Get a Life That Doesn't Suck: 10 Surefire Ways to Live Life and Love the Ride

Get a Life That Doesn't Suck: 10 Surefire Ways to Live Life and Love the Ride

by Michelle Deangelis

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Overview

Life can really suck. But it doesn't have to. With the help of esteemed consultant and coach Michelle DeAngelis, life can really rock. DeAngelis serves up a combination of street-smart wisdom and cheerful irreverence as she shows readers how to enjoy the "ride of their lives," regardless of the roadblocks or potholes along the way. By providing the specific mechanics to joy, DeAngelis shows that joy is a repeatable by-product of living one's life in integrity and of making conscious choices every day that kick misery, worry, and guilt to the curb. She explains how most people are not naturally equipped to deal with life's challenges and then introduces foundational tools and effective techniques to take readers from crappy to happy.

She starts with a Joy Quotient Quiz that gives readers their "JQ" score and identifies their "Gap"—the measurable difference between what people think and what they do—which is where life sucks. She then teaches a four-step, fast-acting process that provides "suck relief" to solve everyday problems. The centerpiece of the work is DeAngelis's 10 Life-Changing Ahas.

From the title to the very last line, Get a Life That Doesn't Suck is not your everyday self-help book. Through humor and real-life examples, DeAngelis explains how readers can reduce their stress, improve their outlook, and get rid of whatever is holding them back. She provides the formula for readers to make joy real and accessible so that the journey from "life sucks" to "life rocks" is worth the trip.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781594867989
Publisher: Potter/Ten Speed/Harmony/Rodale
Publication date: 09/02/2008
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

MICHELLE DEANGELIS is founder and president of Michelle Inc., a management consulting firm in its fourteenth year serving Fortune 500 companies, and Planet Joyride, a company dedicated to showing people how to create lives that fuse joy and purpose. A sought-after consultant, speaker, and executive coach, Michelle shows CEOs, midlevel managers, and individuals everywhere how to have a company, and a life, that "Doesn't Suck." DeAngelis and her work have been featured in Self, Redbook and More.

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER ONE

Just How Much

DOES

Your Life Suck?

ACCORDING TO A 2005 PEW RESEARCH Center Survey, 15 percent of adults in the United States consider themselves to be "not too happy." Just a third (34 percent) of adults say they are "very happy," 50 percent say they are "pretty happy," and 1 percent don't know (egads). This means that of the 235 million adults living in the United States, 35 million of them are not too happy.

So if your life sucks, pull a chair up to a table with 35 million people at it. You've got plenty of company.

WHY IT SUCKS

Life sucks because of "the Gap."

And life will always suck unless and until you close that Gap.

And what, exactly, is the Gap?

The Gap is the difference between what you think and what you do. It is that space between your thoughts and your actions, the difference between your professed beliefs and your behavior. You know what I mean. It's the place where the little white lies live, where the "he'll never know" lives. It is that gray zone where you wobble out of clarity and integrity and into misery and doubt. The Gap is what makes you feel out of sync . . . which makes life suck.

I've found that people who are unhappy have a lot of these gaps in common. They don't speak the truth, hide who they are, do things unconsciously, wait for something to happen "to" them, and search for meaning but don't take the steps necessary to achieve it. They often think they have "no other choice but to do x," when y, z, and even a, b, and c are right in front of them all the time. Life sucks because it is loaded with the everyday goo that you don't know how to deal with, much less avoid. Life sucks because it is filled with countless things that "happen to" you, like deadlines, accidents, divorce, illnesses, distance from family, or the death of a loved one. These events "make" you feel angry, depressed, sad, or hopeless. Life sucks because you're hungry: for food, for meaning, for connection. It sucks because it is weighed down by baggage like guilt, worry, and fear.

Here are the symptoms of a Gap just begging to be closed.

.You don't have much love in your life, not even for yourself.

.You don't hold yourself accountable.

.You have no faith.

.You feel uncertain and anxious.

.You have "your way" of doing things and that's it.

.You live in fear and lack.

.You are rigid and inflexible.

.You don't have good boundaries.

.You don't take care of yourself.

.You think everyone and everything is a pain in the neck.

Against these odds, most people haven't been able to figure out a better way to live, which sucks. Until now. You are about to learn how to close your Gap. And closing the Gap can be as simple as cleaning out your closet or as complex as leaving your relationship--that's for you to decide.

So:

Thought minus Action = Gap

The Gap sucks.

Closing the Gap rocks. In Part Two of this book, I'll walk you through ways to do just that.

JUST HOW BIG IS YOUR LIFE-SUCKING GAP?

So how much does your life suck? And how exactly do you measure that? One way is to find out where you rate on the Sucky Scale! If 1 is bad and 10 is good, how much does your day-to-day life really suck?

THE SUCKY SCALE

1. You have a pulse, but it's hardly worth it.

2. You hate just about everything and make a point of letting everyone know it.

3. Flipping the bird to other drivers is somehow an improvement.

4. You have rare good moments among perennial bad days.

5. Your ratio of good days to bad days is fifty-fifty.

6. You fake it until you can make it to happy the other half of the time.

7. You actually wake up h-a-p-p-y.

8. Your face hurts from smiling.

9. You peed your pants from laughing.

10. Holy crap! Joy is everywhere!

Okay, I'm only half-serious, but you get the point. I actually have a much better way to measure how happy you are: It's called the Joy Quotient Quiz.

WHAT IS THE JOY QUOTIENT QUIZ?

The Joy Quotient Quiz helps you understand and deal with your gap.

It's simple, yet powerful.

The quiz is a 20-question self-assessment that measures the gaps between what you think and what you actually do--the difference between your thoughts and actions. You see, the more congruent you can make those two, the less your life will suck. You'll have less internal conflict and turmoil (think nails on a chalkboard) and more internal harmony and happiness.

Those gaps between your beliefs and your actions are good things to know, because that is where misery lives, and the mechanics of this "joy thing"-- the choices and actions that create joy--can seem strangely elusive. I developed the Joy Quotient Quiz to help you get your fingers around those mechanics so you can understand exactly what to do to increase your joy. Your score on the quiz is your Joy Quotient (JQ), a spin-off of "IQ" (Intelligence Quotient), but it measures your joy instead of your intellect. The JQ Quiz is based on the Life-Changing Ahas and their related behaviors, and Part Two of this book explains them in detail. And no matter which Ahas have gaps or how big those gaps are, there are all kinds of shortcuts to help you narrow your gaps and raise your JQ.

There are many ways to measure happiness. My goal with the JQ Quiz was to make it fun, informative, and action oriented. Thousands of people have taken the quiz and learned how to increase their joy by narrowing their gaps. There's hope.

HOW THE JOY QUOTIENT QUIZ WORKS

Since the JQ Quiz measures the gaps between your thoughts and your actions, it compares what you think with how you behave. The difference between how important something is to you and how consistently you do it is your gap. That gap shows your level of dissatisfaction. Or if you have no gaps, it shows your level of satisfaction--your thoughts and actions are in sync.

Here's a sample JQ Quiz question, so you can see what I mean:

Rate this item in terms of its IMPORTANCE--how important you think this is to leading a life filled with joy--and your PERFORMANCE of it--how frequently you do this now.

Release what you don't need.

1 2 3 4 Importance: Not at all Somewhat Important Very important Performance: Rarely Sometimes Often Almost always

If you decide that "Release what you don't need" is "Important" and you do it "Sometimes," then you have a small gap. (You do it slightly less than you rate it important.) If you rate it "Important" and you do it "Often" or even "Almost always," then you have no gap at all, because you do it at about the same as you rate its importance. On the other hand, if you decide it is "Very important" but you do it "Rarely," your gap needs some emergency narrowing, and now.

The answers to the 20 questions are then tallied and converted into a 100- point scale to give you your JQ. The higher your JQ is, the smaller your gaps are. The lower your JQ, the bigger your gaps. Again, these gaps are where you have obstacles to joy.

Gap = Opportunity

Narrow the Gap = More Joy

Take the quiz now, at the beginning of the book, so you'll know which gaps you need to work on. Then take it again at the end so you can see how far you've come.

TAKING THE JQ QUIZ

When you take the Joy Quotient Quiz, be honest. The quiz relies on your being as truthful as possible. Also, just give your first response. Don't overthink it. The questions are designed to be broad and apply to a variety of life stages and circumstances. So if you find yourself asking, "What does she mean exactly by 'Choose'? I make choices all the time," you're having a normal response. Just determine how important to you is the act of choosing (versus not choosing), then circle your answer and move on.

Rate each of these items in terms of its IMPORTANCE--how important you think each action is to leading a life filled with joy--and your PERFORMANCE of it--how frequently you do this now. (Circle your answers.)

1. Choose.

1 2 3 4 Importance: Not at all Somewhat Important Very important Performance: Rarely Sometimes Often Almost always

2. Show up. Be present.

1 2 3 4 Importance: Not at all Somewhat Important Very important Performance: Rarely Sometimes Often Almost always

3. Think good thoughts.

1 2 3 4 Importance: Not at all Somewhat Important Very important Performance: Rarely Sometimes Often Almost always

4. Believe. Have faith.

1 2 3 4 Importance: Not at all Somewhat Important Very important Performance: Rarely Sometimes Often Almost always

5. Start. Do it now.

1 2 3 4 Importance: Not at all Somewhat Important Very important Performance: Rarely Sometimes Often Almost always

6. Jump. Risk it.

1 2 3 4 Importance: Not at all Somewhat Important Very important Performance: Rarely Sometimes Often Almost always

7. Honor your health. Tend to your body, mind, and spirit.

1 2 3 4 Importance: Not at all Somewhat Important Very important Performance: Rarely Sometimes Often Almost always

8. Release what you don't need.

1 2 3 4 Importance: Not at all Somewhat Important Very important Performance: Rarely Sometimes Often Almost always

9. Get a system.

1 2 3 4 Importance: Not at all Somewhat Important Very important Performance: Rarely Sometimes Often Almost always

10. Do and be your best.

1 2 3 4 Importance: Not at all Somewhat Important Very important Performance: Rarely Sometimes Often Almost always

11. Expect surprises! Be flexible and open.

1 2 3 4 Importance: Not at all Somewhat Important Very important Performance: Rarely Sometimes Often Almost always

12. See your problems as opportunities.

1 2 3 4 Importance: Not at all Somewhat Important Very important Performance: Rarely Sometimes Often Almost always

13. First, love yourself.

1 2 3 4 Importance: Not at all Somewhat Important Very important Performance: Rarely Sometimes Often Almost always

14. Love others.

1 2 3 4 Importance: Not at all Somewhat Important Very important Performance: Rarely Sometimes Often Almost always

15. Say what you mean.

1 2 3 4 Importance: Not at all Somewhat Important Very important Performance: Rarely Sometimes Often Almost always

16. Do what you say.

1 2 3 4 Importance: Not at all Somewhat Important Very important Performance: Rarely Sometimes Often Almost always

17. Show others how to treat you.

1 2 3 4 Importance: Not at all Somewhat Important Very important Performance: Rarely Sometimes Often Almost always

18. Give. Help others.

1 2 3 4 Importance: Not at all Somewhat Important Very important Performance: Rarely Sometimes Often Almost always

19. Be grateful. Give thanks.

1 2 3 4 Importance: Not at all Somewhat Important Very important Performance: Rarely Sometimes Often Almost always

20. Have fun! Celebrate life.

Table of Contents


Why I Wrote This Book     vi
Introduction     viii
Why Your Life Sucks
Just How Much Does Your Life Suck?     3
Wouldn't You Rather Be Joyriding?     29
The 10 Life-Changing Ahas
"I had no choice." (Sucks)- Choose.- You always have a choice     49
"Dammit, I knew that would happen." (Sucks)- Think good thoughts.- Your thoughts affect your life     69
"It's waited this long; I'll do it later." (Sucks)- Start. Do it now.- Action banishes fear     89
"I'm exhausted, overwhelmed, and burned out." (Sucks)- Honor your health.- Everything is better when you feel good     103
"I'm all over the place. I just can't get it together." (Sucks)- Get a system.- Life is easier when you manage yourself     123
"What a mess! That completely screws up my plans." (Sucks)- Expect surprises!- Problems are opportunities     143
"I'm such a loser. I can't believe I did that." (Sucks)- First, love yourself. Then love others.- Love is the ultimate operating system     161
"I know I said I would, but I can't." (Sucks)- Say what you mean. Do what you say.- Your integrity is up to you     183
"One for you and two for me." (Sucks)- Give. Be grateful.- There is plenty for everyone     199
"I can't remember the last time I really had fun." (Sucks)- Have fun! Celebrate life.- Having fun is good for you     215
How to Enjoy theRide of Your Life
Dejoy Vu: Make Every Day a Joyride     233
Joy It On! Share Your Best with the Rest     251
References     265
Acknowledgments     268
About the Author     270
Index     272

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Get a Life That Doesn't Suck: 10 Surefire Ways to Live Life and Love the Ride 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
JJM More than 1 year ago
This is an excellent book. I am a student of self help books and have read many. This one is a great summary of much of the best stuff I have read. It is enjoyable, useful, motivating. I went on this site today, not to write a review but to order extra copies so that I can give them to friends that would benefit as well as to get a copy for me that I can underline and take notes in without ruining my original version. Seeing how few reviews were written called me to action. DeAngelis deserves to sell a million copies and a million readers need to immediately work on getting a life that doesn't suck.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Saeryosly i can get a boy to like me let alone make out with me biys today
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is the launching point if you're ready to strengthen your back-bone and learn how to fully command respect from others, and have respect for yourself. You have to be ready though; totally at your wits ends with the way your life is going. It's "YOUR PERSONAL" Eat, Pray, Love experience. I HIGHLY recommend it!
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RuthieCA More than 1 year ago
Like the Owners Manual for Life we all wish we had. Well now we do! Thanks!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago