Mastering the art of being brilliant (and how to be one of the super-happy 2%)

During a recent mentoring session I was recommended several books for business and personal development. These were to help me work out where I want to be, where to start, how to become a more confident leader and thinker, that sort of thing.

The books included:

It was this last book, The Art of Being Brilliant, which the mentor really had good things to say about. The book, she told me, helps you to develop the kind of attitude that takes you from good to brilliant in all aspects of life.
The Art of Being Brilliant

We reckon only about 2% of people fall into the category of feeling consistently great.  The “2%ers” stand out a mile. They are enthusiastic, optimistic, energetic, effervescent and possess a ‘can-do’ mentality. Research shows that they live longer, are more productive and raise the happiness levels of the people around them.

– Andy Cope and Andy Whittaker

It’s an easy read, at under 200 pages. There are lots of diagrams (simple ones, mind), drawings, and pages to write down your answers to questions.

The first set of questions includes:

Being brilliant with Andy Cope and Andy Whittaker

  • Think of someone who inspires you. What exactly do they do that makes you feel so brilliant?
  • Who are you at your best?
  • It’s your 100th birthday and there’s a big family party in your honour. Someone is going to stand up and say a few words about you. What would you like them to say?
The book is full of positivity, and shares “six common-sense principles to transform your life”. It sounds quick-fix, but like the authors say, it’s really all just common sense that we could do with being reminded of.
If you want to discover what you’re good at, make the most of what you’ve got, and work out where you want to go next, this book is a superb place to start.
A quick warning: this book contains a lot of exclamation marks.

It’s safe to say that positive thinking won’t let you do ‘anything’. However, it is even safer to say that positive thinking will let you do ‘everything’ better than negative thinking will. Positive thinking will let you use the ability which you have, and that is awesome. It works this way. You can walk into a dark room, flip on the switch and immediately the room is lighted. Flipping the switch did not generate the electricity; it released the electricity which had been stored. Positive thinking works that way – it releases the abilities which you have.


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It's good to meet you! I started Tolstoy Therapy back in 2012 to share my healing journey through anxiety and PTSD with books. I also climb mountains, go on solo adventures, and write over at

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