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Don't Miss Your Life: Find More Joy and Fulfillment Now Hardcover – October 1, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

If someone asked you what you do for fun, would you have an answer? Are there things you've always dreamed of doing but never tried, like kayaking or learning a new language? When was the last time you felt really excited and energized by something new, far away from the daily demands of work, errands, or other obligations? If you feel like you're missing something, you are—your life. This book shows you how to get your life back and make it come alive with experiences that deliver the highest gratification.

We're led to believe that the only thing that counts is career and output, but the research shows that true success comes with fulfilled living—pursuing your passions, expressing yourself in exciting activities, and living life to the fullest. Your life outside work should not be a sideshow—it needs to be the main event. Don't Miss Your Life is a road map to becoming who you were meant to be. The key is to develop a skill set that you probably never knew existed: leisure skills. As Joe Robinson explains, these are the aptitudes and attitudes—the life intelligence—that will lead you to the fun and passions that make life most worth living. Drawing on surprising research in positive psychology, optimal experience, and self-determination theory, he shows you why you need these skills and how to apply them to active pursuits that will make you happy and satisfy your deepest aspirations.

Step by step, you will discover how to overcome the obstacles to your best life—busyness, stress, guilt, and the couch—and develop vital skills, including how to:

  • Stop playing it safe

  • Choose engagement over comfort

  • Ensure that your self-worth really comes from your self, not your job

  • Focus on the experience, not the outcome

  • Carve out living time from a busy schedule

  • Satisfy your three core psychological needs

  • Activate the epicenter of enjoyment: optimal experience

  • Develop social initiative and playfulness

  • Find your passions and enjoy life more every day

You'll also find a seven-day action plan to jump-start your unique journey to optimal living. Throughout the book, you'll find inspiring stories of people who are already living their passions through samba and salsa dancing, dragon boat paddling, rock climbing, mentoring kids, adventure travel, singing in a choir, and more.

What are you waiting for? Stop missing your life and start living it to the max. Read this book and get started—here and now.

From the Back Cover

Praise for Don't Miss Your Life

"Many of us have forgotten what we're here for—not just to work, but to live life to the fullest. Joe Robinson reminds us in this compelling and timely book that there is a life out there beyond the daily grind where we can reclaim our interests, passions, and sense of fun. He shows that having a worth ethic as well as a work ethic is essential to a happy and fulfilled life, and he offers a step-by-step approach to getting there."
—Arianna Huffington, Editor in Chief of The Huffington Post and author of Third World America and On Becoming Fearless . . . in Love, Work, and Life

"Joe Robinson shows in this wonderful and wise book that there's a missing piece to happiness that can transform your life. He demonstrates that well-being and fulfillment depend more on the quality of your living time than on your business card, on a skill set that activates your best times. Loaded with practical tools, Don't Miss Your Life gives you everything you need to stop watching and start living."
—Kathy Freston, author of Quantum Wellness: A Practical and Spiritual Guide to Health and Happiness

"Joe Robinson reveals how we've been looking for life in all the wrong places. This rousing ride through the skills, science, and spirit of full-tilt living demonstrates that the key to a fulfilling life is something we haven't even thought about: choosing experiences over spectating and material items. With the latest research and sharingadventures in everything from samba dancing to dragon boat paddling, heshows why active leisure experiences make you happier than anything else and how to get in the thick of your best life. Robinson is a leader in the fight for quality time for life, and Don't Miss Your Life is the playbook to optimal living. Don't miss this book!"
—John de Graaf, coauthor of Affluenza: The All-Consuming Epidemic and Executive Director of Take Back Your Time

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (October 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470470127
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470470121
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.2 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #584,096 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Joe Robinson is a work-life balance trainer, coach, and journalist. He's a former reporter and editor for the Los Angeles Times, and he edited the adventure magazine, Escape. He's written for the New York Times, Washington Post, National Geographic Adventure and many other publications. He started the Work to Live campaign to legalize vacations in the U.S., and together with his colleagues at Take Back Your Time, a law was introduced into Congress in 2009. The campaign led to his book, "Work to Live," a primer for beating overload in a 24/7 world, based on the science of what works at work. His company, Work to Live (, provides work-life balance and stress management trainings for companies, individuals and organizations. "Don't Miss Your Life" grew out of a lot of fantastic research on where the good stuff of life is, in participant experiences, something he learned on the adventure travel road. Joe's an ardent hiker and music fan--Brazilian, jazz, Latin, African--and his biggest passion is samba, as you will see from his ecstatic reports in "Don't Miss Your Life." He recently teamed up with a samba band in Southern California, his home base. Visit him at the "Don't Miss Your Life" website:

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Chris McGowan on November 21, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Joe Robinson is working to save America and he's not selling the rapture, a guru, or the dismantling of the federal government. He is an evangelical of "engaged experience" and his sermon has to do with our spare hours. We exist in a stressed out, burned out, multi-tasking world, and many of us have neglected the "lived well" part. To make matters worse, once we are done with work and errands, we fritter away our free time with cable TV, net surfing, smart phones, and other weapons of mass distraction. The result is that many of us feel unhappy and yet we don't know exactly why. We define ourselves by our jobs and our material possessions, but that's not who we are. We feel that life is passing us by, and it is. We desperately need to "get a life," but how?

Robinson's new book Don't Miss Your Life shows us how to take back our dreams, pursue our passions, and live life to the fullest. Accomplishing this is not a function of being famous, driving an expensive SUV, flashing your bling, or eating at the best restaurants, despite the constant barrage of "life lessons" provided by MTV, advertising, and gossip magazines. You are not limited to what you do in the office or at the construction site; rather, the real living begins in your off hours and when you return to family and friends. Robinson encourages his readers to follow up on their most challenging ideas, be that climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro or cooking with Julia Child's recipes. Yet one's pursuit doesn't have to be exotic, costly or gourmet. The answer to reviving yourself may be as simple as adding a game of badminton or a salsa lesson to your weekly routine.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Book Fanatic TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 21, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This was a wonderful book, a joy to read, and absolutely packed with practical ideas and tips. Get it and get back to that playful child you once were.

From the book:

"For the last year, I've had the pleasure of inhabiting a parallel universe that the world of doom, scandal, stress, and misery would have you believe doesn't exist - a world of joy and elation, of soul-stirring experiences and ear-eating grins. I've played danced, paddled, kicked, volleyed, and flown as high as a kite with people as enthused as they want to be, folks from all walks of life, incomes, and ages, living their best lives in the middle of the worst economic meltdown since the Depression."

I found Joe Robinson's book on active participation in leisure activity incredibly inspiring. It made me want to get up and dance (a favorite leisure activity of the author). The author did a great job of including practical advice and tips into this fun book to get you engaged in what he calls "participant experiences". The choice of experiences are almost endless and they only require that you you are an active as opposed to passive (e.g.watching TV) participant. He cites a number of studies to show that the missing ingredient to a fulfilling life may be these types of leisure.

Highly recommended!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Julia on November 21, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I found this book to be the perfect remedy for an "illness" that most Westerners face these days....not having a life. Most people (and this was me in the past....) don't even know how to have a life......they don't understand why they are so NOT happy but they don't know why and this book not only tells them why but also tells them how to get out of the rut in real specific ways. The truth is as kids we all seem to enjoy life because we haven't forgotten how to have fun yet. Joe explains that leisure is literally a skill that we don't use (ADULTS don't have fun!) and because of that our lives are not full and over time we become empty. No wonder why so many people are on anti-depressents these days. After reading Joe's book, it all makes sense. He explains with many, many real life examples how people have gotten their lives back after severe setbacks only to be the happiest they have ever been in their life. He also cites studies and research completed by others throughout the book which I found very interesting.

I love his Old Math and New Math Equations, it's SOOOOOO true as it says so much about work and life. "Old Math: Performance + busyness + stress = material success, no life. New Math: Performance + sustainable pace + active leisure = authentic success, life experience"

Since learning how important leisure is, I have been on various trips, hiking in Nepal, volunteering with animals, skydiving, and a lot of things just for the fun of it and I have found that this book is right on the mark......had I known what I was doing "wrong" before, I would have gotten a life a lot earlier. Like Joe's examples in the book, I'm a happy, happy person since incorporating pure leisure into my life. I also recommend "Work to Live" Joe's prior book, which is also excellent...if you can, read both!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Randall W. Klarin on December 16, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Many of us in modern industrial countries live in the 'productive' mode from waking in the morning til we place our heads on the pillow at night. Some of us even attempt to make our dream time productive. Robinson shows the fallacy of this life style. Deep inside of us we know there is a different, more satisfying way to live. More importantly he shows how to fashion a fulfilling, satisfying, and fun life right where we are now; with the money we already have, with the personality we have, and in the location where we live. The skills of a passionate and happy life are clearly explained in a down to earth manner with clear examples and simple exercises. Robinson has thoroughly researched his ideas with the latest in social science research. My belief bolstered by science I then applied many of these notions daily and I feel transformed and excited. In fact, I feel like I have woken up to a real life. It is a life I design and practice, here and now. Not someday which never comes. I recommend this book to anyone who every asked the perennial question: Is this all there is? Joe Robinson has a powerful road map filled with clever anecdotes and fun tips.
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