Most of us have seen some wildly successful person being profiled on television and wondered what they had that we didnt. How many times have we heard Oprahs rags-to-riches story, admired the political clout of the Rev. Jesse Jackson or envied the loyalty that Nelson Mandela commands? These are just three of the successful people portrayed in Emma S. Etuks new book, Recipe for Success The 21 Indispensable Things That Can Help You Succeed in Life. If you have ever wondered why other people are successful while you are not, this book can certainly help you find some answers.
Dr. Etuk, who has a doctorate in U.S. history, puts success into eight categories: economic, political, social, intellectual, spiritual, physical, good and bad. The last two are, perhaps, most important, since they can be part of the other six categories as well. Success rooted in greed or envy may eventually prove destructive, while good success, founded on hard work and kindness, will enhance a persons life, the author says. He stresses that when gauging success, it is important to consider all eight categories, because success comes in many forms and does not always entail being rich.
So what is the recipe for success? One ingredient is vision, without which, Etuk contends, we meander through life with no real sense of purpose. Vision is not simply imagining yourself as a successful person. Indeed, while Etuk believes that if you dream big you will engage in big things, he also emphasizes that vision should include thought-through plans and goals and their implementation. This adds purpose to your life; there is now a reason to live and a reason to be excited each and every day. You must first define your personal description of success. Only then can you begin to effectively plan the steps to get there, Etuk advises.
Another ingredient is getting your act together, or organization. You must prioritize and develop self-control and self-discipline. Organization must start from the inside, meaning you must be mentally determined to succeed. In turn, this determination makes external organization easier to accomplish because you already have the right mind-set. You will then be better positioned to rid yourself of mental and physical clutter in order to better assess what needs to be done on your road to success.
Etuk continues his blueprint, identifying persistence and perseverance as two more vital ingredients. He describes the people most likely to persevere as those who possess tenacity, courage and resilience. They are optimistic and positive in their outlook and are determined to follow through on their plans for success. Etuk also speaks of single-mindedness, the quality of not being easily distracted or swayed in the pursuit of your goal. Even in the face of discouragement from friends and family, it is important not to become consumed with self-doubt. Etuk reminds us that success rarely comes without struggle and adversity.
There are numerous other gems in Etuks recipe for success: learning from your mistakes, keeping good records, cultivating proper work habits and a healthy lifestyle, and understanding the power of money, which he discusses in detail. He also includes a few unorthodox ingredients, such as showing love and not hate, believing in God and yourself and believing that prayer and meditation work.
Etuks writing style is conversational, making the book easy to read. His personality comes through clearly he does not shy away from being opinionated in his choice of adjectives. With a masters degree in church history from Ashland Ohios Theological Seminary and further advanced graduate work at the Institute of Church and State at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, Etuk inevitably mentions religious tenets in his writing and quotes extensively from the Bible. Some readers may frown on this, and potential readers may shy away from the book because of it. But the underlying message is universal and clear: There is nothing accidental about success. Everyday choices and decisions either us lead to or away from success in life. Recipe for Success The 21 Indispensable Things That Can Help You Succeed in Life is just one of the tools that can assist us in making better choices and decisions. With its helpful and insightful suggestions, this book can certainly be a tremendous asset if used effectively. One thing is certain. This is a book that everyone can relate to. After all, who doesnt want to experience success?
Author: Emma S. Etuk, Ph.D. Emida International Publishers, 2004 $19.95 (hard cover), 264 pages ISBN: 1-881293-06-8
by Soroya Brantley