Summary: Shoot for the Moon By Richard Wiseman
Summary: Shoot for the Moon By Richard Wiseman

Summary: Shoot for the Moon By Richard Wiseman

Follow your passion. Alternatively, if you have to head in a certain direction, discover how to become more passionate about the journey.

– To uncover your hidden passion, think about what you used to do as a child, your hobbies and interests, which books and magazines you would take to your desert island and which activities would turn hours into minutes.

– Think big and be first.

What is your bold, brave and exciting goal? How will you be first?

– Make life more meaningful by thinking about contributing to the greater good. What makes your blood race and what can you do about it? To inject a sense of purpose into any activity, ask yourself one simple question: ‘How does this help others?’

– And finally, give yourself a quick boost of passion by creating your own space race. Find a way of turning an activity into a fun competition or game, and by creating a light-hearted sense of rivalry.


It’s often important to be able to come up with several options and to let the best idea win. And the more innovative and original the ideas, the better.

Maximize this process by the following:

– Avoiding the temptation to go for the first plan that occurs to you. Force yourself to come up with several other ideas and make sure that you don’t fall in love with any of them until you are sure you have met the right one.

– Utilizing Vice Versa Thinking. Identify what everyone else is doing and consider doing the opposite.

– Remembering that less is more! Imagine that you only had half of your resources, time, energy or funds. What would you do then?

– Finally, take it easy. Work on your plans and ideas for a while; then walk away. Take a break, have a bath or go to sleep. Then return to the issues and see what pops into your head.


Believing that you have the skills to achieve a goal helps you to get going, and keep going, and so dramatically increases your chances of success.

To boost self-belief:

– Remember the magic of small wins. Break your big goal into smaller stages and celebrate after you achieve each of these important steps.

– Don’t put up with negative self-talk. Use the ‘best friend’ technique to create a much more productive and positive internal dialogue and surround yourself with supportive people.

– Celebrate your past achievements. Make a note of them. Play them on the big screen in your mind. Remember that you did it before and that you can do it again.

– Find a hero, a person or organization achieving the seemingly impossible. Regularly remind yourself about their inspirational story and know that if they did it, you can do it too.


Your attitude towards failure matters and it’s important to adopt a growth mindset, accept tricky challenges, and be open about errors and mistakes.

– See difficult challenges as an opportunity to develop and learn. Remember that your comfort zone might feel like a pleasant place to live, but nothing grows there.

– When you fail, be honest with yourself and others. Don’t try to cover up errors or pretend that you did well. Find out what went wrong, and ensure that you don’t make the same mistake in the future. Similarly, when it comes to constructive criticism, avoid arguing back, and instead remind yourself that there’s much to be gained from listening and learning.

– Try following in Dale Carnegie’s footsteps and keeping a list of all the damned foolish things that you have done and what you learned from them.

– Remember that certain types of language help promote a growth mindset. When giving praise, stress effort over achievement and learning over talent. And don’t forget to use the magic word ‘yet’.


When it comes to developing the attitude that gives you altitude, remember the Apollo mantra: ‘It won’t fail because of me.’

– Develop an internal locus of control by focusing on the power that you have to shape your life.

– Beat procrastination by thinking about the future, building a house one brick at a time and creating smart deadlines.

– Think about someone that you admire and imagine that they have trusted you to carry out some work. Don’t let them down.


Sometimes it’s important to feel the fear and do it anyway. However, often this is easier said than done.

To find out whether the time is right to stop talking and start acting, remember:

– Imagine the best- and worst-case scenarios. How likely is the worst-case scenario and what steps can be taken to avoid it? Is taking the plunge risky or reckless?

– It’s easy to put off doing something that scares you by coming up with a series of excuses. You might tell yourself that the time isn’t right or that you don’t have everything you need to make a start. Ask yourself whether these are genuine reasons for inaction or excuses born of fear.

– Be careful of carrying on any enterprise because you have made a start or investment. Remember that you don’t need to go to the Moon today. If a scheme is becoming too costly or reckless, take time to consider your options.

– Get used to doing things that scare you. When you have the opportunity, find the courage to walk towards the cannons.


In general, pessimism isn’t good for you. However, defensive pessimism is helpful because it encourages you to think ‘what if . . .?’, and then come up with helpful contingency plans.

To encourage this type of thinking:

– Find a way of creating your own

team to help you cope with the various eventualities that may arise. This might take the form of an actual rehearsal or a mental rehearsal. In addition to making you fully prepared, it will help prevent a general sense of anxiety.

– Carry out a pre-mortem. Imagine that your project has already failed. What went wrong and why? What can you do to prevent these problems?

– Defensive pessimism is a powerful way of thinking, but don’t be too extreme, find a way of gently raising your worries, don’t let your thoughts spiral out of control, and don’t waste time worrying about events that you can’t control.


Being able to cope with the unexpected, improvise and adapt is vital to success.

To become a more flexible thinker:

– Try a spot of mental yoga. Do something different. Maybe take up a new hobby or interest, meet new people, and change your route to work.

– Before investing time or money in a new venture, be far more frugal and flexible by seeing if you can use resources that you already have to hand.

– Risk it all on the roll of a die. Jot down six actions or potential solutions to a problem, roll a die and embrace the power and fun of the unexpected.