BOOK REVIEW : Risk to Succeed by Ricky Cohen (Essential Lessons for Discovering your Unique Talents & Finding Success)

GOODREADS: From Ricky Cohen, educator, entrepreneur, and renowned CEO of The Conway Organization, comes an inspiring new business parable for our unprecedented times. It is the story of a young elephant named Bella who is not content to move with the herd. She longs to venture out on her own. Searching. Exploring. Making her way in the world. Soon she forms an unlikely friendship with a colorful butterfly named Cee, who teaches Bella the importance of taking risks and other essential lessons–timeless “laws of the jungle” that you can apply to every aspect of your life:

Absolutely no idea that this book is a parable!! And okay, first I thought it’s going to be boring. I don’t have anything against an elephant but really? An elephant and a butterfly? C’mon! Right? But to my surprise, I finished the book in 2 hours! (But hey, even if it was only 105 pages in total, still!)

  • The power of the mind has replaced physical strength and is quickly replacing natural resources as the world’s currency – the most resilient tool to ensure influence and success.
  • Your will establishes your reality. A will-driven reality will be even greater than the dream within which it was conceived.


  1. Commitment – The noteworthy things in life demands an ever growing, reative and intense commitment.
  2. ‘I come first’ – Life is about putting yourself first and putting your overwhelming efforts into, and your focus on, your well being and success.. When you have a true love of self and focus primarily on your own needs, you will have greater ability to give to others.
  3. The world was created for me – Empowering yourself wth this perspective each morning will provide you with a competitive advantage over those around you.
  4. I am unconditionally great – Whether you accomplish heroically or minimally, whether you excel as a student or business person or are somewhat average – or even if you fail, you are unconditionally great. I am great, simply because I am. Greatness doesn’t mean perfection, but it does mean an unparalleled and extraordinary existence.


  • Life begins with courage. The courage to question and the courage to look inside – are the first steps to reveal your unique place in the jungle.
  • Life’s direction comes when you reveal your passion, acknowledge your strengths and understand your needs.
  • We must bring on the new day and all of its opportunities. We don’t wait for the day to come upon us.


  1. If you could choose to pursue any career at all, what would it be? If you didn’t have to worry about what anyone expected of you? If you were guaranteed all the food and protection you would ever need? If you could venture to a place no one has before or do what no one has, what would you choose to do?
  2. When you imagine yourself living true to your passion, how does that make you feel? Are you inspired? Do you feel empowered, proud and energized? Are you afraid to fail and at the same time, afraid you may succeed?
  3. The Mirror Test – Describe your desired path in front of a mirror and describe how a day in that life would look and feel. Watch intently on your tone, body and facial expression.
  4. What would make you excited to get up in the morning, have you impatien to begin your day? What would raise your spirit if there was no one to please, no demands, no worries?


  1. Identify your natural strengths, the skills that come easily to you and may not come as easily to others.
  2. You’ve been given certain strengths, natural skills, and capabilities to enable your true interests to be realized.


  1. You must listen to the voices inside of you and describe the environment that words best for you.
  2. Are there certain situations you will avoid at all costs and others you look forward to attempting?


  • Reaching intellectually and emotionally stretching your mind and imagination, allows you to see and understand things that you’ve never envisioned before.
  • Taking risks enables life’s journey and possibilities. At times, you will be afraid at the point of crying. Fairly often, you will doubt all that you had begun to do and be angry at those who encouraged you. When this happens, don’t get discouraged. Know that you are on the right course and that you have begun to build your life. If you fail, If you can’t reach or stretch – if you can’ create the tensions, fear and anxiety of growth in your life – you will shut the door to the best opportunities of your life.
  • Many beings spend their lifetimes all over this planer having never truly succeeded, having never ventured beyond themselves to become themselves.
  • True hell is about watching what was – versus what could have been – with no ability to change it.


  • Put together a timeline of success – an action plan that lists in detail your immediate goals.
  • Connect with a success partner – someone who understands you well, be your mentor and your conscience.
  • Dedicate at least five hours a week to living what you want most. Life will reward your courage and perseverance an the balance will shift in the direction of what you were truly built to do.


  • Code of Liberation – When you fail, forgive yourself quickly. Shed the pain and the guilt attached to the failure, shed the experience from your mind, and save the lessons to use in building something greater than before.
  • Fail in front of all whom you love and become free. A public figure forces you to stand unprotected, in front of every creature and to understand that the only thing to be afraid of in life is the failure to try, not the failure of trying.


  • Learn to anticipate bumps and shifts in the direction of things. The nly way to do that is to constantly learn and grow through new ideas. You must read things that challenge and expand all that you know.
  • When you learn something new everyday, you’ll be open, wondrous, curious. You’ll be where you need to be when a curve ball comes your way.


  • A creature must reach out, find other creatures in pain and do something to help remove that pain.
  • It’s essential in life to find a way to give to others and the one who benefits most is the giver. You must be involved in something outside your career that will enrich he lives of others. The more you give to others, the more you give to yourself.


  • Believe in life, always. Life is overwhelmingly goood. It is overwhelmingly kind and generous. Be thrilled about what life has given to you and confident about what it has in store for you.
  • Smile. There will be tears in life but try to smile your way through your tears whenever you can.
  • Retire Never. Never stop challenging life in each of the key areas. Life is about living, not retiring. Never stop expressing your uniqueness. Never stop revealing your excellence and chasing it – whatever it is and wherever it takes you. Live fully and intensely – until you die.


Basically, cee accompanies bella through her self discovery and teaching her basic life lessons along the way. There’s way too many things we can learn from cee the butterfly and I’m glad I didn’t close the book just yet at the start of the parable.

I just hope I can learn and put this to practice!

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