13 Simple Steps to Adding Fulfillment to Each Day: The Greatness Guide

Written by Scott September 9, 2009

The Greatness Guide
The Greatness Guide: 101 Lessons for Making What’s Good at Work and in Life Even Better
by Robin Sharma
Pub. Date: August 2008, HarperCollins
ISBN-9780061238574
240 Pages
Success Rating: 4
Buy The Greatness Guide at AmazonWhy I Read this Book: Success and greatness are things that we all strive for in some way. This is a brilliantly simple guide to getting fired up and staying on the never ending road to greatness.

Topics Covered:

  • Leading a life of happiness and fulfillment
  • Creating life-changing relationships
  • Enjoying the moments
  • Running a stand-out business and career
  • Holding yourself to a higher standard

Review:

Who wouldn’t want to be great? What do I mean by great you might ask? Who cares? It doesn’t matter. Whatever greatness means to you–that’s what I mean. Do you think there is anyone out there who honestly would not prefer greatness to mediocrity? The challenge is that many of us do not know where to start and for those of us who do, we still need some constant reinforcement to stay on the high road (we are only human of course). After reading The Greatness Guide, I realized it’s the perfect place for both.

What is it that makes a book valuable, especially a personal development book? It’s that you actually open it up and read it. Did you know that of all the books purchased, only something like 10% get read past the first chapter? Crazy. And to really make a book valuable it’s not only crucial to read it, but to do something different as a result of reading it. The Greatness Guide did this better than most any book I’ve come across in a while. Why? It’s simple, it’s short, it’s easy to read and it gives the best little ideas of how to apply the new found knowledge to your life. I bet it won’t take more than a day or two to get from cover to cover. Add any one of these ideas to your daily ritual and you have something powerful.

When Robin Sharma wrote this he must have been thinking of you and me as he put it together into 101 chapters of no more than a couple pages each. Perfect for next to your bed as something to ponder while you sleep or better yet some words of inspiration to go after the new day when you wake. And an ideal gift, which is how I came across it.

Robin is straightforward. He’s made a list of the 101 best things he’s learned in creating a great life over his years as a top leadership and coaching guru and packaged them up for the taking. He covers life, love, friendship, leadership, emotions, finances, enjoyment, health, you name it. What I love is how catchy and concise they are. You’ll find ideas from Stephen Covey, Tony Robbins, Dale Carnegie, Eckhart Tolle, The Dalai Lama, and the list goes on. By now we should be getting the idea that a lot of these concepts involved in living a successful and great life are not the most novel in the world. In fact they can often be the simplest, yet still most underused. After all, an idea really isn’t anything until you apply some action. Whether it’s the simple act of smiling, saying please and thank you or leaving people better than we found them. Anyone can come up with these, but so few practice them. I think that’s why Robin put them together as he has.

One passage that particularly stuck out to me was “Be Into Breezes”. Robin came across a man one day and while talking to him, the man closed his eyes, put on a huge smile, and just got caught up in the enjoyment of the moment. When asked what that was about, the man replied “I am just really into breezes”. A breeze had passed through and that was all this man needed to be wrapped up in a moment of happiness. It came out of nowhere and it didn’t cost a dime. I’d venture to say that most people don’t get a joyful feeling like that even once a week.

Think for a second how often you feel a breeze. Do you even notice? Imagine if this simple experience could add that type of happiness to your life, and how incredibly often it could occur. How simple the things can be that transform our moments. Whether it’s being into breezes or smiles or whatever–take the time to appreciate and enjoy the little things. One of the “breezes” in my life is the smell of freshly brewed coffee and hot out-of-the oven pastries–it takes me right back to a magic moment I spent wandering the towns of The Cinque Terre in Italy years back. I don’t even have to enter the cafe. All it takes is that aroma to trigger a feeling of pure bliss. I can’t tell you how many cafes I pass daily (as most of us do these days) and it’s always such a treat. We don’t have to work for years on end or pay a fortune to achieve or experience these simple things yet in the moment the feeling can be just as grand. As humans, we consume and spend and achieve all for the same reason–for a desired feeling (usually happiness, enjoyment, satisfaction, fulfillment). Why not let the small things in life do the same for you? These are the lessons that Robin strings together in The Greatness Guide–little things that when lived daily, create an absolutely contagious life of greatness.  So what’s your breeze?

Some of the other powerful ideas:

  • Make time to think: reserve some time each day to do nothing and give your mind a chance to just run wild
  • Listen twice as much as you speak: great relationships and true understanding comes from listening
  • Your customers buy with their hearts: create emotional connections with them
  • Learn to say no: spend your time doing the things you want to be doing–you can’t do everything
  • Become a member of the 5am club: wake early, reserve time for yourself and do it when you’re most alert
  • Be wildly enthusiastic: it’s contagious
  • To be more productive, relax and have more fun: life isn’t all about work
  • Speak like a superstar: learn how to speak
  • The person who experiences most wins: life and fulfillment come from your experiences–have them daily
  • Learn more to earn more: never stop learning, and never leave home without a book under your arm (I especially love this one!)
  • Become an inspirational human being: help others become the best they can
  • Get in superb physical shape and eat a world class diet: Energy and greatness start from a healthy body–you won’t believe the change
  • Lay claim to greatness: wake up everyday striving for greatness for yourself, whatever that might mean, and watch it catch on

If it were only so simple to hear or read the great tidbits of guidance for life once and have them close at hand forever–none of us would need websites like this, coaches, books, etc. But the truth is that success and learning and living are a never-ending process. Just because you intellectualize something one day does mean it will change your life. Yes, you may be a step closer, but really living it requires true repetitive learning and application. For that we need tools. Some come in the form of people in our lives, or speeches, movies, videos and of course books. But the balance is that all these touch points must be simple and enjoyable enough to encourage repeated experiences with them while having the power of delivering an impactful and meaningful message.

That’s where The Greatness Guide holds fantastic weight. Recognize that learning and success are not just about reading and moving on. It’s constant contact with the things we know are most powerful in our lives. The ideas and outlooks on life that we firmly believe in, when made apart of our days, will dramatically enhance our lives. Read the Greatness Guide once to explore some new and old ideas about success. But then keep it close by–be it your bed, your office, your car, wherever, and allow these ideas to slowly transform from concepts to habits. That’s where success truly lies. It is not in the simple act of learning but in the applying and experiencing that always has and always will make all the difference. The right habits create a successful life. Start forming them today.

What have you made a part of your daily ritual to lead you toward greatness? What has helped keep you on track and continuing to learn and experience the great parts of life? What effect have you noticed it having on others? Where could you use help? What’s been the biggest challenge in your journey? Share your experiences in the comments section below.

Also, don’t forget to check out our new site feature: What Should I Read? If you are curious what to read next, just tell us your goals for success and where you are in life and we’ll tell you what you might want to read. We have read hundreds of books and are happy to help! In fact you can see a lot of the books we’ve read on Good Reads.

And if you know someone who could benefit from this review, give a gift and please email it to them.

~Reading for Your Success

Buy The Greatness Guide at Amazon

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Featured Quotes:

A mind once stretched by a new idea can never return to its original dimensions.

Leadership is shown by the human being who fights the urge to stay under the covers on a cold day and throws on her running shoes to pound the pavement. Not because running miles on a frosty morning is fun. But because it’s wise.

Remember that before someone will lend you a hand, you need to touch their heart.

Focus plus daily improvement plus time equals genius. Understand that formula deeply and your life will never be the same.

Listening to someone intently is one of the best ways I know of to honor that person and forge a deep human connection.

Remember every great leader or visionary or brave thinker was initially laughed at. Now they are revered.

The only place you’ll reach if you follow the crowd is the exit.

The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. But the second best time is today.–Chinese saying

Great people build monuments from the stones that their critics throw at them. –Dan Sheehan

You are here to find that cause, that main aim, that vital destiny that will move you at the most visceral level and get you up at the crack of dawn with fire in your belly.

The price of discipline is always less than the pain of regret.–Nido Qubein

Nobody grows old merely by living a number of years. We grow old by deserting our ideals. Years may wrinkle the skin but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul. –Ralph Waldo Emerson

The smallest of actions is always greater than the noblest of intentions.

We always have the choice to be strong and positive when things fall apart. We have the right to use our stumbling blocks as stepping stones to our greatest life. Grace under pressure!

Business is about loving the people who do business with you and giving them more value than they have any right to expect.

Manage your fear by doing the very thing that frightens you. That’s the best way to destroy a fear. Do it until you’re no longer scared. The fears you run away from run toward you.

The words you use influence the life you live. Select them wisely.

It’s risky out on the limb but that’s where all the fruit is.

Most of us, when we get scared, blame others to avoid the pain of owning the mistake we’ve made.

I cursed the fact I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet.–Persian Proverb

It’s easy to fall into the very human trap of focusing on what we don’t have rather than being grateful for what we do have.

Few of us write great novels, but all of us can live them. –Mignon Mclaughlin

Good health is a crown on the head of a well person that only a sick person can see.

The best leaders see through the eyes of understanding.

We can curse the darkness or we can light a candle. Our world needs more light. Be an inspiration.

If everyone was satisfied with themselves, there would be no heroes.

Do good and leave behind a virtue that the storm of time can never destroy.

When struggling ask yourself “will this matter in a year from now?”

To live on in the minds and hearts of the generations who will follow you is to cheat death. To make such a difference through the way you lead and show up is to find immortality. To have a lasting impact on human lives–by being a great champion at work or a great parent at home or a great leader in your community–is to live forever.

There is no situation that is not transformable. There is no person who is hopeless. There is no set of circumstances that cannot be turned about by human beings and their natural capacity for love of the deepest sort.

Step by step. Small gains eventually yield giant results.

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“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” - Jim Rohn