Self Help

The Courage to Succeed – Book Review


The Courage to Succeed is a book by three-time Olympian Ruben Gonzalez. After competing in the winter Salt Lake City Olympics in 2002, Mr. Gonzalez was invited to speak about his Olympic experiences at a school. His speech was so well received that he soon a launched a new career as a professional speaker, sharing his stories and insights about success.

What sets this book apart from other self-help books is the author’s ability to illustrate success principles through memorable and sometimes humorous stories that he experienced personally. He offers a perspective that few people have. From a regular 21-year-old who had demonstrated little success in any type of sports, Mr. Gonzalez succeeded in becoming an Olympic athelete. Mr. Gonzalez competed in the sport of luge, a sport where you race in sleds on ice, often at high speeds of 90 mph or more. This is not a sport for the faint at heart. As Mr. Gonzalez wrote in the book, “The luge track is a mile long chute of mean, slick, unforgiving ice that starts fifty stories high. Fifty stories! That’s way up!”

It was no small feat that Mr. Gonzalez started in the sport of luge only at 21, when most Olympic hopefuls in the sport would have had 10 years of experience under their belt. The book’s theme about cultivating the courage to succeed is true to life as the Mr. Gonzalez had to demonstrate great courage all the way through his Olympic journey, from beginning to end.

The book is written in a casual friendly style that allows readers to easily identify with the author as a regular person. I felt while reading the book that by following his way of thinking and approach to problems, I too can set a dream and achieve it.

Mr. Gonzalez’s real life stories illustrate many success principles that we may already have heard about before. His examples bridge the gap between theory and practice. For example, in Part 1 of the book, there is a section titled “How to Raise Your Self Belief Level.” He outlined his personal journey in building his self belief. When I understood how he was able to do it, I began to understand where I may be stuck and what I could do to overcome being stuck.

The book itself can be a useful tool in your personal journey to success. On many pages you will find useful quotes that serve as reminders to powerful success principles that the Mr. Gonzalez has written about. After your first reading of the book, you can flip through the book quickly to once again savor the quotes and the wisdom behind them, reinforcing these ideas in your awareness. The book also comes with a card containing a 12-line Champion’s Creed that summarizes the author’s main ideas on what it takes to become a champion.

In summary, I recommend this book for anyone who is ready to experience greater success in his or her life. The book is filled with interesting and inspiring stories. These are stories that could allow you to find the courage that you need to succeed.

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