Book Review: Change Activist Make Big Things Happen Fast

Book Review: Change Activist Make Big Things Happen Fast

    A Carmel McConnell book published by Perseus Publishing, 2001, 209 pages. Nonfiction: Business and personal growth.The book premise is that operating a profitable business and maintaining your personal principles are not mutually exclusive endeavors.

    Upon opening this book my initial reaction was, “Hey, the publishers made a mistake.” The inside jacket of the book is printed like a stenographers pad. You know, top to bottom. Then, the very next page shifts back to the standard orientation. Then, believe it or don’t, the next two pages shift to the previous orientation. Finally, now that you are nice and sea-sick it flips back to standard orientation.


    I don’t know about you, but this gimmicky really puts me off. I believe if you have something of value to say it will stand on it’s own, without tricks.

    That being said, McConnell seems to be a stand up person. McConnell’s resume’ list 8 years as a social activist. An anti-war activist. An anti-racism activist. Then a business coach (?).


    McConnell then provides an eleven item checklist that is the backbone for the whole book in a nutshell.

    1. Know who you are and what matters to you.
    2. Get clear on what you want to happen.
    3. Picture success in your mind’s eye.
    4. Be passionate!
    5. Ask: is it important and worthwhile?
    6. Work out allies and get a coalition together.
    7. Don’t forget your loved ones and a good night out!
    8. Give the media a good story.
    9. Ask for help from important people.
    10. Be very persistent when people say maybe.
    11. Expect to go off course on a regular basis before you get there!

    It’s all very good stuff. It was good stuff in 1936 when Dale Carnegie outlined most of it.


    It is worthy of note that McConnell donates about 1 pound (abut $2.00 American) of the proceeds of each book she sells to a breakfast program dedicated to providing juice and bagels to needy children in 5 Hackney primary schools.

    Ultimately, the book put me off a bit. I guess there are a lot of veiled shots at what McConnell feels is an puffed up network of American authors of self-help books that sinks her stated altruistic motives for me.


    Reg Adkins writes on behavior and the human experience at (

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    10 Simple Ways To Always Think Positive Thoughts

    10 Simple Ways To Always Think Positive Thoughts

    Positive thinking can lead to a lot of positive change in your life. Developing an optimistic outlook can be good for both your physical and mental health.

    But sometimes, certain situations arise in life that makes it hard to keep a positive outlook. Take steps to make positive thinking become more like your second nature and you’ll reap the biggest benefits.

    Here are 10 ways to make thinking positive thoughts easy:

    1. Spend Time with Positive People

    If you surround yourself with constant complainers, their negativity is likely to rub off on you.

    Spend time with positive friends and family members to increase the likelihood that their positive thinking habits will become yours too. It’s hard to be negative when everyone around you is so positive.


    2. Take Responsibility for Your Behavior

    When you encounter problems and difficulties in life, don’t play the role of the victim. Acknowledge your role in the situation and take responsibility for your behavior.

    Accepting responsibility can help you learn from mistakes and prevent you from blaming others unfairly.

    3. Contribute to the Community

    One of the best ways to feel good about what you have, is to focus on what you have to give.

    Volunteer in some manner and give back to the community. Helping others can give you a new outlook on the world and can assist you with positive thinking.

    4. Read Positive and Inspirational Materials

    Spend time each day reading something that encourages positive thinking. Read the Bible, spiritual material, or inspirational quotes to help you focus on what’s important to you in life. It can be a great way to start and end your day.


    Some recommendations for you:

    5. Recognize and Replace Negative Thoughts

    You won’t be successful at positive thinking if you’re still plagued by frequent negative thoughts. Learn to recognize and replace thoughts that are overly negative. Often, thoughts that include words like “always” and “never” signal that they aren’t true.

    If you find yourself thinking something such as, “I always mess everything up,” replace it with something more realistic such as, “Sometimes I make mistakes but I learn from them.”

    There’s no need to make your thoughts unrealistically positive, but instead, make them more realistic.

    6. Establish and Work Toward Goals

    It’s easier to be positive about problems and setbacks when you have goals that you’re working toward. Goals will give you motivation to overcome those obstacles when you encounter problems along the way. Without clear goals, it’s harder to make decisions and gauge your progress.


    Learn to set SMART goals to help you achieve more.

    7. Consider the Consequences of Negativity

    Spend some time thinking about the consequences of negative thinking. Often, it can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    For example, a person who thinks, “I probably won’t get this job interview,” may put less effort into the interview. As a result, he may decrease his chances of getting the job.

    Create a list of all the ways negative thinking impacts your life. It likely influences your behavior, your relationships, and your feelings. Then, create a list of the ways in which positive thinking could be beneficial.

    8. Offer Compliments to Others

    Look for reasons to compliment others. Be genuine in your praise and compliments, but offer it frequently. This will help you look for the good in other people.


    9. Create a Daily Gratitude List

    If you start keeping a daily gratitude list, you’ll start noticing exactly how much you have to be thankful for. This can help you focus on the positive in your life instead of thinking about all the bad things that have happened in the day.

    Getting in the habit of showing an attitude of gratitude makes positive thinking more of a habit. Here’re 40 Simple Ways To Practice Gratitude.

    10. Practice Self-Care

    Take good care of yourself and you’ll be more equipped to think positively.

    Get plenty of rest and exercise and practice managing your stress well. Taking care of your physical and mental health will provide you with more energy to focus on positive thinking.

    Learn about these 30 Self-Care Habits for a Strong and Healthy Mind, Body and Spirit.

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