Wake up and Live Book
Wake up and Live Book Review:
Timeless wisdom remains eternal. I finally finished reading it today.
Summed up in one sentence : ACT AS IF IT WERE IMPOSSIBLE TO FAIL.
Like a good bottle of scotch, or a piece of classical music. It’s just as good as they day it was published.
I have known about this book for years. I’ve been telling myself I would get around to reading it for months.
Frankly, I am glad I finally bit the bullet and read through it.
It triggered a lightbulb moment in me and resonated with me on a deep level.
The first thought that went through my head:
This stuff was hidden in plain sight. How did I not realize it?
Below, I have written about the main points of the book in a concise breakdown.
I recommend you purchase and buy the Wake Up and Live Book Below:
(You can get the Kindle Edition for fifty cents)
1)The Will to Fail AKA Acting As If You have 1,000 Years to Live
Human beings have an in built “Will to Fail or Will to Death.”
If you’ve ever been driving and thought about what it would be like to swerve in to the concrete median, you’ve experienced it.
If you’ve ever been standing at the top of a cliff or large building , you’ve felt it.
The urge to just jump off “and see what happens.”
It’s that sudden urge towards oblivion.
Well, the will to fail is the same thing. It’s that urge to fail when we could just as well succeed.
If you’ve ever self sabotaged, you must read this book.
We often do it unconsciously. Without even thinking about it.
I know that I sabotaged relationships with a couple of the girls I was dating.
My ego told me to do something that I knew would lower my value in their eyes.
I got lazy and complacent and did it anyways. Always trust your gut. ALWAYS.
It’s natural to get lazy but you can never afford to stop gaming your women, or fall asleep at the wheel of your life.
Many people have a subconscious fear of success.
You see, if someone’s been accustomed to failure for their whole life, that is their home.
That is the comfortable place they have resided in.
If, all of the sudden they become successful, they are disoriented. Success would mean anxiety, fear and unknown territory. Uncomfortable. Strange. Alien.
So, they subconsciously self-sabotage so they can remain in comfortable, familiar mediocrity . Finally, the success is gone and they are back.
Home sweet home. Back to the comfortable trappings of failure.
Another thing the author talks about is how the 9-5 work week is soul sucking.
It drains you of your creativity.
When you start, you tell yourself: Im going to work full time at my job, and part time on my dream.
What ends up happening, is very, very different.
Your job ends up taking so much of your soul, energy, willpower, creativity and motivation.
You end up having no time or energy to use once you get home.
You need to party on the weekend to recharge your batteries from the dull monotony.
Join the rat race for long enough and those dreams will be nothing more then a dull memory.
2) Hiding Our Failures – From Ourselves and from Others
The second key point Dorothea Brande makes is that we hide our failures. We engage in self-deception, as well as deceiving others.
We seem silently to enter into a sort of gentleman’s agreement with our friends and acquaintances.
Don’t mention my failure to me, and I will never never let the hint that you are not doing quite all I should expect of you cross my lips.
She also mentions another point I have expressed in my other blog posts.
High ,unrealistic expectations lead to inevitable DISSAPOINTMENT when reality fails to produce the unrealistic results.
As crazy as it sounds, people have a built in system designed to rush towards failure instead of success.
“Do not act as if you had a thousand years to live, ” Marcus Aurelius warned himself.
During the days of the Roman Emperor’s there was a man whose only job was to whisper to the emperor every so often “Thou art mortal.”
Whether they dream or dance, they spend their precious hours as THOUGH the store of them were inexhaustible.
3) Ways People Act Like They Had 1000 Thousands Years to Live
Below is a list of some of the ways people waste valuable time.
They act as though they had twelve lives to live through instead of the one life they were actually given.
⦁ Sleeping 2-6 hours longer then needed for good health (Oversleeping to escape reality)
⦁ Waking sleepers; persons who indulge in time killing pursuits – bookworms, video games, TV, mental masturbation . The line between recreation and obsession is thin.
⦁ People who drink knowing it means a bad morning the next day (Engaging in negative actions while knowing of the consequences (I’ve been guilty of this)
⦁ Engaging in the same conversations with different people, over and over again
⦁ Taking a job which only uses a small part of their abilities (under-employment)
⦁ Pouring out your life into the life of another person (Self-sacrificing)
⦁ Universal Charmers (Nice Guy’s) – People pleasers who have to kiss ass to everyone because they have nothing else to bring to the table. This is because they shirked responsibility.
⦁ Filling one’s time with seemingly purposeless activity.
The obvious intention is to trick the world into believing that we are living up to our full capacity. The intention, is to FAIL.
4) The Bottom Line, Don’t Spend Major time On Minor Things
That’s my bottom line. Don’t waste your energy on non productive endeavors.
Develop the habit of weighing everything before investing your time in it.
Ask yourself “What is the net benefit I will receive by investing my time, money or energy into this?”
If the answer you hear back is “Nothing. or, It will make me feel good right now”
You need to stop. It’s okay to reward yourselves sometimes.
But you can’t constantly waste time and expect to get ahead in life.
5) The Rewards of Failure
The reward of failure is : escape from adult effort and time to waste in day-dreaming.
By failing once and giving up, you avoid the struggle, the pain, the humiliations that attend outward activity. You will never have to deal with being despised, envied or understood.
You will never have to deal with discomfort or pain.
You will never have to deal with leaving your mediocre friends and compadres behind.
By failing or giving up one avoids gossip and backtalk. This fear of being talked about acts as a deterrent to success.
“Rather than face the mere possibility of pain, we will not act at all.”
6) The Successful Man
“Those who reach real success are likely to be constant workers.”
The successful man has less free time, and guards his time more closely.
He can seldom be counted on for impromptu gatherings since he is not unconsciously intent on finding escapes from the mediocre conditions of his life.
Except among his closest his personal friends, he may seem blunt or unapproachable.
Work or die is the rule the average man must live by.
Only those who are at work on the best they can do are free from the danger of PANIC-STRICKEN awakening to reality.
Dreamers and quitters may call the grapes of reality sour. Those who have tasted them know at last a dependable delight.
7) Transmuting Dreams Into Reality
Success or failure in adult life depends largely on the energy, courage and self-reliance with which one attacks the problem of making his dreams come true.
Self-confidence in any enterprise comes as a rule from remembrance of past success.
Take a definite step to turn a dream into a reality.
Do something every day to move towards your goal, no matter how remote your goal.
Those who are still slaves to dreams, to the Will to Fail are made uncomfortable by the sight of anyone who is breaking free.
Your first question to yourself should be “What would I be doing now if it were really impossible for me to fail?
Confident, Steady, Free-flowing Action is what we need.
“Success depends on a plus condition of mind and body, on power of work, on courage.”
8)Excessive Speech is Dangerous
CEASE IMMEDIATEDLY: Unnecessary Talking, Complaining, Asking Advice, Inviting Suggestions, Asking Permission – abandon all of these behaviors for two weeks.
“Speech is Silver, Silence is Golden.” “Much talk, little work” “A barking dog never bites”
The universal motive for asking for advice is this. By doing so, we can go on feeling protected and cherished. By asking for advice we can absolve ourselves of personal responsibility.
We can blame the advice giver for our poor results.
Even though we are no longer children.
Before asking advice, always ask yourself.
If you establish the habit of going to another before starting work, STOP.
You will lay the foundation of failure.
Never ask for permission or advice to start something.
Never seek external approval. If the work is good, they will come.
Be a self starter.
Dorothea Brande’s Wake Up and Live! is a a refreshing book. Much of the advice in the book is actionable, helpful and was at the time groundbreaking.
Much of it has been shamelessly stolen and included in modern self-help books without properly giving the late Dorothea Brande credit.
I can see how this book influenced several personal speakers, including Brian Tracy and Tony Robbins.
Wake up and Live Summary
1)Act as if it were impossible to fail.
2)Get into the habit of being both strict and friendly toward yourself.
Demand a certain standard of performance approve & reward yourself if you attain it.
3)Reclaim as much energy which you waste on entertainment and distraction. Devote it to purposeful activity, to action – toward an end.
4)Act by ignoring all memories or thoughts of failure. Refuse to attach importance to temporary discomfort/pain
5)Avoid Undue Haste, work at a steady, manageable pace.
6)Channel the Courage of Desperation.
A state in which a person has nothing left to lose. In this state a person acts with a directness and daring which he could not ordinarily command.
7)Courage facing in the right direction is the sine qua non (an essential condition).
8)Exercise flexibility and restraint.
9)Learn To Turn Imagination away from pointless distractions and into useful channels.
10)Determine to act wisely in minor manners to store up courage for major issues.
11)Use our brains to get the greatest good from our abilities.
12)Refuse ourselves the weakening privilege of dreaming.
13)Act as though it were impossible to fail. Don’t act like you’re going to live forever (You’re not)
Don’t spend major time on minor things. Be aware of the Will to Fail.
Don’t ask others for permission. Don’t talk about what you are going to do.
Just do it. Make every moment count
Conclusion : Is this book worth reading/listening to?
In my opinion, absolutely. I regret putting off reading it for so long.
I find most extremely old books bland, outdated and boring slog fests.
I found this book inspiring, relevant and timeless.
I felt extremely motivated and upbeat after reading it.
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Heed the wise words of Dorothea Brande Wake up and Live!