Half a second to achieve success


You guys know I’ve been banging on a bit about the universe this year right?

Well the universe has struck again.

I’ve had a copy of  Life in Half a Second sitting on my desk since I first read it in late November last year. It was a big driver in the decision to write my book and I’ve been meaning to review it here on the blog for the past few months. But for whatever reason, I just haven’t gotten round to it.

Then, completely by-the-by, I got the chance to chat with the book’s author Matthew Michalewicz on Monday. Clearly the universe didn’t want me to share this book with you till I’d spoken with Matthew ;)

In a nutshell, Life in Half a Second is a blueprint for success.

Given I’ve been striving for success my whole life (where success = achieving the goals I set for myself), you’d think I’d have read every book there is on the subject. And I have. So I didn’t really expect to learn anything new from Matthew’s book. I was still keen to read it however as I like getting different takes on a subject I’ve read a lot on.

Well lo and behold, I got something new from Life in Half a Second.

I got stunning clarity. Clarity and drive. It completely galvanised me into action and changed my thinking about the goals I had for myself at that point in time.

Which is precisely what Matthew was aiming to deliver to his readers when he wrote the book.

Matthew’s been reading books about success his whole life and started creating his own theories around the topic around 10 years ago. (This is what happens when you have academics as parents apparently … you do research and create theories!)

The more research he did, the more it became apparent that pretty much all the books on success fell into two categories:

  • Someone successful writing about what they did to achieve their success – which while inspiring is often not applicable to our own situations.
  • Fluffy, airy fairy ‘if you want it bad enough, it will happen’ type stuff.

And I completely agree with him. Pretty much all the books I’ve read on the topic do fall into those two categories.

While those books have their place, Matthew felt there was a distinct lack of science-driven, fact-based, well-researched material when it came to the topic ‘how does one achieve success’. So that’s what he set out to deliver in his book, and deliver he did.

Now I’m not one for ‘spoilers’ so I’m not going to outline the five steps in Matthew’s blueprint here. But suffice to say, my highlighter got a fair workout while I was reading. Here’s one of the first things I highlighted (regular readers of this blog will not be surprised).


If you’re feeling a lack of direction in your life right now, then this book is for you. I’m not one for making big promises, but I’d be stunned if you didn’t come away from reading it feeling energised and inspired to take real action. And if you’re lucky enough to be attending #PBEVENT in August … Matthew is speaking there and I for one can’t wait.

Have you read a book lately that has particularly inspired you?


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  1. says

    As you know, I’ve read this book too and met Matthew in Melbourne. I cried at the end of the first chapter (what a chapter) as I felt like I had been called out – in a massive way. He summed up everything I felt about myself and my fears! I’m looking forward to hearing his keynote in August. It will be a wake up call for many, I’m sure.

    • says

      I was so jealous watching the stream on twitter during his kpimethod talk. I am really excited to hear him speak at PBEVENT. And I know he’s going to have everyone in the room jumping out of their seats!

  2. says

    This is going to sound strange — but a pop record changed the way I thought about life, way back in 1983: Will Powers – Dancing for Mental Health…

    It’s a partly satirical piss-take of the “self-help” industry, but like all the best satires, it is based in good solid facts, and many of the “:affirmations” voiced in the album are actually really good… plus the music is AWESOME!!!

    I mean, one of the affirmations repeated during the album is something you’ve repeated here on this site: Make it habit. Make it happen.


    I still love listening to this album – it’s great to dance to, laugh to, and most importantly, think to….

    Check it out on iTunes! https://itunes.apple.com/au/album/dancing-for-mental-health/id115537116

      • says

        Probably too slow…. it’s more groove funk than upbeat – some of the musicians who worked on the album included Steve Winwood, Todd Rundgren, Sting, Nile Rodgers, Carly Simon, Sly and Robbie, Tom Tom Club…. plus the voice actors included Warren Beatty, Glenn Close, and Barbra Streisand… :)

  3. Helen K says

    I am reading Andrew Marshall’s ‘I love you but you always put me last’ – which is actually a real wake up call for me (and a really practical approach to identifying issues between parents that have contributed to not being as connected to each other since the kids arrived).

    Lots of worthwhile questions / aspects to talk through together, as well as practical measures – which, fortunately, we both agree are worthwhile to strengthen what has become slack in some areas (I’m currently up to the section titled ‘second child syndrome’ – aha, yep, my second child was a real handful compared to number one (evening out now, but she really knocked us around, particularly sleepwise, for many years)

      • Helen K says

        Its actually very good – hard work ie. comparing different priority ratings for activities/needs/relationships, why we might priorities something differently, going through questions re. our mindset – how fixed / flexible we are, resilience of marriage against some very probing questions – and I’m only a third (or less) through the book. Pushes you to be honest (rather than ‘nice’ and giving the ‘right’ answers). Think it will be really worthwhile once we’ve worked through it!

  4. says

    So agree Kelly, it was one of those books that I read in one sitting but that sits next to my bed so I can pick it up for a burst of inspiration right when and where I need it. So simply written with such powerful messages. Thanks for the reminder – will be flicking through it again tonight so see what chapter speaks to me now!

  5. says

    Was at the library and checked out a book called “The Long Snapper” by Jeffrey Marx is a true story about a guy who had played in the NFL for a long time and had been out of the game for about three years and was a seventh grade bible teacher and then he gets a call very late in the season to try out for a team headed to the Super Bowl because of an injury.

    It goes into this players make-up as a human, you watch him reexamine what is important to him in life and his fears as he overcomes them to help his team win the Super Bowl and achieve something that he had chased for a long time.

    Really good read.

    • says

      Oooh I love book about/by sports people. I absolutely love finding out how they think as that is key to what makes them successful. I have learned LOTS from sports people over the years! This book sounds awesome!

  6. says

    Sounds like a great book. Heading over to check it out now!

    Interesting that you posted this quote from the book, in particular “If I had more time, I would have done more.” Being a serial do-er most of my life, I’ve been most happy when I stop ‘doing’ so much and ‘be’ more. I feel like a number of places I turn at the moment people are preaching how to get more, have more, achieve more (not that I’m saying I don’t want to achieve more), but for me ‘less is more’ is so much more important (and more difficult to achieve). Clearly I need to take a bit of time to work on my ‘be more, not do more’ mantra at the moment, if I needed to voice this concern here :)

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