Book Review: It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want to Be by Paul Arden

Published on November 30, 2013

The catchy title made me grab it from the shelves of Fully Booked. I was able to read the first few pages, and I kept on nodding in agreement. It is a bit pricey so I put it back. A couple of minutes later, I saw my husband holding the same book and he asked me if we could buy it. I never say NO to a book! Hihi!

bookImage taken from here

It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want to Be is such a short book. If you are looking for something new and out of the ordinary, this is not for you. Most of the things that the author discussed are things that we already know, life lessons which you probably already heard from your parents and life mentors. And that is actually the beauty of this book. We are being reminded of how we take the basic teachings for granted.

The author started the book with a simple question – How good do you want to be? He said, “You will become whoever you want to be.” If you want mediocrity, you’ll get it. Same goes with greatness. He also said that one should not seek praise but rather seek for criticism. Being praised is good. But being criticized gives you more chance to improve and to aspire for more. When you are open in getting criticisms, it means that you are willing to make things better. (I hope Philippine government officials get to read this!!!)

I also liked how the author discussed that we should not covet our knowledge and ideas. Some organizations are guilty of having a culture of hoarding what they know. I liked Arden’s explanation on this. If you give everything you know, you will end up with nothing. That sounds bad. But according to him, it’s not as bad as we think. Because when you are left with nothing, you will find ways to replenish your mind. Knowing more means a step closer to being better.

He also discussed how we should not be scared to work with the best people. Working with the best people may be intimidating. But Arden pointed out that as long as we have the attitude of wanting to be the best, they will respond positively. Why? Because they also want to do well too.  I love working with smart people. I don’t care if they are smarter than me. If they are, that only means I will have something to take away from that partnership.

Again, the book contains teachings that we already know. But the author is creative enough to give emphasis on the things that we usually take for granted. The title itself is already empowering. All of us want to be great, but only a few are willing to make the sacrifices that go with greatness. This book may be short and a bit pricey, but being great also entails investing on your mind. :p

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2 comments

  1. I was attracted to the title and cover of the book. But when I saw the price tag. No thanks. Good thing Fully Booked had a 20% discount to all items the next day. I immediately purchased the book and true enough, it was worth it kahit you can finish it in one sitting.

    Most of the self help and inspiring books I encounter are written by Psychologists or those professionals in the field of Behavioural Science. I read that Paul Arden is in the field of Marketing. That explains, it's rather appealing, convincing at moving :)

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    1. Yeah, it's a bit pricey. Ang dinahilan ko na lang that time, 2 naman kami ni hubby magbabasa so divided by 2 ang cost. Plus, bihira bumili ng book si hubby. Haha! ;p

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