Customer Reviews for

Life Strategies: Doing What Works, Doing What Matters

Average Rating 4.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

Straight Questions, Straight Talk, Straight Answers!

This is one of the best books ever written about how to take meaningful control of your life. I recommend that you read What Matters Most by Hyrum Smith before reading Life Strategies. The benefit of reading What Matter Most first is that you will become clearer abou...
This is one of the best books ever written about how to take meaningful control of your life. I recommend that you read What Matters Most by Hyrum Smith before reading Life Strategies. The benefit of reading What Matter Most first is that you will become clearer about your own purpose in life and values before addressing the important strategic questions in Life Strategies. While you are reading Life Strategies, it is very important that you do the assignments in the book. After you have finished Life Strategies, I strongly urge you to read the Life Strategies Workbook which contains many more and different exercises and activities to strengthen and deepen your understanding of this material, and to guide your next steps into a better direction. I have reviewed these other two books, and you can read my reviews on those books' pages. Life Strategies is a book about becoming aware of how to make more progress in your life, then setting better goals for yourself, and establishing the plans needed to implement those plans. The book opens with an introduction that features Oprah Winfrey's famous battle against a law suit about her reporting about Mad Cow disease in the beef industry, and how the author encouraged her to keep fighting. Chapter one links Oprah's challenge to the readers by pointing out the mental attitudes that stall progress like denying the problem, not checking your assumptions about the situation, being paralyzed by fear, and taking on a false front or colors. In chapters two through eleven, you will learn ten key lessons for improving your life (which I have outlined below). In chapter twelve, you will do an important self-examination that will be very revealing, and you will set your goals. In chapter thirteen, you will find the seven-step strategy for achieving your goals. In chapter fourteen, you will get help with planning how to implement those plans. Many people complain about the references to Ms Winfrey in this book. I found them to be appropriate and helpful. If a powerful, persuasive person like her can feel overwhelmed, that validates that experience for us all. At the same time, seeing what she did to overcome that overwhelmed state is even more revealing. These references are mostly in the introduction and chapter one. So if you don't like that part, just follow the author's advice that there is power in forgiveness (law nine). In the first chapter on getting real, the two assignments are noteworthy. The first asks you to challenge your beliefs that relate to places where you have not admitted or acknowledged them. The second asks you to write down what you will say to yourself to justify not changing after reading Life Strategies. As you can see, this is tough love. People in very fragile emotional circumstances may find this to be too much. They should seek professional help. If you find yourself like a bug on a cork floating in the wrong direction in life's stream, this book is probably for you. To help you decide, let me tell you something about the 10 laws (which are listed also on the back of the jacket cover) and the strategies that take advantage of them. Law one -- 'You Either Get It, or You Don't' -- This is about understanding why people do what they do. The observations in the chapter are very valuable: ' . . . number-one fear among all people is rejection.' '. . . number-one need among all people is acceptance.' 'To manage people . . . protect or enhance their self-esteem.' 'Everybody [has] . . . some concern about 'what's in it for me?'' 'Everybody . . . prefers to talk about things that are important to them personally.' 'People hear and incorporate only what they understand.' 'People like, trust, and believe those who like them.' 'People often do things for other than the apparent reason.' 'Even people of quality can be, and often are, small and petty.' 'Everybody . . . wears a social mask. You must look beyond the mask to see t

posted by Anonymous on March 31, 2001

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Most Helpful Critical Review

8 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

Great advice ...if you happen to be Oprah

If you need a dose of common sense, read this book. If you're interested in tidbits about Oprah Winfrey's personal life, read this book. If you want to read a great self-help book? Keep looking.

posted by Anonymous on January 22, 2000

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2000

    Great advice ...if you happen to be Oprah

    If you need a dose of common sense, read this book. If you're interested in tidbits about Oprah Winfrey's personal life, read this book. If you want to read a great self-help book? Keep looking.

    8 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2001

    Straight Questions, Straight Talk, Straight Answers!

    This is one of the best books ever written about how to take meaningful control of your life. I recommend that you read What Matters Most by Hyrum Smith before reading Life Strategies. The benefit of reading What Matter Most first is that you will become clearer about your own purpose in life and values before addressing the important strategic questions in Life Strategies. While you are reading Life Strategies, it is very important that you do the assignments in the book. After you have finished Life Strategies, I strongly urge you to read the Life Strategies Workbook which contains many more and different exercises and activities to strengthen and deepen your understanding of this material, and to guide your next steps into a better direction. I have reviewed these other two books, and you can read my reviews on those books' pages. Life Strategies is a book about becoming aware of how to make more progress in your life, then setting better goals for yourself, and establishing the plans needed to implement those plans. The book opens with an introduction that features Oprah Winfrey's famous battle against a law suit about her reporting about Mad Cow disease in the beef industry, and how the author encouraged her to keep fighting. Chapter one links Oprah's challenge to the readers by pointing out the mental attitudes that stall progress like denying the problem, not checking your assumptions about the situation, being paralyzed by fear, and taking on a false front or colors. In chapters two through eleven, you will learn ten key lessons for improving your life (which I have outlined below). In chapter twelve, you will do an important self-examination that will be very revealing, and you will set your goals. In chapter thirteen, you will find the seven-step strategy for achieving your goals. In chapter fourteen, you will get help with planning how to implement those plans. Many people complain about the references to Ms Winfrey in this book. I found them to be appropriate and helpful. If a powerful, persuasive person like her can feel overwhelmed, that validates that experience for us all. At the same time, seeing what she did to overcome that overwhelmed state is even more revealing. These references are mostly in the introduction and chapter one. So if you don't like that part, just follow the author's advice that there is power in forgiveness (law nine). In the first chapter on getting real, the two assignments are noteworthy. The first asks you to challenge your beliefs that relate to places where you have not admitted or acknowledged them. The second asks you to write down what you will say to yourself to justify not changing after reading Life Strategies. As you can see, this is tough love. People in very fragile emotional circumstances may find this to be too much. They should seek professional help. If you find yourself like a bug on a cork floating in the wrong direction in life's stream, this book is probably for you. To help you decide, let me tell you something about the 10 laws (which are listed also on the back of the jacket cover) and the strategies that take advantage of them. Law one -- 'You Either Get It, or You Don't' -- This is about understanding why people do what they do. The observations in the chapter are very valuable: ' . . . number-one fear among all people is rejection.' '. . . number-one need among all people is acceptance.' 'To manage people . . . protect or enhance their self-esteem.' 'Everybody [has] . . . some concern about 'what's in it for me?'' 'Everybody . . . prefers to talk about things that are important to them personally.' 'People hear and incorporate only what they understand.' 'People like, trust, and believe those who like them.' 'People often do things for other than the apparent reason.' 'Even people of quality can be, and often are, small and petty.' 'Everybody . . . wears a social mask. You must look beyond the mask to see t

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2000

    A highly effective book that produces results

    I bought this book 3 months ago hoping to finally find a practical guide to living a happy and successful life. I read the best-seller CONVERSATIONS WITH GOD last summer and found myself living in a delusion of what we all wish the world was like, and making tons of excuses for my shortcomings. Dr. Phil¿s book is full of reality checks instead of dreams. This is not a feel good book that produces results as soon as you read it. You must do the exercises and implement the ideas into your life in order to see changes. As soon as I started reading it however, I could see the truth in the life laws in everyone and every circumstance I encountered. As much as I like the approach of the book, I think that one can get too caught up in finding fault in their lives and themselves. It¿s useful to outline the simple changes you wish to make before you begin the exercises, because it gets depressing when you start questioning the things in your life that are working. The book can also seem a bit too far-reaching at times. We don¿t all need to have everything and be everything, and noone is perfect. Simple enhancements to my life and a more positive and productive outlook were all I was looking for. It¿s easy to read the book and see where other people are not following the life laws, but more difficult when it comes to yourself. Take the book slowly and re-read each chapter before moving on to the next. I¿ve already seen changes in myself since I started reading the book and I feel that my relationships have been enhanced. Buy the book, and good luck!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 7, 2012

    Helpful

    I am only half way finished, very direct,helpful, honest and thorough. Excellent book

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  • Posted May 9, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    I also recommend Sugar's "The Silent Crisis Destroying America's Brightest Minds"

    One day these two crusaders will meet and sparks will fly.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 9, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    I also recommend Sugar's "The Silent Crisis Destroying America's Brightest Minds"

    One day these two crusaders will meet and sparks will fly.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 22, 2009

    Read This Book!

    No wonder Oprah loves Dr Phil!! Highly motivational and inspirational. Unless you have absolutely no need whatsoever for good advice and guidance about how you live your life, you should read this book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2006

    i've read better self-help books than this!

    dr.phil is soooo over-rated!this book has no value! dr. phil needs to retire or get a new job, because his therapy ain't working!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2004

    Great, Motivating Book, Well Worth Reading

    Dr. Phil shoots straight from the hip, and this book is like sitting with him while he tells you about his various strategies. The strategies are excellent and he is very motivating. Sure, there are sections where I have minor criticisms, but that is to be expected with any self-help book. Overall this book delivers high-powered help to get life on track more than it is. Highly recommended.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 11, 2004

    A Must Read!

    Phillip C. McGraw, Ph.D., better known to Oprah Winfrey fans as Dr. Phil, has popped out a refreshingly in-your-face contribution to the self-help genre that doesn¿t beat around the bush. You will not be asked to commune with your inner child or vent your anger and pain. Instead, Life Strategies is a prescription for action, complete with stories, including about Oprah. Each chapter contains at least one writing assignment, designed to stimulate honest inquiry and to challenge even your most basic assumptions. These culminate in a meticulously detailed set of instructions for creating your life strategy. Organized self-starters will love the lists and matrices, but even readers who don¿t plunge into the assignments will gain fresh insights into their behavior. We prescribe this bouncy book to anyone seeking a step-by-step plan for self-assessment and realistic life change. Cynics need not apply.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 13, 2003

    Very helpful book!

    This book has been very helpful to get myself on the right track. I liked how the author used examples of actual people to inspire and motivate us. If you know you need to change and you are looking for some direction as well as a little push in the back, this book is very helpful. The writing is powerful and motivating and the book includes many good practical suggestions about what to do to make this change happen. If you are more interested in understanding people and how our path to happiness is sometimes blocked or opened up, I'd highly recommend 'The Ever-Transcending Spirit' by Toru Sato. It provides a comprehensive account of the theory behind all of this and explains many psychological things in a way that everyone can understand. Though not a motivation book, it is absolutely inspiring!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 5, 2003

    Excellent !!

    This books helps you determine what is really important in your life and shows you the quickest way to get there. I also loved 'The Power of Positive Habits'

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2003

    Packs a wallop

    Dr. Phil's no-nonsense style shoots straight for the heart. Once again, he delivers a clear, concise roadmap towards self-improvement. Great read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2003

    Common sense goes a long way

    Dr. Phil exercises mature, common sense in describing his 10 life strategies. If you practice these 10 strategies, life will work for you. If you want to go even further, you have to read a practical life-optimizing book called Optimal Thinking - How to Be Your Best Self. Optimal Thinking is the vehicle to optimize anything within your control -- including thoughts, feelings, decisions, relationships and situations.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2002

    The guy knows what he's talking about!

    I bought two books in the last month and both books I will read over and over again."Life Strategies" by Dr Phil is an amazing book. No wonder Oprah believes so much in him. He knows his stuff. Also.."Child Abduction: How to protect your children" By Maurice Woodson. I had never heard of him but The book is the talk around the office so I got it. If you have kids you need this book. Any way..."Life Stategies...Highly reccommended!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2003

    Be Honest With Yourself

    There is so little time and so many things to do in life. Dr. Phil helps you cut through the clutter and focus on what you really want out of the journey. Straightforward, direct, thoughtful, truthful and sincere are a few of the words to describe his approach. He doesn't candy coat is words but he does hold your hand and lead you through the tough questions that can help you do what works and what matters just as the title promises. Take the time to work through this book -- you won't be sorry.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2002

    self-help doesn´t work, learning strategies helps

    I don´t like self-help books full of psycho-babble. However, this one describes strategies, is very practical and shouts out "Get real!" It´s a book for everyone and it´s well written. Just get yourself through the Oprah part and then start learning about life!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2002

    Strategies are Key for Understanding Personality

    Concerning 'Life Strategies' the publisher emphasizes that "this self-help book is not for those looking to explore their inner child or visualize away negative energy." What may not be apparent to the reader of Dr. Phil's excellent book is that 'strategies' are emerging as the key new unit in the analysis of personality by today's psychologists. By finding out about personality strategies, one can move beyond the hype of the "new" positive psychology movement (a weak 21st Century version of 20th Century Humanistic Psychology) to discover what is really new and helpful in psychological science, as applied to our everyday lives. Yes, Dr. Phil's WORKBOOK for Life Strategies may be even more directly helpful, in addition to his regular book. And one of the leaders of strategy psychology, Julie Norem, has an excellent book: "The Positive Power of Negative Thinking." Just be sure to find out about the psychology of personality strategies !!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 12, 2002

    He Understands Human Nature!

    Dr. Phil's philosophy works because he understands human nature and how relationships work. And he presents principles in honest, straightforward fashion, which I respect. I found this book very helpful and recommend it highly. I have also found a novelist with a keen understanding of human nature. If you want to gain tremendous insight into your most intimate relationships, read Shade of the Maple by Kirk Martin. You will learn a lot about yourself and your marriage while enjoying a life-changing story. Maybe he'll be the Dr. Phil of novels!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2002

    This book Works!

    Buy it, Read it and Develop your own Life Strategy!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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