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128 of 129 people found the following review helpful
on September 16, 2008
While I'm not quite at the end right now, (38 pages left) I find this book brilliant. It is such a big help and great tool for practically everybody. It's a little bit like a manual for your life, just like you'd get a car manual in your new car or a manual on how to operate your computer etc. It's well written like his books always are and easy to follow and comprehend.
From the loss of a loved one, or general heartbreak or addiction etc, there is advice and information on how to cope in these terrible situations and crises. There are 7 days that are coming to us all and he tells us how to cope and what to do when they hit. It's about planning and preparation for what is ahead. He breaks the chapters into three different parts - here's what the day is; here's what to expect and getting back to better days. He helps you deal with guilt (like if you have burried someone you love and then some time later comes your first laugh and you feel so bad for laughing when your loved one is gone).
He also talks in the book about fear and adaptability breakdown (for example not being able to deal with stress at work or in your marriage or with the kids etc and you say that you are so overwhelmed that you can't adapt anymore) and how to move on and get on with life one step at a time and one challenge at a time. He talks about going to the doctor and hearing bad news and then what to do after that (keep your self image strong and powerful so you know you have the ability to move forward) and how to reach out to friends and family for support.
I do love how he isn't preachy. He really is just helping us get prepared for inevetable days that are definately coming because he knows how hard they are to deal with. It's easy to understand and read and it's very relatable, because even if you haven't gone through some of these situations yourself, you most probably know someone that has and you know that you will down the road. I am really enjoying this book and with only another 38 pages to go, I can highly recommend this already.
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53 of 55 people found the following review helpful
on April 9, 2009
I work with a nonprofit helping out of work people and I've scored this a recommended read in my resource library (see [...] Losing your job is traumatic. You lose your ability to provide for your family. It brings on financial stress. It comes with feelings of betrayal, shame and guilt all at the same time. If you relied on your work to bring purpose and significance to your life, that was taken away from you. You are now left with finding a way to fill the emptiness. You may be asking yourself. "Who am I? Why am I here? Why am I alive?" All these can lead to anxiety, depression, and even thoughts of suicide.

Dr. Phil has NOT written a cliché "feel-good" book filled with platitudes. He has written a practical guide for dealing with very difficult times and the feeling and attitudes that typically accompany them. You can sum up the book with the following statement, "As tough a time as this may be for you and as bad as you may feel right now, there are others that have gone before you. And they can serve as witnesses that not only can you survive this, but you can become a better person for having gone through it."

From surveys he has taken, Dr. Phil has selected seven days that in his opinion provide the biggest challenges you are likely to face in your lifetime. I expected them to be concrete, but they are more like states your reach in your life as a results of life events. And I believe the seven are right on. Of the seven, four ring very familiar to those that have lost their jobs and are looking for work. These four are:

1. The day your heart got shattered by the death of a loved one, divorce, loss of a friend, life dream or career.
2. The day you realize you lived your life as a sellout. You have been living in fear of failure or fear of disappointing others. You have let your authentic self down.
3. The day you realize you are overwhelmed and are no longer in control. You cannot meet the demands placed on you.
4. The day you have lost your sense of purpose and meaning in life.

Consider this book for taking care of your emotional, mental, and spiritual well being whether your handling this transition well or not.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on October 20, 2008
As with all Dr. Phil's books you always see a part of yourself in them. Sadly I have already lived some of these "most challanging days" & this book helped me to understand them more.
Thanks Dr. Phil!
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon January 25, 2009
"Dr. Phil" McGraw is blessed with common sense and the ability to communicate to the masses about life. He does not disappoint in "Real Life: Preparing for the 7 Most Challenging Days of Your Life." In it, Dr. Phil has brought to bear his experience, wisdom, and that of many great philosophers and psychologists in coping with the seven most challenging days of life. These include: the day your heart shattered; The day you realize you have lived your life as a sellout; the day you realize you are in over your head; the day your body breaks down: the day the mind breaks down; the day addiction takes over; and the day you have lost your purpose and have no answer to the question "Why?"

Dr. Phil's stated goal of this book is "to do two things: one, believe in yourself enough to know that these days might make you bend but not break...; and two, provide certain specific skill sets and mental and emotional strategies to make the most of our God-given gifts, traits, and characteristics."

McGraw reminds us throughout the book that life is about choices made and choices to be made - we have the privilege and ability to choose a path that leads to joy and purpose. He urges us to begin now - become informed, and develop clearly thought out coping strategies for difficult times now.

Each section of the book contains exercises to identify your life status, and strategies to prepare for and/or deal with the seven great crises of life. He notes that religion can provide a sense of being part of something greater than yourself, and that in and of itself can help you discover a deeper part of life, and help you move through any crisis.

"Real Life" provides a common sense approach to finding one's way back to a life of joy and purpose. There is something for everyone and with the present global economic meltdown which will be a catalyst for many of these crises, the book could not have come at a better time.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
"Adapt or perish, now as ever, is nature's inexorable imperative." ~ H.G. Wells

Dr. Phil's books often enlighten me on issues I need to deal with in my life. This book is no exception. Here we discover necessary coping skills so we can maintain emotional balance. Instead of falling apart when the worst happens, Dr. Phil encourages us to face the problems head on.

"Here it is. This is a crisis that I have prepared myself for. I can either panic and fall apart or I can use all of my skills and preparation to manage this day." ~ Dr. Phil

This book begins with a very exciting story about flying a plane when the engine quit. I'm happy Dr. Phil survived so he could write yet another helpful book. "Real Life" is all about life's struggles and how we can best face "7 important days." Dr. Phil helps you prepare for the death of someone you love, divorce, depression, fears, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, phobias, heartbreak, drug and alcohol addiction, obsessive-compulsive disorder, psychosis and suicide.

With his warm conversational tone, Dr. Phil guides you through the worst days of your life with a rational discussion of what is occurring or what might occur. There is helpful advice (how to talk to your children about drugs and alcohol) and interesting facts ("Almost half of all traffic fatalities are alcohol-related." ~ pg. 216).

For the most part, this book is a good reality check. I found the advice on reducing stress to be good but it could have been more detailed. For example, knowing about Hyland's - Calms Forte, 100 tablets and Rescue Remedy 20ml might be helpful in a time of stress.

~The Rebecca Review
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on December 8, 2009
Great audio material. Listen, think and apply.
The links to online support materials don't exist anymore on Dr. Phill's website.
Still valuable listening though.
Great buy.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 30, 2013
I did enjoy all the advise and it helps you to deal with the toxic people that you encounter in your life. 2 tumbs up!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on September 25, 2012
Of all the books that I have read by Dr. Phil, this by far is my MOST favorite one. Dr. Phil gives you the scoop on real life and 7 of the most challenging days of your life, and how best to survive those days. As I was reading, I identified those days in a flash and evaluated how I dealt with them or how I am currently dealing with current issues today.

Your emotions and your reaction to the events in your life mean a great deal to your resiliency in dealing with the crises you face. Dr. Phil exerts accountability and recognizing the power that you do have over your life to define yourself and create your desired life.

Filled with assessments, inspiration and more, Real Life is a wonderful reference book for the hopeful.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 16, 2014
Who better to write about Real Life than Dr. Phil? His experience in real situations working with other professionals provide clear ways to get motivated, stay focused, and advice for those seven days that will hit all of us at one time or another in our lifetimes. Some of the information in this book is covered through previous books Dr Phil has written. For anyone needing self help and or motivation to get going, I highly reccomend this book.
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We all say that we want to live better, to be better off but are we willing to do the work necessary to get there? That is what Dr. Phil prepares us for with this book.

Now I know it came out a few years ago, but I am just reading it this month and boy am I glad that I did. Written in a style that only he could deliver, we are given the tools necessary to not only live a life that is purposeful and full of direction but also equipped with what we need to tackle the challenges the day might bring. The sub-title of the book is Preparing for the 7 Most Challenging Days of Your Life. For some of us those "7 days" can seem to go on for weeks or even months. What the book does is help you adjust your perspective of the challenge and break it down in a way that is easier to manage.

Now Dr. Phil knows that we don't all face the same obstacles. He also is well aware that the way we handle situations are different. That is why the book is really a model to show an outline of what we can do to tackle any difficulty in our life. We can take what he shares in the book and mold it to fit where we are in life and what we are trying to accomplish.

If you are ready and willing to put in the work then Dr. Phil's REAL LIFE will help you get to a place where life is not only manageable but enjoyable, too.
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