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!

BOOK REVIEW : FAST FORWARD: The Ultimate Career Guide for Millennials on the Move by JONATHAN YABUT

***Sharing with you all the book I just finished reading.



  1. It’s Okay to be choosy with your first job
  • Get the best one that you can get because it will influence the future of your employment.
  • Avoid jobs that have no multiple doors for career switching.
  1. Tips for Job hunting in the Digital World
  • That one line summary stating who you are must be the first thing the recruiter sees.
  • The strategy is to think out of the box and be open minded to more opportunities.
  • Be humble enough to admit that you will need to exploit your network.
  • Every piece of success requires hard work so do your part. Be visible online, be strategic in your search and be brave and relentless to ask around.
  • The universe won’t give you what you want or what you need – unless you ask.
  1. Don’t make these 5 resume writing mistakes
  • Recuiters will always want proof of your expertise the moment they start scanning your resume. Turn your achievements into numbers.
  1. 5 Tips for a successful interview
  • Do your research – what is its strategy in the next 5 years? Link it back to you.
  • By failing to prepare, you prepare to fail. – Preparation breeds familiarity, familiarity breeds confidence and when you’re confident, you become an unstoppable force set on winning.
  • ORP (Online Reputation Management) – Clean up your social media profile.
  • It’s never the end of the world if you failed an interbiew. Use the defeat as a means to fuel your hunger to ace the next one.


  1. Choose your friends wisely.
  • Are they making you a better person?
  1. The Power of Networking
  • You’ll never know who you’ll bump into.
  • Have your business card with you wherever you go.
  • Have the courage to talk to people.
  • Your network is your net worth
  1. Delete people who bring Negativity to your life
  • Stop worrying and being stressed about these people. There are more important things in life to spend your energy on.
  • Be smart with your choices. You don’t need to fight fire with fire. There are other battles to win.
  1. 3 Lessons from Pia Wurtzbach’s Victory.
  • Never settle. Always look for opportunities ahead that are grander and bigger.
  • Contentment breeds complacency. Complacency breeds mediocrity.
  • Asking for help is not a sign of weakness.
  • Every new failure is a strategy to become better.
  • Giving it another shot might just change your life.


  1. Yes you can defeat office politics
  • You are the only one who can steer your own career to greatness.
  • The key is to be observant, be critical and analyze patterns that you see in people and in their habits.
  1. You’re not pizza. You can’t please everyone
  • You want people to respect you because they know you mean business. You can be firm without losing your grace.
  1. You don’t need to be a bully to get things done
  • You don’t need to threaten people to get things done. You don’t need to hurt people’s feelings to gain their attention.
  • Kindness and excellence in the corporate world are never, ever mutually exclusive.
  1. When water boils, are you a potato or an egg?
  • You can never control the winds that move your ship but you can always adjust your sail.
  • The same fire that melts the butter, toughens the steel.
  • The same water that softens the potato hardens the egg.
  • We should make the most of what life throws at us.
  • How you choose to react to situations maybe permanent and will likely determine your future.
  1. Don’t make permanent decisions based on temporary emotions
  • Think properly and look at the bigger picture without making hasty decisions.
  1. At work, always see the best in others.
  • Always focus on the goodness of others. People are naturally good, only stress can make them rude.
  1. The Power of a Growth Mindset
  • You only need a minimum level of intelligence or talent to succeed in life – the rest depends on execution.


  1. 5 Unspoken rules to getting promoted
  • Make your boss fully aware that you are expecting it.
  • Promotable employees initiate tasks beyond what is needed, and with minimal supervision.
  1. Why even the best employees don’t get promoted
  • Leadership is a pullership not a pushership. It is about serving other people who work for you. It is putting a spotlight on your team and not yourself.
  • The role of a great leader is to make more leaders out of themselves.
  1. Why do soft skills matter at work?
  • Pick the right friends, the right boss, the right company and the right mentors in life. If you are going to spend 12 hours of your life everyday with these people, might as well spend them with the right people who can transfer the best things that you’ll never have.
  1. You’re never too important for a small task
  • Humility is always integral to your success.
  • You can never be too good for any task, so take even the smallest of legwork with dignity and respect.
  1. Always give your best even when no one is looking
  • Always aim for the best quality you can give to any craft that you do
  • Do well even if no one’s looking.
  • Give your best shot because giving your all is a good end goal in itself.
  1. Have one crazy goal
  • Choose one goal that will push you to achieve that 1 extra mile you always missed.
  1. Stop being an askholic
  2. Take the moment and perfect it
  • Do what you need to do even when it’s painful.
  • We don’t find perfect time, we make it ourselves.
  • You don’t need to be great to start but you need to start to be great.
  1. Success is the best revenge
  • Focus on your dreams and ambitions, commit to it for years and get it done. Success.
  1. What’s done in love is done well
  • We cant always be fond of every work thrown at us, but we have the power and time to love it in due course.


  1. I hate my boss
  • The more you know your boss, the more predictable and manageable he will be.
  • Focus on one small thing and cultivate it and leverage on it until you finally get to accept your boss despite the bad things you hate him for.
  1. 4 Questions to ask your boss about work.
  • Successful people only get what they want when they chase it
  • Take time to find out what those career related strengths are.
  • Take the wheel when you can because there is no one else more responsible for your career but yourself.
  • You need to assert and communicate what’s on your mind and heart.
  1. At work, it’s okay to say no to your boss
  • Say no to other opportunities and focus on one big thing and be good at it.
  • Deciding what not to do is as important as deciding what to do.
  • Don’t try to be everything in people’s minds. Don’t try to please everyone at work. Ignore the rest, focus your energy so you can move up the scale.
  1. How to motivate yourself when your boss doesn’t.
  • The world is bigger and larger than your boss. Be resourceful and independent to inspire yourself or get that inspiration somewhere else instead.


  1. Work Life Balance is a Choice
  • Recharge as much as you can because life is a marathon not a sprint. Pause once in a while and invest in more energy that can help you achieve more later,
  1. Your 8 Office Resolutions for a better Work Life Balance
  • Appreciate that life really happens when you exit the office doors.
  • Find a mentor outside your department
  • Sell yourself as a brand. Be consistent with an ensemble that can project a confident and sharp you.
  • Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.
  1. Let go of the lettuce in your life
  • The reality is that we can’t be everything that we want to be, and we won’t have the time to enjoy everything we aspire to have.
  • We have to make a bold choice and commit to the things that really matter in life. This also means sacrificing things to give way to more important things.
  • What is the lettuce in your life that you need to let go of?
  1. Stop eating lunch at your work desk
  2. Why I spend so much on travel and why so should you
    • Travel changes you permanently.
    • You become less stubborn about what you think is only right.
    • Travel changes you for the better, no matter how bad the experiences can be and no matter how it can devalue everything that your credit card swipes for.
    • Enjoy the time to be merry and learn much from the time needed to recover the expenses.
  3. Always keep a life scoreboard


  1. 4 Undeniable signs that it’s time to leave your job
  • Remember that your role in life is to live life through a job not to end in one.
  • Don’t quit a tough boss who polishes you painfully like a diamond.
  1. The 5 reasons why good employees quit their bosses
  • A good boss takes the time to know your life story.
  • A good boss sharpens people’s skills so they can become like her.
  1. Yes, it’s okay to jump from one company to another
  • The only way to learn and to expand your horizons is to stretch yourself to take on challenges you’re not comfortable with just yet. To understand what you like and want in life, you have to expose yourself to as many things as possible.
  • Look for greener pastures until you find what’s right for you. Do it early and do it quickly. People who make it big are big because they think big. They’re never contented. The successful ones always wins because they risked what they thought was worth fighting for.
  1. Don’t leave before you need to leave

LEARN: Management: What bullshit does

A turkey was chatting with the a bull, ”I would love to be able to get to the top of that tree” sighed the turkey, ”but I haven’t got the energy. ”Well, why don’t you nibble on my droppings? They’re packed with nutrients”, replied the bull.


The turkey pecked at a lump of shit and found that it gave him enough strength to reach the lowest branch of the tree. The next day, after eating some more shit, he reached the second branch. Finally, on the fourth day, there he was proudly perched at the top of the tree.

Soon, he was spotted by a farmer, who shot the turkey out of the tree.

Management Lesson: Bullshit might get you to the top, but it won’t keep you there. 

LEARN: Management: To do nothing

A crow was sitting on a tree, doing nothing all day. A rabbit asked him, “Cam I also sit like you and do nothing all day long?”.

The crow answered, ”Sure. Why not?”. So the rabbit sat on the ground below the crow, an rested.


A fox jumped on the rabbit and ate it.


LEARN: Unexpected questions in an Interview

I only saw this in Harvard Business Review, and I think it was worth sharing.:D

1. What don’t you want to be doing five years from now?

2. What would you say is the biggest misconception people have about you?

3. Name some reasons why I should not hire you?

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