No Excuses By Brian Tracy – Book Summary

Brian Tracy - No Excuses
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This book amazes me how learning one a trait can be so impactful in daily life.The book mentions that 80% of the population lives in the world “island of someday” that we fantasize about doing things someday. Brian Tracy dissected his life how self-discipline helped him to reach the stage where he is today. Each line in this book oozes of inspiration.

Brian Says that most people fail to achieve greatness due to two things

  • Lack of Self-Discipline
  • Selecting the Path of least Resistance

Self Discipline & Success

Success is defined as success ” Being able to live our lives in our own ways, doing only things that we want to do, with the people who you choose, in the situation you desire. But what holds everyone from achieving it is two reasons – excuses and lack of self-discipline.

It is not that we don’t know what to do, but rather that most of us don’t have the discipline to make ourselves do.

In every field there are top 20% people who enjoy 80% of the riches. Our first goal should be to be that 20 percent in the chosen field. The more competent you are, the more valuable you become.

The Great Law -“If you do what other successful people do, over and over again, nothing can stop you from enjoying the same rewards that successful people do”.

Success has 3 requirement

  1.  Deciding what you want in life
  2. Determining the price needed to pay to get things that you want
  3. Resolve to pay the price – this must be paid in full and in advance.

Self Discipline and Goals

Quote on setting goals
Quote on setting goals

The 3 percent factor – the book mentions that only 3 % of adults have written goals and this 3% earn more than the rest of the 97% put together.

Why is it so? The answer is if you clear the goal and plan then you can achieve it. The tragedy is that most people think they have goals but they are mere wishes & hopes because they don’t have a plan of action for it.

The failure occurs due to the undisciplined & least resistance path we take because our mind is wired to find instant pleasure. Having goals automatically triggers success mechanisms.

The Seven Methods of Achieving Goal

  1. Decide exactly what you want.
  2. Write it Down.
  3. Set a Deadline for your Goal.
  4. Make a list of Everything you can think of that you could possibly Do to Achieve it.
  5. Organize the list by priority & Sequence.
  6. Take action on your plan immediately.
  7. Do something each day that moves you towards your goal.

The discipline of goal setting will make you a powerful, purposeful, and self-confident person.

Self Discipline & Personal Excellence

The author says that one of our goals should be fulfilling our potential and becoming everything we are capable of becoming. One of our important skills is our earning capability. This skill is like a muscle if trained, it will appreciate or else it will depreciate.

We must see ourselves as the president of your own “Personal Service Corporation”.How this company grows will depend upon your actions and decisions made.

Always try to follow the leaders and not the follower analyze the leaders and learn from them. Dr. David Mcclelland from Havard concluded from the study that 95% of your success depends upon the type of people you associate with.

The 3% formula – to guarantee long term success, decide to invest 3% of your income back into yourself. The key is learning and doing that will lead to long term success.

Key steps to achieve key success

  • Read daily about 60 mins about your field daily
  • Listen to an educational program or audio program in the car
  • Attend the courses or the seminars related to your field

This will lead to the compounding effect eventually giving you razor’s edge over time. To develop a skill at the level of excellence you need to invest around 10,000 hrs to hone it.

The Starting point to achieving mastery is to commit to excellence.

 Self Discipline & Persistence

Persistence is to the character of man as carbon to Steel”

Napoleon Hill

Each time we discipline ourselves to do what we should do, When we do it whether we feel like it or not, our self-esteem increases. When we discipline yourselves to persist over & over again we will respect yourselves more.

One can increase persistence just by talking to ourselves and repeating words like “ I am unstoppable”.your ability to respond effectively to setbacks is the measure of your readiness to succeed.

Optimism is key, that will help in the road of persistence and ultimately succeed. Brian mentions that one should refuse to feel sorry for oneself and instead take the charge to control their lives.

Within every problem there lies the seed of opportunity or benefit and our job is to find it. We should continuously think of ourselves as a strong person, a powerful person in the face of adversity.

Self Discipline & Leadership  

Brian Tracy says that self-Discipline walk hand in hand. The overarching character of a leader is being in complete control of oneself in every situation. Leadership is learnable and is developed by experience, training & hard work.

The role of the leader is to take responsibility for results. The one question leader should keep asking to him/her self is what is expected from me? A leader always gathers information, asks questions, makes quick decisions, and takes action on it.

The behavior of the leader is passed down into the organization and influences all the others working in the organization. Leaders have a special responsibility to control and discipline is such a way that the best of all people working in the organization is brought out.

The seven Principles of leadership mentioned by Brian Tracy are

  • Clarity
  • Competence
  • Commitment
  • Constraints
  • Creativity
  • Continuous learning
  • Consistency

Self Discipline & Business

Businesses should not look to just survive but also thrive. A business should compete with all other uses of the same amount of money that business wants to charge for what they sell.

The first discipline of the business is to offer the products or services that people want, need, and are willing to pay for at the competitive price considering the market competition. The business should be completely honest about their products or services that ensures it is well suited for the current market.

The business owner or the founders should be so confident and optimistic to believe in the future perspective of business growth. The Founder and the owner should be confident enough that they are willing to undertake the financial risk, invest many hours, weeks and even years to achieve the business goals even without the guarantee of success.

The competitive nature of the market, business owners should discipline themselves to be equal or to be better than the competition and out-think the competition. Peter Drucker says that major businesses fail because they rely on untested (assumptions) about their business.

The lack of discipline to study every aspect of the business and directly concluding is sure shot way to failure. Jumping to conclusions should be avoided.

The aim of the business should be to please the customers. Pleasing the customer will help in creating new customers and attracting new customers. Businesses should keep customer satisfaction as the key to measuring business success. Customer satisfaction ensures that businesses have repeated customers that give long term profitability as recommendations and referrals.

Once the business is established they should look for continuous improvement and always raising the bar for themselves. The purpose of the business should to create and keep the customer.

Self Discipline & Money

The author of this book gives an example – “When we were children and when we received any money we used to think of buying sweets or chocolates. When we grew up this habit became a conditioned response. Our Brain generally looks for instant gratification and does not like to be disciplined.

 We have subconsciously wired brain into thinking buying as happiness thus the concept of therapeutic shopping. We should rewire our brains connecting happiness to investing & saving

This can be done by repeating words like – I feel happy when I save or invest the money. Going a step further we should open a savings account like keep aside some money from the income which should be used as a  financial freedom account and no shopping through this account. Doing this brain gets rewired and anything that can be measured brains like to do it more of it, Vola you have rewired your brain.

We should aim to save at least around 15-20% of the salary but in some cases, it may not be possible. The way around is also mentioned that starting by 1% then slowly increasing to 2% and then finally try to reach the level of 15-20%

The wedge principle – it says that as the salary increase over the time we should create a wedge by resolving to save at least 50% of the increased income in the financial freedom account.

Finally if one can practice delayed gratification then one may find riches easily

Self Discipline & Physical Fitness

Brian has given keen importance for this chapter – Health is the highest form of riches and one should aim for it. If you have good health you can achieve any goals in life. Also this is the area that requires the most self-discipline.

The First best victory is conquer self
Quote by Plato

On average a person should workout for 200-300 mins throughout the week spreading it out five to six days a week.A workout should be made part of the lifestyle

Tips on making Physical workout as a part of life

  • Keeping track shoes and workout clothes beside the bed, this tricks the mind that exercise is important and needs to completed and eventually it will form a habit.
  • If possible appoint a gym trainer if you have someone to monitor and money invested we are more likely to discipline ourselves and show up at the gym.
  • Joining Organised sport like basketball or football, when you have a coach or trainer to work with you regularly it causes us to be more disciplined. Along the way we get motivated to perform well.

Self Discipline & Happiness

If you achieve everything of a material nature, but if you are not happy, you have actually failed at fulfilling your potential as a human being. One can truly be happy when you practice, self-discipline, self-mastery, and self-control.It is only when we feel that you are in complete control of our lives that you are truly content.

When we feel controlled by outer circumstances is called an external locus of control, while when we feel we can control our lives by inner thoughts & decisions that is Internal locus. If you have internal locus you feel in control of life and leads happiness, while if you external locus you feel stressed, because you are not in control and causes stress. Some times people feel that they are controlled by past, childhood, or the upbringing and there is nothing they can do about it to change it.

But Brian says that key lies in replacing the external locus with internal locus. We should realize and accept that we make our own decisions and currently where we are because of ourselves. If we are not happy about anything we should discipline ourselves to improve it and do whatever it takes.

Another reason that causes unhappiness is the gap between where we want to be compared to the current situation. One feels that to be happy one needs to be at the position he or she envisioned for themselves.

The book say that happiness is the by-product of doing what you like to do. when everyone feels that they are moving one step closer to their goals they automatically feel happy.

The Five Ingredients of Happiness are

  1. Health and Energy
  2. Happy Relationships
  3. Meaningful work
  4. Financial Independence
  5. Self Actualization  

As the basic human needs are completed then humans look for happiness in belonging and feeling of being accepted. When we realize that we have tremendous potential personal potential & begin striving to achieve it, it is then we experience the true happiness and self-Actualization.


If anyone skill that is needed to work upon and improved to get the results in other parts of life then is should be self-discipline according to this book. It is amazing how simple skill self-discipline can have a chain reaction in all areas of life.

About The Author

Brian Tracy is a Canadian-American motivational speaker and author. He speaks to corporate and public audiences on the subjects of Personal and Professional Development, including the executives and staff of many of America’s largest corporations. Brian Tracy Writes books on topics like counseling on leadership, Selling, Self-Esteem, Goals, Strategy, Creativity & Success Psychology. He has renowned titles under his name like- Eat That Frog, Earn what Your Really worth

One-Line Takeaways

  • Practicing Self Discipline can help one achieve any goals.
  • The first step to start any activity begins with self-discipline.
  • Self-discipline is the master-Key to riches, happiness, and money.

I would recommend this to

This book is for anyone who is looking for inspiration for improving quality of life, Also for men or women who are determined to do something to improve the quality of their lives.People who are looking for inspiration for implementing self-discipline.

SCORE – 8/10

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Roopesh Bhosle is an author at Hackedwits and writes on summary for books from Business and Finance. A Project Manager at day and content writer at night. Love to learn new things, to connect dots in life. Connect with me on LinkedIn for collaboration on project or Guest Post

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1 Response

  1. Avatar Sandhya says:

    Wonderfully organised. So much to learn and focus on what you want priortise which is important to you always. Read your topic of interest for 60 mins everyday. These are the few things I pointed out for myself to get what I want in life. Thanks for making it simple still so detailed.

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