Something for Nothing Book Notes

Posted on December 22nd, 2012

Book notes from Something for Nothing: The All-Consuming Desire that Turns the American Dream into a Social Nightmare - Brian Tracy


Successful people are hungry. They have an intense desire to be more, do more and have more than they ever have before.

The smartest thing that you can do is to accept and expect that people will always be lazy, greedy, ambitious and impatient in getting the things they want.

Human nature is like water, continually flowing downhill by the Law of Gravity. Human nature, in the absence of personal restraint, flows downhill as well.

Maslow found that self-actualizing people were the happiest and most fulfilled of all people.

Successful, happy people are willing to make the necessary sacrifices each day, and throughout their lives, to enjoy greater rewards and benefits at a later time. They are willing to pay the price of success over and over again until they attain it.

The core psychological requirement for happiness is a feeling of personal value, self-esteem, a condition in which you genuinely like and respect yourself. But true and lasting self-esteem and happiness is only possible when you feel that you are making a contribution to your world that is greater than the amount that you are receiving back.

The value of each relationship in your life is determined by how much of your personal time that you invest in it. Psychologists estimate that 85% of your happiness in life will come from relationships with others. Only 15% of life satisfaction comes from external results, rewards and accomplishments. No one on his deathbed ever said, “I wish I’d spent more time at the office.”

Personal development

Expediency Factor: “People continually strive to get the things they want the fastest and easiest way possible, with little or no concern for the secondary consequences of their behaviors.”

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” - John Stuart Mill

Happiness is a moving target. It is never fixed or final.

Self-esteem - defined as how much you like yourself.

An internal constraint exists when you decide by and for yourself to do what is right, no matter what the temptation. An external constraint is something that is imposed upon you by law and society, or by circumstances, that forces you to do the right thing, or to behave in a certain way, whether you want to or not.

The core quality of character is integrity. It can be measured by how absolutely honest one is with himself and others. The height of your integrity  determines  the  strength  of  your  commitment  to  each  of your other values.

The true mark of the superior person is that he sets high standards for himself, and refuses to compromise those standards for any reason.

The worst mistake you can ever make is to ever think that you work for anyone else but yourself.

Is what you are saying or hearing true for you, or do you think that it may be true for others but not for yourself?


Abraham Lincoln was once arguing a point with his cabinet minister, Wiliam Stanton. He stopped the conversation and asked, “If you call a dog’s tail a leg, how many legs would the dog now have?” Stanton quickly replied, “Five.” “No,” replied Lincoln. “Calling a dog’s tail a leg doesn’t make it a leg.”


The most successful businesses are those that most accurately identify  the  wants  of  customers  and  then  satisfy  those  wants  with products and services that customers are willing to buy and pay for.

The first principle of economics is scarcity. An economic good is, by definition, one that is limited in supply or availability. There is not enough of it to satisfy everyone who wants it.


Five-word formula for health and fitness is simply to “eat less and exercise more.”

7 basic needs

  • Survival
  • Security
  • Comfort
  • Leisure
  • Love
  • Respect
  • fulfillment
  • power     The fastest and easiest way to motivate a person to take action is to appeal to the lowest common denominator of needs.

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