4 out of 4 stars
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Are you a no-nonsense type of person who admires those who will give it to you straight? I’ll admit that I am generally not one to read self-help books, but I was immediately intrigued when I came across this title. If Life Stinks, Get Your Head Outta Your But’s: A No-Nonsense Guide to Happiness and Success by Mark L. Wdowiak is undoubtedly about the effect of positive thinking on your life, but the author has a tough love approach that I particularly enjoy.
Beginning with an introduction, If Life Stinks, Get Your Head Outta Your But’s is broken down into three additional sections which detail the philosophies of Wdowiak’s Three Main Areas, titled Crawling, Walking, and Running. Crawling explains the importance of taking responsibility for yourself, Walking encourages you to take control over your thinking, and Running is, of course, taking action on your own behalf.
I appreciate the fact that Wdowiak has written a fairly comprehensive account of how to achieve happiness and success while leaving it vague enough that it could work for pretty much anyone. Success does not mean the same thing for all people, and Wdowiak stresses the importance of finding your own definition. After all, how can you take steps to get what you want if you don't know what that is?
While reading this book, I felt as though I was getting advice from a trusted mentor. Wdowiak does not mince words or sugarcoat the truth. He uses personal experiences along with a multitude of similes and quotations to help the reader understand what he’s saying. Also very helpful, many of the terms Wdowiak uses are clearly defined. For example, when speaking of being responsible, Wdowiak says it means “being able to fulfill your obligations, and to remain reliable and trustworthy. It means having the ability to decide for yourself what is right and what is wrong. It’s about responding with skill, and being liable when you’re called upon to answer for your acts or decisions.” Could he make things more clear than that?
To help readers hold themselves accountable—and to acknowledge their understanding of the information provided—there is a space for the reader to initial at the end of each chapter. Because of the ebook format, I found this addition strange and unnecessary. Other than that small complaint, I found no fault in the layout of the book. The editing was well done, leaving only a few minor errors such as missing or misused words. Overall, my positive opinions about this book far outweigh the negative.
There was one paragraph in particular that really resonated with me, most likely because I recently watched a movie with the same lesson. Have you ever thrown a pebble into the river and watched the ripples grow? This represents the effect an action will have upon your life. If you don’t start that ripple, it will never have the chance to grow. In the case of Pocahontas, a lack of action on her part could have potentially resulted in a war. The consequences in your own life may not be quite so dire, but the lack of personal success is bad enough, am I right?
While I can’t say that I was completely engrossed while reading If Life Stinks, Get Your Head Outta Your But’s, I still believe it deserves 4 out of 4 stars, as any issues I had with the book were extremely minor. I’ve never read another self-help book that I would consider recommending, but this is definitely a good one. I truly believe that anyone who is attempting to improve their life—for whatever reason—can do so if they follow Wdowiak’s advice and are willing to put in the effort needed. Fair warning, if you are a person who does not appreciate hard truths, this book may not be for you. So what do you think, is this the book you need to guide your way to happiness and success?
If life stinks get your head outta your buts
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