Review by Mike Unwalla, 2004-01-02.
Anthony Robbins, 1989. Unlimited Power: the New Science of Personal Achievement. London: Simon & Schuster UK Ltd.
This book is "directed toward providing your brain with the most effective signals to empower you to take successful action." It is a great read, it contains useful ideas and strategies, and there are exercises and techniques that Robbins says will help you.
Much of the book explains NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) concepts, but it goes beyond that. Robbins is keen on 'modelling', that is, seeing what successful people do and learning from them.
Robbins writes about the importance of precision in our communications. As a technical writer, I wholeheartedly agree with him. Robbins gives a method of countering the 'verbal fluff'. For example, if someone says, "XYZ Ltd charge too much", ask, "compared to what?".
Words are only a map of reality, they are not reality. Abstract words such as 'fun', 'love', and 'excitement' mean different things to people. Robins shows that for clear communication, we need to know how such words are being used.
There are many assertions and opinions in the book, but there are very few references to original sources. Therefore, it is not possible to check facts and interpretations. Given the subtitle: the new science, I think that omission is a large failing of the book.
What are the three primary ideas/reminders that I got out of the book?
- Persistent targeted action is a key to success
- Look to the good in people (and situations)
- There is no failure, only outcomes. Learn from these to improve future outcomes.
There is far more in the book than I have mentioned here. It is definitely worth reading, and as Robbins says (paraphrased), "take what you need and ignore the rest".