BTRIPP (btripp) wrote,

Claiming Your Personal Power ...

I have a very mixed impression of Brendon Burchard … I first encountered him in the context of building up an “information business” (his Millionaire Messenger book), and have found him on one hand very informative, with material that is, generally speaking, actionable in a fairly esoteric niche, but on the other hand way too into the “inspirational” - “believe it and it will happen” - zone for my tastes (see his Life's Golden Ticket). Among the “info biz” guys, he's pretty open and giving (this book was “free with shipping”), with a lot of material not requiring one's credit card, but there's always seemed to be that “yeah, but ...” thing in play, that, like in MLM, a lot of people will aspire to making a living at it, but most never have a realistic shot.

His new book, The Motivation Manifesto: 9 Declarations to Claim Your Personal Power, is a bit different, as it is “a manifesto”, and so is very “opinionated”. I was extremely enthused with this when I started reading it, having been frustrated by a number of people in my daily life who are advocates (some impassioned advocates) for mundane, average, non-achieving, and common results, lifestyles, and goals (yes, I've been berated for reading/reviewing as much as I do as it “by implication” makes others feel bad because they can't/don't make the effort … the reality of Diana Moon Glampers is just another Alinskyite administration or two away). This is a call to excellence, to striving, to reaching beyond what we think we can achieve (let alone what the TV-numbed slugs settle for) … or at least it is in the first section.

The book is in two sections (well, an introduction and two sections), the first being “On Human Nature”, which looks at Freedom, Fear, and Motivation. Reading this (and the intro) had me wanting to stand on street corners and “spread the word” … it's that powerful. The second part, however, the “9 Declarations”, suffers somewhat from trying to “systematize” the call-to-arms of the first part into something more … well, marketable? Not that it's not full of great stuff, but I felt it bogged down in places, and there were bits that I was mentally going “blah, blah, blah” about, and other parts that were generating a significant amount of resistance. The only bookmark I found I'd put in while reading this was in that part of the book, however, in Declaration VIII - “We Shall Inspire Greatness” where some of the specific types of things I noted above are addressed.

I'm a bit frustrated working on this review, because I usually have a dozen or so little bookmarks tucked in where I've found particularly juicy bits to bring to you here … but in the case of The Motivation Manifesto, the “good bits” tend to run on for pages, not sentences. I'm going to dig through this and see if I can pull out some particularly representative paragraphs, but it's not going to be easy to do.

First of all, though … let's get to what the “9 Declarations” are:
            I.      We Shall Meet Life with Full Presence and Power
            II.     We Shall Reclaim Our Agenda
            III.    We Shall Defeat Our Demons
            IV.     We Shall Advance with Abandon
            V.      We Shall Practice Joy and Gratitude
            VI.    We Shall Not Break Integrity
            VII.   We Shall Amplify Love
            VIII.  We Shall Inspire Greatness
            IX.     We Shall Slow Time

Obviously, this isn't your basic to-do list … “reclaiming agendas”? … “slowing time”??? … “advancing with abandon”? Burchard is writing in an abstract mode in much of this, with, for instance, in the “time” one, the phrase “We are not supposed to miss this moment.” repeats itself several times, yet there are accompanying (meditative/breath) exercises to practically adjust the perception of time.

Here's a bit from the “Motivation” section of the first part of the book … it will give you a bit of the flavor of the writing's tone (which is rather “styled”), and show why I'm having a hard time here, as key points tend to unfold over several paragraphs, and are difficult (if not impossible) to condense out into bullet points.
The long evolutions of philosophy, psychology, and neuroscience share a common thread of unlocking human potential by leveraging reason and the full power of the mind. Reason is the secret to developing a motivated and independent identity. I think therefore I am and I do. Motivated people seize this truth. The great artists, leaders, and innovators use the entire force of their reasoning faculties to become their highest selves and do their highest good. They express who they truly are and pursue goals they find meaningful. They strategically contemplate their direction and values; they weigh what will give them the greatest sense of vibrancy and fulfillment in every major decision. They select from life's abundant array only the courses that suit their nature and their intention to be free and to serve. They are resolute in calling forth their greatest character traits and wrestling their lowest impulses into submission. They appear, in the eyes of the mindless masses, to be the lucky ones, the chosen. In fact, they decided to choose.
Each of the “declarations” has similar looks at the thematic elements, and layers of information, where the “time” one has exercises, the first one splits out various “roles” that motivated individuals play in their lives, and within the “demons” one, it takes “internal enemies” and defines them as a demon “Defiance”, which has three heads, “Doubt”, “Delay”, and “Division”, and details how these hinder our efforts, and how we can overcome them.

Again, this is hard to condense down to a few nuggets … most of the material comes packaged in runs of several paragraphs like the above … it is, however, worth the effort of working through.

Physically, The Motivation Manifesto is “deluxe” with a black leatherette cover with gold-stamped text, rounded cut corners, and a red ribbon book mark. It's available via the on-line big boys, but apparently is still being offered on Burchard's site for “free” (a $7 shipping fee), which also includes a 12-week on-line course (I've not taken advantage of the “extras” like the course as yet). Needless to say, this is quite a deal, and is considerably less than the other options out there (even the used channels at this writing).

While “inspirational” books like this are hardly “my thing”, it's hard to not value something with statements like this:
Nor can we allow apathetic, small-thinking men and women to lay waste to our future. We mustn't let social pressures to poison our potential. Surely, we have warned other from time to time that we do not care what they think or that their judgments of us are unwarranted. We have often complained, made kind requests of others, or reminded people of the circumstances that made us want to improve our lives. We have appealed to their magnanimity to be gentler or more supportive, and we have asked them as kindred spirits to stand with us against those who interrupt our charge. Yet too often others have been deaf to our true voices. They didn't believe in us or support us or cheer us on when it mattered most. We must, therefore, not await their assistance or approval any longer. We must hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, enemies in battle should they stand in the way or our dreams, but in peace and assistance, friends.

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Tags: book review
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