Three years ago I was in ninth grade and I got an opportunity to attend a session by Andrew cope on “A Brilliant Life”. At the end of the session I managed to get a book by chance on of course the same subject by Mr. Cope himself. As far as the description of the book is concerned, it is a small but a life changing book, only if you abide by the rules it states. In this write up, I will be making a modest attempt to tell you all about the book’s content and the ways in which it guided me.
There was once a young person (consider that person to be “you”) who got by in life. Everything in his life was average. He did alright at school but he was a teenager and it is a known fact that “teenagers moan” about life being unfair to them. Unfair here means that they’ve got homework, coursework, exams and school. And everyone struggles to get out of bed, don’t they? You see, there is nothing lazier than a mortal. Like most teenagers, his negativity or pessimism had become a habit. The turning point came in when he thought about these “negative” habits and began to change them. For this he learned some stuff- and became brilliant. He learned five life changing rules which the person termed it as the “Big five”. The good part was that he did not just learn the big five… he did them. Isn’t that amazing?
So here are those five life changing rules:
*First he chose his attitude. He actually chose to be positive, which was one hell of a task as people around him weren’t, especially in maths. Everyone else as usual continued to moan that life wasn’t fair but the person was not moaning anymore. He realized that school was an opportunity to get on in life. Consequently, he would combat it with a ‘can do’ attitude.
* Next, he learned that when he was positive, good things happened to him. The world was a great place to live in. Lessons were easier. Maths could be real fun. Imagine! Plus, when he was positive he smiled more. It was weird, but he made others feel brilliant too but when he felt rubbish, so did those around him which is spooky. He’d stumbled upon the second of the ‘Big five’. He realized that he was having an enormous impact on those around him- much bigger than he’d ever expected. Moreover, he could choose which impact he had. ‘Positive’ or ‘negative’? It was a tricky decision but he concluded it was the most powerful choice in the world. (He did wonder why nobody else seemed to be making the correct choice, but he didn’t let others’ negative attitude stop him/her from feeling brilliant).
*Thirdly, he set himself some huge goals. Really big ones that were frightening at first. So he broke them down into little steps and started making them happen. Surprisingly enough, a lot of his goals were dependent on how much effort he puts into his school work. He never gave up on his goals- even when things got hard, which was often. This hardness that he faced was due to peer pressure, negativity, laziness and boredom. To add he learned something really interesting. He discovered that even when he did his level best to be brilliant, things still went wrong and sometimes was rock hard. And he could still end up feeling rubbish. It was valid what teenagers said … life wasn’t always fair!
*He did not have many bad days as he learned the fourth point of the ‘Big Five’. He had ‘bouncebackability’. He’d worked out that an average lifespan would give him 4,000 weeks. This was certainly a big number, but it made him realize that how precious time was. He decided life was too short to waste being anything less than brilliant. When he caught being negative he thought about his 4,000 weeks and immediately bungeed back to being positive. He practised until this became his usual way of thinking.
*He now had four out of the ‘Big five’. He had chosen to be positive, he understood the impact he had, he set big goals for himself and he had bouncebackability. But the last rule was very essential. The final realization was that he had to take responsibility for his life. For teenagers, this was the hardest thing to do! He noticed others blaming their rubbish life on their teachers and relationships and the fact that they did not own the latest designer clothes. As a matter of fact, the more he listened, the more he heard teenagers blaming everyone but themselves. ‘My teachers are rubbish.’ I’ve got a lot of homework.’ ‘My mum nags me.’ ‘My dad makes me come home early, it’s just not fair. ‘Science is so monotonous.’ He noticed it was always someone else who was the culprit. He smiled. He was certain about the fact that his/her happiness wasn’t really about designer clothes. It was only about the choices he made and the positive attitude he carried with him. He’d taken personal responsibility for changing himself. He didn’t blame others any more. He understood that it was about taking charge of his life. He wanted results, not excuses. So he made a massive breakthrough. He stopped thinking about the ‘Big five’ and started doing them instead. In the beginning it was difficult because the energy vampires were everywhere. They excelled at being negative. The energy vampires were brilliant at sucking the positive out of each and every person. They had a point, you know. The weather is always rubbish, isn’t it? So is the traffic. Then there’s school and heaps of homework. And everything else. What a nightmare! He practised being positive, even with energy vampires (he was a very brave young man). He noticed that the sun shone loads. And the cars sometimes moved at 100 mph. And homework was easier, if you did your best. And other things were great too. He tried hard. He was happy even when it rained. There’s nothing to be upset about weather you see. And the more he tried the easier it became. As a result his life changed for the better. He actually wanted to get out of bed. After all, he had goals to achieve. Very soon he became brilliant. Other people noticed his cheerfulness and positive outlook on life. Teachers and parents noticed. His grandparents were very proud. Even his friends noticed. But he noticed it the most. And those around him felt brilliant too.
He got some great grades and a worthwhile career. And lived to a ripe old age (well it was beyond 4000 weeks). He smiled a lot. His wrinkles were happy. And he inspired a lot of people, especially his children. Who turned out brilliant too.
So, this was the ‘Big five’. After reading this book I became much more optimistic about life than I was and this book gave me an urge to live and do well in life. It made me understand that life is all about living and making it right. I am sure it will help you all and make you better people.
Ciao and watch out for my next post.