9 Things You Simply Must Do to Succeed in Love and Life


  • Title: 9 Things You Simply Must Do to Succeed in Love and Life
  • Author: Henry Cloud
  • Publisher: Integrity Publishers
  • Copyright: 2004
  • No. of Pages: 246
  • No. of Chapters: 12


Readibility: 5

Maintains Attention: 5

Applicability of Information: 5


“9 Things You Simply Must Do to Succeed in Love and Life” by Henry Cloud is a very enjoyable book to read.  I found this book to be entertaining, educational, motivational, and inspiring.  Cloud’s book was easy to read, yet it was packed full of wisdom and helpful principles. 

Dr. Henry Cloud is a Psychologist who “probes the mystery of why some lives really work and others don’t.”  Cloud investigated the lives of people around him that he came into contact with that he felt were successful.  He admits that there are numerous ways to define success and does not attempt to define success for each one of his readers.  Instead he suggests that the success he is talking about is defined by each of the successful people he investigated.  Cloud identifies some of the key indicators of success for these people as:

  • They moved forward.
  • They did not stay stuck, repeating the same mistakes over and over again.
  • They reached their goals and found what they were looking for in life.

Cloud felt there had to be a connection between all of these successful people and continued to come in contact with.  He realized that he “was not looking at a person; [he] was looking at a pattern.  A way of behaving.  Now that [he] recognized the pattern, [he] decided to look for it even more.  A path that successful people took, given a certain set of choices.”

Finally, Cloud realized that these successful people did not have a common personality trait.  “Rather, it was this:  People who found what they were looking for in life seemed to do a certain set of things in common.”  He determined there were a number of identifiable in which these people acted throughout life.  There were a distinct set of common principles that these successful people practiced.  This is what led to “9 Things You Simply Must Do to Succeed in Love and Life”.


“9 Things You Simply Must Do to Succeed in Love and Life” is about nine principles that Cloud found to be commonly practiced amongst successful people.  He also clearly states that these nine principles can be practiced by anyone who desires to.  Here are the nine principles:

1. “Dig It Up”

“What lies deep inside is where the real life is.  And this [successful] person spent some   time listening to it, looking for it, digging it up, and outing it into practice.  He found what lay deep in his heart, below the surface, and invested it in life.”  This principle is based on us looking inside of ourselves for our dreams and aspiration.  Once we find them then we need to begin to take action in order to realize our dreams.  This is what successful people do.

2. “Pull The Tooth”

“Déjà vu people get rid of bad stuff.  Period.  Sometimes quickly and sometimes through a process, but they get rid of it.  They get it out of their hair, off their plate, out of their souls, and out of their lives.”  People who demonstrate this principle do not allow negative things to take up space and time in their lives.  They remove the negative thing and fill it with something positive that will lead them to success.

3. “Play The Movie”

“[Successful]…people rarely take an action without considering its future implications.”  Many people think about the future when making large decisions.  The successful person thinks about the future not only with large decisions but in small ones also.  They think about future implications on a consistent basis.  What sets successful people apart is not just that they look at the future of every decision, but they take actions to control and impact the future as much as possible in the direction they desire to go.

4. “Do Something”

“[Successful people]…tend to call on themselves as the first source to correct difficult situations.  It does not matter whether they think they are to blame or not.  Even if someone else is at fault, they will ask themselves, What can I do to make things better?”  Whether the answer lies in confronting other people or asking for help, the common theme for successful people is to do something that is a positive step in resolving the issue.  They take action make good things happen.

5. “Act Like An Ant”

Cloud shares that he learned this principle by watching ants.  As he watched ants he realized that “They achieved their goals by taking tiny steps over time.”  Successful people take one step at a time.  They are consistently moving forward and not looking backwards.  This principle also necessitates the concept of perseverance.

6. “Hate Well”

“Basically, we are defined in part by what we love and what we hate.”  When people tell us what they love and what they hate we learn a lot about that person and who they are.  Successful people move a way from those things they hate which helps us to understand who they are and how they will behave.  “Character is in part formed by what we hate, because we move to be different from whatever that is.”

7. “Don’t Play Fair”

“Here’s all you have to do to ruin every relationship in your life: Play Fair.  If you play fair, you will ruin all of them.  Some may go pretty quickly, others may take longer.  But in the end, you will succeed.  Play fair and all your relationships will be ruined.”  This principle discusses the characteristic of not treating other as they treat you.  That may be fair, but is not productive in building healthy and long relationships.  This principle can be summed up by saying, “Give back better than you are given.”

8. “Be Humble”

Cloud describes humility as, “…to just be who he or she really is, a human being like everyone else, avoiding the need to be more than that.”  Humble people tend to be givers of themselves.  They also accept failures in their life and learn from them.  Ezra Taft Benson says, “Pride is concerned with who is right.  Humility is concerned with what is right.”

9. “Upset The Right People”

Successful people are “very loving and feel deeply the pain or distress that their decisions cause others…”  Yet successful people “do not make decisions based on the fear of other people’s reactions.”  They are willing to make tough decisions based on principle and not to how others will react to the decision.  “What you should do, and what someone’s response is going to be, are two different issues.”

At the end of the book, Cloud provides twelve specific strategies that people can implement in an effort to become a successful person who displays the nine principles.

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