Top critical review
27 people found this helpful
Not particularly realistic or helpful
on February 10, 2006
According to the author everyone has a built-in "blueprint for life." Her job and the reader's job is to discover what that is. But the discovery process is decidedly non analytical; trying to understand the past - the why's of this world - is non constructive, if not negative, in this venture. The reader, patient, or client ( the author runs a life coaching business ) must be future oriented, focusing on "wants" and not "shoulds." One should rely upon intuition and feelings far more so than "information." Furthermore, all areas of life are equally open to this approach: career, relationships, etc. Details on a micro level are irrelevant or get in the way.
Like virtually every so-called "self-help" book, the author maintains that the person in need of help is the primary obstacle to success. It is up to him or her to make the life-changing transformation, with of course the possible help of a life coach. The author gives the example of deciding on the day on which she was to be admitted to a mental facility, after five years of depression and therapy, to suddenly change her life. Apparently, multi-year depression is some sort of superficial malady that can be cast aside in a heartbeat, if only properly motivated. Also in keeping with the genre, the author admits to no social or economic structures or conditions that can and do present very real obstacles in attaining success in life. Issues like class, vastly unequal resources, or power dynamics apparently do not exist in the author's world. Being down-sized from a thirty year career is just another "opportunity" in life-coach speak, not a devastating blow that can be extremely difficult to overcome for many realistic reasons.
Granted it is possible to think one's situation to death. Analysis can be paralysis. But is success in life merely identifying wants, adopting the right attitudes, and getting out of the way to let it all happen? At one point, the author suggests that the "best life cannot help but find you." For many, life is just a bit more complicated despite efforts made that are least equal to any detailed in her book.
The target audience is not particularly clear. In one example, the author describes a supervisor becoming more effective by asking an employee "what" questions as opposed to "why" questions. That sounds like Mgt 101, not life transformation. In another case, a manager has "negative" guilt over firing an employee. When he realizes that he is helping the firm, apparently that constitutes "living your best life." And then there is the other extreme of the author going from admittance to a hospital to life coach and successful author in a matter of a few years.
The book is just overly simplistic. It makes both unreal, exaggerated claims and does not realistically examine life's complexities and the difficulties in assessing and solving problems. In that regard, it may actually perform a disservice. The book offers mostly life cheerleading, which may be exactly what some are looking for.