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Buy at
The Twelve Universal Laws of Success, 2nd edition expanded
by Herbert Harris
Paperback 195 pages
Published by LifeSkill Institute
Copyright 2004
Buy at

Bon Journal

The Twelve Universal Laws of Success by Herbert Harris

This thin yellow paperback in readable 12 or 14 font-size print arrived in the post last summer with a cover letter, "Dr Ku, I sent the book to you before. After nearly three months, the post office returned the book in a tattered, battered envelope. Sorry for our totally incompetent mail service. Hope you enjoy the book."

The title itself begged a self-help addict to read it. What are the twelve laws? Why are they universal? Who is Herbert Harris? For whom is it written?

The introduction says that it's written for the reader who has done okay in life. Clearly truly successful people, the cream of the crop, don't need such a book. They've been there and done that. Equally extreme losers lack the motivation and everything else to understand the book. Considering myself having done all right so far, I plunged into the book.

If there is ever a self-help book about how to succeed, this is it. The author Herbert Harris writes from hard-earned experience as a newspaper columnist, lawyer, and lecturer. Perhaps these are the universal laws that I've been seeking all my life. The book is full of anecdotes which make fundamental common sense. A few of these I list below:

You become what you think of most of the time. In other words, have a wish, have a destination, and you will get there somehow. It's all about self-fulfilling prophecies.

Fear is False Evidence Appearing Real. People fear change, criticism, and failure, all which prevent them from making the changes necessary to improve their lives.

Worry is a form of continuous fear caused by indecision or uncertainty. More people die from worry than from overwork.

Everything in the book flows well except the diversions to God and the Master Mind Principle. I, for one, prefer to separate quotes and stories from bible from the "truths" we learn from our experiences. The moment the book started to extract from the Bible, I lost interest. There are self-help spiritual books, but I didn't consider this book in that category. Having said this, I wouldn't give this book away. I'd rather keep it on my shelves to remind myself when I start to fear, worry, and plunge into negative thinking.

2 February 2005 Wednesday

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Anne Ku at Ilp in May 2001
Anne Ku

writes about her travels, conversations, thoughts, events, music, and anything else that is interesting enough to fill a web page.
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