Book Summary : Many Miles To Go by Brian Tracy


Brian Tracy and his friends decided to embark on an adventurous trip to South Africa from North America. For that they need to cross blazing and scorching Sahara desert where the temperature soars to 110 degree Fahrenheit or more, with no water, shelter or food easily available.


It is from this daring and dangerous journey Brian Tracy had learned many important life altering lessons. 


According to him you can achieve success in business or in any field by just bringing about a little change in your attitude and mindset.


The author effortlessly blends the life lessons drawn from his traveling experience into the book.


So without any further delays, here’s the gist of the lessons which Brian acquired while covering 17,000 miles on the road facing many dangerous and at times life threatening incidents.

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A Dream

So the first lesson is to set a goal, to have a dream. What kind of human life it would be without any purpose or mission. 


Brian Tracy and his four friends had this grand dream of taking a voyage to a less traveled road. 

First Step 

Your idea will remain in the papers if you will not take that first step towards executing your plan. So that First Step is very crucial. Many thousands of ideas never see the light of the day because that first step was never taken. 


Take small baby steps each day towards the accomplishment of your goal, your dreams and your plan.

DOnot QuIT

Once you take that first step towards your goal don’t take a backward step at the sight of the first hurdle. Hurdles, stumble blocks, problems will come your way, to terrify you, to stop you from realizing your dream. But don’t quit. Do It. 


Quitting midway is a bad habit. Once you quit you become a quitter all your life. You want to remain in your comfort zone. But success and great achievements await you when you enter your uncomfortable zone. 


Brian and his friends started with a lot of enthusiasm. But two of the friends gave up when the first stumble block came their way. Third one, Bob calls it off mid way when the problems became too much to bear. Brian and his friend Geoff where the one who reached their destination in spite of all hurdles sometimes, life threatening. 


The path towards success is never butter smooth. It is full of potholes, diversions, bumpers, grave pit. Not-to-give-up attitude irrespective of the size, shape, volume and form of the problem will take you towards the other side of the road where stands the success to embrace you. 


You can pick up the life story of any successful personality, ‘don’t quit’ attitude will be common in all.

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One Oil Barrel

Seeing a big score on the screen board that need to be chased to win the match, will make any batsman to lose his heart and wicket easily. So what’s the strategy adopted. They set small goals. Like first 5 overs, first 50 runs, one hour, one session at a time.


In other words, break down your giant goals in small minuscule goals. And take each goal at a time. Each problem, in the way of achieving that small goal, at a time. 


This was the strategy adopted by Brian and his friend. Breaking up their 17,000 mile journey into one oil barrel at a time. 


The author writes,’’By yard, it’s hard; but inch by inch,anything’s a cinch.” 


Make sure you surround yourself with positive thinking people who will encourage you in achieving your goal. Such people bring enormous positive vibes and energy which will fill you with new vigor and zeal. 


People with negative thoughts will always discourage and pull you down. 


There were many people who discouraged Brian and Geoff throughout their journey which at times dishearten them, but they always looked for people who would encourage them and ultimately they were the ones who mattered the most. 


Moreover, it is your dream. Nobody knows how much the dream means to you. Listen to every opinion with a filter attached so that only positive advice goes through your brain. Ultimately, it should be your decision because it is you who have to bear the consequences.

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A Price Tag

All good things in life comes at a price tag. 


All the hardship you face due to the hindrances in the path of success should be looked upon as a price you are paying for the valuable lessons it taught you. These lessons will be key to clear the bigger test which life will throws at you. These hindrances are actually opportunities that prepare you for the big success.

Be Flexible

Fix your eyes on the goal, but be flexible about the path to achieve that goal. Plans never work because life is unpredictable. So plan your way diligently. Do not stick to it strictly but be ready to improvise it according to the situation. 


This attitude is vital for long term success. Keep your mind receptive to new ideas, concept and methods. It will help you to choose your way more effectively. 


During their journey, many a times, things didn't work out as planned. If Brian and his friend found one road inaccessible to reach a certain place they used to search for another alternative to reach that place. 


So reaching that place was the aim, but the path might be different from the plan.

Expressing Gratitude

There is no such thing as a self-made man in this world. Human being receives help at every stage of their life from someone or other right from birth till death. 


You just have to ask and help will come at the right moment from the most unexpected source. You just never know. Also do not hesitate to return to others when in need. 


The trio almost gave up their dream to reach South Africa as they didn't have any money to continue their journey. But the relief came from the most unexpected source. 


Summing up we all face difficult time in our life. But that difficult time is also a phase which will pass away you just need not lose heart and give up. Look upon it as a learning phase because there is no better teacher than failure and lesson learned in difficult time will make you wiser and smarter. 


Above mentioned were the seven mantras of success. But the pearls of wisdom were scattered throughout the book, I have tried to pick them all up.

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Bad Patch

How to deal with the bad phase in life. One simple answer is to look for solutions instead of excuses. And when the situation is under control learn your lesson and move forward.


Another way to look upon it as a gift send by god wrapped in difficulties. You just need to remove the wrapper of difficulty to receive your gift. The bigger the difficulty the bigger is the gift.

Being Proactive

It is about your life. It is your responsibility and you have to take initiative to make it better. No one else will do it for you. So get up and take some action.


Once in a while stop and look inward and evaluate your situation and mental process. It will help you to identify shortcoming, things which are troubling you, problems you are facing. This self analyzing and soul searching strategy will help you to gain serene of mind, a better outlook and there are better chances to take right decisions.


Sometimes going back to rethink and reassess helps you to take the right route, especially when you are trudging on a wrong path.

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Avoid Preset Notion

Preconceived assumptions are dangerous. You think the trick which works in this situation will also work in the similar situation but in a different place and time. No, it will not work out. You ought to grasp the scenario and details and then accordingly make changes in the solution to work out.


When Brian and his friends started for South Africa they thought roads and weather condition will be similar to that of North America which they had traveled extensively. But it was a mistake.

Limited resources

Look upon the limited resources and limited money to start a venture as a blessing in disguise. It will force your creativity and intelligence to use it in the optimum way. And you will learn to value things.


The group total saving had been just $1000 when they begin their journey. They tried to use that amount as discreetly as possible to last longer.

Stumble block in Acquiring New Skills

In order to succeed and excel, you need to continuously acquire new skills. Often people shy away from doing so as they are afraid of becoming laughing stock if they failed or did incorrectly. But failing several times is worth than not trying.


There is no age limit to learn new stuff. It is you who impose a limit on yourself. So let the air of change flow and change your thinking.

book summary of many miles to go

Acid Test

The acid test is to check people's feelings towards you. Outwardly, people will praise you and show all their support for your endeavor and venture, but they will back out the moment you ask for investments.


Also acid test is important when you pick up friends and business partners. They will play a crucial role in your progress. Acid test doesn’t mean you put your friends or business partner through some real test. It’s just means to assess and reassess a person thoroughly before forging a deep relation.

Knowledge and Experience

So what to do when both knowledge and experience is not on your side. Simple, try and try new things till you find your true calling; till you find the right path; till you find the best option. And in the process you are gaining some valuable experience and knowledge.


The distance which Brian and his friends covered in 5 days with bicycle battling sheer physical exhaustion. That same distance was covered by a motorcyclist in a matter of 8 hours.


It is then Brian realized that they should have saved both time and money if they opted for motorbikes instead of a bicycle. Such realization comes only through real action. This is what we call experience. But there is a price tag attached in order to gain such lifetime experience and knowledge.


That’s why it is said to take feedback and advises from experienced people, which will save your time and money to get things done.

Help At Hand

When heat sears and becomes unbearable it is then comes the shower of rain with cold breeze bringing much needed relief. 


In the same way when the going becomes tough and unendurable, help will come from the most unexpected source. You just need to hang on a little longer. Nature is always at work and is kind when a person is driven by a determination and passion.

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Do Nothing

Yes, you are reading it right Do Nothing. When the situation is just out of hands and you can’t do anything to correct it. The best thing you can do is to do nothing and just wait and watch. 


There is a famous saying the things that can’t be cured has to be endured.

A Sense of Urgency

What is that one quality which gives edge to go-getter on dawdler? 


Simple, go-getters always gives value to time. For them time is precious. They invest themselves completely to get things done as fast as possible and to move on to the next.


But sometimes you need to go with the flow specially if someone else is pulling the string. So adapting to the situation is also essential instead of becoming restless. Some situation demand burst of energy and aggressive action while other might need your patience. Both are vital for success.

Law of Nature

There is a law of nature. The more you give, the more you get. You will never feel remorse of a kind or generous act because nature will give it back to you.

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Say No To Complacency

Complacency is the biggest friend of overconfidence. Once our every step oozes out overconfidence, we start taking things for granted. It’s here complacency comes into the picture. Every suggestion for further improvement sounds hollow and unnecessary. 


We end up make shattering mistakes which prove to be detrimental. So keep yourself grounded and focused. The key to success in any business is to keep renovating and innovating. Always search for options to make things better.

Focus on what and not Who

When you work in a team, egos need to be kept aside in order to take the collective correct decision. For doing so always concentrate on what is right and not who is right.

Giving your 100%

If you want to succeed and want to take your business to new heights then give your heart and soul and mind to it. There is no other alternative. You have to be passionate about what you are doing, then only you can go deep into it with all your focus and grit.

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People’s Person

Social and emotional intelligence is imperative to cement your influence in the group. It is the ability to grasp the situation and read the other people’s thinking process effectively and then speak accordingly helps to gain the maximum advantage.


Often, such an ability is most required under the stressful condition which you can otherwise throw away due to anger and excitement. So many a times holding your nerve and remaining calm proves to be tipping point for success. 

Breaking the Rules

There is a popular notion that you cannot succeed without breaking the rules. 


Rules enforced by the government are for your own benefit and safety. 


But there are many rules which are created due to our own mindset and thinking which might have utility and requirements during the time of inception but they are now outdated. Do not hesitate to break such rules or to mold them for your success and for betterment of the society. 


Act boldly, but not rashly.

This is the short summary of the book replete with pearls of wisdom in less than 2500 words covering almost everything. Do read it. Sometimes a small change in the attitude proves to be tipping point in the career and life. If you love reading travelogue then go on read the book. It is worth every word.


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