From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us."
This statement attests to the importance of knowing the inner
self and having the all-important internal dialogue frequently.
A chapter on "defining moments" forces us to examine the bottom
line effects of these events on our own concept of "the self".
A part of the book reviews alternatives in terms of choices
presented, choices made, alternatives given up, the concept
of self before and after making the choice, the long term
residual effect of the choice, the distortion of the choice
(if any) on your self image and your reaction to the critical
The book forces us to take an internal inventory
of many critical factors including appearance, work,
outlook, competence, skills, abilities and worth. The five-step
action plan provides a superstructure so that we can assess our abilities, evaluate
learning history/experience, examine external factors,
internal dialogue and the resolution of the authentic self.
Finally, the author deals with putting a plan of action to work
and dealing with routine problem areas/challenges in executing
the plan. Too often, we tend to
avoid taking decisive action because of "analysis paralysis".
The basic idea is that people get caught up in an unhappy rut and are unable or unwilling to pull themselves out of this situation or never take the time to take stock and have a realistic view of themselves, and their life, their goals, and where they are going. That is, one asks the questions such as - am I doing and acting in a way that the first priority items are being accomplished ? Or am I just being carried along by events and am content with that outcome? The book is broken into two general themes.
(1) The approach taken in the book is to first create a benchmark or make a comparison through a short question and answer session so that you can get an idea of what you like and do not like, where you have gone wrong in your life, not in general terms but specific things or issues. Are you on track? Are you doing what you had set out to do 5 or 10 years ago? Are you happy and fulfilled, or are you depressed and agitated and unhappy? Does your marriage need fixing? Should you change jobs, etc.?
(2) Then having that clearly identified and defined the problems that you must deal with, the second part of the book is to address how you are going to solve those problems. Along the way he provides positive mental reinforcement.
It is not necessary to take the "test" of part one and do everything that he suggests. But having said that this is a surprisingly good and thoughtful book. Everyone can learn something.
Recommend. Four stars.
Jack in Toronto
The main theme seems to be that we need to unearth and live our "true selves" rather than what those around us would like us to be. The author talks a lot about "self esteem" and makes some valuable points. But if you're interested in these topics, you'll learn more elsewhere. For example, you'll get far more valuable insights from listenting to Dr. Nathaniel Branden in just 10 minutes than you will from hearing Dr. Phil babble on for hours.
Those who are big fans of Dr. Phil's plain-talkin' style will probably enjoy going along for the ride in order to get the few pearls of wisdom that he has. But if you're looking for fresh insight, motivation or valuable advice, don't waste your time or money.
However... Read more