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Book review: The Art of Being Brilliant

As I read the early stages of The Art of Being Brilliant, the authors told me they were passionate about their work in this area (living a positive, amazing life as a 2 per center in a world that can make that difficult). They were not kidding. The passion for their subject shines through in this thoroughly enjoyable read from Andy Cope and Andy Whittaker.

The writing style is simple, quirky and humorous, which I think is spot on for a book of this type. It is clear that – although simplified for consumption by normal people – behind each piece of advice there is some serious science and research. The result is a book that feels highly credible, yet totally accessible and real.

There are six points the Andys recommend for brilliance in life:

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- Choose to be positive

- Understand your impact

- Take personal responsibility

- Have “bounce-back-ability”

- Set huge goals

- Play to your strengths

The examples they provide as they journey through each of these areas are practical and usable for readers. Nothing in the book is difficult to contemplate doing – although obviously it takes some personal chutzpah, otherwise we would all be doing it.

For example, they describe the four-minute rule from motivational speaker Steve McDermott. When Mr McDermott used to walk in the door after weeks away with work, he would be absolutely exhausted and his kids would launch themselves at him. He would say, exasperated, “Kids, please just let me get through the door.” His wife pointed out that in a few years the kids might not be bothered if dad was home or not and so, on his next trip, as he came home he thought, “What would the best dad in the world do when he opened the front door?” and he fully engaged with his kids’ greeting. He noticed that after about four minutes they got bored and went off to do other things, hence the four-minute rule. So Andy and his wife now have a method for not going to a place of negativity when they get home each day, talking to each other and to their children.

Anyway, I liked it as a simple tool and the book is full of practical ideas like this in every chapter.

Despite all that, I liked the book but did not love it. However, personal development books tend to come to you when you are ready, and in this instance it was my place to review it, rather than discover it in search of an answer, so that may well affect things. If you are looking for a way of changing things in how you approach your life, this book would make a great starting point.

Published by Capstone