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Showing 1-10 of 26 reviews(5 star). Show all reviews
on February 26, 2002
Mr. Zelinski's book is dangerous stuff. I was warned by the people who recommended the book to me... don't read it unless you are ready to make a change. I bought the book, and managed to pull myself away from my 4 hours of evening television one night last summer. I finished the book, and I've never looked back. Ernie's book helped me to figure out what it is that I am really passionate about. And from the book I gained the courage to leave the Corporate job that was sucking the life from me. I now have a whole list of active, engaging activities from which to choose. No more vegging in front of the tube. No more letting my career be the defining pillar of my life. Do yourself a favor, and read The Joy of Not Working. But be warned, you'll never look at TV the same way again...
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on November 28, 2005
This is a fantastic book for anyone who is going to die in the next 100 years. In other words - it is time to wake up and realize that you don't have forever to get a life. If you don't have time today - when will you?
This book will get you thinking about what you really want in life. It might be more than money, stuff and a job title. Maybe you don't have to work quite so hard (according to Zelinski, even 8 hours a day is too much). If you are unemployed or retired maybe you could be enjoying your time more.
I recommend this book to just about anyone. It if full of life changing material, but at the same time is easy to read and entertaining. It is the type of book you will want to read more than once.
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on March 17, 2004
My brother and I just spent a year on a sabbatical. When we were planning our time off, I searched the Internet for ideas and articles on the subject. I came across Ernie's book and went to Amazon to look it up. The description intrigued me and I ordered a copy. I am glad I did! The Joy of Not Working is a very helpful and funny book. The chapters on Zen and Money are my favorite. I have reread them several times. It is full of wit and wisdom with some funny cartoons to keep you laughing. I enjoyed in immensely and recommend it for anyone planning a sabbatical or about to enter retirement.
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on February 5, 2011
I was caught in a corporate downsizing crunch in the early 90's at age 32. My whole identity was wrapped up in that job and when the carpet was pulled out from under, I was bereft and flailing. About a month later, I was in a book store and the title caught my eye. While leafing through, the chapter headings,one in particular made me smile, "Someone is Boring Me, I Think it is Me", it resonated with me instantly. With no job and way more free time than I wanted, I had to admit, I was a pretty boring person....even to myself! And you know, being bored to tears by your own existence is a sure fire path to depression.

For the past 18 years, I've been doing great and I'm much more interesting (at least to myself!) and interested in almost everything. I would have to say reading this book was a pivitol step. Somewhere along the line, I misplaced the book. I'm so excited to see an updated version is available. Can't wait to revisit it, this time with retirement in mind.

Highly recommend this book.
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on April 4, 2009
Warning: You will see the world and your place in it differently after reading this book. If you want things to stay the same, go bark up another tree. Now if you dream of doing things another way, living the life you have always imagined, well then this is a fine introduction to a new way of living. An easy, fun and enjoyable read, The Joy of Not Working will make you laugh and cry all at the same time, and succeeds at breaking you free from the losing end of the slave trade.

The Joy of Not Working was my first introduction to the mastermind of author Ernie J. Zelinski and my life has never been the same since I found a copy of this book, a treasure chest of wisdom, insight and clever cartoons.

I've read this book at least 5 times straight through, flipped it open here and there, lent it to numerous friends, and have always cherished it as a prize in my collection, keeping it safe while other books in my collection walk the plank at my annual clutter-clearing yard sales.

A solid recommendation for sane people everywhere.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon January 31, 2004
This practical, reliable, and many times humorous guide (first published in 1991) helps you to create a paradise away from the workplace whether you're retired, unemployed, overworked, or just want to alter your lifestyle for the better. But to attain this paradise requires knowing certain principles and these are found in this book.
What makes Canadian author Ernie Zelinski, who has an Engineering degree and M.B.A., an expert in this matter? He was fired from his job at age 29 for taking an unapproved extended vacation. For the next two years, he decided to make his purpose in life happiness without a job. This happiness was attained through leisure and he now calls himself "Doctor of Leisure."
So what will you find in this book? Zelinski explains, "I will share my thoughts about leisure along with a number of my experiences. To give a much broader perspective to leisure, I am not drawing only on my own experiences. A greater part of this book is the result of studying and listening to stories, experiences, and aspirations of other people...This book's format encompasses text, exercises, cartoons, diagrams, and quotations to appeal to the many learning styles that individuals have."
Another aspect of this book is the inclusion of letters from readers. They describe how this book helped them to have a more exciting and rewarding life.
This book is jam-packed with useful information. Here are just ten examples of that information:
(1) "Success in life's adventures doesn't come from having a huge advantage over others...the key is to acknowledge your own talents and use them."
(2) "Your ability to enjoy leisure time will be determined by how much you have been able to avoid being brainwashed by mainstream society."
(3) "This is the North American way: the majority view work with such respect that they boast how many hours a day they work...They have become martyrs, giving up the opportunity for self-actualization [through leisure] in return for the priviledge of slaving [in the workplace], which primarily benefits the company rather than themselves."
(4) "There is the common feeling that getting one's financial state in order will put the individual's other needs in order. [Studies have confirmed that] the opposite is frequently true."
(5) "A concept involving a career of leisure will go against many of your friends' or aquaintances' instilled values. Ignore any negative comments that they make...these comments come from mediocre or small minds."
(6) "If you want your life to be boring, then conform and be dull; if you want your life to be interesting and exciting, then be different."
(7) "One of life's most difficult processes is discovering what we really want as individuals...most of us don't know what we really want because we haven't taken the time to find out [since we're so busy working for money]. Societal standards have become more important than our own unique needs."
(8) "If your leisure repetoire doesn't include a good balance of passive and active activities, chances are you are not going to be very happy."
(9) "Happiness is a product of achieving goals, but not a goal in itself."
(10) "Leisure provides unlimited opportunities for growth and satisfaction."
Finally, after you read this book, I then recommend reading "Your Money or Your Life" by Dominguez and Robin. This book develops some of the ideas mentioned in Zelinski's book.
In conclusion, take "Dr. Leisure's" step-wise prescription for the good life. Step number one: read his fascinating book!!
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on February 25, 2002
A message from France, written by a grateful French reader:
Be careful! This book is a ULO (an unidentified literary object)!It's completely different from all the other "advices books" that you may have read already.This one could really change your life... if you really want it of course.
"The joy of not working" ("L'art de ne pas travailler" for the French version, published by Les Editions d'Organisation in Paris) highlights a real problem of society : the overwhelming place of work in our lives, and its consequences. Ernie Zelinski calls into question the dogma of work and shows with a pertinent way how this dogma can move us away from our lives.
The advices he gives us are practical, often funny, and can help us to make a better use of our free time. So if you don't want anymore it's your boss who controls your life, or if you don't know how to keep busy during your free time, or if you want to take advantage of the pleasures of life, this book will bring you a precious help. Moreover, it's well written, there are many quotations, diagrams and drawings which make the reading very pleasant.
Last remark : if you prefer to have a boring and a laborious life, forget what I said! Don't buy this book : it's not made for you! Rather read : "My job? That's all for me! - or how to waste your life in 10 lessons".
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on December 26, 2000
As an instructor in adult education on the subject of retirement, I have looked for books on the subject that cover the major areas of retirement in a positive vein. I think The Joy of Not Working is an absolute classic. I use it as the basis of my class, and I get nothing but positive feedback from those who buy it and read it. As a start, it is clear that retirement is not for everyone. Many people will hate it or not even consider it for various reasons. This book is not really meant for them. It is for the rest of us who are looking for reinforcement and encouragement in making the retirement decision. The author helps us through any thoughts of feeling guilty or fearing bordom in retirement. Then, he is off on a great section that provides very practical ways of filling our increased leisure time. His Leisure Tree chart is worth the price of admission alone, and this is followed by pages of detailed activities in case one has not come up with enough on his or her own. Additionally, there are sensible suggestions on finances, happiness and all kinds of other things that relate to getting on with the joy of retirement and leaving the workplace behind. I highly recommend The Joy of Not Working as THE retirement primer for those who want a positive outlook on life and one's future in a world that does not evolve around work. As I said in the begining, such a life will not appeal to all. But to those of us to which it does, this book will be prized on our bookshelf. Bravo Ernie Zelinski. I truly believe this book is a classic that will wear well with readers for decades to come.
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on November 8, 2001
It was about 5 yrs ago that I first read "The Joy of Not Working". I had never read anything like it. I couldn't put it down. Although I had "only" been in my career for about 20 yrs, I was losing my passion. This book was the catalyst that got me reading other books, such as "Your Money or Your Life", and started me on the path to "retiring" at 50, which I will be doing at the end of this year.
I would definitely agree with those reviewers who called this book a classic. What is missing in some of the details of getting from here to there (see "Your Money or Your Life"), is MORE than made up for in making one think about work and leisure, in a general and creative way. I too have recommended this book to many friends, at least two of whom "retired" before 50, partly as a result of reading it.
I absolutely recommend this book to anyone interested in expanding their thinking on these topics.
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on December 8, 2000
I really enjoyed this book and Ernie just spoke to my heart. The Joy of Not Working is really not the right title for this piece of artwork. Im telling you straight up....Ernie speaks to you in a simple way that gets you to think about the other things that are most important in your life. I found myself "talking shop" all the time and not setting the right priorites with my family. You need to do the things in life YOU WANT TO DO! Why should a corporation and your boss run you everyday. I have purchased this book for many people and my new business partner and myself refer to this book as the "leisure book of your life." Do yourself a favor and purchase this book. The book is well written and its quite humorous at times. Ernie should team up with the author of the Dilbert Principle and go big time with this masterpiece. I have read hundreds of books on business, self help, and motivation......Ernie's book is my favorite of all time.
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