4 out of 4 stars
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If Life Stinks, Get Your Head Out of Your But's is a self-help book written by Mark L. Wdowiak. The premise is exactly what you can guess from the title - stop making excuses if your life isn't going the way you want it to go. Wdowiak uses common-sense ideas, emphasized with his own personal experiences to provide a no-nonsense reality check. Wdowiak divides his book into 3 main areas - crawling, walking, and running - to guide readers from having a negative, excuse-driven mindset to having a positive, self-ownership mindset.
What I enjoyed about this book was that it was an easy read. It felt like I was getting advice from a friend rather than having someone lecture me, which I think sets this book apart from other self-help novels. I highlighted a lot of quotes and anecdotes he provided that I have already found useful in my professional and personal life. While I am not one to ever reach for a self-help book, I'm glad I read this one. I consider myself a positive, open-minded person, and Wdowiak got me doing some serious self-reflection and, without meaning to, I've grown as a person by reading this book.
Therefore, I would recommend this book to anyone who is not necessarily a self-help fan but needs some kind of inspiration. Perhaps you've hit a lull in your career or your personal life - this is the perfect book to help you reflect on the choices you are making and how they are affecting your quality of life. It's like getting tough love from a trusted friend who understands that you are not perfect.
Although I enjoyed the message of the book, I felt like the structure could've been used more as a strategy. The three main areas of crawling, walking, and running all had their own chapters. However, the analogy of going through the phases of learning to walk wasn't a constant thread throughout the novel. For example, when discussing crawling as the first stage (that's supposed to be about taking responsibility for yourself) no reference back to that analogy was made. I think it would've felt more organized had each section started and ended with a story pertaining to the analogy. I would've also liked to see the sections be more even with the pages - phase 1 (crawling) took up the majority of the book. Additionally, one can argue there are more phases than those three, so the book could've been broken down more, if desired. I feel if Wkowiak had used the crawling-to-running analogy more intentionally, he could've avoided some of the repetition that started to occur by the end of the book.
I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. What I dislike about it is an editorial comment; the book itself was quite enjoyable and easy to read. It got me thinking about my mindset and how I react when things don't go the way I want them to, and that's the point of the book - to reflect on yourself and improve yourself. I believe that, even as someone who did not see any need for self-help, I will be more aware of taking responsibility, of if I'm making excuses, and of how I'm reacting to things out of my control. I thoroughly enjoyed reading and, therefore, recommend If Life Stinks, Get Your Head Out of Your But's.
If life stinks get your head outta your buts
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