Born To Win (Muriel James) - Book Summary

About the author

Muriel James is a psychologist and lecturer at the University of California, Berkeley. She is also a marriage counselor, a master in trading and past president of the Association of Transaction Analysts. She has published 17 books, such as  It's Never too Late to Be Happy: The Psychology of Self-Parenting ,  Hearts on Fire. : Romance and Achievement in the Lives of Great Women .

Dorothy Jongeward is an organized behavior teacher and consultant. She also works at the University of California, Berkeley, studying the cycle of transaction analysis. She has also authored a number of books such as  Everybody Wins: Transactional Analysis Applied to Organizations (Everybody  Wins : Transactional Analysis Applied to  Specific Groups),  Winning with People: Group Exercises in Transactional Analysis . with others: Experience of teams in transaction analysis).

About the book

More than 30 years after its publication, the book has surpassed four million copies and has been translated into 18 languages. In the "Foreword" section of the 25th anniversary edition, the two authors explain their success when the work makes the reader want to understand what makes people uncomfortable, whether it's themselves. , family members or their co-workers. The book not only provides valuable information explaining “why we do what we do”, but it also delves into the “success discipline” with unique touches on what makes a winner. win.

More mature

“Born to Win” draws on two main areas of psychology: Transactional analysis (developed by Professor Eric Berne – author of the best-selling decision “Games People Play”) and Gestalt therapy (developed). developed by Frederick Perls). The two authors have combined them to create the factors "responsible" for a person's success.

Transactional analysis is based on the notion that a person always has three states of ego that influence their behavior differently: parenthood, adulthood, and childhood.

In  the “parent state”  each person will feel the need to be “critical” as well as having certain prejudices. In  the “child state”  we are impulsive, excited, and sometimes helpless. Finally, responsibility, discernment, and working rationally are the hallmarks of  the "mature state" .

The primary role of the “mature voice” is to grasp reality and make decisions. James and Jongeward call this period the period of personality formation. A lot of people go through this phase by avoiding making a decision, so later when their family is forced to make a choice, the real nightmare sets in. Each of us always needs to fight with the “parental voice” that echoes that to consider the risks or the “baby voice” that quickly gets out of the cocoon that surrounds us for so long. At this point, the winners grab hold of the "voices" and rise, while the losers will just ignore the opportunity and gradually sink into defeat.

Gestalt in German can best be translated into Vietnamese as "the school of morphological psychology". Gestalt therapy is a method of integrating personality and developing personal awareness that enables people to recognize their unconscious patterns and behaviors. For example, a girl who is "wrapped" by the name everyone knows as "kind Hannah", the girl partially subconsciously hides her angry face. We need to be aware of our limits and be ready to accept our feelings that are not good or are "we". The healthy and the winners are the ones who are willing to show more at the appropriate times, respectively. From there, they will trust their intuition more, willing to renew their will and body to be able to contribute more.

Freedom to write your own script

Transactional analysis and Gestalt therapy help people to be more aware and responsible for life. Contrary to popular belief, the long-term accumulation of small gestures or actions that affect personality can form a stepping stone to pull back the potential development in each person. The more objective you are about how you interact with people, the more liberated you will be.

A “life scenario” is something we consciously or unconsciously create to move forward in life. Life is like a play, each person will take on roles as they have been pre-selected, roles that family and culture impose on us. Perls says that we are born as “slaves to our parents” and some remain that way for the rest of their lives. Like it or not, the story attached to each person may or may not be appropriate, the point is that adults know when is the right time to break out of that "script" and write their own story. self.

Sometimes, the script we write doesn't fit the culture and times, that's when we have to fight to rise, like Galileo, Martin Luther, or Rosa Parks accepting punishments even death. We can never reach great heights while still trying to clarify our personal purpose, separate from upbringing, culture, and gender.

Become a winner

James and Jongeward define a winner as a person with all the factors such as trustworthiness, enthusiasm, honesty, and at the same time an individual and a part of society. Winners do not limit themselves, they have the power to spread the energy further, wider. When confronting others, they accept pain to protect their dignity, not wanting results at all costs. From there they can bring "win-win" to all participants. They are not afraid of being isolated, they are always the most comfortable in a certain group because they are not imposed on their lifestyle. They know how to set goals in the future, but based on that to live fully in the present.

Theoretically, we are born to win, each individual has all the qualities to succeed. Despite being born in a poor family, there are people who still show their best, live independently and contribute to the community Besides, some "losers" do not dare to take responsibility for their lives. . Those guys, past or future, can never make the most of the time they have without clarifying where they're going. Losers always deal with their teenage difficulties by manipulating or harming others instead of facing the truth. They try to manipulate others, make others victims or isolate themselves to justify themselves. Losing is repeating, repeating not only the mistakes of oneself, but also of the family and the society. On the contrary, victory is listening, learn and be willing to change when necessary.

Several books on the same topic

“Transactional analysis in psychotherapy” by Eric Berne

“I'm OK – You're OK” by Thomas Anthony Harris

“Research Design Explained” by Janina M. Jolley and Mark Mitchell