Review by Alo Brady Dublin – Why Some People Succeed and Others Fail
If you have not read, or worst still, not heard of, Limerick author Samuel Malone its high time you came on board. In my time I have read a selection of the authors listed in the bibliography but for clarity of purpose Sam Malone’s latest offering – his 21st, must leave some of them at the starting post.
While the author has read widely his treatise is in no way academic. That is not to say that he does not quote the experts to best effect when and where necessary. If one can say so he has his feet firmly on the ground. His step by step commonsense approach brings the reader from one proposition to the next in a logical sequence. It is closely written and does not allow of skipping. On the other hand, each chapter is self-contained within the overall plan so that one can study each chapter separately. To whet your appetite and give a flavour of the book I list the ten chapters which start with Goals, followed by Planning, Interpersonal Relationships, Confidence and Self-Belief, Optimism and Self-Esteem, Persistence and Resilience, Motivation, Lifelong Learning, Personal Values, concluding with Reasons Why People Fail. Part of Sam’s thesis is that one should not be afraid to break the rules, not be afraid to be different and to be personally enterprising. As Thomas Emerson said: “A foolish consistency is the hobglobin of small minds.” All the author’s propositions are closely argued with quotations and instances to support significant points. To use an electrical term some people are the equivalent of Self Excitation Motors. Such people are lucky that without effort they are natural self-starters. He instances the explores, Shackleton, Scott and Amundsen; politicians like John F Kennedy, Mahatma Gandhi, Winston Churchill, and Tony Blair.
The great philosophers, Socrates, Plato, Artistotle and Confucius and the military leaders like Patton, George Washington and Napoleon are instanced and quoted to great effect. The lives and accomplishments of famous painters, scientists, athletes, footballers, businessmen, poets and inventors are dotted throughout Sam’s book to support an argument or illustrate a point.
On the other hand, he quotes the case of Helen Keller who was blind and deaf at 19 months from either scarlet fever or meningitis. With the help of Anne Sullivan who came into her life at the age of seven Helen learned to use sign language, to read Braille, to dance and ride horseback. She became a convinced socialist, lectured widely – her words being translated by Anne Sullivan, and she was a life-long activist for disabled people. She died at the age of 88 having led a life of exceptional activity which stemmed from her optimism, self esteem and a steely determination to live a normal existence in the face of her disabilities.
Even in mid-life it is not too late to reverse one’s fortunes.
This volume is the handbook par excellence for the young person preparing for the world of work. It mixes the commonplace and the sublime for maximum effect. It will help one to set the goals one wants to achieve in life. Sam’s successive chapters leads that person by the hand to overcome the pitfalls along the way and finally and most important one must lead by example, respect one’s fellowman and having run the race to have prepared for and enjoy a fruitful retirement.
In conclusion the question has to be – Does he succeed in the difficult task he has set himself – and the answer is – an unqualified Yes! As the saying goes it does exactly what it says on the tin.