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Overcoming Challenges with Strategic Planning

Overcoming Challenges with Strategic Planning

Book Review: Focal Point
Written By    : Brian Tracy
Review By     : Jude Chukwuemeka
The 200-page book Focal Point written by Brian Tracy is a book about the power of focus. Focus on the task and the hour and the day and the work at hand; and the choices we make. It is a proven system to simplify your life, double your productivity, and achieve all your goals.
This exciting book, published by the American Management Association, contains a 12 part system that has been proven by thousands of people to be life-changing in every way. The book teaches how to double your income and double your time off – simultaneously. You learn how to set goals and objectives in every part of your life. You learn how to identify your “Focal Point” and concentrate all of your energies on the one thing that you can do, at any given moment, to accomplish the most important results.

Brian Tracy in Focal Point teaches you how to do personal strategic planning in each of the seven key areas of life: Business and Career; Money and Investments; Family and Relationships; Health and Fitness; Personal and Professional Development; Social and Community Involvement; and Spiritual Development and Inner Peace. You learn how to determine your values, create a vision, decide upon your mission, set your goals, make your plans and move ahead more rapidly in all areas of your life.
Above all, you get to know how to simplify your life, clear up clutter, focus on the few things that really matter, and have vastly more time to spend with your family and in your personal life.
Not all who follow Tracy’s program will find their incomes doubled and work hours pared while their personal relationships blossom, of course, but anyone who applies it diligently should see definite improvement.
Tracy shows you to identify what your focal point is in each area of your life and then asks you to direct all of your energies with laser-like focus. According to him, Focus is like a laser beam. Just like a laser beam can cut through steel when properly focused and directed, focus as described in Focal Point can help you cut through barriers that have been holding you back to achieving your goals. Tracy informs the reader to apply “Zero-based Thinking” to each activity: “Knowing what I know now, if I were not doing this now, would I start it up again today?” In other words, even though I perform this task/duty periodically, if I had the choice to start again, would I continue to perform this task/duty? This type of conceptual thinking is truly the poignant theme within the book and, in my opinion, very pertinent.
The “Double your income, double your time off” idea on page 9 is based on the well-publicized 80/20 rule, also found in ‘Eat That Frog’. The 80/20 rule stipulates that one spends 80 percent of one’s time generating 20 percent of one’s results while 20 percent of one’s time is spent generating 80 percent of one’s results. With a few general exceptions, this rule is accurate, particularly to one’s professional life. Tracy then takes this concept a step further and says if one were to ‘concentrate’ on the 20 percent activities and eliminate the 80 percent activities, one will have the capability to double income, double time off.
The meat of FOCAL POINT is then spent on identifying the various Focal Points (“X” marks the spot is his mantra) in the reader’s life, illustrating the concept of Zero-based thinking to each area and finally proposing application of the 80/20 rule to each. While this is repetitive in nature, it is a reasonable roadmap to develop a personal/professional foundation for future achievement.
Tracy reaches the finality of his coaching by providing the reader with his “Seven Lessons for the 21st Century” as follows in summary:
1. Life gets better when you get better.
2. Where you’ve been doesn’t matter; only where you’re going.
3. One may fail to succeed.
4. Freedom comes through development of options.
5. See the good out of every problem or difficulty.
6. You can learn anything you need for success through proper goal-setting.
7. The only limits to success are within your mind.
Lastly, it should be emphasized that Tracy provided the reader with a backdrop for practical application and, ultimately, realization of one’s goals.

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