Book review: Successful people have winning habits, and this book analyses them well

“Power Habits: 101 Life Lessons & Success Habits of Great Leaders, Business Icons and Inspirational Achievers” by Chris Luke

They say don’t judge a book by it’s cover, but for this book what you see on the cover is pretty much what you get. The book has 101 chapters, one for each successful individual and their most powerful habit. It has the curiosity of Albert Einstein, the focus of Anthony Robbins, the time efficiency of Henry Ford, the visualisation of Ronaldinho, all the way to the reason why James Bond take cold showers.

The book analyses what makes the likes of Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Elon Musk and Richard Branson successful, but it also discusses the winning formula for South Park writers, Oprah Winfrey, Bruce Lee, Kobe Bryant, and fictional characters such as Jason Bourne and fight club’s Tyler Durden. Moreover, between the successful people and their amazing stories there are the inspiring Lao Tzu, Aristotle, Socrates, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and Dalai Lama. While every once in a while you’ll get pleasantly surprised by the individual that pops up in the next chapter, like Kanye West.

Yes, the book is serious, inspiring, and fun at the same time. It’s a bite size read with each chapter consists of only 2-3 pages, which makes it easy to digest. Furthermore, the 101 chapters are categorised into 9 sections (life habits, success habits, motivational habits, rich habits, productive habits, creative habits, fit and healthy habits, social habits, and minimalistic habits), and they are all written in such a concise way that the entire book looks like a long note consisting only the important things.

One habit that stuck with me throughout was the fact that almost every successful people – from JFK to Warren Buffett to Mark Zuckerberg – read a lot of books, with the author himself keep on referring to some of the best books to make his points across. Another common habit that stuck in my head is how efficient and simplified they actually are (especially Benjamin Franklin and Leonardo Da Vinci), and how systematic they are (especially Winston Churchill and Ernest Hemingway).

I didn’t really like the rich habits section, however, as it sounds too Robert Kiyosaki-centrist cult of get rich with passive income cliché, while seemingly undermining any other professions (while in reality successful professional “employees” like lawyers and investment bankers can make way more money than entrepreneurs making passive income from an amateurish startup – it’s all relative. And many vocational callings cannot even be measured by money, like teachers, scientists and doctors). And that explains the 4 stars. But to be fair, in retrospect, the get rich habits section may be very useful for twenty-something who are just starting out in the real world (hence, I’d give 4 1/2 stars if only Amazon still have it).

All in all, it is an entertaining book, easy to read, but yet very resourceful at the same time. I’m going to take more stairs than lifts from now on, will try Salvador Dali’s method of power nap, will slowly targeting myself to be able to read like Tai Lopez, will organise my mornings like Howard Schultz, will keep practising my craft until it’s perfect like The Beatles, and will do it all with the confidence of Muhammad Ali.

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