Review: 7 Simple Steps – Life Transformation Guide

by Stephen Mills on April 10, 2009

Jonathan Wells at Advanced Life Skills has written an incredibly useful book called “7 Simple Steps – Life Transformation Guide”.  Jonathan has a talent to take a lot of complex information and boil it down to the essential in a way that makes it extremely easy to follow.  You really should get this book and read it. But don’t just read it.  Use it.  Put it into practice.  I don’t think you will regret it.

Jonathan walks you through the process step by step with each step building on and adding to the previous.  In this way you create an upward spiral that leverages itself.  I find Jonathan’s writing to be very wise.  Every sentence has a  purpose.  There are no wasted words or fluff.  The book is $27.  That’s the price of a dinner for one.  Go to dinner or get the book and transform your life?  It wasn’t much of a choice for me and it shouldn’t be for you either.

Step 1: Your True Self

“This first section is designed to help you discover who you really are on the deepest levels.  It contains specific exercises that are vital to your success.”

This step is covered by the first six chapters.  This is a very content-dense step with several exercises.  I found this material to be fantastic.  I learned some techniques that I had never seen before and they work.

  • Internal Harmony – “Our perception of life will always reflect the degree of internal harmony we are experiencing.”
  • Personal Values – “If you want to have a truly worthwhile and abundant life, you must be clear on what is right and what is wrong according to your personal code of ethics”.  Amen to to that Jonathan.  In this chapter you go through an exercise to come up with three to five guiding principles for your life.  I came up with five.
  • Paradigms of Pain & Pleasure – “Almost of all the choices we make in our daily life are motivated by one of two powerful forces.  The most powerful of these is the desire to avoid pain.  The second is the desire for pleasure.”
  • Choosing Your Passions – “Your internal response to your life is a personal choice.  By mastering a few simple skills you can choose to fill your life with passion and joy.”  Jonathan takes you through a an exercise in this chapter that helps you identify your top ten passions.  I was fascinated with this process.  I love my ten passions!
  • Response Patterns – “When we develop the ability to use your logical minds to harness and direct the power of our emotions, that is the moment when we truly begin to take control of our life.”
  • Modify Your Beliefs – “By controlling your beliefs, you control your reality.”  This is a super chapter!  There are several exercises in this chapter that give your life transformation a turbo boost.  You learn how to eliminate your limiting beliefs and take the lid off of your empowering beliefs.  This was my favorite chapter in the whole book.

Step 2: Make it Personal

“Success means different things to different people.  You need to understand what it means to you, so you don’t end up chasing someone else’s dream.  One of the primary ways to guarantee that your achievements bring you a sense of joy and satisfactions is to uncover your personal version of success.”

This step is covered by three chapters.  No exercises here so the pace quickens.

  • What is success – “Realize that successful is not something we do, it is something we become.  First, we become successful in our minds, and then we can become successful on the outside.”
  • Always Ask Why? – “Knowing why we want to accomplish something helps us identify the feelings we expect to experience once we get there.  If we know what success will feel like, then we know where we are going emotionally.”
  • Think Beyond Yourself – “When your efforts contribute to the lives of other people, you will discover the deep joy of giving.  If you design your pursuit of success with this in mind, great and wonderful things will begin to happen on a daily basis.”

Step 3: Know Your Outcome

‘In this third step we will examine how setting well-defined goals can give you a 97% chance of achieving your intended outcome.  We will also clear up some common misconceptions that, if not addressed, can easily lead you down the road to disappointment.”

This step is covered by the next four chapters.

  • Clearly Defined Goals – “… the quality of your life and your sense of accomplishment is dramatically affected by the ability to set clearly defined goals.  The skill involved in setting reachable goals and seeing them through to completion are not difficult.  Still, there is a right way and a wrong way to go about it.  Do it right and you can expect your rate of success to skyrocket.”
  • Wants & Intentions – “Every time we say, ‘I want something’ it’s the same as saying ‘I don’t have it.’  This is not a thought or feeling that focuses on the solution, but rather on the problem.”  This chapter contains an incredibly valuable insight on the distinction between wants and intentions.
  • Trying vs. Committing – “Using the word ‘try’ implies a halfhearted effort at best.  It sends the signal, ‘total lack of commitment’.  Saying you’re going to ‘try’, leaves the door wide open for failure, in fact, it invites failure.  Your mind will form a link between try and fail, as in ‘I tried but failed’.”
  • Overcoming Roadblocks – “The body has a built-ion program called homeostasis.  The purpose of this program is to maintain the status quo.”  Yes!  Great stuff here.

Step 4: Designing Success

“This fourth step is where we tackle some of the practical building blocks involved in designing an actual success blueprint.  This is where everything that you have done so far gets articulated into a workable outline.”

This step is covered by the next four chapters.

  • Think It Through – “The reason I chose the phrase ‘well thought out plan of action’’ is because that is exactly what planning does; it causes us to think things through.  It works like this.  First you come up with a plausible course of action, and then you mentally follow it through to its logical conclusion.  Along the way, you consider how things might work out for each of the steps needed to get from point A to point B.
  • Mile Markers – “On the roadway of personal development, we need signs and mile markers to avoid doubt and uncertainty.  When we are traveling on an unfamiliar road, a line from point A to point B is simply not enough.  We need a way to chart our progress in terms of distance covered and amount of time spent.”
  • Date With Destiny – “Having a precise time to begin taking focused action is one fo the most important elements of a well thought out goal strategy.  It’s what I like to call a multiplier because it allows you to harness a huge amount of energy and multiply the effectiveness of all your efforts exponentially.”
  • Time for Completion – “Having a point of completion is like having a finish line in front of you.  It gives you something specific to aim for.  the closer you get to the finish line, the greater your focus and determination become.  Focus and determination generate energy and create continued momentum.”

Step 5: Harness the Power

“There are proven methods for generating huge amounts of energy, and then turning that energy into enough momentum to move you quickly and decisively toward success.  There are also some clever, and often overlooked, techniques to help you maintain laser sharp focus, while continuing to take action.”

This step is covered by six fantastic chapters!

  • The Power of Decision – “What is it that can actually change the course of your life in a moment?  In the quest for personal excellence what is the one, vital step we must take before we can take action?  What is it that determines the actions we take today, next week or next year?”  Since my previous article was on decision making, I can really relate to this material in Jonathan’s book.  This is really good stuff.
  • Fear, Anticipation & Excitement – “Fear is like a two-sided coin.  If we control it, we can use it to our benefit.  On the flipside, if fear controls us, it will render us unable to accomplish anything.”
  • The Decisive Moment – “For an Olympic athlete, the decisive moment comes when he brings to the starting line the sum total of all his training and focus, assumes the starting posture, the gun fires and he rockets into action.”  WOW!
  • Total Commitment – “Total commitment is what allows otherwise ordinary people to accomplish extraordinary success.  This basic rule applies to every area of human endeavor.”  You got that right Jonathan!
  • A Question of Focus - “Questions have a dramatic effect on everything we do in life.  They determine our abilities, the quality of our relationships and our income.  By asking the right questions we can empower ourselves to change any aspect of our lives.”  Powerful chapter.
  • The Power of Words – “Because we use word labels to describe how we feel about the different experiences in our life, change the label can actually alter the way we interpret the experience.  For example, if we have a wonderful experience that leaves us absolutely overjoyed, but represent that experience by saying, ‘that was nice’, then we minimize the intensity and the joy associated with that experience.”  WOW, I loved this chapter!  Read it.

Step 6: Accept Success

“This sixth step is designed to assure that we are not only comfortable with our successes, but also satisfied with them.  We spent considerable time identifying our true self in the early chapters of this course.  You already know that your identity as a successful person does not hinge on the results you produce.  That knowledge creates a perfect foundation for allowing success to flow into your life.”

This step is covered by the next four chapters.

  • Can You Handle It? – “You have allowed yourself to become a magnet for success on every level, both internally and externally.  This will dramatically affect how others view you.  It will also change the kind of opportunities that open up to you.  As long as you continue to develop the skills you have acquired, your life will continue to expand in the direction of your choosing.  The question is – can you handle this?”
  • Acknowledgment & Approval – “It is absolutely vital that you stop and acknowledge all that you have accomplished and give yourself approval.”  Important chapter.
  • Celebration – “Celebrating is an effective way to anchor your efforts in positive emotions.  More approval brings increased motivation to continue taking action.  Increased action creates more reason for giving yourself approval.  It’s a beautiful arrangement.”  I agree.  Celebrate even small successes.
  • Born to Succeed – “One of the wonderful things about following a proven program for achieving our goals is that the whole process is repeatable.  This is why very successful people can lose everything, and still come back to surpass their former level of success.  They understand the process, they’ve done it before and they know they can do it again.”

Step 7: Life is Circular

“What’s left?  That’s what you’re about to discover as we explore ways to notch your personal growth and development up to the next level.  It’s time to embrace the number one way to magnify your sense of joy while simultaneously increasing the level of satisfaction you experience.”

Jonathan wraps it all up in his final three chapters.

  • Joy & Satisfaction – “Giving is the greatest source of joy and satisfaction known to humankind.  This is a difficult concept to grasp when we are struggling to meet our own needs.  Struggle and lack obscure our appreciation for giving.  It’s very difficult to give what we do not have.”
  • Contribution – “The transition from focusing on self to focusing on others should not be rushed or forced.  It should be the natural result of the personal development process.”  The right stuff.
  • New Beginnings – “You have not come to the end of this program, only to the first trip around the spiral.  Instead of the finish, you have arrived back at the beginning.  We have all heard the expression ‘life’s a circle’.  Allow me to make a slight alteration, “life is circular”.  Yes, you have come full circle but you have also ascended to the next level.”  Powerful insights here.

I hope I have tweaked your interest enough to check out Jonathan’s program.  After I got his book, he contacted me and continued with personal suggestions and he has become a good friend.  He is a great guy and deserves all the best.

Once you are done with the book, print out this post and use it as a memory jogger.

Wishing you all the best,
Stephen

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{ 5 trackbacks }

Are You Challenged or Disabled? — The Rat Race Trap
April 17, 2009 at 8:47 pm
What Determines Your Personal Value?
April 21, 2009 at 1:10 pm
Stephen Mills talks openly about 7 Simple Steps
April 27, 2009 at 12:21 pm
Resources - April 2009 | Learn This
May 1, 2009 at 11:15 pm
Is Your Life Satisfying or Disappointing?
July 13, 2009 at 5:16 pm

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Jonathan - Advanced Life Skills April 10, 2009 at 10:26 am

Stephen, thanks so much for the great review!

It is an amazing thing to feel your excitement and enthusiasm toward 7 Simple Steps. Even though approval is something we need to give ourselves, hearing your expressions has made me feel absolutely wonderful. Your review actually makes me want to re-read my own book.

You quoted “Giving is the greatest source of joy and satisfaction known to humankind.” That is exactly the feeling I am experiencing right now. Knowing that we have made some small contribution to the quality of someone else’s life is rewarding beyond words.

Stephen, thank you for your support, encouragement and friendship, I truly appreciate it.

Reply

Bunnygotblog April 10, 2009 at 11:53 am

I think we all need re- sculpture at times or at least reinforcement on our foundations.
I was recently writing a post about relationships between mothers and daughters. I found myself sharing the values and goals at my school which was hand picked by my parents. The schools I attended supported and strengthened the values instilled by my parents. They also educated me to life is an on going process of learning,sharing and respect for all life.
I find in Jonathan’s writing the encouragement and concrete reinforcing and building new space for me as as person to develop.
You have reviewed him very well.
Cheers

Reply

Leidy December 18, 2011 at 6:49 pm

Yours is a clever way of tnihikng about it.

Reply

Marc and Angel Hack Life April 10, 2009 at 1:53 pm

Great review. Well written and insightful. ;-)

Stumbled.

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Robin Easton April 10, 2009 at 2:12 pm

Jonathan is not only a GREAT writer, but he has the rare gift of sharing useful, succinct information and tools, but doing so from his heart. His combination of the two allows the reader to remain in their heart while taking in information. Powerful stuff!! Excellent book.

Reply

Dragos Roua April 10, 2009 at 2:47 pm

I always knew Jonathan is a great resource, and Stephen is only confirming this to me. I still have Jonathan’s book on my desktop, and it ranks extremely high in my reading list. I guess this review just made it jump to the no 1 position :-)

Thanks for sharing these valuable insights, Stephen, I really appreciate it!

Reply

Alik Levin | PracticeThis.com April 10, 2009 at 3:52 pm

I am a big fan of collecting definitions of success. I like Johnathan’s definition of success. The one that resonates with me the most is John Wooden’s which in short is peace of mind one gets doing his best.

Reply

Stephen - Rat Race Trap April 10, 2009 at 8:47 pm

@Jonathan, Thank you for the material to review. The only reason I had a great review was because I had great material to review!

@Bunnygotblog, thank you for stopping by and commenting on Jonathan’s writing. You said it so well.

@Marc, thanks for your comment.

@Robin, well said! The combination makes all the difference.

@Dragos, I have such a large stack to get through too. It keeps growing because I buy faster than I read. :-) However I kept Jonathan’s book near the top and got to it pretty quickly. I’m so glad I did.

@Alik, thanks for stopping by and commenting. Where can I find your complete list?

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Dennis Dalton April 11, 2009 at 12:57 pm

Good review! I will be getting this book. I need solid advice on the practical application of principles. Can’t wait!

Thanks

Reply

Alik Levin | PracticeThis.com April 12, 2009 at 8:42 am
David Kerr April 10, 2010 at 2:55 pm

Hi Stephen,

Great post – many thanks for the review and the work you put into this.

I think I might pick up a copy of this book, as I also have a real interest in personal (and organisational) change and transformation.

Check out my (ComLuv-enabled) blog post on the subject of Transformation below and maybe come by the site and leave a comment?!

Best regards,
Dave
.-= David Kerr´s last blog ..A Model for Successful Transformation =-.

Reply

Lara April 18, 2011 at 4:57 pm

Seems I found this 2 years later – but loved your insights and you make your points really clearly. Thank you for this guide.
Lara´s last [type] ..Algebra Help for Math Students

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Wes August 22, 2011 at 1:55 pm

Hey Stephen,
Thanks for the great overview and review. I had heard about the book and was looking for a solid review. Did a Google search and your post was at the top!
Wes´s last [type] ..Refinancing Your Home Loan and Removing PMI

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James August 15, 2012 at 12:18 am

Hi Stephen,
Great write up. I had a good read through the list and noticed you made a reference to an Olympic athlete. Looking at the list of contents, the whole book could be written using an Olympian as a point of reference. After all, just about every step can be mapped across the way an athlete trains, competes and, ultimately, celebrates.

Maybe I’ve just given Jonathon some new ideas ;)
James´s last [type] ..What Can The Banks Learn From Olympic Athletes

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