Insights from a veteran psychologist: Dr. David Levy is a media consultant who has appeared on over 70 television and radio broadcasts, from CNN to National Geographic, to provide psychological perspectives on current events. His previous works have been published internationally, many of them becoming bestsellers. In this book, Levy approaches readers on a more personal level but carries the same expertise that he’s shared with viewers and listeners worldwide.
Valuable life lessons: Levy’s book takes a different approach than others in the self-help genre. Rather than being instructional, Levy shares bits of wisdom through telling his own stories. In other words, he offers life lessons without lecturing or preaching. Written in a style that is engaging and humorous, readers will find relatable truths in Levy’s uplifting stories and wise advice.
A journey to wisdom: The path to living a smarter lifestyle is not always smooth. Levy encourages readers to embrace all the feelings his book may bring out as they read his stories, from laughing to wincing, and learning along the way. Discover the power of positive thinking as Levy shares a lifetime journey of personal reflections, growth, and wisdom.
Dive into Dr. David Levy’s latest book, Life Is a 4-Letter Word, and find…
- 40 autobiographical essays, each one containing a relatable and applicable life lesson
- A unique source of both humor and inspiration that reassures readers that life is good
- A self-help book for men and women from a published professional in psychology
If books such as You are a Badass, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F—, Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff, and Sometimes You Win—Sometimes You Learn have interested you, then Life Is a 4-Letter Word should be your next read!
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About the Author
Levy is a Professor of Psychology at Pepperdine University, where he has been teaching graduate psychology courses since 1986. Dr. Levy holds professional licenses both in psychology and in marriage and family therapy and has worked in a wide range of private practice and inpatient settings.
Levy’s book, Tools of Critical Thinking, (acclaimed as “the thinking person’s self-help book”), garnered widespread acclaim for its innovative approaches to improving thinking skills.
As a media consultant, Levy has appeared on over 70 television and radio broadcasts (including CNN, CBS, NBC, PBS, NPR, Fox, NatGeo, A&E, and E!), providing psychological perspectives on current events, and examining issues and trends in the mental health fields.
He has also worked as a professional director, producer, writer, and actor in motion pictures, television, and stage. He received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Performance in a Network Television Series, and he was a guest star on the television series Cheers, where he portrayed the leader of Frasier's low self-esteem group (a role which he adamantly maintains is not “type-casting”).
Kristine Carlson is a New York Times bestselling author, speaker, and leader in the field of transformation. After collaborating with her late husband Dr. Richard Carlson to create a publishing industry phenomenon with the Don't Sweat the Small Stuff series—selling more than 25 million copies worldwide—today, Kris is emerging as a profound teacher in the areas that matter most to the human heart: how to heal and how to love.
Kris has captivated readers around the world with her previous six books, which includes Don't Sweat the Small Stuff in Love; Don't Sweat the Small Stuff for Women; Don't Sweat the Small Stuff for Moms; An Hour to Live, An Hour to Love: The True Story of the Best Gift Ever; and Heartbroken-Open: A Memoir Through Loss to Self Discovery.
As a sought-after speaker, Kris is known for her authenticity, vulnerability, and humor, leaving her audiences moved, inspired, and optimistic about the future. She has been featured on national radio and television, including The Today Show, Good Morning America, The View, and The Oprah Winfrey Show. She is mom to two daughters and "Nana" to four grandchildren. She lives in California.
Read an Excerpt
From the Essay "Journey B. Goode"
It could never come soon enough. “It” was a lot of things. My birthday. A trip. A concert. The first day of daylight saving's time. Anything I was looking forward to.
But lamentably enough, no matter how good “it” was, it was invariably anti-climactic. I mean, after all that anticipation, it could never hope to live up to expectations. How could there not be some kind of letdown? There was just too much damn pressure on the event. The long stretches of waiting were just something to be not-so-patiently endured.
Such was the pattern throughout the first half-century of my life. But then, tickets to a Chuck Berry concert turned it all around.
I had always been a zealous fan of the rock-and-roll icon, and the few times in my youth when I saw him perform were both electrifying and mesmerizing. So, years later when I became a parent, I was hell bent on ensuring that my kids would have the opportunity to experience his musical magnificence. I relished the fantasy that, one day in the distant future – long after I’m dead and buried – they could proudly boast to their grandchildren: "Chuck Berry? Sure, I know who Chuck Berry was. In fact, I actually saw him perform. Live.”
Of course, by the time my kids were old enough to see him, he was well into his 80s, and certainly not the impossibly vibrant force he once was. But, come on…it was still Chuck Friggin' Berry. I knew I’d always regret it if I passed up the chance.
And then chance found me one summer evening, when I heard on AM radio that he was scheduled to perform a single show in the early fall at a very small venue at the Route 66 classic auto show in the Southern California desert community of San Bernadino. Without a nanosecond of hesitation, I jumped on the internet and scored second-row seats.
And literally every day thereafter, whether on my hike, my bicycle, or in my car, I’d crank up my iPod with his classics: “Johnny B. Goode,” “Rock and Roll Music,” “Maybellene,” “Back in the U.S.A.” I’d share the building anticipation with my friends. We wondered, what songs would he play? Would he do his legendary “duck walk?” How many of those signature musical licks – the ones he invented over half a century ago to create the original sound of rock and roll guitar – would I be privileged to hear?
The day before the concert, I was on my bike ride, rockin’ and rollin’ to “Roll Over Beethoven.” And I was happy. I mean, really happy. But seemingly out of nowhere, a weird, cold feeling crept into the pit of my stomach, sunk my shoulders, and furrowed my brow: “Oh, shit. What if he’s not any good? What if Grandfather Time has reduced him to just an empty shell of what he once was? What if my kids resent me for dragging them out to the desert just to see some old guy on stage trying pathetically to act cool? What if the whole thing is an enormous bust??”
Then it struck me: It didn’t really matter how the concert turned out. Or whether or not he was any good. I’d just had three months of joyful anticipation. The concert itself was almost an afterthought. Sure, I still hoped he’d be great. But somehow it wasn’t the be-all-end-all. The buildup – rather than being a source of potential disappointment – was actually the joy.
As it turned out, the concert itself was a great experience. On some songs he faltered. On some songs he shined. I got to watch my daughter Briana beam as Chuck seemed to sing a verse of “School Days” right to her. I saw my son Jacob transfixed as Chuck made his Gibson guitar warble and whine. My kids got to see Chuck Berry perform live.
But as gratified as I was by all of this, what I took away was a lesson that had always maintained cliché status throughout my life, until I personally experienced it to be true: It’s less about the destination and more about the journey.
When I was younger, “it” could never come soon enough. But now, it always seems to come too soon. So, don’t rush it.
P.S. I just purchased concert tickets to hear Beethoven’s Ninth symphony performed at Disney Concert Hall. The concert isn’t for another six months…and for that I am grateful. I now have half a year ahead of joyful anticipation. Now, off for a hike. iPod fully locked and loaded. Roll Over Beethoven!
Table of ContentsPrologue—The Shot
The Nature of Attachment
The Empty Threat
Bridging the Racial Divide
“…And Nothing but the Truth”
Worse and Worser
The Zen Stripper
Testing the Limits
A Short Story
The Ticking Clock
The Stoned Wall
The Marvels of Cynicism
Passing the Ultimate Buck
The Impostor Syndrome
The Shell Game
Tincture of Time
It’s Just a Four-Letter Word
The Booby Prize
When Intuition Goes Awry
The Prozac Dilemma
“He Just Doesn’t Understand”
Lying or Crazy?
“We Hold These Truths…”
Journey B. Goode
To Love, Honor, and Betray
Zorro Goes Home
The Third Act
Appendix “The Lessons”
What People are Saying About This
“Levy has masterfully gleaned wisdom of the ages and packed them into bite-sized and thoroughly enjoyable morsels of literary delight.”
–Tom Greening, Editor Emeritus of the Journal of Humanistic Psychology
“A tour de force of wisdom nestled in a pithy, enjoyable and profound package.”
–Louis Cozolino, author ( Why Therapy Works and Timeless )
“Meticulously crafted, these engaging, funny, and often moving vignettes perfectly set up the brief but potent shots of distilled wisdom that follow.”
–Drew Erhardt, psychologist, co-developer of the Moodnotes and MoodKit apps
“This is a very special book that I predict will find thousands of eager readers. The stories combine David Levy’s wonderful sense of humor with insights and wisdom about life. It is well written and a kick to read!”
–David N. Elkins, psychologist and author ( The Human Elements of Psychotherapy )
“Professor David Levy’s book is insightful, profound, funny, and thoroughly original. Meaning in life is everywhere, he reminds us, and whether it changes us profoundly or sails right over our heads, it’s nice to know it’s there.”
–Lewis Colick, screenwriter ( October Sky , Ghosts of Mississippi , etc.)
“David Levy’s warm, funny and wise reflections on his life’s journey offers both comfort and hard-won advice for readers looking to improve their own lives.”
–Dennis Palumbo, therapist, screenwriter ( My Favorite Year ), and author ( Daniel Rinaldi Mysteries )
“Life is short. You can either suffer the pitfalls of life’s lessons on your own – or you can learn those lessons by reading Dr. Levy’s sharp-witted and insightful book.”
–Marilee Bradford, Producing Director, The Film Music Society
“Chicken soup, with a few dashes of Tabasco, and laced with scintillating humor.”
–Eric Shiraev, cultural psychologist, George Mason University