In the fourth edition of his spiritual self-help guide, Success Is Within You, Michael W. Jackson views achievement as an outcome of intrinsic factors, attributing success to passion and the ability to control one’s attitude and thoughts.
Jackson notes that “Success can be defined simply as the accomplishment of something you want to be, do, or have.” Having a clear definition of success, he posits, increases your chances of achieving it, as does the right mindset: “The universe is set up to manifest the dreams of your heart,” the author writes. “…If you do not believe this to be true, then you have been brainwashed by an environment that promotes fear and scarcity.”
Jackson dismisses the role of external factors in determining happiness. Rather, he promotes the belief that happiness is a choice, regardless of circumstances. Jackson notes that “God is omnipresent” and that “With God, all things are possible.” He proposes that the universe is willing to manifest desires and acts on individuals’ behalf if they share their hopes.
As such, the book offers a first-world, privileged perspective that assumes that resources are always accessible. Jackson doesn’t consider economic barriers or other concrete obstacles to achieving dreams. Many readers will be skeptical of such pronouncements.
On the plus side, the book explains its ideas in direct terms, with accessible language. It uses straightforward analogies, such as comparing the desire to achieve dreams to a basketball team’s desire to win.
Many of the author’s concepts –the power of positive thinking, the benefits of expressing gratitude, the idea that success is an outcome of internal factors, and strategies such as using happy experiences to distract from negative thoughts – will be familiar to anyone who has read New Age and other self-help books.
Still, for those open to such spiritual approaches to happiness and who are new to these ideas, Success Is Within You offers clearly articulated suggestions to help readers fulfill their goals.