accelerate your ascension. It’s needless to say that you’ll need to tackle excuses and focus on day-to-day improvement.

It’s not about succeeding in everything you attempt to accomplish, but having the audacity not to point fingers at anyone!

Before embarking on this perilous but adventurous quest, Napoleon Hill cast doubts on the cultivated habits fueled by traditional, religious and cultural patterns.

Does this herald a great change?

Probably yes, because whether we like it or not, the promises you make to yourself must be integrated into your broad outlook on life.

To prove a point, the author zooms in on historical individuals whose proclivity for success boosted their societal position. You should also get to know the potential restriction that may occur at some point during this process.

Everything necessary is contained in the 15 Laws!

According to Napoleon Hill, the path leading to success is exclusively prescribed for people who are burning inside, who are flared up to a certain point from which you can’t go back.

If you are on the fence, such an attitude will take a toll on the probability to meet your goals.

Don’t let your plans fizzle out, because you are not serious to utilize all means at your disposal. Dedicate time to pursue your dreams otherwise; this will be a total waste of time. First off, one must identify its weaknesses prior to proceeding with exploiting the strengths.

It’s just common sense, getting to know yourself before you get analytical.

As stated in this book, there are certain factors which curtail the chances of achieving success in the long run. Amongst them, you’ll find greed, aimlessness, egoism, spending more than you earn, etc. One must dive deep into its character and find those weak points which are in need of full eradication or alteration.

If you defeat these symptoms, you’ll pass the most critical phase which is, in fact, the idea of overcoming your shallowness. Any person with common sense and logic can understand that to achieve success you must move beyond mediocrity, and that’s Napoleon’s central premise in this classic.

In addition, let’s take a closer at Napoleon’s Laws of Success that can elevate you to the top of the heap:

  1. Definite Chief Aim

As the name implies, this law revolves around the idea of finding your axis! In other words, it helps you tackle procrastination and aimlessness and save time, energy and resources.

It also helps you make the first steps in materializing your plan by following a well-defined system.

  1. Self-Confidence

This law is based on overcoming the six fears:

  • The fear of Poverty
  • The fear of Old Age
  • The fear of Criticism
  • The fear of Loss of Love of Someone.
  • The fear of Ill Health
  • The fear of Death.

Just to clear up the confusion, you should bear in mind that Napoleon Hill didn’t assert that everyone has these tendencies buried deep within them.

It’s all a matter of cultural, hereditary, societal, or self-imposed patterns which vary from person to person.

  1. Habit of Saving

Most of the laws are self-explanatory, and this one stresses out the importance of managing your finance and distributing your income.

It’s a skill most people don’t have and show no passion for mastering it.

As a rule of thumb, you should heed how fast/slow the income is accumulated and then, enact the right measures.

  1. Initiative & Leadership

You have to build authority in your field of interest in order to rise to prominence. You should be a solid representative of your agenda and initially promote your views.

Understand your role in delivering something that your industry is deprived of and take the necessary steps.

  1. Imagination

The fifth law hinges on creativity and the very instigator of it. It helps you learn the ropes of your mind, and the cultivated habits engrained in it.

It also provides a plan for how to rebuild the thinking mechanism and place strong foundations for future endeavors.

Imagination conquers everything.

  1. Enthusiasm

This life lesson is in line with the idea of getting into the right frame of mind. Such behavior will help you when establishing contacts with strangers and laying out your plans.

Enthusiasm is vital when forming that bond, which could be the start to something lucrative and mutually prosperous.

Influence others by being energetic and persistent.

the law of success summary

  1. Self-Control

Without the right control, all of the previous laws will bear no meaning.

So, it’s of utmost importance that you have some self-discipline and rationality. Overwhelming enthusiasm is not good either, so you better have that handbrake close by your side.

Self-control = Master of your own destiny.

  1. Habit of Doing More Than Paid For

The highest ROI is when you do more than assigned to. People love when you are engrossed in the thing you plan to achieve and are more than willing to reward you for the passion you bring to the job.

If you can rise to the occasion fueled by that intense desire to get the job done, you’ll definitely stand out from the crowd.

No leader can be a good leader, by focusing on equality of output. For every $1 you give, (figuratively speaking) you have to expect $0.5 in return.

This is not in reference to financial distribution but a more metaphorical proposition.

  1. Pleasing Personality

Welcoming personality is the epitome of success.

I would rather begin at the bottom and climb to the top than to start at the top and have to remain there.

An attractive personality knows the essence of drawing people to itself – it has that magnetism that can make all the difference.

If you bring that personality into line with your intelligence, no obstacle will be insurmountable.

  1. Accurate Thought

In a world filled with misinformation and fake news, it’s not easy to separate facts from opinions. Anyways, it’s the basis for becoming a sharp thinker who acts upon data not emotions.

It also instructs you to subdivide the facts into:

  • Important & Relevant
  • Unimportant & Irrelevant
  1. Concentration

Fixating your attention at one thing is one of the critical elements paving the way to prosperity.

If you transform your scatterbrained attempt to get multiple things done at the same time into a single powerful thrust – you’ll sense the proficiency in a certain field.

Leave the multitasking bullsh*t aside for now.

  1. Cooperation

And yes – you can’t do it alone. Your team will do most of the work, and you should support each other by opting for environmental freedom.

Coordinate your actions with the ones of other and build that synergy.

  1. Profiting by Failure

If you think that you are ready to map out a plan of action, you must draw positive from past encounters.

The try-fail mechanism is a proven method for excelling at something.

Making mistakes is, in fact, a blessing in disguise – something that most people don’t see. Remember: A lost battle is not a lost war!

  1. Tolerance

This law affects the people whose minds are poisoned with prejudices and hatred. They occasionally stir up ethical, cultural, racial and nationalistic tensions and are unable to get out of this mindset.

Think again and ask yourself – What is the good in remaining narrow-minded?

You’ll find nothing to cling onto!

  1. The Golden Rule

NO man could possibly read the Law of Success philosophy, even once, without becoming, thereby, better prepared to succeed in any calling.

This lesson is a real intellectual lodestar in terms of its constructive narrative. It is, in fact, the test that you need to take after running through the previous lessons.

Key Lessons from “The Law of Success”

1.      The effects of knowingness
2.      Discipline is the essence
3.      Question your actions

The effects of knowingness

Yeah yeah….

We heard it a million times that knowledge conquers the world (From parents and teachers alike).

Anyway, when we are talking about real knowledge, we mostly refer to life-experience and daily encounters.

Lean on the try-fail cycle, not what other people have said. If you abide by this law, you’ll definitely speed up the entire process and tip the balance in your favor.

Discipline is the essence

I am starting next Monday!

Sounds familiar? – I bet it does.

As much as we are all aware of what’s needs to be done and why you need to put up your best-work, the human mind is prone to “freeze-mode.”

It’s basically the thing that is keeping you stuck in the same boring job, or life and acting as a stranglehold around your neck.

Break those chains of laziness and grab the world at first light!

Question your actions

In entrepreneurial waters, there is one term growing in popularity – Pivot.

It literally means when things go “South” you need to pivot and head over North.

In layman’s terms, you have to be flexible and willing to experiment until you find the life-altering formula.

Learn on the go, remain open-minded.

Like this summary? We’d Like to invite you to download our free 12 min app, for more amazing summaries and audiobooks.

“The Law of Success Quotes”

No man has a chance to enjoy permanent success until he begins to look in a mirror for the real cause of all his mistakes. Click To Tweet

Far from being a disadvantage, struggle is a decided advantage, because it develops those qualities which would forever lie dormant without it. Click To Tweet

ASK any wise man what he most desires and he will, more than likely, say - more wisdom. Click To Tweet

Imagination is a faculty of the mind which can be cultivated, developed, extended and broadened by use. Click To Tweet

Success is the development of the power with which to get whatever one wants in life without interfering with the rights of others. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Can someone put a blemish on Napoleon Hill?

Well, it’s really tough to find unexplored and weak spots in his books, and we didn’t succeed either.

This indicates that you should dive right into the essence of this classic and be ready for significant changes.

Take notes, and learn as you progress!    Take this summary with you and read anywhere! Download PDF:   

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind PDF Summary

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind PDFCreating Currents of Electricity and Hope

If you think the odds are against you, you should hear the story of the boy with a bag of hopes!

The book’s narrative spins around one man’s journey to technological breakthroughs and life-encounters that shaped his mission.

Climb aboard!

Who Should Read “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind”? And Why?

Unlike most other books which are better suited for some than others, this one is most definitely going to spark that fighting spirit inside you.

It will be a huge mistake not to read the story of William Kamkwamba premised in “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind.”

It surely covers one of the most intriguing storylines we have ever bumped into.

William KamkwambaAbout William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer

William Kamkwamba is a Malawian author, engineer, and innovator born on August 5th, 1987. He rose to popularity in 2007, when he somehow managed to build a wind turbine and generate enough power to supply a few electrical appliances in his house – literally out of garbage!

Bryan Mealer is a correspondent born in Odessa, Texas.


Chapter One

Prior to William’s enlightenment in science, he was fearful of magic. When he was six, a boy next door gave him a bubble gum, not aware that it was stolen – he took it. The next day, a trader knocks on the door trying to get to the bottom of who stole the pack of gums.

Terrified of a potential curse, William runs into the forest and tries vomit up the gum. After not being able to do that, he confesses everything to his dad, who later apprises the trader that William was not aware of the gum’s questionable origins. Trywell (William’s dad) pays a full week’s wages to compensate for the loss.

Trywell, William’s father, is not a superstitious man but loves to tell traditional magic stories.

One of his favorites revolves around the Battle of Kasungu – according to which a young princess is killed by a rhino, and then a magic hunter is hired to put an end to the threat.

Chapter Two

Trywell prefers to be a traveling trader, rather than a farmer under the rule of President Hastings Banda who freed Malawy from Britain.

This new system of authoritative governance suits the traders and pretty much every tier of Malawi society. Trywell shares his encounters with the Yao (Muslim Traders) who rage terror on Chewa people in an effort to bring them under their submissive rule.

Without David Livingstone (Scottish Missionary), the conflict between Chewa and the Yao would still be in full swing – even today. Trywell manages to resist the temptation to gamble and shies away from prostitutes while on the move. As a result, he earns the nickname – The Pope.

He enjoys good music and even ends up spending a night in jail after managing to overpower 12 security guards while attending a concert.

He agrees on converting to Christianity to get out of prison and live a better life for him and his family.

Chapter Three

About the time William is 9 years old, the family is saddened by the loss of Uncle John. Later that day, William’s other uncles Musaiwale and Socrates arrive and manage to organize a proper funeral for John.

Mister Ngwata comes out of the closet and contends that now the village should show solidarity and help John’s children with basic needs such as clothing, food, and school. While addressing the crowd, the gravediggers have dug up a hole in a traditional Malawi style, to put John’s coffin down.

This sequence of events caused by Uncle John’s death leaves many things unsettled. Life on the farm becomes hard, and the entire family suffers because Jeremiah (John’s eldest son) doesn’t have what it takes to harvest the crops and look after the farm.

In the meantime, President Muzuli enacts new policies regarding farming. Simultaneously, William can no longer count on outside help to grow tobacco, because his family can’t afford additional workers.

Chapter Four

It is 2000, William (13-years old), Gilbert, and Geoffrey are all grown up and spend less time hunting and more time playing bawo – a traditional Malawi game. He is also passionate about soccer, and cheers for MTL Nomads; but his enthusiasm wavers as he grows older.  

William and Geoffrey are keen to find out how radios and other machinery works. They even go as far as dismantling and then reconstructing the radios to find the secret sauce.

Through trial and error, they learn how to connect circuit board by utilizing plastic and wires. In a little while, they launch their own radio-fixing business but need a stable power source. They search for batteries even in trash cans and are discouraged when no elderly can explain how the engines work.

William gets up at 4 am every day, to take advantage of the morning-breeze and produce enough crop that could last for an entire year. He goes to bed each night dreaming about his tech-oriented ambitions.

Chapter Five

William tries to untangle the clues on how to make the radio work. Bicycle dynamo seems like a feasible option, and he reckons that by attaching small metal lamps to the wheels, he can turn the light switch on.

Things start on the wrong foot at first, but in next to no time the radio works. It is of crucial importance to mention that almost 98% of all Malawians have no access to electricity and as a result, they hit the bed when it gets dark.

Deforestation is the main culprit for power shortages, and it occurs due to the need for making tobacco fields. Gilbert, unlike most families, can afford electricity, and William is interested to find out how a single touch can light the entire place.

He decides to focus on school, for the time being, because getting good grades will pave the way for success. One day, accompanied by Gilbert, William visits the trading center. There, he lays eyes upon many women who cannot feed their families and offer to work for anyone on the fields.

Trywell says to William that the (Agricultural Development Marketing Corporation) has enough food surplus in case of shortages, and will distribute it to the peasants.

Nonetheless, this enthusiasm is soon shattered, when William overhears that President Banda has sold the grain reserves to foreign countries.

Chapter Six & Seven

Agnes (William’s mother) gives birth to another baby girl. At first, they are preoccupied with the name, as they believe a meaningful name will help her through life.

On Sunday, Agnes daze at men who break words with Annie and castigates her for her wrongdoings – since Malawian women aren’t allowed to speak with men without permission.

She explains that they ask for directions, but later when Agnes returns from the market, she finds a letter in Annie’s room. Agnes frowns as she rereads the letter in which Annie apprises them of her decision to tie the knot with Mike (a teacher).

Both Agnes and Trywell react outrageously, but there’s little they can do at this point.

The price of maize is on the rise; people starve and do unimaginable things to survive. One father sells his two daughters; women are attacked on their way home and deprived of the food they’ve purchased – literally, there is a lot of scamming with no end in sight.  

Agnes is no longer able to make many hotcakes, and the family starts to lose money. The government continues to promote ineptitude in dealing with the crisis, and people begin to withdraw money from the banks for fear of being scammed on another field as well.

Sadly, the students cannot concentrate on the studies, and William soon finds out that it’s a lot harder to deal with hunger in school rather than on the field. With no money to pay the school fees, William informs Gilbert that he’ll walk away.

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind Summary

Chapter Eight & Nine

In the next chapter, the author describes the death of Khamba (William’s dog).

A several weeks after Khamba’s demise – hell breaks loose in terms of a cholera epidemic. The situation is so severe that people die within a time-frame of 5-6 hours after the first symptoms.

The Malawi communities crumble deeper on a daily basis, either from disease or hunger. Trywell starts to lose weight rapidly, and Agnes forbids her children to weigh themselves.

The next harvest of dowe and pumpkins brings people from the brink of death. The town starts to rejuvenate as people enjoy chattering about many things but it will take more time for the village to heal itself.

As everyday life goes on, students enroll back in school programs. Unfortunately for William, his family still doesn’t have enough money for him to continue learning. He reckons that in order to catch up with his classmates, he should start reading.

Gilbert gives him the lowdown on these English books, but it is too hard for William to learn everything on his own. William continues exploring many books including “Explaining Physics” which he finds amusing and educational.

He begins to ponder about the utility of a windmill and how it can act as a power generator to replace the kerosene lamps. William needs a dynamo to build the prototype but lacks the funds. Helped by Gilbert and armed with knowledge, he begins to locate the missing pieces for his windmill.

Chapter Ten & Eleven

Trywell wants his son to go to school because he knows that relying on the mercy of the harvest is a tough life to live. Headmaster Phiri informs everybody that the grace period is over, and the students have to pay a yearly subscription in order to attend the classes.

Unable to cover the expenses due to the debts incurred during the time of the famine, William is expelled. He goes back to the crops, and have their best year. They stock up on supplies while William begins to work on his windmill.

He spends time in the library, trying to understand how the nuts and bolts can be connected to the blades of the rotor. At one point, William realizes that only a generator separates him from having the full collection.

Gilbert manages to procure one, and the build-up commences. They start by creating the frame and attaching the bicycle and dynamo to the tractor fan.

People gather around and spread the rumor that William is crazy. To everyone’s shock, the light-bulb flickers and people scream in joy and amazement.

For the next couple of months, people from all over the country come to see this invention with their own eyes.

Chapter Twelve & Thirteen

William now faces a tough challenge ahead – to charge his cousin’s phone. Evidently, it will take more power than usual. He tries to circumvent the lack of power by building a step-up transformer, like the ones located in Europe and America.

After two months, he finally manages to purchase a battery. To charge it, he is compelled to shift from AC to DC by utilizing a diode from an old radio. He has to deal with many problems that his windmill generates, but he is willing to find a long-term solution.

In like manner, he looks high and low to find another potential project. He sets his heart on building a radio-transmitter. While engrossed in his technological endeavors, his mother decides to hit the road with an intention in mind to visit her parents.

He comes back infected with malaria.

The whole Malawian society is swarming with infection and death. There are some severe health problems such as the spread of HIV added to the threat of bad harvest.

Despite the present predicament, William is summoned and designated as the head of a science club due to his accomplishments.

Chapter Fourteen & Fifteen

Dr. Mchazime arrives at Wimbe and asks to speak with William. He wants to know more about the windmill boy and even invites a renowned journalist to interview him. The journalist is eager to know more of William’s vision of Malawi, and how this power-supply generator will make that come true.

The Kamkwamba family is excited and gets together around the radio to hear of William’s latest endeavors.

His work appeared on many newspapers and even picks up International fame. With the help of Dr. Mchazime, William is scheduled to appear at TEDGlobal.

Tom Rielly, is bewildered and impressed by William’s achievements, especially if you take into consideration his educational background. During the summit, William is uplifted by the presence of many young Africans who share their ideas that could put an end to the plight of millions.

Many people are keen to fund William’s future projects and education. With the money he receives, he helps his parents get proper medical care, and even go as far as paying Gilbert for his school tuition.

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind Epilogue

William is on a plane to Cape Town, South Africa. He ought to address the economic situation in developing countries at the World Economic Forum (2008) on Africa.

His path is weaved around the idea of prosperous Africa while erasing the mistakes from the past.

William expands on the process which led to the creation of the windmill, and even briefs president Mutharika about the path he alongside Geoffrey and Gilbert had to cross to make it work.

Like this summary? We’d Like to invite you to download our free 12 min app, for more amazing summaries and audiobooks.

“The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind PDF Quotes”

So many things around you are reusable. Where other see garbage, I see opportunity. Click To Tweet

I went to sleep dreaming of Malawi, and all the things made possible when your dreams are powered by your heart. Click To Tweet

Few people realize this, but cutting down the trees is one of the things that keeps us Malawians poor. Click To Tweet

Cool! Where did you get such an idea? The library. Click To Tweet

Maize is just another word for white corn, and by the end of this story, you won't believe how much you know about corn. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

This life-altering and mind-blowing story revolve around a single quote – If you want to make it, all you have to do is try!

It sounds like a straightforward route, but many of us veer off course. Let William’s path inspire you and help you achieve your goals.    Take this summary with you and read anywhere! Download PDF:   

Act like a Lady, Think Like a Man PDF Summary

Act like a Lady, Think Like a Man PDFWhat Men Really Think About Love, Relationships, Intimacy, and Commitment

We are all concerned about our performance as husbands, wives, workers, and even lovers.

To get the most out of someone is to make him/her aware of its urges. Steve Harvey implores people to accept the nature of the bond-building process and act accordingly.

No need to fight the current, just beware of veering off course.

Who Should Read “Act like a Lady, Think Like a Man”? And Why?

Are the ladies ready for the next big thing? This book was funny in one way but educational and inspirational in a totally different one.

In our humble opinion, anyone who struggles with relationships and wants to understand the core of men’s behavior should read “Act like a Lady, Think Like a Man.”

Steve HarveyAbout Steve Harvey

Steve Harvey is a TV-icon, comedian, author, and a radio personality. His charisma and joke-telling have brought him to the top with regards to comedy.

He continues to rock the showbiz world with his astonishing performances.

“Act like a Lady, Think Like a Man PDF Summary”

The book is subdivided into 3 main parts, all of which have a critical overview of men’s behavior and why they do some things. Steve Harvey, a comedian by profession, uses its humor, prejudices, facts and personal experience to portray men as accurately as possible.

Well, let’s roll, shall we?

Part One: The Mind-set of a Man

Truthfully, men are often upbraided for their lack of empathy and castigated for their aggressive approach, but are these claims essentially true? Let’s see what Steve thinks about it. He is one of those people who hate to beat around the bush and gives it to you straight!

The author starts by explaining the simplicity of men, as he believes this vantage point will give you the edge to absorb what’s coming. In other words, if you can latch onto to this, you may be able to get a bird’s eye view of the traits which describe men as they are:

  • Who they are
  • What they do
  • How much they make

According to Steve, if a man hasn’t fulfilled his longings based on these 3 questions, he’ll continue casting doubt on his worthiness. Just marinate on that for a minute and realize that boys are taught to push through life, not allow to be cast aside, and to accept their role.

For some, this burden is way overwhelming. This struggle lingers on even when a teenager enters its mid-20s. He takes into account his own life-trajectory – Steve, as a college dropout, found himself in a difficult predicament in his 20s.

Laid off by Ford, little money, and even fewer opportunities around him. One night, a woman for whom he used to write jokes, invited him to a local comedian club. Hesitant at first, he plucked up his courage and went.

The crowd loved him, and he earned 50$ which in today’s money don’t seem like much, but back then especially when you are broke – I am sure is a wonderful feeling.

In general, when men are not going after their dreams, they begin to dry out and lose confidence.

In this chapter, Steve doesn’t miss a chance to elevate woman’s love and support. Nonetheless, he calls into question women’s expectations regarding the kind of love they prefer to receive. In this regard, men are more direct with their expression of feelings.

A man who truly loves you is not going to call you at 6.00 pm to tell you that he loves you more than at 5:30 pm. When a man loves dearly, he is not afraid to show everyone who you are and that he is prepared to defend this bond till kingdom comes.  

The  21st century thought drives women to act, think and be independent. However, when a man cannot make enough money to provide for his family, raise them and give them everything they deserve due to X-factors, his confidence starts shaking.

To this extent, Steve points out that men can provide more than just financial comfort, and take care of its loved-ones in an emotional way.

However, when he fails to satisfy the social norms, the feeling of dejection starts to take over. In addition, Steve mentions the three things all men need:

  • Love
  • Support
  • Cookie – in other words – Sex

Part Two: Why Men Do What They Do

Whether we like it or not, sometimes generalization is the best evaluation tool we have at our disposal. Steve Harvey, from his own life experience, understood that women, unlike men, are okay with talking and sharing opinions for no particular reason or chit-chatting should you prefer.

Men, on the other hand, want to cut through the bull*hit and say whatever they want to say. True, some relationships are a fizzle and others last longer, but on a general basis, you determine the scope of it.

Men are as simple as one can be – you like someone, you start a conversation; if you don’t, you don’t even pretend to be interested in that person’s opinions, lifestyle, religion, etc.

If you try to bring in a philosophical touch to this unshakable truth, you’ll see that the world has always been like this. And it would take a heck of social engineering to flip it on the other side, and we don’t believe that would be a good thing.

The next time, a man comes along – don’t think that he is just being friendly and want to hear your latest daily backup story. In most cases, that man was drawn by your physical appearance, charisma, or elegance and he is unconsciously willing to take the next step.

There is nothing wrong with that; it’s just how it works.

Let’s take a hypothetical situation for example. You are a woman, sitting in a bar or a café with your friends, and a man asks for your name or wants to start a conversation.

How come he happened to bump into you and is curious but doesn’t share that enthusiasm for the other girls nearby?

Think about it; he is not interested in hearing your best friend’s story but yours! What does that tell you? He is not there for chit-chatting, nor willing to embroil in a political debate, but to impress you and eventually get something from you (hold your horses, it’s not sex).   

Now you know, and Steve Harvey didn’t mean to wipe out the mysteriousness of these first contacts, but to keep you abreast of the latest flirting trends. Remember girls; if you are not laying down the ground rules, you’ll sooner or later find yourself playing someone else’s.

In the next short section, Steve uses fishing as an example of the relationship men and women developed since the beginning of time. As all people know, a person can fish in two different way: Fun or so-called Sport-Fishing; and fishing to eat.

The story tells us that all men are natural hunters. In other words, they are on the lookout for prey, while women tend not to be too aggressive with regards to the extremes.

Just think about it – men invite women on a date (in most cases), men almost always make marriage proposals, and men ask for permission to take the girl out, etc.

However, what happens when the girl is attached to the hook – hypothetically speaking? Are we just doing sport-fishing, or we really plan to cook it (this sounds a bit harsh), but you get the symbolic meaning of it!?

Newsflash: it’s the woman who determines whether the guy is a sport-fisher or a keeper! And this is also true because a woman’s behavior dictates the men’s next steps – and the term “judgment” may seem too rude at one end of the line, but on the flip side, we all do it.

It’ not like you have a chance not to make decisions and form opinions on numerous topics. Even the ladies apt to judge another woman or man based on the vibe they evoke and attitude they nurture. It’s not rocket science to understand that all people are prone to go down this line.

Part Three: The PlayBook: How to Win the Game

The last intriguing part of this book is also the most comprehensible. We’ll try to boil it down as much as possible and share the key takeaways.

Here, Steve lays out 5 questions that every woman should ask herself prior to deciding to take the relationship on to the next level:

  • What are your short-term goals?
  • What are your long-term goals?
  • What are your views on relationships?
  • What do you think about me?
  • How do you feel about me?

When it comes to men, don’t feel like you are not obliged to answer them as well. A real and caring man will answer these questions as well, for the well-being of the potential partner.

Consciously or unconsciously our minds are hatching plans for every matter under the blue sky that at least for a second takes hold of your attention.

In the next brief section, the author critically addresses the process of increasing your value. In 1977, Steve recalls being on the verge of bankruptcy and how he managed to lift his spirits.

He was all whipped up when the Ford Management announced that if he in the next 90 days proves to be a valuable asset to the organization, they’ll provide him with all sorts of benefits.

The bottom line is – this process is pretty much the same regardless of the profession. Eagerness and hunger for learning can be your ticket out of misery. He expands on the importance of earning these benefits rather than having them bestowed upon you.

From top to bottom, this book is a great manual for nurturing relationships and understanding one another in a humorous but profound fashion.

Key Lessons from “Act like a Lady, Think Like a Man”

1.      Adjust your thinking
2.      Make strides towards the truth
3.      Say no to ignorance

Adjust your thinking

Your mindset can be your best friend or your worst enemy; it’s up to you. Don’t sit on the fence, and adjust your thinking mechanism to help you understand men and women.

It will give you the upper hand in any situation that may befall you.

Make strides towards the truth

People love to sit on the safe side and never get out of their comfort zone. This book has some controversies in it, but that doesn’t detract from its quality and straightforward narrative.

Make no bargain with irrationality!

Say no to ignorance

Well, this is the hard one! To change something, you must know that the thing you’ve been doing is in need of alteration.

You can’t just magically turn the switch on and make everything work in your favor.

First, question your habits, your perspective, and understand the simplicity on one end and the complexity of the other in order to build an emotional connection with someone.

Like this summary? We’d Like to invite you to download our free 12 min app, for more amazing summaries and audiobooks.

“Act like a Lady, Think Like a Man Quotes”

You control what you can control—your image, the way you conduct yourself, the way you let men talk to and approach you—and use that to get the relationship you want. Click To Tweet

Men can cheat because there are so many women willing to give themselves to a man who doesn’t belong to them. Click To Tweet

Remember this: the number one cause of failure in this country is the fear of failure. Fear paralyzes you from taking action. Click To Tweet

Dating is a lot like a business; the best way to become successful is to master and control things you have control over. Click To Tweet

Nothing on this planet can compare with a woman’s love—it is kind and compassionate, patient and nurturing, generous and sweet and unconditional. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Despite the comic prowess, Steve sure knows a lot about how people interact with each other.

We find most things to be 100% accurate, while others a bit controversial for some social groups.

Anyway, it will be a great addition on your bookshelf or Kindle Account!    Take this summary with you and read anywhere! Download PDF:   

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance PDF Summary

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance PDFFinding one’s life goal is like looking for a needle in a haystack. Even though we want clear directions, that doesn’t always pan out as one might have hoped.

This book speaks about a long and meaningful journey which laid the groundwork for fundamental alteration.

Let’s go through the key takeaways!

Who Should Read “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance”? And Why?

During the reading session of this 20th-century classic, we were on the verge of backing down the whole time. The reason was obvious – not knowing what picture succeeds the previous one.

To some extent, we loved the excitement and anticipation, and that’s why we recommend “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” to all knowledge-thirty seekers.

Robert M. PirsigRobert M. Pirsig Biography

Robert M. Pirsig was indeed a philosophical icon of the 20th century.

He passed away on April 24th, 2017, at the age of 88 and left a legacy of written texts, which will remain a source of inspiration for new generations.


They key leitmotif throughout this 1974 novel, is the long motorcycle trip whose symbolic essence gave birth to ideas about the new way of life. So, instead of parsing sentence-by-sentence, one should advocate for confluence between Western and Eastern civilization to sympathize with Robert’s message.

The central premise tackles the rather superficial lifestyle, which can be improved through a series of reforms.

The narrative is in the first person, and it widely encompasses the trip scheme while reminiscing about the narrator’s past which abounds with interesting encounters.

The storyline commences with Chris revving up his motorcycle engine alongside John Sutherland and Sylvia (his wife). They are headed toward the Dakotas, and the weather turns bad. Dark clouds emerge above their heads and herald a rainstorm.

The narrator recalls a trip to Canada which resulted in a heavy rainstorm. He and Chris end up soaking wet because they forgot to dig a trench to support their tent. The bad motorcycle condition was just icing on the cake for them, and it only aggravated the problem even further.

What could have happened on that perilous journey – they wonder? He nails down this story in order to stay sharp if things go south once again. In the meantime, John says that they’ve veered off course, and need to adjust their route.  

The crew takes a quick break at Hague to refuel and ask for directions. What shocks them the most is the fact that “Bismarck and Mobridge” are nowhere nearby. Even their existence is called into question. John believes that heading south to Mobridge might be their best chance. They take some time off to think and weigh their options at Herried.

Upon reaching Mobridge, they cross the river and go inland. The Narrator notices a shift in John’s perception of life, as it becomes more into line with the objective reality rather than embracing false imagery painted by the creative mind.

This mind-switch is even labeled as the Chautauqua point.

They make headway in their long journey, as they move toward Bowman during a sweltering heat wave whereas the crew comes across an old stockman. The narrator shows glimpses of adoration for this man’s conduct and embraces some tips on how to tame the mind.

The Phaedrus’ knife becomes the central hypothesis in this process as the narrator leans on the analogy of sorting the sand into piles in order to exemplify the analytical urges of the mind.

The Narrator’s objective hangs in the balance as a realization struck like a bolt of lightning. Too much analyzing can hasten your demise, and drain the life out of you. As they traverse the Marmarth region, they wind up at Montana.

The Phaedrus story emerges again, as the Narrator pinpoints that he lost his mind, and in order to get an aerial perspective of his life, one must put itself in its shoes. However, that’s easier said than done.

In Chapter 8, the narrator leads into a beautiful description of their mission in Miles City. It’s early in the morning, and they can’t seem to get enough rest due to the restless strives in the past few days.

The Narrator turns over to repairing its motorcycle and associates the scrutinization of the spark plugs with some religious deity.

The need for materials and precise equipment evokes a reaction from the narrator. This instrumental hierarchy reminds him of everyday concepts and how complex systems consist of these small elements and inject fire into the systematic way of thinking.

Upon fixing the motorcycle, he ponders about Phaedrus’ insights lodged into his photographic memory which was partly the reason for his demise. The Narrator keeps the ball rolling by highlighting the schools in which Phaedrus instilled a sense of organization.

Next day, the narrator is awakened by the morning breeze that sparks them to continue their voyage south through Yellowstone Park. They devise a route which will help them to reach Bozeman by crossing the fields of the Red Lodge.

The Narrator keeps the excitement in the air by sharing more of Phaedrus military career, and his daily encounters in Korea. The pursuit of truth and independence helped him to establish liberty, but at what cost?

As they approach Bozeman, the Narrator senses the tension in the air, fueled by inner turbulence. Their timidity doesn’t go unnoticed, as they ponder about turning back. Phaedrus’ mindset is still the subject of their discussions as they discuss the political impasse present in his days on campus.

During those times, Phaedrus conveyed mind-blowing words regarding the disparity between professors being labeled as employees and protectors of the truth. His igniting speech has stretched to various circles but didn’t circumvent the problem.

His behavior receives positive critics, but the impulsive fanaticism in terms of expression jeopardized the broad picture. The narrator takes a step further by attributing the lack of faith to anxiety and low self-esteem.  

In the next chapter, the narrator puts him and Chris in the spotlight. They hit the road with an intention in mind to climb the mountains near the DeWeese. On the voyage, they ruminate on the spiritual connection with nature while remaining acutely aware of their surroundings.

Phaedrus is once again at the center of their thoughts, as they puzzle over his concept of quality.

They stumble upon two phases, which were brought to life by Phaedrus.

  • Phase 1: No definition of Quality and lot of flexibility
  • Phase 2: Rigid definition – impairing his thinking potential and destroying his life.

By drilling deep into Phase 1, the narrator bumps into the methodology of teaching which consists of genuine engagement and flexibility. Whereas the second Phase brings about contumacy as a way of perception which conflicts the receptive cognitive abilities of the students.

Next chapter opens up with thoughts regarding the statements and analysis conducted by Phaedrus. The narrator explains the process by providing a psychological overlook of Phaedrus’ tendencies. If you don’t define something, you are giving it a wide berth to crop up in different shapes and forms.

Chris’ indifference regarding the hike, adds to the Narrator’s outrage. Upon restraining himself, the narrator pays close heed to Phaedrus recent insightful revolution according to which Realism can justify Quality.

This finding led Phaedrus into believing that Quality is the only obstacle standing in the way of pure rationality. The attributes you give to Quality are meaningless in terms of getting the hang of the world to the maximum extent.

The narrator dreams of being in a white-painted room and facing his family members who are disposed on the other corner of the same room. He is disturbed by this nightmare, and upon awakening, Chris tells him that he had been “vocal” all night long.

He is worried that this scenario could lead him astray. Meanwhile, he is on the fence regarding the possibility of Chris dreaming, and him going nuts. Despite all the polemics, the narrator decides to forge ahead with the hike while overlooking the plan for rehydration.

In an effort to rejuvenate spiritually, he unwittingly starts the discussion about Quality. Phaedrus was the latest to succumb to this impulse which was a one-way ticket to disaster. While descending the mountain, they decide to take a breather and get some snack.

Chris, however, becomes increasingly aware of the Narrator’s paranoia and even proposes that he should be the one carrying the heavy load. As they mull over the metaphysical aspects of thinking, they come across a thick bush and are compelled to make their way through it.

The narrator elaborates on the exact correlation between Quality and Religion, and that a possible confluence could be the essence of “good.” While at it, he argues that value-free science has no place in the modern understanding of philosophy.

Upon descending from the mountains, they settle down at Bozeman and spend a night in a hotel.

As the storyline heathens up, the Narrator enters the depths of technological artifacts and make remarks on the basis for laying out these claims. In his opinion, the artifacts are not subjected to the proper Quality evaluation process.

To prove his point, the Narrator enlightens us by explaining the inseparable connection between technology and art. He finds it challenging to impugn the effectiveness of modern technology while advocating for Quality technology, like the wall in Korea.

The degradation that occurs is due to the existence and legacy of value-free thinking. Following after this discussion is their arrival in White Bird. They come to the conclusion that following the Salmon River would be their best option, regardless of the heavy traffic.

They set foot in Riggins, and are compelled to traverse the forest in an effort to reach Dew Meadows. The narrator is consistent in its intention to expose the value-free issue while trying to interpret the dream he had some time ago.

Chris however, takes some time off to write a letter to his mom. It seems like Chris is no longer brimming with excitement, and anxiety slowly starts to take over. Upon arriving at Dayville, they brush against the owner of the station, who helps them find some decent place to spend the night.

They indulge in a friendly and profound conversation.

At this point, he has little choice but to disclose the Phaedrus’ story to the full extent. This process entails interpretation of Greek Philosophy and their methods of scrutinizing the ideas. Prior to going too deep into this topic, they decide to take a quick break and head over to La Pine for a meal.

The next morning, Chris is awakened to help with the chores while the Narrator embarks on a quest to locate a chain guard.

His efforts don’t bear fruit, as he heads back home and enjoys a meal accompanied by Chris. They decide to try their luck elsewhere, as they mark California as their next destination.

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance Epilogue

The last three chapters are filled with ambivalence. As they have a meal, a sense of discomfort permeates the air, and on the way over to Chicago, they stumble upon the Platonic dialogue of Phaedrus.

In the meantime, Phaedrus gets a motivational boost to continue with unraveling its baffling mysteries. Also, this makes him feel invincible and dominant to the degree that he believes a solution to the metaphysical puzzle is nearby.

They are headed toward San Francisco on a rainy and cloudy day. The narrator exerts himself to find a motel and finally manages to locate one. This ultimately triggers the last discourse.

From a philosophical standpoint, the Narrator realizes that it’s not easy to integrate technology with humanistic elements in pursuit of the perfect lifestyle.

The plot comes to an end, as the narrator understands that Chris craves for Phaedrus and his theories.

Like this summary? We’d Like to invite you to download our free 12 min app, for more amazing summaries and audiobooks.

“Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance PDF Quotes”

The place to improve the world is first in one's own heart and head and hands and then work outward from there. Click To Tweet

When one person suffers from a delusion, it is called insanity. When many people suffer from a delusion, it is called a Religion. Click To Tweet

You look at where you're going and where you are, and it never makes sense, but then you look back at where you've been, and a pattern seems to emerge. Click To Tweet

Not if you have the right attitudes. It's having the right attitudes that’s hard. Click To Tweet

If someone's ungrateful and you tell him he's ungrateful, okay, you've called him a name. You haven't solved anything. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

This is not an easy-going book, and you to be at your very best to understand the core message contained in it.

But don’t let this discourage you from taking the fast-track to insightful breakthroughs.    Take this summary with you and read anywhere! Download PDF: