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342 Reviews
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137 of 147 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars YOU ARE IN CONTROL OF YOUR DESTINY
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...
Published on June 4, 2000 by Steven K. Szmutko

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37 of 42 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Very Good Advice! Badly written book!
This book gets 4 stars for its material, and 2 stars for the way its written, so I averaged that and gave it a final rate of 3 stars. I think the concepts are very good, though I will not call them "Life Laws".I found them very helpful and very often enlightening. I did not find anything wrong with them morally or ethically as some reviewers did, and my guess is...
Published on May 20, 2001 by W. Rashed


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137 of 147 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars YOU ARE IN CONTROL OF YOUR DESTINY, June 4, 2000
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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48 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If You Don't Want to Do Any REAL Work on Yourself..., October 20, 2000
By 
Carol Alaniz (near Detroit, Michigan) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Don't get this book!! Having said that, this book has helped me to understand more things about myself than any other book I've bought. Nothing like the mamby-pamby books that tell you to get in touch with your *inner child*, Dr. Phil comes straight out and tells you if you don't like your life CHANGE IT. He gives you the tools to look at yourself, and if you really DO look at yourself, and are HONEST with yourself, you can work on the parts of you and your life that bug you.
As to the reviewer who commented that Dr. Phil says 'everyone is accountable' and what about rape victims, etc., are you going to tell them they are at fault....NO! You missed the point! On page 65-66, Dr. Phil wrote: (about child victims) "What about things that happened to me as a child? ~~ I realize that certain realities, some of them horribly sick realities, are visited upon us when we are children. I am not suggesting that, as children, we choose all of the events and circumstances in our lives...we are neither RESPONSIBLE (capitals are not Dr. Phils, but mine) or ACCOUNTABLE for being raped, abused, or molested. This is not what I'm saying. What I AM saying to you is that while you may not have had the knowledge or power, as a child, to make certain choices and are therefore not accountable for those events, as an ADULT you DO have the ability to choose your reaction to those childhood events and circumstances...the past is over and the future hasn't happened yet."
Dr. Phil continues: "Is it fair that it happened to you? No. Is it fair that you have to deal with that? No. It is fair that you have to live with it and manage it for the rest of your life? No. Are you nevertheless accountable for how you live with it and manage it? ABSOLUTELY. I suppose that your accountability is both good news and bad news. The bad news is that the burden is on you. The good news is that the choice is yours."
I would think that the same advice applies to adult victims of violence. Dr. Phil's point is whatever you want to change, get it out in the open and deal with it.
As I said, this is a very good book; it's helped me and I will continue to use it. I'm also buying a copy for a family member.
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78 of 83 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you don't mind the direct approach this book is for you!, January 31, 2001
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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34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A highly effective guide to producing positive results, June 16, 2000
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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70 of 75 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sensible and useful informaton; more than common sense, May 9, 2000
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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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34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Empower yourself to better your life... read this book!, January 25, 2001
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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76 of 82 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book, aside from Dr. McGraw's tough style, November 30, 1999
By A Customer
This book is great; I recommended it to all the friends whom I thought needed it. I agree fully with all the life laws, they are the basics of human improvement. I do, however, think that Dr. McGraw's style is a little too intimidating and I did lend the book to someone who got either depressed or frightened on numerous occasions throughout the book. If you are strong and willing to change your life to a more effective, more productive one, read this book.
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38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book can change your life, January 29, 2000
Dr. McGraw forces us to look deeply within ourselves to find the sources of our problems and behaviors. At times, this can be startling. This book can change your life if you are willing to accept responsibility for your decisions. Once I was willing to face my fears and suppress my ego, I was able to grow as a member of society. As a teacher, I have used much of the information contained in Dr. McGraw's book to motivate them towards better learning.
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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A MUST read!, February 9, 2000
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This is the best self help growth book I have ever read. Dr. McGraw's no nonsense approach to personal responsibility is refreshing and very much needed in the "victim" oriented world in which we live. The book is full of practical assignments to help get to the root of why we are not being as effective as we would like to be.
I wish I could afford to buy a copy of this book for every person I know!
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37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Take More Control of Your Life, November 14, 1999
By A Customer
Life Strategies provides a practical path to improving your life. For most of us, our biggest struggle is to take some control of our lives, directing it the way we want to so that we can utilize our talents and pursue our primary interests to a greater degree. Many of us have doubts about whether we can really be successful in having enough control to live the life we really want. Philip McGraw shows us how to do that in this book. He describes what we are going through in ways that help us understand ourselves better. We see ourselves in the real-life experiences of others and we are able to better understand who we are and why we are not able to carve the road we seek. Everyone will find themselves in this book. Then, he shows us how to move beyond where we are, recognize the obstacles and deal with them. Most books of this type are inspiring but many don't provoke the actions that we need to take. McGraw's book is a roadmap. It is highly practical in suggesting ways to achieve personal and financial freedom. This book reminds me of "The 2000 Percent Solution," which provides a similar roadmap for business people. It was written by Donald Mitchell, Carol Coles and Robert Metz and serves as a practical path for dealing with people's natural inclination to prevent important progress from being made by stalling. The authors define the stall mindset and then the different types of stalls, such as tradition, disbelief, misconception, unattractiveness, communications, bureaucratic and proscrastination stalls. Then, they show how to overcome each of these stalls, citing numerous examples of actions by companies and people. A 2000 percent solution is 20 times better than a 100 percent solution. These two books together can make dramatic improvements in our personal and business lives. I also recommend Awaken the Giant Within by Anthony Robbins, Smart Choices by Howard Raiffa, and Getting to Yes by Roger Fisher.
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Life Strategies: Doing What Works, Doing What Matters
Life Strategies: Doing What Works, Doing What Matters by Phillip C. McGraw (Paperback - January 19, 2000)
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