Dare to Win, Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen

Dare to Win

Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen

Stage: getting to “by me,” relationships

This is another one of those good all-around books to read on personal development.

It covers a lot! From business to family to health… I like this well-rounded approach to life.

Some of the things this book seems to be a specialist on is visualization and affirmation. Now, I don’t know if Canfield and Hansen are the first to come up with these techniques, but in any case they are big advocates of them. They also give instructions on how to do them!


One thing that hit me between the eyes came in the introduction: that people fear WINNING. Not losing. Winning.

Maybe I had just never thought of my situation that way before. But it really opened my eyes as to why I was holding myself back in certain areas of my life.

For example, I had been having trouble asking girls out. Maybe it was fear of rejection. But maybe it was the fear of success. After all, I had never had a girlfriend before. Was the safety of being alone and miserable better (to my subconscious) than the unknown of actually having a girlfriend?

Yes, the mind works in mysterious ways.

To illustrate the points of the book, it contains lots of classic personal development examples along the way: business, health, relationships, social life… You know the drill.

Dare to Win also dedicates two chapters to the subjects of love and family, something I found quite interesting. It gives some great advice for anyone in a relationship or who has a family. Even if you don’t have one, everyone you come into contact with deserves love!

One thing about this book is that it’s not very original. Maybe back in its day it was. But now it feels just like most personal development books.


Favorite Quote: “Once we realize that excuses don’t count, we can begin to break through. Once we see that our subconscious fears – not external circumstances – are the real problem, we can take charge of ourselves and our lives. And once we take charge, we can be, do and have anything we want.”

The Verdict: This is a good, well-rounded book on personal development, especially for those beginning topics like visualization and affirmation. However, there are very few original personal development ideas.





















No More Mr. Nice Guy, Robert Glover

No More Mr. Nice Guy

Robert Glover

Categories: getting to “by me,” relationships

This was a revolutionary book for me.

I first heard about it on the Art of Charm podcast (shoutout to them!) where they interviewed the author, Robert Glover. He talked about a new phenomenon in our culture called the Nice Guy Syndrome. And it really resonated with me.

Here’s how he defines Nice Guys:

“They all believe that if they are “good” and do everything “right,” they will be loved, get their needs met, and have a problem-free life. This attempt to be good typically involves trying to eliminate or hide certain things about themselves (their mistakes, needs, emotions) and become what they believe others want them to be (generous, helpful, peaceful, etc.).”

They’re basically people pleasers. In the extreme.

I know because I was a Nice Guy. I did try to do everything “right” and lead a problem-free life.

Granted, I wasn’t an extreme case, but on some level that was definitely me.

But this book was a real wake-up call for me, as it is with a lot of guys who read it.

You always hear about gurus talking about men improving themselves, which I am all for, and they give you ways to do it. But how do you know how to proceed if you don’t have a starting point from which to proceed? This book explains all of the subconscious traps Nice Guys fall into and the reasons they come up.

He also explains why this paradigm is ineffective for navigating the world, which explains the mediocre results Nice Guys get with friends, work, and especially women.

One of the big reasons he gives is the use of “covert contracts”, which is when the Nice Guy’s subconscious is running this program:

“1) I will do this __ (fill in the blank) for you, so that
2) You will do this __ (fill in the blank) for me.
3) We will both act as if we have no awareness of this contract.”

As one can imagine, this comes most often in the form of being nice in order to get sex when it comes to women. (Btw, the author clearly states that gay men can also be Nice Guys).

The author provides exercises throughout the book to help guys break free from this malicious trap. He also runs recovery groups in multiple cities throughout the States.

The ultimate goal, he says, is to be a man that makes it his job to get his needs met, asks for what he wants, expresses his feelings, faces his fears, has integrity, and isn’t manipulative or faking niceness.

Favorite Quotes: “By trying to please everyone, Nice Guys often end up pleasing no one – including themselves.”

“Nice Guys have believed a myth that promises them that if they give up themselves and put others first, they will be loved and get their needs met. There is only one way to change this illogical, nonproductive Nice Guy paradigm — putting themselves first.”


The Verdict: If anything in this article resonates with you, READ THIS BOOK. It will drastically improve your life.













How To Win Friends And Influence People, Dale Carnegie

How To Win Friends And Influence People

Dale Carnegie

Category: handling people

This is undoubtedly one of the great classics of personal development, one of the first in the field.

Before I get into why it’s so good, I should tell you what it’s about.

The title is pretty self-explanatory. These are fundamental techniques in handling people of all walks of life and good guidelines to live by.

Dale Carnegie  was one of the first non-spiritual self-development gurus out there. (By the way, I hate the term self-help. You’re not helping yourself, you’re growing yourself. The former implies there’s something wrong with you). He ran seminars and wrote books on the subject.

The book itself is divided into chapters, each of which deals with different techniques, such as “Don’t criticize, condemn, or complain” or “If you are wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically.” EVERY one of these rules has multiple examples, either taken from history or from Dale Carnegie’s experiences with people.

A lot of these laws have to do with the business world, but not all. Some are also taken from peoples’ personal lives.

Now most people love this book for two reasons:

  1. It provides the basics of handling people.
  2. It makes them feel good.


The first reason is definitely true.

But there’s more to the second point.

I have to admit when I first read this book it made me feel great, too. I didn’t feel like I was trying to manipulate people but simply influence them.

But now I realize that it’s basically the same thing.

To illustrate my point: I’m currently reading the 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene (don’t worry, a review will be coming soon), which a lot of people find controversial. The language is direct and preaches that one has to be ruthless in the game of power. A lot of people see it as the polar opposite of How to Win Friends and Influence People.

I disagree. They seem different on the outside, but the message is the same.

The 48 Laws is basically the R-rated version of How to Win Friends. Look at some of the things they talk about: One rule in the latter is to “Talk in terms of the other person’s interests.” One of the 48 Laws is “When asking for help, appeal to people’s self-interest, never to their mercy or gratitude.” Very similar message, very different package.

I will say that the 48 Laws makes life out to be heartless and bleak whereas How to Win Friends is the family-friendly version.

Granted, there are some other differences that I won’t mention here. You’ll have to find out for yourself.

All in all, you should read both.

Back to How to Win Friends and Influence People, I do very much like Dale Carnegie’s advice. It is especially relevant to the professional setting.

Another thing: the title is slightly misleading. You might win acquaintances, but you won’t win true friends. In my experience, true friendship comes through expressing yourself and having a good vibe with another self-expressing person.

But plenty of situations arise in life where you have to know how to simply win acquaintances, or how to charm your way through a situation. In these cases, this book comes in handy.

You could also apply these techniques out of just being a better person: For example just remembering people’s names or smiling.


Favorite Quote:


“Remember, we all crave recognition and appreciation and will do almost anything to get it. But nobody wants insincerity. Nobody wants flattery.”


The Verdict:

A must-read for anyone who doesn’t live under a rock and has to actually interact with human beings.