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Opinions of Thursday, 2 February 2012

Columnist: Attah, Maximus

Book Review -Self-Discipline – a Key to Greatness

Title: Self-Discipline – a Key to Greatness
Number of Pages: 247
Author: Dr. Adom Adu-Amoah
Publisher: Pillars of Destiny Publication
Reviewer: Maximus Attah

Written by Adom Adu-Amoah (DBA), author of the well sought after book, Fear – the Silent Killer of Destinies, this latest book describes self-discipline as the secret of all great and successful people. Coming just on the heels of his first book which was published in 2011, the book reveals that in order to be able to overcome his environment and conquer the world at large, man first needs to conquer himself.

This must read book emphasizes that spending productive hours on prayers and holding unnecessarily long church services cannot be good substitutes for hard and smart work. Organized into well laid out nineteen easy to read chapters, the revealing book posits that the major differences in economic and social development in the West and that of Africa lies in our cultural orientation and general lackadaisical way of life.

As a guide to readers, the nineteen chapters are also organized into five parts. The first part dwells on what the author calls the cultural adjustment programme under which the first chapter is subsumed. In chapter one, the reader is taken into the destructive parts of our cultural beliefs, mores, and values. For example, Adom argues that praying for longer hours without taking the needed steps to make sure that we are disciplined and organize our surroundings to make them habitable for human beings have resulted in our perpetual beggarly status.

The book discusses the African and particularly Ghanaian concepts of time and compares this to the American, Japanese work ethos and surmises that our Ghanaian work culture is appallingly poor.

Part two tries to solve the self-discipline puzzle by explaining what exactly the concept of self discipline is all about. This second part groups together chapters two through five. This part introduces self-discipline as a missing virtue in our Ghanaian cultural setting and concludes in the fourth chapter the need for self discipline.

The third part has six chapters which discuss the six themes namely, life is lived in time, the culture and the concept of time, the importance of punctuality, the church and punctuality, the root causes of lateness and summarizes in the eleventh chapter, the sickness called tomorrow. Procrastination is a negative habit that has been with man since Adam. It is dangerous for nations, organizations, individuals, parents, students and so on. We keep on putting off the task that we can perform today. The author reveals three different kinds of procrastinators and proves that procrastination can be costly if deadly. It can induce health problems such as stress and a breakdown of the human immune system.

Part four then takes readers through the results of discipline and hard work. This essential part of the book also has two chapters. The maiden chapter here discusses the dignity of hard work while the latter proposes that laziness is a killer. Here again, the author argues that the average African works to live but hardly lives to work. The African has the propensity to enjoy himself with feast, so every major activity, including birth, baptism, marriage, birthday, polls, are crowned with celebrations. Work, he pointed out, is not an enviable virtue like being able to provide for the extended family no matter the nature of the work one is doing. As long as you have the means, nobody will question the source of your wealth.

The author proposes that Christianity in Africa is losing its allure by confusing the place of prayer and work in Christian life. Many churches are making prayer as the key to the wellbeing of man on earth. This, Adom argues, is a blatant no. Many Christians are deceived into believing that the longer they set themselves apart to pray, the more they will prosper. He reveals that spending longer hours in prayer without working productively will only result in more poverty. It is worthy of note that the author is an advocate of the bible and a firm believer in the power of prayer, but he argues that success is not the consequent of copious prayer, which is not supported by hard, smart work.

The ultimate part, which also has six separate chapters, discusses how readers can develop self discipline. The initial chapter under this part focuses on living with a sense of urgency. The second chapter talks about overcoming lateness in every endeavour of life. The next chapter leads readers into developing a self-disciplined life. The fourth chapter under part five charges readers to dare to be different. The penultimate chapter discusses the results of self discipline while the final chapter talks about living a fulfilled life.

The author notes here amongst others that, all productive people have the common trait of a sense of urgency. This trait is what defines the difference between the average, below average and super achievers. This sense of urgency makes super achievers approach their goals as if their very lives depend on the accomplishment of those goals.

Another interesting discovery in Adom’s latest book is that all the nineteen separate chapters have been summarized at the end of the chapters in keys to remember. These summaries or key points make it easy for readers to recap all the themes discussed in each chapter.

This interesting piece of work is a must read. It’s actually a gauge for measuring where every individual stands, in respect of the discipline versus indiscipline equation. Some have argued that the issue of indiscipline is complex.
In this book, Adom reveals all the necessary ingredients the reader needs to know. This book is a master piece and will inspire every reader. It’s available at all major bookshops across the country at GHS10.00.

Source: Maximus ATTAH