Book Reviews: Rich Dad Poor Dad, Living Recovery, Blind Ambition, & Winners Dream

Hello everyone,

today I want to share some inspirational stories with you. Enjoy!


Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki
Rich Dad, Poor Dad is one of those books you are going to either love or hate. That's because it dismisses most of the advice our families, friends and school taught us about money, encouraging us to look at the topic from a different perspective. One that completely challenges our current beliefs. It's our beliefs about money, more than our situation in life, that determines how financially successful we can be. And if you're not ready to change them, this book will piss you off. And your life will stay the same.
In Rich Dad, Poor Dad, Kiyosaki shares what he learned from his two dads. His biological dad did what everyone else did. He went to school, got a job, bought a house, and struggled financially all his life. His best friend's dad instead was a school drop out who who became a self-made multi-millionaire. That's because he was trained to see opportunities where other people only saw risks. That's because, unlike most people including the author's real dad, he didn't consider rich people greedy and evil (we all say we'd like to be rich, but would we really try to become wealthy if that meant others hated us for it?). That's because he knew the difference between assets and liabilities. Most people, for instance, think of their first house as an asset. It isn't. Yes, it'll go up in value in a few years, but that's good for you only if you decide to sell it or rent it. But you won't as you'll be living in it, all the while paying for mortgage, bills, and repairs. That's why financially successful people postpone buying a house until they have made enough money through their investments to afford one without taking on a big mortgage. Instead, they use their pay-check to invest in real estate, businesses, stock market, and other opportunities that allows their money to grow. That can be risky. That's why you should never stop learning. Kiyosaki is not a big fan of the traditional school system, but he believes that we should never stop learning. And the more you learn about money and the different investment options available to you, the easier it will be to make the right financial decisions.
Kiyosaki doesn't preach. Instead, he shares both his experiences and actions and those of his two dads to show us how they shaped their financial, and as a consequence personal, lives. That way, the reader can better relate to the author and his advice, and learn in a more enjoyable and helpful way. The author also has a gift for simplifying complicated financial concepts, explaining them in such a clear way that everyone will be able to grasp them immediately.
The only failing of this book, if it can be so called, is that it only provides an overview about how your beliefs about money can affect your life, either positively or negatively, rather than a step-to-step guide on what to do to make money. It will make you reconsider the way you view financial issues, leaving you eager to try new things. But it doesn't give you precise instructions on how you can implement your new ideas. For that you will have to read another book or come up with your own way of doing stuff.
Thought-provoking and well-written, Rich Dad, Poor Dad is a must read for everyone who wants to start thinking like a rich person, and act like one.
Available at: Amazon
Rating: 4/5

Living Recovery: Youth Speak Out on "Owning" Mental Illness by Joann Elizabeth Leavey
Adolescence is a difficult period for everyone. Your body is changing, you are taking over more responsibilities and starting challenging the society in which you live, all the while trying to figure out who you are. It's even worse when you're suffering from mental illness. These diseases, and the stigma attached to them, can completely isolate teenagers, thus interrupting their development. Although mental illness in adults is quite well documented, there is as yet not much information about how they affect teenagers and what treatments work best at this difficult time of life.
Joann Elizabeth Leavey is trying to change this. Realizing that mental health services aren't adequately supporting teens, and eager to find new ways to help them, she decided to ask them what they need. She interviewed 26 young adults between the ages of 16 and 27 in Canada, Australia, and the US. Living Recovery shares the finding of her study.
Although the sample is small, common themes and a pattern emerge. After the emergence of the illness, all teenagers went through stages of loss, adaptation, and recovery. Mental illness can be scary, not just for the affected person but for everyone around them. There are a lot of misconceptions about these illnesses. Affected people are often labelled as lazy, good-for-nothing, weird, or dangerous, and as a result, they lose friends, the support of family members, their jobs or, in the case of young adults, precious school years as they are forced to take time off to get better, and the opportunity to make decisions for themselves. These losses are usually followed by self-isolation, often used by patients to deal with a world they are perceiving as more and more hostile and scary. The last stage is recovery, which can happen, however, only if help is sought. Luckily, all the young adults involved are on their way to recovery, but, if we improve support for this age group, we can help them better and faster.
By giving these young adults a voice, Leavey allows professionals (the book is aimed at them; others may find its academic tone a bit dry at times) to better understand the challenges young adults face and come up with alternative therapies and support systems that can help both diagnose these diseases as soon as possible and treat them effectively.
Overall, this is a wonderful and insightful read that will hopefully inspire other researches to continue Leavey's work.
Available at: Amazon
Rating: 3.5/5

Blind Ambition: How to Envision Your Limitless Potential and Achieve the Success You Want by Patricia Walsh
Diagnosed with a pediatric brain tumor, Patricia Walsh became almost blind at the age of five. As a teenager, she went off the rails, falling into a downward spiral into depression. Until one day she had an epiphany. Refusing to let her limits define her, she decided to turn her life around and became an award-winning engineer, a champion paratriathlete, and an IRONMAN world record holder. How did she manage to achieve so much?
Her incredible inner strength, belief in herself, and determination not to be defined by what happened to her certainly helped a great deal. And so did her Fuel/Fire/Blaze approach to achieving any goal. Your fuel is your base goals, all those small day-to-day tasks that help you achieve your higher goal. Your fire are the important milestones that you have to reach along the way to make your dream come true. And your blaze is your most ardent dreams, dreams that can come true only when you add fuel to the fire. Patricia also stresses the importance of failing gracefully. Everyone experiences some failures and setbacks, but it's only when we use them as lessons to learn what went wrong rather than as excuses to give up that we can truly succeed.
Although undoubtedly effective, Walsh's Fuel/Fire/Blaze approach is nothing revolutionary. It's just a new spin on the same old advice on goal setting. But the real strength of this book is not so much the advice itself, but Patricia's story. By sharing how her approach has helped her overcome her limitations, Wash inspires readers to go after their dreams. She's living proof that with the right mindset and techniques anyone, no matter what blows life has dealt them, can accomplish everything they have ever dreamt of. Well-written and highly motivational, I recommend it to anyone who doesn't believe in themselves and their ability to change their lives and accomplish their goals. You'll change your minds afterwards, and you'll be eager to put her tips in practice.
Available at: Amazon
Rating: 3.5/5

Winners Dream: A Journey from Corner Store to Corner Office by Bill McDermott
Who doesn't love a good rags-to-riches story? Bill McDermott, now SAP's CEO, was born in a lower middle class family that always struggled financially. But his parents were always supportive and encouraging, and taught him that he could do anything he set his mind to. Armed with a positive attitude, a strong work ethic, and a determination to succeed, McDermott set out to make his dreams come true.
After working as a paper boy as a child and starting his own deli to pay his way through school, McDermott was hired as a salesman by Xerox. After a series of promotions, he decided to quit. Looking for a company he could feel proud working for, he eventually landed at SAP and became its CEO. In this book, McDermott explains just how he did it. His tendency to see opportunities where others saw risks, his ability to motivate his staff, his penchant for selling, and his willingness to review his performance to always get better and better, brought him immense success during his career. By sharing his experiences, the reader learns some powerful lessons that will help him/her succeed professionally, such as figure out who your customers are, what they want, and what you can give them that your competitors don't, trust your employees and build a sincere rapport with them as well everyone else you meet, and find a way to reach your goals without compromising your values.
While I find the book highly inspirational, I was disappointed McDermott decided to share so little information about his personal life. His siblings, parents, wife, and sons make sporadic and short appearances. Instead, McDermott prefers to share information about Xerox and SAP, which, at times, makes for some dry reading. I can see the reasoning behind this decision though. Winners Dreams is not so much a personal biography, but an inspirational read for all those who want to be successful in corporate America. If that's you, you'll find lots of inspiration, motivation, and practical tips to reach your goals here.
Available at: Amazon
Rating: 3.5/5

What do you think of these books?

Disclaimer: this book was sent by PR for consideration. In addition, this post contains affiliate links.