3 out of 4 stars
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When I first saw Grabbing Life by the Balls: The Winning Formula by Brian Quinn I assumed it was a humorous motivational book. The cover looks dead serious though, and it shows a father and mother with their son in his graduation cap and gown. The father has his hand on his son's shoulder, presumably telling him the secret to life - "GRAB LIFE BY THE BALLS, son!" Upon learning that the book is only 10 pages long according to Amazon (it was almost a full 6 in the PDF I reviewed) my quick assumption was secured even more.
Suffice it to say I was a bit surprised when I started reading and the book was actually quite solid! Yes, there are as many "chapters" as there were PDF pages but Brian makes some excellent points. The book essentially functions as an introductory course to setting goals, making plans and lists, and the importance of time management and a positive attitude. These are topics that are covered far more thoroughly in almost any other book about reaching your goals, sure, but the author's use of bold font and underlining text is excellently done. This means that even the most easily distracted folks who look at a page or two of text and think "this is too many words" will still get the major points from Brian Quinn's book! The Amazon page recommends Grabbing Life by the Balls to people 6-18 years old, and while I think 6 is a little young to grasp some of the concepts (or to even read the words "grabbing life by the balls"), the point of it being an introductory book stands.
Quinn begins the book with explaining how to define your own personal success. The thing about success is that it really is different for everyone - one person may not feel successful until they live in a mansion with a garage full of $200,000 cars, whereas another may feel successful if they fall in love and have a family, and yet another may simply want to make a living as a writer or teacher. Next, Quill explains the importance of setting clear, specific goals toward that ultimate goal. The rest of the book covers planning, envisioning success, remaining resilient through failure and, of course, grabbing life by the balls - the importance of action!
Having read many self-help and motivational titles, I've learned everything in Grabbing Life by the Balls many times over long ago. However, as Quinn says, knowledge is one thing but taking action is what really counts. This book works incredibly well as a quick refresher, and I can see people using it in their daily ritual of psyching themselves up for a day of success. I agreed with every point in the book but one - Quinn says in a bit of text that's both underlined and in bold "There are 24 hours in a day. Sleep six, and use the rest to achieve your goals." I can absolutely see that being valid from time to time - I've often slept less while amped up to achieve a day's goals, so I can relate. However, to recommend this as regular practice is a terrible idea - a lack of sleep, especially after working hard, makes one's brain work slower and eventually those additional hours don't even make up for the extra time tasks take.
Aside from this one questionable bit of advice, the only negative is the number of errors in the book. Despite being only 6 PDF pages long I found a total of 8 grammatical errors. While none of them were major in any way, a book this short has no excuse for not being perfectly edited. As such, my rating of Grabbing Life by the Balls is 3 out of 4 stars.
Now get out there and grab life by the balls!
Grabbing Life by the Balls
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