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Life Strategies: Doing What Works, Doing What Matters Mass Market Paperback – January 1, 1900

4.1 out of 5 stars 366 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Author and reader Phillip McGraw is at the forefront of a group of self-help gurus rethinking Americans' decade-plus-long celebration of victimhood. Calling himself a realist, he outlines 10 ways to take responsibility for and change your life. His reading mirrors the style of the weekend motivational seminars he conducts, designed to spark the listener into action. The lively pace crackles with such gems as, "My dad had taught me there are times in life where you just don't want to miss a good chance to shut up." While tape 1's side A bogs down during an account of Oprah Winfrey's beef-industry battles, side B dives quickly into the meat of the audiobook, featuring anecdotes from McGraw's own life and the 10 "Life Laws"--the rules by which McGraw believes the world plays. (Running time: 5 hours, 4 cassettes) --Kimberly Heinrichs --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

After advising Oprah Winfrey in her successful defense against accusations of slander by the beef industry, McGraw, a behavior specialist and trial expert, now makes appearances on Oprah's program as a member of her "Change Your Life TV Team," joining such other luminaries of self-help as Suze Orman, John Gray and Iyanla Vanzant. While McGraw's presentation may play well on the small screen, it suffers on the page from lack of focus, awkward writing and a relentlessly hectoring tone. At the outset, McGraw browbeats his readers: "You are either winning or losing in your life, plain and simple. You live in a competitive world." His strategy for winning is built around 10 "Life Laws," which include the following: "You Either Get It or You Don't"; "You Can't Change What You Don't Acknowledge"; and "There Is No Reality; Only Perception." He also gives 16 homework assignments: the first, to list the five things in your life you have failed to acknowledge to yourself; the second, to write "The Story I'll Tell Myself If I Don't Create Meaningful and Lasting Change After Reading and Studying This Book." McGraw does a good job of identifying many self-defeating behaviors, but it will be up to readers to determine for themselves the efficacy of his methods of changing them. 500,000 first printing; major ad/promo.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Hyperion; 1 edition (January 1, 1900)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786890983
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786890989
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (366 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #826,223 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Steven K. Szmutko VINE VOICE on June 4, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Each of us has the power to make those decisions which ultimately determine the course of our precious lives.
"Life Strategies" is one of those rare finds, a self-help book that does not wallow in big words or esoteric concepts. Mr. McGraw outlines his steps for success in life in simple, direct, yet engagingly written chapters. The organization of the book is excellent throughout and reflects an author who has had extensive experience in dealing with people from all walks of life. He deals with concepts such as self-reliance, individual responsibility and similar notions often downplayed (or ignored outright) by other authors seeking to play into the culture of victimization. You will find none of that in Mr. McGraw's book; his main theme is that we are responsible for our own lives and we do not have to allow ourselves to be knocked about like a punching bag on a windy day.
Once you pick up the book, it is difficult to put down; you will find yourself nodding your head at what you have always known in your heart, but do not always acknowledge in your daily life. This book is well worth the time.
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Format: Paperback
In my review of Cheryl Richardson's 'Life Makeovers' I pointed out that an author's approach and style are what distinguish his or her work from the amazing number of self-help books available.

I would call this book 'a blunter 'Life Makeovers''.

For those who are unfamiliar with Dr. Phil's approach (he has appeared on talk shows, especially 'Oprah!') you will at first probably be turned off as I was. A 'client' will go on stage with him and start explaining the problem he or she has. He frequently interrupts and bluntly gets right to the most important underlying question.

The interesting thing is that this is the approach used by the best psychologists/psychiatrists. When you distill the problems you have down to the basic issue it becomes much easier to face and solve.

This book, by putting you in Dr. Phil's 'office', exposes you to this type of 'therapy'.

Is it a substitute for professional help if needed? No.

Is it an excellent way of trying to control your own destiny and see if you can solve your problems yourself? YES.

You might not be able to solve them - but this book will be your best chance to discover if you can.

I give this book a recommendation without reservation.

At least give it a try - it may change your outlook - it may change your life.
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Format: Paperback
I bought this book 3 months ago hoping to finally find a practical guide to living a happy and successful life. I read the best-seller CONVERSATIONS WITH GOD last summer and found myself living in a delusion of what we all wish the world was like, and making tons of excuses for my shortcomings. Dr. Phil's book is full of reality checks instead of dreams.
This is not a feel good book that produces results as soon as you read it. You must do the exercises and implement the ideas into your life in order to see changes. As soon as I started reading it however, I could see the truth in the life laws in everyone and every circumstance I encountered.
As much as I like the approach of the book, I think that one can get too caught up in finding fault in their lives and themselves. It's useful to outline the simple changes you wish to make before you begin the exercises, because it gets depressing when you start questioning the things in your life that are working. The book can also seem a bit too far-reaching at times. We don't all need to have everything and be everything, and noone is perfect. Simple enhancements to my life and a more positive and productive outlook were all I was looking for.
It's easy to read the book and see where other people are not following the life laws, but more difficult when it comes to yourself. Take the book slowly and re-read each chapter before moving on to the next. I've already seen changes in myself since I started reading the book and I feel that my relationships have been enhanced. Buy the book, and good luck!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A review from the author of DREAMING YOUR REAL SELF: A PERSONAL APPROACH TO DREAM INTERPRETATION; and DREAM BACK YOUR LIFE: A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO DREAMS, DAYDREAMS, AND FANTASIES.
Phil McGraw's LIFE STRATEGIES presents a no-nonsense approach to getting your life together and feeling good about yourself. But this is no easy "feel good" book with affirmations empty of action. His 10 Laws of Life remind us that having a good life (and a happy one) means taking responsibility for every aspect of it-including our attitude about our experiences and the wrongs done to us by others. Until we take control of our lives instead of talking about "someday," we stay stuck in our problems. I did not take issue with any of Dr. McGraw's "laws," nor with any of his examples. Well done. I'd like to see this book assigned in schools to fifteen-year-olds. His chapter, "A guided tour of your life," really gets down to the specifics people can use to get their lives on track.
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Format: Paperback
I am not usually in tune with the mainstream. I could not tell you very much about who is popular right now.... or if my style of dress is in or out. So, it is somewhat unusual that I would be aware of the fact that Oprah Winfrey has given Dr. Phil an entire day on her show (tuesday)... and as a result the "Dr. Phil craze" seems to have swept the nation.
Who is the Dr. Phil?? Well, in the Texas trend of the times, what with "Geroge W" being president now and the "Texas Seven" on the lamb (not anymore, of course)... Phil McGraw is a straght talking Texan with a Ph.D. in common sense.
His message: Don't like something about your life? Then change it. Create a strategy. Do what works.
I like this guy. He offers nothing but straight practical advice with a constant reminder that self-reliance is the only way.
Want to keep blaming others for all of your problems in life? Fine. Forget about this book. But if you want to make a change, check this one out. There is much to learn.
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