No Excuses! Summary

1-Sentence-Summary: No Excuses! teaches us that self-discipline is the key to success and gives us practical advice to master it and achieve self-actualization, happy relationships, and financial security.

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No Excuses! Summary

We all need financial security, self-realization, and fulfilling relationships to be happy. We know that and, most of the time, we even know what to do to get all these things. So how come we don’t get them? 

According to Brian Tracy, the reason is that we lack self-discipline, which is the key to achieving any goal. With it, the average person can do miracles. Without it, even the luckiest and most talented person won’t rise above mediocrity. 

In No Excuses!: The Power of Self-Discipline, Tracy urges you to start acting today to build your own happiness, by applying the many techniques he has fine-tuned over the years.

Here are 3 of Tracy’s lessons on taking control of your life:

  1. To become a high achiever, plan your tasks with The Seven-Step Method and keep learning every day.
  2. Happiness is a by-product of self-discipline and has 5 ingredients.
  3. You can practice taking action despite fear by using the Disaster Report.

Are you ready to stop finding excuses and start getting results? Take advantage of some of the techniques that have made the author so famous!

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Lesson 1: For a rewarding life, constantly improve yourself and plan your actions with The Seven-Step Method.

Self-actualization implies skills and knowledge. You should allocate 3% of your income and a little time every day to move from average to excellence in what you do. What about staying at work a little longer to learn something new, or reading a book instead of watching tv at home? 

You can also learn a lot from people who are successful in your field. Observe how they dress and talk. Ask them how you can improve: what books to read, what courses to take.

Self-actualization also requires thinking long-term. Tracy’s Seven-Step Method can help you with that!

  1. Define your goal exactly. For example, if you want to save money, also decide how much.
  2. Write down your specific goals.
  3. Set a deadline – a realistic one. If your goal is complicated to achieve or requires much time, break it in subtasks setting a deadline for each.
  4. Think about the obstacles you may face in the process and the resources you need to succeed, including skills. Then make a list of actionable steps to acquire them.
  5. Organize the list by sequence and priority remembering the most beneficial tasks must be completed first. Then add all of them to your calendar.
  6. Start today with your first step!
  7. Do every day something, even small, to get closer to your goal.

Lesson 2: Take care of the 5 ingredients of happiness to feel good about yourself and in control of your life.

The more you understand that what happens to you is mostly a consequence of your actions, the happier you may be. On the other side, people who feel powerless and at the mercy of external circumstances are usually unhappy.

To feel good about yourself, you take control of your life by working on the 5 ingredients of happiness:

  • Financial independence – Working is much better when you know you don’t need to. So try to live with 99% of your income and save 1% to slowly build your freedom from money. 
  • Health and energy – You can be truly happy only if you are healthy, with a high level of energy. Don’t worry, it’s never too late to start exercising! And also to eliminate from your diet the free whites: flour, sugar, and salt.
  • Relationships – Since we are social animals, most of our happiness comes from the positive relations we are able to build. To improve them, stop taking things personally and don’t blame your problems on others. Also, be the first to give what you wish to receive, friendship and forgiveness included!
  • Meaningful work – Doing a job we like makes us happier. But we also like to be engaged and feel useful. We should adopt Hansen’s P-squared approach and match passion with purpose.
  • Self-actualization – This is the feeling you are living at your full potential, becoming everything you want and are capable of.

Start working towards these now! Abandon Someday Isle, where most of humanity lives procrastinating actions to a day that will never come.

Lesson 3: Fear is normal but can be overcome by creating a Disaster Report.

A lack of self-discipline is not the only thing that can prevent you from realizing yourself. Maybe the fear of failing and losing your money is holding you back from undertaking your personal challenges. 

So-called brave people are scared too, but they have mastered the discipline to take action anyway. So how can the rest of us do this too? Brian Tracy offers a technique to overcoming fear called The Disaster Report:

  1. Write down what are you afraid of in detail. Are you concerned about not being good enough and looking bad or about losing all your savings?
  2. Describe the worst-case scenario. When you analyze it rationally, it will lose part of its scary power.
  3. Find solutions for the worst-case scenario. Let’s suppose you lost some money: you can find a new job and earn it back. 
  4. Take action to ensure the worst-case scenario doesn’t manifest itself. This will lessen your anxiety for two reasons: bad things will be less likely to happen and anyway you’ll be too busy to think of it.

Another trick to avoid getting stuck in your worries is pretending not to be worried at all. As Aristotle taught, you can develop a quality by just acting as if you already had it, or in other words, “fake until you make it.”

No Excuses! Review

No Excuses! is a useful book to improve almost any area of your life. Whether you want to get better at work, financial freedom, health, fitness, relationships, parenting, or inner peace, this book will help. It provides many step-by-step techniques that can help you practice self-discipline for happiness.

Who would I recommend the No Excuses! summary to?

The 20-year-old who lacks self-confidence, the 35-year-old who doesn’t like his life and blames it on his parents, and anyone who feels they’re never going to be happy. 

Last Updated on August 23, 2022

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Clara Lobina

Clara is a SEO content strategist, writer, and proofreader from Sardinia, Italy. She is a cofounder, head of content, and COO of Botteega, a delivery service for local goods from high-quality shops and farmers. Clara wrote a total of 16 summaries for us. When she's not working on her own or her client's blogs, she teaches and does yoga. My favorite project of hers is Come L'Acqua — "Like Water" — a personal growth and mindfulness blog (in Italian).