Life's Greatest Lessons: 20 Things That Matter

Life's Greatest Lessons: 20 Things That Matter

4.4 12
by Hal Urban, TBA
     
 

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Life's Greatest Lessons is a wise, wonderful book. In it, Hal Urban, a parent and an award-winning teacher, presents twenty principles that are as deeply rooted in common sense as they are in compassion. The topics, gathered from a lifetime of teaching both children and adults, span a wide range of readily understood concepts, including attitudes about money,…  See more details below

Overview

Life's Greatest Lessons is a wise, wonderful book. In it, Hal Urban, a parent and an award-winning teacher, presents twenty principles that are as deeply rooted in common sense as they are in compassion. The topics, gathered from a lifetime of teaching both children and adults, span a wide range of readily understood concepts, including attitudes about money, understanding the real meaning of "success," and the importance of having fun. The book will help you find the best -- in the world, in others, and in yourself. Classic in its simplicity and enduring in its appeal, Life's Greatest Lessons helps us all rediscover that the desire to live a good life is timeless.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Urban, a psychology Ph.D. specializing in "peak performance," draws on his own life experiences, wisdom imparted by his mentors and basketball coaches, observations of high school and college students, and the writings of other self-help gurus like Stephen Covey and M. Scott Peck to compile this catechism of conventional truisms. According to Urban, life's great lessons are exactly what you always dreaded they'd be (they're also his chapter titles): life is hard and not always fair; there's no substitute for hard work; you have to give up something to get something. Although slightly disdainful of the hug-happy self-esteem movement, Urban does insist that we all have a potential to live up to. Fortunately, since "attitude is far more important than intelligence, education, special talent, or luck," with enough positive thinking success is virtually assured-as long as we buckle down, set goals and stick with them, manage our time efficiently and find Jesus Christ or some other kind of spiritual content to nourish our lives. Urban is an ex-high school teacher, a self-admitted former "growth junkie" and a leader of the "character education" movement, and is thus awash in good lessons; his prose, though, tends toward the bland and platitudinous, which may make the lessons hard for some to swallow. (Jan.) Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.
From the Publisher
Rabbi Harold Kushner author of When Bad Things Happen to Good People A wise and wonderful book. It will enrich anyone who reads it.

Ken Blanchard coauthor, The One Minute Manager and Whale Done! With its timeless message for people of all ages, this book is going to become a classic. It should be in every home in America.

Stephen R. Covey author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People A tremendously enriching book full of classic wisdom to live by.

Mel Levine, M.D. author of A Mind at a Time This book can help all of us assemble our priorities.

Thomas Lickona author of Educating for Character A great book about character for kids, teachers, and parents!

Laurie Beth Jones author of Jesus, CEO; The Path; and Teach Your Team to Fish Hal Urban has put into bite-size pieces some of life's most important truths. Read, learn, and enjoy!

Pat Croce author of I Feel Great and You Will Too! and 110% Life's Greatest Lessons helps to unlock your mind to a treasure chest of life's opportunities and possibilities.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780743536356
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster Audio
Publication date:
01/01/2004
Edition description:
Abridged, 2 cassettes, 2 hrs. 30 min.
Product dimensions:
4.50(w) x 7.00(h) x 0.75(d)

Related Subjects

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Preface

A Brief History of
Life's Greatest Lessons

First Edition
This book was originally published in 1992 under the title 20 Things I Want My Kids to Know. As a father and a teacher, I was aiming my message at the young people who constantly surrounded me -- my three sons, who were then in their twenties and in the early career stage of life, the young adults I was teaching in a university, and my high-school students. I looked upon all of them as "my kids" and wanted to put into writing what I'd been trying to teach them for many years.

The book did surprisingly well for one written by a first-time, no-name author. It sold out of its first printing and developed quite a following through that phenomenon known as word of mouth. I was pleased that my message was reaching so many people and growing in popularity. Then the publisher let it go out of print.

Second Edition
Within a few months I began receiving letters and phone calls from people all over the country urging me to put the book back into print. I was particularly pleased that so many of them were leaders in the business community. They suggested that I remove "kids" from the title because they saw the book as a timeless message for people of all ages. So inspired, I republished the book on my own in 1997. I changed the title to Life's Greatest Lessons, rewrote the introduction, and made small changes throughout the text. I was surprised at what happened. More people than I could have ever imagined bought the book, read it, and then passed it on to their friends, family members, and colleagues. Many of them came back several times for additional copies. Then schools and other organizations began buying it in bulk, and special orders from bookstores started coming in. The word was out, and I was delighted to share my message with an increasing number of readers.

Third Edition
I updated the text and cover again in 2000. The growth in popularity of my little self-published book once again continued to surprise and gratify me. Letters, phone calls, and e-mails from students (fifth grade through college) and adults of all ages came in steadily. My simple, old-fashioned message about human goodness seemed to be touching people. At about the same time, the Character Education movement, which had begun in the early 1990s, was growing significantly, and I began receiving invitations to speak not only to teachers, parents, and students but also to businesses, service organizations, and churches. Good character -- and the book -- were making strong comebacks. As a result, my life began changing dramatically. It had become a daily challenge to balance my teaching, speaking, and book-selling obligations. At this time, all of the books were still being shipped out of our home. The garage served as a warehouse, and my office was the packing room.

The New Edition
In August of 2000, Life's Greatest Lessons won a national award for self-published books from Writer's Digest magazine. It was selected as Inspirational Book of the Year. That brought offers from book distributors, literary agents, wholesalers, and publishers. At the same time, an increasing number of my readers were urging me to give the book more exposure and wider distribution. Something had to change, but I wasn't sure which direction to move in. What I needed most was expert advice.

My prayers were answered when Joe Durepos came along. Joe's a literary agent in the Chicago area, and he was in the right place at the right time. Integrity is something that always shines through, and I knew immediately that I could trust Joe to lead me in the right direction. He did. He led me to Simon & Schuster, the people who published The Book of Virtues, The Road Less Traveled, and The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, among others. Simply put, I liked the people there, had faith in them, loved their enthusiasm for my message, and felt honored to become one of their authors.

A Special Wish
As I travel and speak throughout the United States and in other countries I find wholehearted agreement on one of my major points -- that good character is the bedrock of a good society. In reading this book, I hope you'll become part of the growing movement to return us to a society known for its civility, virtues, and old-fashioned goodness. May you become a powerful partner in passing on the great lessons of life.

Hal Urban
January 2003


Copyright © 1992, 1997, 2000, 2003 by Hal Urban

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What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"A tremendously enriching book full of classic wisdom to live by."

— Stephen R. Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

"A wise and wonderful book. It will enrich anyone who reads it."

— Rabbi Harold Kushner, author of When Bad Things Happen to Good People

"With its timeless message for people of all ages, this book is going to become a classic. It should be in every home in America."

— Ken Blanchard, coauthor of The One Minute Manager® and Whale Done!™

"This book can help all of us assemble our priorities."

- -Mel Levine, M.D., author of A Mind at a Time

"A great book about character for kids, teachers, and parents!"

— Thomas Lickona, author of Educating for Character

"Hal Urban has put into bite-size pieces some of life's most important truths. Read, learn, and enjoy!"

— Laurie Beth Jones, author of Jesus, CEO; The Path; and Teach Your Team to Fish

"Life's Greatest Lessons helps to unlock your mind to a treasure chest of life's opportunities and possibilities."

— Pat Croce, author of I Feel Great and You Will Too! and 110%

Read More

Meet the Author

Hal Urban was a high school teacher for many years and also taught at the University of San Francisco. He is a well-known leader in the Character Education movement and is in constant demand as a speaker at national conferences and school and community events. He raised three sons as a single father and now lives in Redwood City, California, with his wife, Cathy.

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