Book Review: The Big Picture by Tony Horton


My husband and I did the P90X fitness program a few years back (well, for more it was more like P30X…I didn’t last very long), so we were excited to learn that Tony Horton, the creator of the program, was going to be presenting on “11 Life-Changing Laws” at Dreamforce. I had another session to attend at the same time, but my husband woke up bright and early to catch the session…and even got his photo taken with Tony.


The 11 laws Tony talked about during the session came from his recently released book, “The Big Picture: 11 Laws That Will Change Your Life.” After the session was over, my husband picked up a copy of the book for me, since he knows I’m a big reader. Tony even signed the book and wrote me a little note.

Tony Horton Signature

In the book, Tony talks about how he used to be an unhealthy, broke, unsuccessful guy, but he turned things around by applying 11 fairly simple laws. Though these laws apply to nutrition and physical fitness (Tony’s specialty), they also apply to all aspects of life. Here are a few of the laws that resonated with me:

Do your best and forget the rest

This phrase will be familiar to anyone who’s done P90X. Show up every day, give 100% to every challenge that comes your way, and you can go to bed knowing you did your very best. This has become my new mantra. Too often, I beat myself up about things that go wrong during a project – very often things that are out of my control – even though I know I did my very best. Instead, I need to focus on bringing my A-game to every challenge that comes my way, and not worrying so much about what I didn’t do.

Find your purpose

Tony Horton says his purpose is to “help other people find their purpose.” It’s the driving force behind everything he does. This chapter was a good reminder that we all need to take time to identify our purpose — whether it’s to be the best parent you can be or to be a recognized expert in your field of business. With that purpose in mind, you can build a plan to make it a reality, which brings me to the next law…

Have a plan

Benjamin Franklin said “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” It’s cliché, but it’s so true. I’m more likely to stick to my workouts if I have them scheduled on my calendar. I’m more likely to eat healthy if I have my meals mapped out for the week and the groceries I need to make those meals in the refrigerator. And I’m more likely to write each day if I specifically block out time on my calendar to do it.

Consistency reigns supreme

I don’t know about you, but I like instant gratification. If I don’t seem quick results from my efforts, I tend to get frustrated. This chapter was basic, but such a great reminder that consistency is so important in all aspects of life – whether it’s fitness, relationships, or work. The work is never over, but if you stick to it, the rewards will keep coming.

I’m going to be completely honest. Nothing in this book was earth shattering. But in my experience, the material in self-help books rarely is. However, I’d definitely recommend this book to others. Why? For starters, it was easy to read and I appreciate Tony’s honest, yet not-too-serious approach. In addition, the book is well-organized and is a good read if you need to light a fire under your butt. When I started this book, I was feeling a little down and overwhelmed, and this book reminded me that there are things I can do to achieve my goals and create a better life.

Have you read “The Big Picture”? Which laws resonated most with you?

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