Main Theme: Motivation, Goals
For People Who: Need motivation to charge forward in life with tenacity to pursue their goals.
Rhinoceros Success is a fun and easy read. With less than 100 pages you can get it read in a day or two. Scott Alexander takes you on an adventure of what it looks like to be a 6,000 pound rhinoceros charging down success. What habits should you form? What areas of your life are effected by “the art of charging?” When you think of a charging rhinoceros, it’s hard to imagine anything stopping it. This book is about the level of tenacity you have to be successful in all aspects of your life. Cows stand in the field chewing their cud, watching T.V., wasting time, complaining that opportunities pass them by. Rhinoceroses charge down opportunities, brushing off torpedoes with their 2-inch thick skin that have been shot at them by the cows, and tenaciously pursue their goals and dreams. If youfeel a bit lethargic and need motivation to get off the couch, set some goals, and charge down opportunities – this may well be the book for you.
As rare as the animal (success) is, even more rare are the men and women who set up their own expeditions in its pursuit…The rewards are great. We know that. We also know that the hunt is difficult, at best. This book is a survival guide for your expedition, a ‘rhinoceros manual’ for your greatest hunt. –Rhinoceros Success, pg. 2
The Art of Charging
What does your morning routine look like? Alexander suggests jumping out of bed and charging into your day with a positive mind. Have you been apathetic? Are you standing with the cows wondering why opportunities pass you by everyday? It’s time to get mad! It’s time to break out of your laziness and put things into high gear! But lest your enthusiasm get the best of you, remember not to charge down multiple goals at a time. “You concentrate on getting your first target and then you fix your concentration on your next goal.” (8) When we spread ourselves too thin, more than one can be missed. Even a rhinoceros can’t chase down two targets at once. So focus your tenacity and charge!
Your attitude is the most important ingredient in being an effective rhinoceros. If you don’t really want to be a rhinoceros, you won’t charge like one. –Rhinoceros Success, pg. 15
Alexander makes the point that who you associate with is usually who you begin to look like. His advice? “Charge with rhinoceroses, fly with eagles, run with cheetahs, and eat with lions. Don’t hang around with cows or sheep. They will pull you down.” (pg. 21) The people we associate with and allow to have influence in our lives, the books the read, the things we entertain ourselves with, all have tremendous impact on how we think and feel. They also affect your goals! And speaking of goals, what are yours? Long term, intermediate, and short-term goals? Take care of yourself, discipline yourself and make the choice to charge ahead everyday! You’ll think you gained a few 1000 lbs and really are a charging rhinoceros!
Be An Audacious Rhino
If success were easy, if it did not involve some risk or the danger of failing, there would be no unsuccessful cows, sheep, or sloths. Success takes nerve. Rhinoceroses have that nerve. You are daring enough to charge down your dreams. Be aggressive! -Rhinoceros Success, pg. 43
Minutes can turn into hours, hours into days, days into weeks, weeks into months, and months into years. You either spend that time or you waste that time. “It all starts with minutes. Waste enough minutes and you could waste a lifetime.” (pg. 45.) How do you spend your time? If you were going to pay yourself for each hour of the day, would you be worth what you paid?
Develop Rhinoceros Persistence
Never let go! When you’re in a difficult situation, hold on! “Do not let go, unless the storm destroys the ship and it starts to sink. Then it is all right to loosen your grip to avoid being drowned as the ship sinks to the bottom. Otherwise, persist!” (pg. 52)
How to Be A Rhinoceros In All Aspects of Your Life
- Financial: “You can like money a lot, but never let it become your god.” (pg. 67) Always give to God, always give to others, always pay yourself – those priorities will never steer you wrong.
- Work: Find something you really love to do and do it with everything you’ve got. If you love what you do, no one will have to motivate you to excel at it – charging in work will also help you charge financially and in other areas of your life.
- Family: “A marriage is like a beautiful garden. It needs to be constantly cared for, nurtured, and appreciated. Watch for weeds and don’t let them take root. Keep bugs and gophers out…A happy marriage requires time and effort.” (pg. 71) Invite your family to charge with you in each of these aspects of life. Teach your kids to charge each day rather than lazily become cows who sit in front of mobile devices all day.
- Physical: Get yourself in shape and keep yourself in shape! A charging rhino needs a healthy body or it won’t be charging for long.
- Social: Choosing the right people to be around will drastically affect your life. “He that walks with wise men shall be wise.” (Proverbs 13:20) “If you always live with those who are lame you will yourself learn to limp.” (Latin proverb)
- Spiritual: Religion can be a very personal thing and often we’re never held accountable for our beliefs. Pursue God! The Bible is the greatest book every written – don’t you think you should take a look at it and put it on your list to read? Build rhinoceros faith in God!
Become A Rhinoceros Today
Indifference and pessimism are like diseases that fester in the heart and can consume you. “Optimism and rhino go together. The world loves an optimistic rhino!” (pg. 96) Alexander gives the warning that “the worst possible condition to be in life is ‘cool.'” (pg. 96) Too often making ourselves look good or winning the approval of others will keep us from charging forward with as much gusto as we ought to. Don’t let others determine your goals and tenacity. Don’t let others hold you back…KEEP CHARGING!
As I said, this is a very simple and quick read, but it’s quite a motivational read. It’ll give you a quick shot of adrenaline if you’ve slipped into a comma. Whether you’re a leader, a pastor, a CEO, a volunteer, a boss or employee, I think I’d recommend this book as motivational. At one point I thought the book sounded a bit elitest or over the top. But then I realized the goal of the book is to wake a person up! To stir up passion within! After reading it, I’m tempted to do what Alexander suggests: go buy a small figurine of a rhinoceros to daily remind you to charge into each day looking for opportunities! That may be something I do soon.
Information and Personal Rating
- Title: Rhinoceros Success : the Secret to Charging Full Speed Toward Every Opportunity
- Author: Scott Alexander
- Published: 2003
- Pages: 99
Personal Ratings (1-10)
- Applicability: 6
- Readability: 9 (easy read)
- Originality: 7
- Recommendation: Yes if you’re in need of motivation or a stirring of passion to wake you up.