Success Strategies - Essay Sample with the Book Review

Published: 2017-11-13
Success Strategies - Essay Sample with the Book Review
Essay type:  Book review
Categories:  Strategy Literature Personality Society
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 988 words
9 min read


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Each of us wishes to succeed in all aspects of life but success does not come on a silver plate. In this paper, I will examine some strategies of success as proposed by Stephen Guise in his book. I will begin by stating the book I chose and explain the motivation behind choosing it. I will then describe two pieces of information from the text that really interested me, after which I will exemplify two ways in which another source contradicts with the stand taken by my author of choice concerning my topics of interest. After that, I will conclude by explaining how the information obtained from this book will affect my actions in my studies and nursing profession.

Strategies for Success

The Choice

The book that I chose is entitled ‘Mini Habits: Smaller Habits. Bigger Results’ because it made me realize exactly what I was missing: strategy. The author of this book is Stephen Guise, a prolific researcher in strategies for personal growth. As a nursing student, I have always had the desire to achieve the best results in all what I do. It has not been easy and I have given up, at times, and felt rather demoralized. However, as soon as I read Stephen’s book, I realized just how wrong I had been in terms of setting goals for success. As a result, I acknowledged the fact that those seemingly stupid little steps, proposed by Guise (2013), could make a big difference in my life: both in my nursing studies and future career.

Academic Success Strategies

Topics of Interest

One of the most interesting pieces of information that made an impact on me is the aspect of willpower. According to Guise (2013), one does not need all the motivation, hard work and ambition to develop and position themselves for success; but sufficient willpower to carry out one small activity every day, which he calls a stupid small step. This idea impacted on me because, as I grew up, I was oriented to believe that ambition, hard work and motivation were all I needed in order to succeed. I therefore worked very hard to complete all my assignments and attend to as many patients as possible. My ambition to succeed motivated me albeit I often felt so much strain that at times, I either felt like giving up or gave up altogether. This piece of information, therefore, significantly changed my view on how to succeed in my studies as a nursing student. It taught me that I do not need to bite more than I can swallow, in the guise of ambition and motivation.

The other significant piece of information that positively influenced me is the aspect of extreme consistency. According to Guise (2013), if one is not able to consistently carry out a certain activity, then that means it is too big for them. He suggests that one should, thus, trim it enough to become practical and easy to complete. He suggests that the main crusher of goals is the expectation of failure. I had often been unable to study on my own. Whenever I attempted to do so, I fell asleep, including at daytime! I expected to fail; and sure enough, I failed my exams. However, from Guise’s aspect of extreme consistency, I realized that I could succeed. I decided to stop studying various areas simultaneously and go for a small area per day, consistently. This would really help me improve my grades.

Life Success Strategies


Nevertheless, Bipp and van Dam (2014) do not agree with the stand taken by Guise. According to them, without motivation, a student, for example, cannot adequately plan ahead. They apply various motivation models of hierarchical achievement to conclude that ambition and motivation are key determiners of academic performance among students. They argue that a motivated student sets goals, creates a desire to achieve them and pursues them until they achieve them, irrespective of the time taken. With motivation, a goal will always be achieved (Bipp & van Dam, 2014). This contradicts Guise’s idea that it is not motivation but willpower that leads to success. According to Guise, motivation is not enough for achievement of practical goals.

Another idea by Bipp and van Dam (2014), which contradicts with Guise’s, is that consistency is not an issue in the process of achieving a goal as long as one has the motivation to go on. According to them, the most important part of success is the end product and not the process through which it is achieved. They add that motivation is what makes a student complete several of their assignments on time without being monitored by their parents (Bipp & van Dam, 2014). This means that they can take a lot of work but whether they complete it or not, depends on their levels of motivation. However, this contradicts with the opinion of Guise who states that what is required for success is consistency. This is because motivation is more of a feeling than a strategy for goal achievement (Guise, 2013). Sometimes, one may feel rather de-motivated; hence, fanatic consistency is the only way to reach the goal.


The information gained from the book will actually be very useful in my professional practice. In fact, the practical strategies of goal-setting and achievement, proposed by Guise, were an eye opener. This is because the demands of the nursing studies and profession require one to have the willpower and be consistent. The book, therefore, made me realize that I only need to start in a small way and be consistent, in order to succeed in my professional practice.


Bipp, T. & van Dam, K. (2014). Extending Hierarchical Achievement Motivation Models: The Role of Motivational Needs for Achievement Goals and Academic Performance. Personality and Individual Differences, 64, 157-162.

Guise, S. (2013). Mini habits: Small Habits. Big Results. CreateSpace Publishing

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