3 out of 4 stars
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Tragedies have a way of breaking people when they happen to them. They make people feel helpless, make them become more fearful, be nervous, or on edge. What people don't realize is that they have a choice to rise above the ashes and emerge stronger, just like the ancient Greek forklore phoenix. We may have no control over what happens to us, what diseases we get it, what time we have left to live. But it is never about what happens to us, rather how we handle what happens to us. We should live life to the fullest, and be of service to humanity. Even I was not aware of these gems that are life teachings, until I read The Secrets of Living A Fantastic Life.
The book is co-written by two authors: Dr. Allen Lycka and Harriet Tinka. Both had tragedies in their lives, which were near-death experiences, but survived and chose a path of recovery and living their lives anew. This is contrary to what most people would do, because it is easier getting sucked into a black hole and just wallow in self-pity. They are both motivational speakers who met when Dr. Lycka sponsored a leading awards ceremony honoring "Women of Distinction". They immediately clicked, and formed a beautiful friendship. They go ahead and share with us their life cues.
In 2003, Dr. Allen Lycka a distinguished Canadian cosmetic dermatologist, was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's disease). This was after he developed a 'flappy foot', and decided to get it checked out. The doctor advised him to get his affairs in order because he had only six months to live. He underwent the processes of anger, denial, and despair. The beautiful part was that he chose to seek a second opinion, only to be told he had a different kind of condition. He had been misdiagnosed, and his life was not in danger at all. Seeing he had been given a second lease of life, he decided to live life fully and be of service to others.
Harriet Tinka was a supermodel, but left that career because of the immense pressure to maintain a ludicrous "perfect image of a model". She joined the university for her undergraduate studies. She made friends with a man whose admiration turned to a lethal obsession. The man attacked her, then abducted her, and in the commotion trying to save herself, he stabbed her severally leaving her for dead. From a runway model who graced haute couture fashion shows to a cripple, she was bitter with life and kept asking herself, " Why me?". At the hospital where she was admitted, she met a seven-year-old girl called Amber. After interacting with her, her life turned around. Now she works with women in her program called 'Empower Me'.
The authors' style of delivering the 'life teachings' is unique. They do so in a warm, playful and relaxed manner. In there are a gazillion quotes from famous and successful people, for example, Oprah Winfrey and Beyonce Knowles-Carter among many others. The 'life teachings' have been nicely packaged in thirteen theories known as 'golden pearls'. They incorporate myths, folklore and practical examples to support their theories. The 'life teachings' are very comprehensive as they are powerful. It needs one to read, take a moment, and pose to digest the information! Literally mind-blowing.
My biggest takeaway was the 'golden pearl' known as 'Inspiration'. I learned that I should be one to be inspired. I should be open to inspiration! This and other powerful teachings fill up the pages of the book. The book will have a sequel that will wrap up seven other 'golden pearls'. My other takeaway which was my greatest lesson too, was the types of love that exist. This was broken down into seven types, which the ancient Greeks had already done research on. The interesting part is that this is very relevant today.
The book was well thought out and well written. I recommend the book to those who feel lost, and would love some inspiration and life cues to guide them. It breaks my heart though to take away a star from the book's rating. Thus I rate it 3 out of 4 stars. This is because the typesetting was terrible. When that is corrected, this book would definitely be the perfect read. For the editing part, it was professionally done.
The Secrets of Living A Fantastic Life
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