Insipid writing made it tough to give credence to the author's message. I will say that this book was recommended to me by someone who absolutely LOVED it, but I thought it was ridiculous and obvious. The only thing I liked was that the author hastens to mention that these are just HIS 5, and that other people would have others they would rank at the top - and that these would be "just as valid". That's better than claiming to be the one and only Great & Powerful Oz who holds the keys to the universe. I really hated this book so I really hope I can save someone else the bother of reading what really could have been a fine short essay and was ridiculously overdrawn as a book.
Want to know what the "5 Major Pieces" are and save yourself some trouble? Here's 121 pages condensed to only one:
1) Philosophy - use "what we know" to develop your own "powerful personal philosophy" about life with an objective review about all the conclusions you've drawn about life up until now. Incorporate others successes and failures and the outside voices of those who are successful. Surround yourself with successful people, listen, be observant, read, make it your habit to be disciplined daily in taking small actions for success. Keep a journal to insure contemplation and analysis.
2) Attitude - "how we feel". "The past is a school and not a weapon - don't beat yourself to death with past mistakes, learn from them." How you feel is a matter of choice. Choose your associates carefully, by thinking about whether they are having a positive or negative effect on you. Limit association with negative influences and people.
3) Activity - "life doesn't give rewards based on needs, but on in proportion to what you deserve". Convert Knowledge and Good Feelings into action and effort. Life isn't fair - get over it. You're going to have to work hard if you want to succeed, and yeah, that guy started with more than you did, but too bad, nothing can be done about it now - but to succeed, you're still going to have to WORK with what you've got. There's no shortcut. "Enterprise is always better than ease" ...choose action daily, repeatedly, for success. "Feeling better is no substitute for doing better". Action must be intense and intelligent. Make a simple disciplined plan for activity. Start small if you have to - "I should have done X yesterday"...etc.
4) Results - harvest time. If your list of results (assets) for all your labor over the last X years is small - something has to change. Maybe the current level of activity or an increase in knowledge or skills...or an adjustment to our philosophy or a change in our attitude about spending. Life gets better when we get better. Constantly search for ways to increase your value. Attract success don't pursue it. Check results often, make measurable amounts of progress in reasonable amounts of time. Hoping for specifics? There aren't any in the book. The less hard you work today the harder you'll have to tomorrow "neglect intensifies future challenge".
5) Lifestyle - "How we choose to live and how we design our lives...the sophisticated understanding of the difference between life's trinkets and life's treasures". "Learn to be happy with what you have while you strive for what you want".
6) Conclusion - "Life is not a practice session"..."Develop a sense of urgency"...don't procrastinate, "today is tomorrow's yesterday".
Good general thinking approach rather than "Get a Job!" or Change your Eating habits!" - In retrospect I wish I had held out for the audio version so I could time-share absorbing it over sitting down to read...