How much do I want to read more? 9/10

A short and lovely book.
The life's philosophy exposed here is alike with Jim Rohn's. And it is so good to read.
The author's style is both clear and concise.
Every quote are also worth it.

The opening quote for example: "Life is a succession of lessons which must be lived to be understood." (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

Life is a succession of lessons which must be lived to be understood.

-- Ralph Waldo Emerson

A- ll great truths are simple in final analysis, and easily understood; if they are not, they are not great truths.

-- Napoleon Hill


This book was originally published in 1992 under the title 20 Things I Want My Kids to Know.
As a father and a teacher, I was aiming my message at the young people who constantly surrounded me.
They suggested that I remove “kids” from the title because they saw the book as a timeless message for people of all ages.

This is a book about what’s good—in life and in people—especially in you. It’s about inner resources you have but might not be using. It’s about tapping into your potential for becoming the best person you can be and for enjoying life to the fullest.

Introduction - I Wrote This Book for Four Reasons

1/ Because We’re Never Too Young or Too Old to Learn Life’s Greatest Lessons…and the Time Is Always Right

Saint Ignatius Loyola, one of the world’s greatest educators, once said that we only learn when we’re ready to learn.

2/ Because They Don’t Teach “How Life Works” or “What Is Essential” in School

We need help in developing the attitudes and skills necessary to establish satisfying relationships, to set and achieve personal goals, and to enjoy feelings of self-worth.

Helping our students develop into good human beings didn’t seem to be the school’s responsibility. So I wrote this book to teach what’s important, what good character is, and what it means to be successful in life.

3/ Because Most of Us Need Help in Discovering How Good We Can Be

I heard a psychologist say that by the time a person reaches the age of eighteen, he or she has been put down more than a hundred thousand times.
The more frequently we hear something, the more likely we are to believe it.

I hope this book brings out some positives in a world that seems to dwell on negatives. Finding the good in life can be one of our greatest joys.

4/ Because Old-fashioned Truth Never Goes out of Style…Even with a New Generation

time-honored values as respect, kindness, honesty, appreciation, desire, hard work, commitment, and just being a good person. there’s no shortcut, no new method for achieving real success. It still has to be earned.

About the 20 Things

They’re twenty things I wish I’d known when I was younger.
To know them is one thing; to apply them is quite another.
I hear…and I forget; I see…and I remember; I do…and I understand.

Chapter 1 - Success Is More Than Making Money

Success means doing the best we can with what we have. Success is in the doing, not the getting—in the trying, not the triumph.


Life’s Most Important Discovery

I was thirty-nine when I first understood what it meant to be successful.
With this discovery came two things that had always eluded me: a sense of inner peace and a feeling of self-worth. And best of all, I began to enjoy life more than ever before.

As Edward Albee says in his play The Zoo Story, “…sometimes it’s necessary to go a long distance out of the way in order to come back a short distance correctly.”

Swedish proverb tells us that we get old too quick and smart too late.
Maybe my book will help you get smart earlier than I did.
The smartest people in the world are the ones who know how to be happy.

Success and Money

Money is not bad.
The Bible says the love of money is the root of all evil. That’s quite a difference.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting it, and having it.
The keys are how we earn it and what we do with it.

Pearl Bailey best described it when she said, “Honey, I been poor, and I been rich. And let me tell you, rich is better.”

Money isn’t all there is to being successful.

Sixty-eight percent of the senior executives interviewed said they had neglected their family lives to pursue professional goals.
They’d lost sight of what was essential. becoming slaves.

What Does it Mean to Be Successful?

Thomas Carlyle once wrote, “Let each become all that he was created capable of being.”
I can’t think of a better definition of success. Life challenges us every day to develop our capabilities to the fullest. We’re successful when we reach for the highest that’s within us—when we give the best we have.

The quote at the beginning of this chapter says that success is in the doing, not in the getting.

Successful people accept life as it is, with all its difficulties and challenges.
They adapt to it rather than complain about it.

Successful people develop and maintain a positive attitude toward life.
They look for good in others and in the world.
They see life as a series of opportunities and possibilities, and always explore them.

Successful people build good relationships.
They’re sensitive to the needs and feelings of others.
They have a way of bringing out the best in other people.

Successful people have a sense of direction and purpose—they know where they’re going.
They set goals, accomplish them, and then set new goals.

Successful people have a strong desire to learn.
about life, the world, and themselves.
They are always discovering, always growing.

Successful people are action-oriented.
They get things done because they’re not afraid of hard work, and they don’t waste time.
They don’t get into ruts or become bored because they’re too busy looking for new experiences.

Successful people maintain high standards in their personal conduct.
They know that honesty is one of the main ingredients in the character of a good person.

Successful people understand the difference between existing and living.
They get the most out of life because they put the most into it. They reap what they sow. And they enjoy life to the fullest.

Our Potential for Real Success

In our society today, large numbers of…people never fulfill their potentialities. Their environment may not stimulate such fulfillment, or it may actually stunt growth…. Our strength, creativity, and growth as a society depend upon our capacity to develop the talents and potentialities of our people.


there’s more of us to be realized.
He wrote in Excellence that too many of us never fully develop because of influences in our environment.
If we don’t look, we don’t find, and our capabilities remain hidden. We end up seeing limitations instead of possibilities.

Once we’re aware of it, we can do something about it:

The good news is that the best season of your life can be ahead of you no matter what your age or circumstances—if you choose to make it so—because 90 percent of your potential is not only untapped and unused, but also undiscovered. That’s not just good news, it’s incredible news!


We spend too much of our time just going through the motions. We don’t seem to realize our potential.

To be what we are, and to become what we are capable of becoming, is the only end of life.