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4.7 out of 5 stars
Life's Greatest Lessons: 20 Things That Matter
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on May 27, 2000
Format: Paperback
A very thought provoking overview of the simple (yet not so simple) job of making the most of your life. Written in a down-to earth style that makes it easy to understand, yet still challenges you to reach to become more of what is good and right in order to succeed in life. Begins with a look at what success is and is not, and moves on to how your choices and reactions to circumstances direct where your life will go. Topics include, Life is hard, Life is Fun, Attitude, Habits, Thankfulness, Respect, Honesty, Kindness, Self-motivation, Goals, Hard work, Sacrifice, Time Management, Self image, Balanced Care of Body, Mind and Spirit, and Persistance in the Face of Failure. A great choice for teachers, parents and those who guide youth. A very enjoyable read...because it is so true! I'm planning on giving several as gifts! What a fabulous book! Read it! You won't be sorry!
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33 of 39 people found the following review helpful
on January 23, 2003
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Its timeless message on character education should be read by every child, parent and teacher. It is sure to become a classic.
I have given away at least five copies to family and friends!
It was awarded Best Inspirational Book of the Year 2000 by Writer's Digest Magazine.
I have donated a few select books that have been added to my local Public Library. This is by far the best inspirational and motivational book I have read so far. It contains the wisdom of the ages and essential life truths.
A few of the books I have donated are: HOW TO SUCCEED IN LIFE: Ideas and Principles They Don't Teach in School by Ned Grossman, MASTER SUCCESS: Create a Life of Purpose, Passion, Peace and Prosperity by Bill FitzPatrick, a local author from Natick, MA, FREEDOM FROM FEAR: Learn How to Live Life to the Fullest by Mark Matteson, The story of one man's discovery of simple truths that lead to wealth, joy and peace of mind, and I DARE YOU By William H. Danforth.
I highly recommend Life's Greatest Lessons, as it teaches the wisdom of the ages. This book is so wonderful, that after I finished it, I went back and re-read it again. Periodically, I will reread certain chapters again. I am very select in what I choose to donate to the library. I am donating it to the library so it can benefit the most people possible. This book on character education is a topic not normally taught in schools. It is an "owner's manual for a happy and successful life." It describes in a simple easy to understand manner, common-sense life skills that can be applied immediately to enhance and enrich anyone's life.
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30 of 36 people found the following review helpful
on April 5, 2012
Format: Paperback
First of all, I expected to like this book. The raving reviews made it seem inevitable. And glancing through the table of contents, well...it's a toss-up. The principles are pretty basic, so you expect Urban to have something really profound to say about each one.

But two of his starting points don't quite align with mine. First of all, let's look at the "Attitude is a Choice" chapter. He says we have "the ability to choose our own attitude in any given set of circumstances." To some extent, this can be useful. And he's realistic about the "positive thinking" movement, clarifying that he doesn't just mean wishful thinking, but instead "constructive thinking." Still, after having read Ehrenreich's Bright-Sided: How Positive Thinking Is Undermining America and Gore's Bluebird: Women and the New Psychology of Happiness, I'm less inclined to believe that this attitude-changing approach is altogether wholesome. Experiencing the full range of human emotion is part of life, and even if Urban allows for some of it, it's incomplete. "People who succeed in life don't *think* they can, they *believe* they can," he says, and while he grants that this belief must come from a solid foundation, it still seems to place blame on people who just don't believe in themselves enough. So that's Misleading Starting Point #1: a spin-off of "positive thinking" as a tool for success.

Secondly, he's coming from a Judeo-Christian perspective. I actually flipped to his recommended books and saw that "Mere Christianity" is #2, so this wasn't my imagination. The point is, his moral standpoint is different from mine, and may be different from yours. This book is probably great for lots of people. It just isn't for everyone.

Again, the principles aren't groundbreaking. If you still equate money with success, you will probably learn a fair amount. For someone who's done significant reading in the genre, or has a lot of life experience, you may want to read through the table of contents to see whether there's anything new to be gleaned from it.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on January 26, 2003
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
An outstanding book that lays out in an intelligent way those core principles that lead to true success and happiness. Although the book is relatively short, it packs in a timeless message that can be helpful to all who are open to it. Ignore the snobbish tone of the professional reviewer; the writer simply states his case without a lot of hype as most writers of the genre do. The book was well worth my time.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on March 27, 2006
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I know that phrase is used a lot, but I don't use it a lot. I can honestly say that about THIS book....and I read a lot of self-help books. Not because I'm "messed up", but because I LOVE to learn. If I can read a book that can help me be a better person, I will read it...and not just READ....I absorb it and put it into practice. This book did that for me. It even changed the relationship I'm in. We are very serious, but have been having some communication problems. This book caused ME to change so much that my partner also changed and now our relationship has never been better. It showed (or reminded me) what kind of person I want to be, HOW to be that person, what is important in life, how to relate better to the people in my life that matter.....and I could just go on and on, but I won't. I just wanted to say that I got it at our library and it made SUCH an impact on me that I came here and bought the book used so I can go back OFTEN and refer to things I want to constently remember. To me, it's a book that EVERY person should read. I'm giving it as gifts to my grandchildren and children for their birthdays. GREAT BOOK!!!
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on March 21, 2003
Format: Paperback
I can't believe the amount of direction this book can give in life. It has some very good lessons about living life to the fullest and making the most of who you are. I would recommend this book to everyone because I think at some point it is good for all of us to evaluate ourselves.
I think that this book is especially good for teachers so that these lessons can be passed along to children/students. Too often children are not exposed to these lessons, which I believe would make them much more aware of what they want to do with their lives.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on May 13, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This simple little book is one of those that points out universal truths that we have all heard. There's nothing exactly new here. What there is here is a well written and clear way for us to understand what's really important to get out of life. Perhaps it's a way of looking over our lives and getting rid of a lot of emotional baggage that we've been carrying about.

We all know that success is more than making money. But do we really believe that? I found out when I left a high stress, high paid marketing vice president's job and moved to a little town in the country -- No stress, little money but enough, and the nicest bunch of people you'd ever want to meet.

Once in a while you just need to sit down and decide what's important. There are twenty chapters in this book, and each one is a lesson in its own right. Any one of them just might be the one that makes you skip the heart attack that's building up.

Read this book every year or two just to keep your life on target.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on January 6, 2003
Format: Paperback
I love this book! Hal Urban managed to make common sense seem new and fresh, reminding us of all the most important things. Rather than trying to be flashy and outrageous, Urban sticks to the tried and true knowledge that most of us have forgotten, and in doing so, he puts us back on track about how to live our lives. This book should be read by everyone who's struggling with how to live an authentic, meaningful, happy life...I guarentee it will enlighten and encourage anyone who reads it.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on April 9, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book has had a profound effect on my life! It is well written in a logical, easy to read manner. It is also a quick read - took me 2 days. Hal Urban uses simple language to remind us of simple concepts that change the way we approach every day life. Since reading this book I have had much more of a positive outlook and attitude to life, my confidence has increased, I've become more relaxed and my relationships have greatly improved. This is the best investment I've ever made!!!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
This is my first Hal Urban book but it is refreshing and has some really good things to think about presented in a simple, honest and straight forward way. When you are needing a lift and or know someone who might need some 'direction' this is a good read. It is easy to read, chapters arent long and you can read one a night if you want ... worth the price of admission.
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