Maximum Achievement – Brian Tracy (Book Summary)

This is a manual that can improve the quality of your life dramatically.

Brian Tracy, the author of this book and one of the world’s leading authorities on success and personal achievement, has put 30+ years of wisdom into this masterpiece.

He walks through all the life struggles and obstacles and shows how to thrive by unlocking your inner powers.

Nothing magical, just hard work, perseverance, and a detailed plan for realizing your true potential.

Health, Family, Finance, Business…everything is covered!

Why You Should Read Maximum Achievement?

  • To understand what it takes to take full control of the future
  • To become more and achieve more
  • To improve your life dramatically
maximum achievement book cover

Maximum Achievement by Brian Tracy

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Check the book on Amazon or, browse my Top 10 Books

The Book In One Paragraph

The most important of the lessons given in Maximum Achievement is that you cannot hit a target that you cannot see.

In other words, if you are serious, decide what exactly you want.

Knowing exactly what you want is a common feature for all successful people. This is a powerful motivator that moves you forward.

When you set clear goals I can then break them up into smaller sub-goals and necessary actions that are required for their achievement. This practice can also help you track your results and receive a constant motivation boost.

Lessons I Have Learned

  • Lesson #1: It doesn’t much matter which way you go if you don’t care where you want to get to.
  • Lesson #2: Breaking up big goals into smaller milestones can boost your chances for success.
  • Lesson #3: You are the only person who is responsible for your life. Your success or failure only depends on you.
  • Lesson #4: To become different – more successful, happy, healthy, wealthy – you need to learn to think differently.
  • Lesson #5: Positive thinking attracts good changes, negative thinking attracts bad changes.

How The Book Changed Me

  • It helped me start thinking positively and look at things from a different angle.
  • It made me realize how mind clarity is important in any life domain.
  • It encouraged me to set new goals consistently and work my butt off to achieve them.

Maximum Achievement Summary + Key Ideas

As you’ve already learned from the points above, Maximum Achievement is a kind of book that certainly has something to offer even to the most educated and sophisticated reader.

Down below, I’ve listed the most important ideas, concepts, and insights from the book that I hope you will find useful and helpful.

Let’s get started with the first key idea:

Key Idea #1: there are 7 major Ingredients of Success

  1. Peace of mind. Your future success is impossible without this element of the puzzle.
  2. Health and energy. You will have little or no sense of accomplishment if you achieve everything but health.
  3. Loving relationships. Most of your happiness and unhappiness come from the relationship with others.
  4. Financial freedom. Many people worry too much about their finances because they don’t feel secure.
  5. Worthy goals and ideals. You need a clear sense of direction to enjoy life.
  6. Self-knowledge and self-awareness. Inner happiness and outer achievement come from this major success element.
  7. .Personal fulfillment. The feeling that you are becoming everything you want to be is remarkable and brings an enormous sense of joy.

Key Idea #2: There Are 7 Big Laws that Shape your life

laws of life
  1. The law of control. You treat yourself as positively as you control your life. And as negative as losing control over it, being under the influence of external forces. Control of your life begins with thoughts. Taking control of your own life is one of your most important responsibilities. 
  2. The law of cause and effect. Every consequence in your life has a reason. There are specific reasons for success, as well as for failure. Your thoughts are the root cause of all that you have and will have. We always get from life what we invested in it. 
  3. The law of faith. Everything that you ardently believe in becomes reality. The angle of your vision depends on your faith and beliefs. All incoming information is edited by faith, discarding what does not correspond to it.
  4. The law of expectations. You get from life what you expect from it. Positive expectations lead to positive results. There are expectations of our parents, the boss, your own expectations from others (children, spouses, subordinates, colleagues), and your own expectations from yourself. The latter are so powerful that they can suppress the negative expectations of other people from you. 
  5. The law of attraction. You attract people and situations that are being in accordance with your thoughts into your life.
  6. The law of conformity. Your outer world is a reflection of the inner world. Observe what is happening around you and you will be able to understand what is causing you to do this.
  7. The law of mental equivalence. All your thoughts materialize, becoming reality. Everything present in your life is created by your thoughts. Be responsive to your thoughts, change your thinking, and you will definitely change your life.

Key Idea #3: Your Mind is one of the most powerful tools

powerful mind

Tracy believes that everything that happens to us is largely determined by internal processes, and external experience is a reflection of internal mental patterns. 

To represent the work of our subconscious, Tracy suggests visualizing two balls attached to each other, for example, a basketball ball and a golf ball on it. Basketball – subconscious. Both parts are interconnected, but their areas of activity are different.

Consciousness is like a programmer entering information; it determines which task to solve.

The subconscious mind is a computer that processes information. Accordingly, the self-concept is software that defines life results. They depend on how much you understand the special computer language and use it. 

The main functions of the subconscious are the storage and delivery of information. It does not think, does not draw conclusions, but only obeys the commands of consciousness. The subconscious mind remembers our comfort zones and causes a feeling of emotional and physical discomfort with every attempt to do something in a new way. 

To better understand the principles of our brain, the author considers three laws

  1. The law of subliminal activity. Any idea or thought that consciousness accepts as truth will also be accepted by the subconscious. 
  2. The law of concentration. Everything you concentrate on is increasing in size.
  3. The law of substitution. Consciousness can hold only one thought at a time. This means that you can replace the negative thought with a positive. 

Tracy divides the process of achieving any desired state into 5 steps

  1. Verbalization. Affirmatively state the desired outcome for you (for example, “Everything will be resolved safely”).
  2. Visualization. Clearly present the desired result.
  3. Emotional coloring. Arouse a sense of satisfaction that would accompany the result.
  4. Release the situation. Switch your mind to other things. 
  5. Implementation – the materialization of a decision, the fulfillment of a plan, or the achievement of your goal.

Key Idea #4: Develop The right goal-setting strategies

Goal setting habit

The key value in the book is given to the ability to set goals. Tracy cites the “success mechanism” and the “failure mechanism” as an example. The failure mechanism works 24 hours a day. The goal includes a success mechanism. 

The goal-setting algorithm is simple: decide what exactly you want. Then determine the “price” that you have to pay in order to get what you want. Then decide if you are willing to pay it. As soon as the desire/goal/dream is paid, you will get what you wanted. 

On the way to reaching the maximum, the principles for determining goals are essential. 

  1. The principle of congruence or compliance. Bring goals and values ​​in harmony with each other.
  2. The “strong” area. Find the area in which you are perfect, which you like best, and succeed best. 
  3. The concept of diamond placer. Opportunities are often disguised as work. Take a look, maybe the very opportunity under your feet.
  4. The principle of balance. To achieve maximum, it is important to have goals in key areas of your life. Personal goals, family, physical (health, for example), mental, intellectual, goals for training and self-improvement, career and financial, spiritual goals aimed at developing the inner world.
  5. The main goal in life. It can be distinguished by asking the question: “What goal, if achieved, will help me to achieve all the other goals to the greatest extent?”.

Choosing a central goal is the starting point for success.

In determining his life goals, Tracy recommends following a few important rules: goals must be in harmony, support and strengthen each other, challenge you, be different (tangible and intangible, qualitative and quantitative, short-term and long-term), measurable.

An ideal life is concentrated, full of goals, positive, and organized so that every hour and every day you move towards important goals. 

Tracy shares a 12-step system to achieve goals. 

  1. Arouse a strong, burning desire.
  2. Start with realistic goals.
  3. Write everything down on paper.
  4. Make a list of all the benefits that result from reaching your goal.
  5. Analyze your starting position.
  6. Set a deadline.
  7. Identify possible obstacles to the goal.
  8. Decide what additional information you will need to achieve the goal.
  9. Consider whose collaboration you require.
  10. Make a plan
  11. Use visualization.
  12. Decide in advance that you will never back down.

Which brings us to the last key idea:

Key Idea #5: Build quality Relationships with people around you

quality relationships with people

Relationships With Friends and Colleagues

One of the important aspects that Tracy considers in the book is relationships with other people. A healthy person with high self-esteem is able to get along with almost everyone and in any situation. One of the components of one’s own happiness is to make someone happy nearby. 

Tracy identifies seven constructive patterns of behavior, each of which relates to deep subconscious needs, formed in childhood. It is a need to feel significant and respected.

It will be easy for you to get along with people if you are compliant, smiling, grateful, express approval and use praise (it should be immediate; concrete and, preferably, public).

Admire others, compliment people about their achievements, pay attention – this is the main indicator of how important a person is to you.

Use the boomerang principle. Speak on topics of interest to the interlocutor, do not interrupt and keep up the pace (no monologues), think before you say, be considerate. Respect the secrets of other people, do not burden random interlocutors with your troubles.

Personal Relationships

Tracy is convinced that for a harmonious mature personality, the ability to enter into close personal relationships and maintain them is important.

He believes that no success can replace a healthy personal life. 

The author identifies six rules for a successful relationship:

  1. Similar is attracted. The law of attraction works here, which states that you will always be attractive to a person whose relationships and beliefs are in harmony with yours. The key areas where similar views are important in marriage are attitudes toward money (ways of earning, saving, and spending), attitudes toward children (whether to have them, how much to bring them up), attitudes to sex, religion, and attitudes to political and social phenomena.
  2. Opposites attract, but only when it comes to temperament. 
  3. Complete devotion to each other. It’s important not to consider “alternatives,” but to focus only on how to make your relationship more successful.
  4. Admiring each other and respect. The starting point of a long romantic relationship is the feeling that you have met your best friend. One indicator of this is how much you laugh together. The amount of laughter measures the degree to which your relationship is healthy. 
  5. Similar self-concepts are attracted and are the most compatible. People with negative self-conceptions will be attracted to each other in the same way as people with a positive vision of the world.
  6. Good communication is an integral part of the relationship.

There are also major relationship problems that interfere with shared happiness:

  1. Lack of commitment. You can do much better, we both know that.
  2. Attempts to change another person or the expectation that another person will change.
  3. Jealousy. Everyone needs a sense of peace and security in a relationship, and jealousy destroys our protection. 
  4. Self-pity. Do not force your partner to do or stop doing anything. Take care of your own goals, and you will not have time to spare yourself. 
  5. Negative expectations. Always expect the best from your partner. 
  6. Incompatibility. Signs of this are that laughter and communication leave the relationship. 

You can return love to relationships by renewing what you once did while caring for each other. You can become more caring and attentive.


The deepest responsibility that a person can take is parenthood. This is the most important and lasting relationship because your role as a parent lasts a lifetime. The mission of parents is the love and upbringing of children, the formation of feelings of self-esteem and self-confidence in them. 

Tracy highlights a number of mistakes made by parents. Parents do not love themselves, which means they cannot give love to their children. Parents love their children little, mistakenly believing that they are obliged to live up to their expectations. 

The most wonderful gift you can give your child is to give him the absolute conviction that you love him with all your heart, unconditionally, regardless of what he does, and regardless of what happens.

The main advice from Tracy on raising super children is to tell them that you love them every day. In his opinion, it is impossible to tell a child “I love you” too often. This can be done in words, through the contact of loving eyes, physical contact, focused attention.

If you want to bring up happy, healthy, self-confident children, you need to ask for their opinions, expect only the good from them (say: “You can do this” or “I believe in you”), and set a good example.

Going Beyond the Summary

You wouldn’t expect me to leave you with the book summary alone, would you?

There are some extra materials I would like to share with you.

They might make a great addition to the knowledge you gained from the summary above.

So if you are up to going down the rabbit hole, I suggest you the following resources.

Recommended Reading

If you like Maximum Achievement, you may also enjoy the following books:

Purchase the Original Book

There is always much more to discover from the full-text books.

Most of the time, you will even find some additional ideas and insights that have almost nothing to do with the book’s main topic.

So if you found my summary helpful and the book worth your time, consider buying the original version on Amazon or browse for more book summaries to discover more promising titles.

Putting It All Together

Maximum Achievement contains ideas and tools that are open in the field of personal achievement, outlined in simple language, and ready for practical use.

Some of the techniques may be familiar to readers, while they are first collected in a single system. 

Reflecting on the path to happiness and success, Tracy gives an analogy with a combination lock.

To open it, you need to know the right combination. It may take years, or even a lifetime, to select it. This book is a combination of the right digits to the combination lock. The synthesis of the experience of those who have already done what you are going to and have achieved what you are striving for. 

The author is confident that these ideas work for several reasons: he tested them through trial and error for many years, and also taught this system to more than a million people and saw how it works for every person who is ready to seriously apply ideas in their personal life. 

Additional References

  1. The Mechanics of Human Achievement by Angela L. Duckworth
  2. Values of Hypercompetitive and Personal Development Competitive Individuals by Richard M. Ryckman
  3. Social Education and Personal Development by Delwyn Tattum, Eva Tattum