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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not Your Average Self-Help Book, May 26, 2005
By 
This review is from: Alter Your Life: Overbooked? Overworked? Overwhelmed? (Paperback)
Alter Your Life is not your regular self-help inspirational book. It is practical, engaging and powerfully life-changing. Unlike other self-help books that focus on the goals you'd like to create for your life, Dr. Hall provides a different angle of everyday activities, so you'd be able to alter your perspectives, which are the key of lifetime joy and happiness.

Divided into 24 chapters, this book talks about ways to give meaning in the simplest and overlooked activities, such as walking, shopping, gardening, listening to music, taking a bath, watching the evening news and, even, washing dishes. The author's easy-to-read conversational tone is an added plus, as most people prefer not reading a preachy book.

Written by a former Wall Street stockbroker who lived joylessly for years, the soul of this book shines throughout the pages, making the reading a breeze. The author has walked the walk and talked the talk, indeed. It is evident from the depth of one's innermost issues covered as she encourages the readers to choose the joy and the enlightened path in their hectic and, oftentimes, boring lives.

Alter Your Life is, indeed, a self-help book of its own class. For once, an enlightened friend has spoken. Thanks, Dr. Hall.[]

A review by Jennie S. Bev of BookReviewClub.com
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Lot of Very Practical Suggestions..., August 30, 2005
By 
Dr. Jonathan Dolhenty (Port Orford, OR United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Alter Your Life: Overbooked? Overworked? Overwhelmed? (Paperback)
There is little question, it seems to me, that most Americans living in this new century of ours are suffering from a condition one might refer to as the "stressed-out" syndrome. (And the really unfortunate thing is that this is true of young people as well, some of them barely into their teenage years.) Many of us are working harder, trying to raise families while advancing a career, competing obsessively in the marketplace for that promotion, striving to keep up with the Jones next door, hoping that the pay check will last until the end of the month, and, well, you get the point. Are we simply condemned to this malady by the realities of modern life, or is there a way of successfully meeting this challenge and conquering it? Dr. Kathleen Hall, the author of this book and one of our nation's leading authorities on stress management, thinks there is and she calls it "living an intentional life."

This is a self-help book, to be sure. Many of you probably think as I do: most self-help books are so full of psycho-babble, unrealistic expectations, impractical advice, dogmatic prescriptions, and are so far out of touch with the actual world in which most of us live, that they seem to be written only to make some quick money for the author. I assure you this is not the case with Dr. Hall's book. Believe me, I look hard for incidences of psycho-babble in self-help books (it's one of my pet peeves) and I could not find a single case of it here. In sum, she has outlined a simple, easy-to-read, very practical and, above all, undogmatic, blueprint for living an intentional life.

The "intentional" life, Dr. Hall says, has three simple ingredients: awareness, choice, and energy. These are not sequential; it is simply necessary to "become aware of these three key elements in your life and learn how to navigate them." She emphasizes that we ought to look at our daily experiences, listen to what our body and mind are telling us, and become more conscious of how we are living our lives and how we want to live them. If I could put this general prescription into my own words, I would say she is proposing living a "proactive" life as opposed to a "reactive" life, and most people do seem to mostly "react" to the situations they encounter in life rather than make a proactive choice.

There is absolutely nothing complex about the prescriptions in this book regarding how to live an intentional life. Above all, they are very down-to-earth; very much a matter of applied "common sense." It is simply that so many people, if not the majority in today's hectic world, either "forget" to pay attention to these simple ideas or are stressed out and distracted by the events surrounding them. The author here is really recommending that we all need, now and then, to "stop and smell the roses," so to speak.

But, of course, there is much more than that presented. She gets down to the "nitty-gritty," shall we say, and, chapter by chapter, discusses everything from making your morning shower an event for setting the stage for your day, suggesting gardening (even though you may have to plant a "mini-garden" in your bathroom) as a means of reclaiming your roots to the soil, altering your dinner experience at home so you have "dined well," and, yes, even how to turn dishwashing into a unique and fulfilling experience. To point out the range of "ordinary" daily experiences she discusses, just let me say that Chapter One is entitled "Waking Up" and Chapter Twenty-four is entitled "Sleeping." Between those two points of reference are chapters devoted to most of the other daily activities we perform and encounters we experience (breakfast, commuting, working, leisure, family, etc.). Furthermore, most chapters end with a suggestion as to how to "alter your life" in the area discussed.

What I like most about Dr. Hall's book is that it is sound, pragmatic, and undogmatic. It deals with the simple pleasures we can experience in our lives, if only we would pay attention to them rather than ignore them or get distracted by other things which contribute to our "stressed-out" syndrome. Since I am by education, inclination, and choice, a philosopher in the formal sense (and an Aristotelian realist, at that!), let me conclude with a more philosophical observation.

Aristotle's famous work, the "Nicomachean Ethics," was written to provide us with a blueprint for living "a life worth living." His book is, in my opinion and in the opinion of many others, the only sound, pragmatic, and undogmatic work in moral philosophy within the Western tradition of intellectual thought. I have used those same words (sound, pragmatic, undogmatic) to describe Dr. Hall's "Alter Your Life." I think this is justified. Furthermore, I suspect that Aristotle, if he were living today, would also approve of her work; he was, after all, that most practical and commonsensical of philosophers. His "Ethics" was a manual on how to put together a "good life" through the practice of the virtues; hers is a manual on how to deal with the stresses of this contemporary world or, if you will, how to live a "good life" through the practice of intentional living in spite of the stresses surrounding us. I think Aristotle and Dr. Hall would have gotten along famously.

I recommend this book and my fellow males should not shy away from reading this book. After all, women on the average live longer than we males do, and it may be (at least partially) because they are willing to seek help and guidance rather than face stressful conditions alone. I know men tend to avoid self-help books because they consider them to be "for women." This is unfortunate. Men also need to learn strategies, even the simple ones suggested in this book, in order to live a healthy and meaningful life.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars There Is More..., February 5, 2006
This review is from: Alter Your Life: Overbooked? Overworked? Overwhelmed? (Paperback)
So many of us are overwhelmed by the day-to-day demands of our careers, our families, sometimes even our friends. We often feel there is not enough time in our lives to do the things we need to do, let alone to do the things we want to do. And, most importantly, there never seems to be time just for ourselves.

The book, Alter Your Life, discusses many aspect of your life. The book discusses daily tasks that we all do and points out ways we can live intentionally, i.e. by making choices by intention, not by default.

What impressed me about the book is that it is not based only on theory. The author has implemented changes, and has altered her life to one of intentional life vs. life in the fast lane where she felt overwhelmed, overworked and overbooked! She discusses the three components that are the foundation for living an intentional life and they are simpler than you think. Her story is an inspiration for us all. While we may not choose to live the life she chose, you will find ideas and thoughts to alter you life in everyday tasks.

Dr. Kathleen Hall's book is one which made me realize even the simplest of things I was doing every day were being done without intention. When you stop and answer some of the questions the author asks, it makes you realize that there is more. In fact, we do have the choice to change our lives so we do not have to feel so overwhelmed.

I would highly recommend this book.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Among the best!, May 7, 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Alter Your Life (Paperback)
The best thing about this book is that the author deals in our everyday reality. She knows because she's been there. Life is too busy. Too hectic. No matter how sincere our intentions, we don't have the time to read, philosophize, or meditate--all activities that separate us from our daily responsibilities at home, in the office, with family and friends.
Dr. Hall gives us simple and practical ways to attain small moments of spirituality throughout our busy days--whether we are in the car, at school, in the office, in the kitchen, or even in the shower,. Her abjility to help us squeeze meaningful moments out of our "real life" activities separates Alter Your Life from the faddy, prescriptive, "how to", feel good books.
Here's an author that admits most of us are over-scheduled and over- whelmed. She doesn't ask us to change...rather she encourages us to find spiritual meaning in our "busyness." Something we all can do in the very moment that we are driving, running, walking, sitting, meeting and accomplishing.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Not Your Ordinary Self-Help Book, May 26, 2005
By 
This review is from: Alter Your Life (Paperback)
Alter Your Life is not your regular self-help inspirational book. It is practical, engaging and powerfully life-changing. Unlike other self-help books that focus on the goals you'd like to create for your life, Dr. Hall provides a different angle of everyday activities, so you'd be able to alter your perspectives, which are the key of lifetime joy and happiness.

Divided into 24 chapters, this book talks about ways to give meaning in the simplest and overlooked activities, such as walking, shopping, gardening, listening to music, taking a bath, watching the evening news and, even, washing dishes. The author's easy-to-read conversational tone is an added plus, as most people prefer not reading a preachy book.

Written by a former Wall Street stockbroker who lived joylessly for years, the soul of this book shines throughout the pages, making the reading a breeze. The author has walked the walk and talked the talk, indeed. It is evident from the depth of one's innermost issues covered as she encourages the readers to choose the joy and the enlightened path in their hectic and, oftentimes, boring lives.

Alter Your Life is, indeed, a self-help book of its own class. For once, an enlightened friend has spoken. Thanks, Dr. Hall.[]

A review by Jennie S. Bev of BookReviewClub.com
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5.0 out of 5 stars An uplifting, motivational guide to lifestyle changes that can make each day richer, February 11, 2006
This review is from: Alter Your Life: Overbooked? Overworked? Overwhelmed? (Paperback)
Stress management expert Dr. Kathleen Hall presents Alter Your Life: Overbooked? Overworked? Overwhelmed?, a no-nonsense self-help guide to finding more time in one's life and balancing responsibilities in a manner that reduces tension, cultivates energy, and primes one for the knock of opportunity. Chapters discuss simple changes and mindfulness that can be incorporated into any routine, from the morning shower, breakfast, and commute to daily exercise, shopping, learning to be a more attentive listener, and even turning routine chores such as washing the dishes into a fulfilling experience. The "Ask, Tell, Give" sections condense extended discussion points into simple sentences and precepts; for example, "Ask yourself 'Why do I, or why don't I have a pet?' 'How can I bring more quality to the time I spend with animals?' 'What can I learn from the animals in my life?' / Tell yourself 'Animals support and guide my journey through life.' / Give yourself 'A bird feeder by your favorite window' 'time each day to relax with your animal' 'sponsorship of a cause that supports animals'." An uplifting, motivational guide to lifestyle changes that can make each day richer.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Worthy and Timely Read Stepping Into A New Year, January 6, 2011
This review is from: Alter Your Life: Overbooked? Overworked? Overwhelmed? (Paperback)
This book was a surprise for me as I didn't have much expectation for it... I picked it up one day when overwhelm was seeping in... this book just kind of caught my eye on the shelf.

End result... this was a worthy read. I absorbed and contemplated a chapter a day and it definitely in its simplistic way helped ground and focus me on what's really important.

Lesson learned... Sometimes life's simplest things can have the largest most substantial impact!
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Alter Your Life: Overbooked? Overworked? Overwhelmed?
Alter Your Life: Overbooked? Overworked? Overwhelmed? by Kathleen Hall (Paperback - April 2005)
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