4 out of 4 stars
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Mark Wdowiak’s, If Life Stinks, Get Your Head Outta Your Buts: A No-Nonsense Guide to Happiness and Success begins with a quote from Albert Einstein, “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” If Einstein understood the solution why can’t the rest of us? Do we all have to be geniuses? The answer, according to the author is a resounding, no. Instead, we need to follow a series of steps to change our thinking and our life: (1) Recognize we have a problem; (2) Take responsibility for our actions and situations; (3) Get motivated to change; (4) Take small steps to reach our goals; (5) Don’t take things personally when we fail or suffer a brutal critiquing by others; and (6) Become a success story.
Wdowiak warns us that the journey to success will, “anger, provoke, and challenge” our old ways of thinking and doing. Sometimes, what he says is a slap to the face and other times a sharp punch to the gut. However, he gets his point across in an enjoyable and easy-to-read fashion. Now, if you are already successful in your life, don’t bother with this book. As for the rest of us, hop aboard and enjoy a fantastic read that might change your life forever.
The following are words of wisdom from the book that affected me the most:
Recognize you have a problem — The author focuses much attention on, “the trap of negative thinking.” Rather than spiraling down into a pit of depression, we must recognize our negative thoughts as a warning sign we need to change.
Take responsibility — “It’s your fault if your life is not ideal or in line with who you really are,” was a huge wake-up call for me. I, for one, have a nasty habit of blaming everyone but myself when things go wrong.
Motivation — “Motivation is just like bathing: the effects fade over time, so that’s why you’re recommended to do it on a daily basis.”
Fully commit — “There is a big difference between trying to do something and doing something!” Trying means, not committing fully to what you want while doing is committing 100% of your resources towards success.
Don’t focus on your weaknesses — “Nothing positive comes from focusing on your perceived weaknesses,” is something that all of us do, sometimes to the point of being self-destructive.
Success — “Success is not a destination, it’s a continuous journey.”
Despite the praise, I found three minor problems with the book. First, I read my ebooks with a dark background and found the font color of the table of contents is tough to see. The readability of the rest of the book is fine. Second, around Location 728, there is a page full of, “I’s.” I know, I was looking, I thought, I worked, I was driving, and I felt. I understand the author wants to highlight his life to make a point. However, in this section, the “I’s” became a distraction. Third, the last few pages of each chapter sum up things minus the back-story. You may or may not find this an issue seeing how common it is in many other self-help books.
In conclusion, if you read the material, understand it, confirm your commitments, and take positive action to change then you will witness some great results. If you don‘t, then the only person that is holding you back is you. It’s that simple. As a parting thought, the author quotes Confucius, “Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” At the very least, your life and your thinking will become a little less complicated after reading the book. I give it a 4 out of 4 stars.
If Life Stinks, Get Your Head Outta Your But's
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