Paola Knecht is an interesting kind of motivational author. On the one hand, she’s unrelentingly abstract – although in a manner entirely concurrent with the philosophy she’s pushing. On the other, the book is packed to the brim with unconventional wisdom – the kind that isn’t coldly logical or calculating, and actually feels like thoughtful rhetoric, not easy and overly simplistic pontificating. A lot of books like hers, titled in plain-spoken language choice The Success Mindset: Take Back the Leadership of Your Mind, bank and skate on aforementioned delivery, using flowery speech and dialogue that amounts to little more than strands of ideas than actual approaches to life.


But the reason for Knecht’s refusal to become too specific has a logical root cause, she’s merely providing the framework and mentality she believes will help you achieve your own, respective version of success. In many ways, the book is an emotive, step-by-step breakdown of the success mentality akin to Steve Jobs’ Think different speech. It celebrates unconventionality and individuality, eschewing the colder tonality of books like Think Big and Kick A**: In Business and in Life or even Sheryl Sandberg’s own Lean In. Those releases relied on distinctive coaching strategies, Knecht relies on basic, visceral tenets that she feels form the building blocks for one’s own self-esteem and confidence in the approach they choose.

“Many of us relate indirectly to the word ‘action’ with some sort of fighting,” she writes. “…The word fighting for sure does not bring much pleasure when we hear it; but not all fighting is as negative as we think it is. In fact, according to the latest neurological studies, when it comes to creativity and talent development, the process of fighting is not an option, but a biological necessity to build new neurological connections in our brain…Taking responsibility for confronting your actions is an act of transcendence; where you start to think beyond what is visible and attainable, to the invisible and the potential that emerges in making something become a possibility.”

There’s a sort of big sisterly, bastion of common sense vibe to the way Knecht writes about all this. It makes the book, on top of being uniquely informative, endearing and familial. You feel taken care of as the reader, lifted up by the tonality of positivity and productivity. It’s clear Knecht is incredibly passionate about what she’s focusing on, because of that whether or not one agrees with the entirety of her eleven, ideological ‘pillars’ you get the sense this is someone worthy of your trust. “Remain vigilant of your actions. Observe them every day. You can get easily off the tracks when you do not review them consistently. Remember: habits are powerful. The wrong set of habits will lead you to the wrong actions.


Maintain a vigilant mode. Even if 􏰁you don􏰃t think about it, a small deviation of your plan, can lead you to a whole different place if you don’t detect the deviation and correct it,” Knecht writes. “…You have control only about three things in your life: Your thoughts, your feelings, and your actions. How you use those three determines everything you will experience in life.”

Kendall Townsend