Awaken the Giant Within: Ultra Condensed Cliff Notes #5

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Below are my personal notes of Awaken the Giant Within. These highlights were what I used to write my personal development book, Wiser Next Week, a condensation of many different self improvement books

In a Nutshell: Awaken The Giant Within is the psychological blueprint you can follow to wake up and start taking control of your life, starting in your mind, spreading through your body and then all the way through your relationships, work and finances until you’re the person you were destined to be.

Creating Lasting Change

  1. Raise your standards
  2. Change limiting beliefs to empowering beliefs
  3. Change your strategy, believe that you will find a way

“Man is Born to Live and not prepare to live”

It’s in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped

Nothing can resist the human that will stake even its existence on its stated purpose


  1. Decide what you want
  2. Take action
  3. Notice what’s working and what’s not
  4. Adjust accordingly
  • The hardest step in achieving anything is making a true commitment, a true decision
  • Stay committed to your decisions, but flexible in your approach
  • Everything we do is to avoid pain or gain pleasure
  • Avoiding pain is more powerful than getting pleasure
  • To change our behavior, we must link pain to the old and pleasure to the new. 
  • We don’t move away from real pain, but away from what we believe will lead to pain

Belief Systems: Our beliefs on life events shape us. Our beliefs are generalizations on interpreted past painful and pleasurable experiences

  • We can change our beliefs in anything with enough reference experiences
  • Emotionally charged reference experiences are the most powerful
  • No matter what happens, remember “This too shall pass”
  • If we associate enough pain with something, we’ll change
  • The only true security comes from the fact that every single day you know you are improving yourself in some way. 
  • All beliefs have consequences, good and bad. 

Exercise: Write down all your beliefs

  1. Circle your 3 most empowering and strengthen their emotional intensity
  2. Circle your 2 most disempowering 
    1. Identify the root of the belief, its cost emotionally, relationship wise, physically and financially. Associate pain with them
  3. Write down replacements for the limiting beliefs

Change: Once change is acted upon, it must be reinforced immediately through conditioning

  • You must believe you can change now and that you’re responsible for your own change
    • Something must change
    • I can change it
    • I must change

Neuro Associative Conditioning:

  1. Decide what you really want and what’s preventing you from obtaining it
  2. Link massive pain to not changing now and massive pleasure to the experience of changing now, create urgency
  3. Interrupt the limiting pattern, associate pain while the pattern is occuring
  4. Create a new empowering alternative
  5. Condition the new pattern until its consistent
  • Ask the right questions, ask them persistent, expecting to receive an answer and you will find it. Ask empowering questions that will benefit you and others
  • Its not only the questions you ask, but the questions you fail to ask that shape your destiny
  • Ask empowering questions during periods of crisis, it leads to new resources
    • What’s great about this problem?
    • What’s not perfect yet?
    • What am I willing to do and not do?
    • How can I enjoy the process?
    • What am I happy, grateful and excited for in my life?

Transformational Vocabulary

  • The words we attach to our vocabulary become our experience
  • If you don’t have the words to represent something, it can’t exist
  • Replace disempowering words with empowering words (ie. instead of “outraged” you’re “cranky”)
  • For every negative word in your vocabulary, write down a list of alternatives


The emotions you are feeling right now is a gift, guideline and call to action. If you suppress your emotions and try to drive them out or magnify them to control you, then you’re squandering a precious resource

  • Negative emotions tell you what you’re now doing isn’t working

Mastering Emotions:

  1. Identify what you’re truly feeling
  2. Acknowledge and Appreciate your emotions, knowing they support you
    1. Whatever you resist tends to persist, appreciate all emotions
  3. Get curious about the message this emotion is offering you
  4. Get confident, remember a time when you felt a similar emotion and realize you successfully handled it before
  5. Get certain you can not only handle it today, but in the future as well
  6. Get excited and take action, get excited over the fact that you can easily handle this emotion and take action to prove it. 

10 Action Signals

  1. Discomfort: Boredom, impatience, unease, distress, or mild embarrassment telling you something’s not quite right
    1. Solution: Clarify what you want and refine your actions
  2. Fear: Anticipation that something that’s going to happen soon needs to be prepared for
    1. Solutions:Evaluate how to prepare yourself mentally and action steps to deal with the situation the best way possible
    2. Make a decision to have faith knowing you’ve done all you’ve could
  3. Hurt: Sense of loss, expectations gone unmet, lost of trust
    1. Solution: Realize you may not have lost anything, could be a false perception that this person hurt you. 
    2. Ask if you’re judging too harshly
    3. Communicate your feelings with the person involved
  4. Anger: Important rule or standard that you hold has been broken by someone our yourself
    1. Solution: Realize you may have misinterpreted the situation
    2. Just because your rules are violated, doesn’t mean they are the right rules
    3. Ask: “How can I communicate the importance of these standards to this person?”
    4. Maybe they didn’t know your rules because you didn’t tell them
  5. Frustration: Putting effort but not receiving a proportional reward, your brain believes you can do better
    1. Solution: Change your approach, become more flexible, model after a person who has what you want
    2. Get fascinated by what you can learn to help you handle the challenge today and in the future
  6. Disappointment: A goal/expectation is not going to be met leading to a feeling of “let down” or “missing out”
    1. Solution: Change your expectation or goal, take action to achieve the new goal immediately
    2. Understand that you may be judging too soon, it could only be temporary, reevaluate what you really want and plan accordingly
    3. Be positively expective of what will happen in the future, no matter the past. 
  7. Guilt: You’ve violated your own standards and have a feeling you must do something or else you’ll violate it again
    1. Solution: Acknowledge that you’ve indeed violated your own standards and let the guild drive you to a higher standard where it’ll never happen again
  8. Inadequacy: You don’t have the needed skills for the task at hand, you need more understanding, information, strategies, tools or confidence
    1. Solutions: Ask “Am I inadequate or is it my perceptions?”
    2. Improve, find a role model
  9. Overload or Overwhelmed: You need to reevaluate what’s important to you in this situation. 
    1. Solution: Decide what’s most important for you to focus on
    2. Write down all things most important to get done and list them by priority, tackle the first thing and stick with it until you’ve mastered it. 
    3. Focus on what you can control
  10. Loneliness: You need connections with other people
    1. Solution: Realize you can reach out and make a connection immediately, there are caring people everywhere
    2. Find what connection you need
    3. Remember that what’s really great about loneliness is that you really care about people and love being with them
  • All communication is either a loving response or a cry for help
  • The secret to living is giving

Create a Compelling Future: 

  • Goals followed by plans followed by massive consistent action leads to a compelling future
  • Once you prioritize something, give it great emotional intensity and persistently focus on it, any available resource becomes clear

Exercise: Personal Development Goals

  1. Write down everything that you’d like to improve in your life 
  2. Give a timeline for each one
    1. Remember that goals are dreams with deadlines
  3. Choose your single most important 1 year goal
  • A compelling future is the food on which our souls thrive


  • You must be in control of your own happiness
  • No matter what happens, find a way to enjoy it
  • Increase the ways in which you can feel good


  • References are the pillars that support your beliefs
  • They determine how we feel, whether something is good or bad depends on what we compare it to
  • Each failed attempt gets us closer to the solution
  • If some experience wounds you, know that someday, when the time is right, you’ll understand
  • Gain the references of other people, understand and appreciate them, and you will expand your life
  • Do unusual and new things

If these brief notes, peaked your interest in Awaken the Giant Within , you can check it out on Amazon here.

And be sure to check out my book, Wiser Next Week.

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