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Getting Past OK: The Self-Help Book for People Who Dont Need Help Paperback – December 29, 2009


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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

      Richard Brodie is best known as the original author of Microsoft Word. His self-help book, Getting Past OK, is an international bestseller. His groundbreaking book on memes, Virus of the Mind, spent 52 weeks on the Amazon.com Hot 100 and is used as a text in many college courses. An accomplished speaker, Richard has appeared on dozens of television and radio shows, including The Oprah Winfrey Show.

Richard continues to pursue wide and varied interests, which he occasionally blogs about.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Hay House; 1 edition (December 29, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401926975
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401926977
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.8 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #436,025 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Richard Brodie dropped out of Harvard to join Bill Gates in the personal-computer revolution at Microsoft. There he wrote the first version of Microsoft Word before becoming Gates's technical assistant. His books Getting Past OK and Virus of the Mind are international bestsellers, published in many languages across the globe.

A lover of technological progress, he made a deal with marketing manager Jeff Raikes in 1983. Jeff wanted to save time and ship the first version of Microsoft Word without support for a new device called a "mouse." Jeff's research showed that none of their users had demand for such a device. Richard thought hard and promised to put in mouse support in one week, working night and day. Jeff agreed on Friday afternoon. The version with mouse support was on his desk Thursday morning. Jeff went on to become the president of Microsoft's business division.

Before leaving Microsoft, Richard led the design for the Windows version of Word, code-named "Cashmere." Bill Gates always thought the name referred to the fact that Bill liked to wear cashmere sweaters, but in reality it came from passing through the Washington town of Cashmere during a river-rafting trip with some Microsoft colleagues.

During the Cashmere design, Richard came up with the idea of the Combo Box (a combination text box and drop-down menu widely used today), the Ribbon (a strip of buttons at the top of the screen used to display and change formatting), and his favorite, the squiggly red underline that checked and flagged spelling errors automatically.

Not being a nine-to-five kind of guy, Richard retired when Microsoft went public, before Cashmere shipped. When it did, he was distressed to see the squiggly red underline hadn't been included. Nor was it included in the next version. Finally, he cornered development manager Chris Mason in the Microsoft Cafeteria and asked why they hadn't done what he thought was the coolest feature.

"Oh, it's too hard," said Chris. "No it's not!" said Richard. "You just do this and this and this..." Chris thought for two seconds and said, "Oh, you're right, that's easy. We'll put it in." And it was in the next version. "Why didn't they pick up the phone and ask me how to do it?" Richard wondered. It's not like I moved to the moon. It was in the next version.

In retirement, Richard sampled many personal-growth groups (as he put it, "I joined cults as a hobby) and boiled down what he thought were the best ideas into his book Getting Past OK. As part of that research he saw the importance of the idea of "memes" -- contagious ideas that evolve in our culture -- and realized there wasn't a book about them, so he wrote one: Virus of the Mind.

Richard has appeared on numerous radio and TV shows, including Oprah, and maintains an eclectic blog at www.liontales.com where he shares his thoughts and stories. His current hobby is poker, and he has appeared on television a few times playing big tournaments. ("With somewhat limited success," he says. "So far.") He lives in Kirkland, Washington.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on August 10, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is Not your father's self-help book. "Getting Past OK" by Richard Brodie, truely is "A Straightforward Guide to Having a Fantastic Life".
Brodie, only incidentally the author of the original Microsoft Word wordprocessing program, gives you plain talk and no mystical mumbo-jumbo about how to literally take control of your own life: first by shedding the disfunctional bad habits of procrastination and perfectionism, etc.. Then he challenges you to decide what is most important to you, in your one life (this is up to you -- he makes no attempt to influence your choice of values and goals). Then he helps you learn how to achieve that focus on "what matters" to you.
He deftly synthesizes his own rich personal real-world experiences as an erstewhile millionaire, with insights from great thinkers on the human condition such as Mohandas Gandhi, and findings from the rapidly emerging branch of the science of evolutionary psychology called "memetics" (about which he has written another really great book, "Virus of the Mind" http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0963600117/grs
A "meme" (or "idea-virus) is any idea, which is good at getting itself replicated from one mind to another, not because it is true or beneficial or rational, but simply because its nature makes our minds susceptible to accepting it and passing it on.
So, Brodie warns us that some of our basic assumptions and even our most cherished belives may not be "true" -- they may just be the particularly effective idea-viruses that ended up in our mind. We will not be truely in control of our lives and able to achieve a truely fantastic life, until we honestly self-examine and reconfirm our beliefs.
"Whatever you choose to do from this moment forward, make it mean something to you. And have a fantastic life" -- Brodie
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Hogan VINE VOICE on January 9, 2001
Format: Paperback
Getting Past OK is Brodie's first attempt to share his wisdom and a wealth of experience with the public. This is one of the finest reads on living a juicy life that I have personally read. Definitely worth having and giving to those you care about. Kevin Hogan,...
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 17, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is the best self-help book I have read. In very clear terms, without a lot of "psycho-speak", Richard Brodie details an easy plan for getting what you truly want out of life. He outlines the ways that you sabatoge yourself and how to overcome these things. While I was reading this book, he made it seem so obvious that I was wondering why I had never thought of these things before.
He outlines in clear steps--with some introspection required on the readers part--how to create a fantastic life for yourself.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Dan M. Florea on May 17, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Perhaps because I have a similar background as the author, this book really struck a chord with me. It is as close as I have ever seen to a "how-to" guide for living a great life. The structure of it was great and I really liked the fact that the chapters were short and to the point. The tone is conversational and the advice is sound and often eye opening. I found myself repeatedly thinking -- wow, that's true, no wonder I am frustrated. If you are looking for a more high level philosophical approach, then maybe this isn't the book for you. But if you want a logical practical guide to improving your life, I have yet to read a better book.

Perhaps most importantly, this book is not about how you "should" live your life. It is about defining what a great life means to you and then following up and making the necessary changes while putting aside fear. I can't say that this book has changed my life yet. No book can do that. But it has helped me identify some less than ideal patterns and gaps in the way I approach things and helped me commit to making some serious changes for the better. I only wish that I would have read this book earlier in my life and avoided many of the mistakes that I have made along the way.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Taiji 218 on July 4, 2010
Format: Paperback
I'm really pleased this book is still in print. I read it when it first came out (and highlighted the heck out of it). I've read it at least five or six times ever since. Along with "The Power of Choice" and "How To Be Loved," this book is a reflection of Richard Brodie's experience of Werner Erhard's est training, put into Brodie's own very personable words. A lot of people were turned off by the presentation of the est training and thereby missed out on its fundamental perspectives. Brodie's book corrects that for many people. Brodie's conversational and playful presentation make his messages very easy to swallow and digest. Of the three books I mentioned, I'm not sure which one I'd recommend the most. Each book would be great for different people. For yet others, Luke Rhinehart's "Book of Est" might be the way to go.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 26, 1997
Format: Paperback
I obtained a copy of this book after reading Brodie's "Virus of the Mind," which was great. I have devoured dozens of similar books on personal growth, and consider this to be the best of the lot, easily on a par with Your Erroneous Zones, and The Road Less Traveled. A very entertaining, common sense approach to understanding the way the world works, and how to get the most out of life. In my humble opinion, if this book had a catchier title, it would become a major bestseller
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