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Real Rules of Life: Balancing Life's Terms with Your Own Paperback – May 1, 2012

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Editorial Reviews


In this elegant, groundbreaking book, Ken shows us how to rise out of the ashes, turn adversity into opportunity, and transform our pain into love. -- Jack Canfield, co-author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series For anyone who has ever had their heart broken, The Real Rules of Life provides powerful tools for healing and support. I highly recommend it. -- John Gray author of Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus When life kicks you below the belt - and sooner or later it's bound to - read this book. This must-have guide belongs in every library. -- Ken Blanchard co-author of The One Minute Manager(R) and Great Leaders Grow I highly recommend this fine new book by Ken Druck. Read it and put his hard-won wisdom to work for you. -- Gay Hendricks, PhD author of Five Wishes and co-author of The First Rule of Ten

About the Author

Ken Druck, PhD, is one of the nation's pioneers in personal transformation, having broken fresh ground in male psychology, executive coaching, organisational consulting, parent effectiveness, healing after loss and, most recently, the art of turning adversity into opportunity. Druck Enterprises, Inc. (DEI) is a leading coaching, consulting and team-building firm with a broad base of clients including Microsoft, Pfizer, IBM and the YMCA. Since founding The Jenna Druck Center in 1996, Dr Ken has become a lifeline for thousands of families who have suffered a loss. He is often called upon to assist in tragedies such as 9/11, Columbine and Hurricane Katrina. He's been featured on numerous television programmes, radio shows and in publications including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Los Angeles Times. In recent years, Ken has been the recipient of the Visionary Leadership, Distinguished Contribution in Psychology, and Family Advocate awards. He is a standing member of the Transformational Leadership Council ( and a regular contributor to several global leadership initiatives.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Hay House (May 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848509588
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848509580
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,437,264 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

"We define (and distinguish) ourselves by how selflessly and courageously we love, summon up strength of heart (i.e. compassion and humility) in times of adversity, reinvent ourselves over a lifetime and give something back to the world."

Dr. Ken Druck has earned countless accolades as an author, speaker, organizational consultant and coach, master facilitator, parent educator and community leader over the past 35 years. He is the recipient of many honors and awards, including "Distinguished Contribution to Psychology", "Family Advocate of the Year" and "Visionary Leadership" for his innovative body of work with individuals, the community and our nation.

Although Ken's distinguished career began in Clinical Psychology where he earned his doctorate, he has been on the cutting edge of community and consulting psychology since the mid- 1970's. Ken founded a variety of community-based organizations to address the needs of its members. Most recently, he co-founded the Community Editorial Board of the San Diego Union-Tribune. Ken has published voluminously, including popular books like "The Secrets Men Keep" and "How to Talk to Your Kids..." and spoken-word CD's such as "Healing Your Life After the Loss of a Loved One" (done originally for the 9-11 families).

Ken Druck has consulted with the executive management teams and Boards of some of the world's most successful and innovative organizations, including Pfizer and Microsoft. Having worked with top leaders in business and government as a coach, Ken helped pioneer the field of executive coaching. He has taught innovative workshops and inspired audiences around the world, with upbeat presentations for distinguished organizations including The Young Presidents Organization and Million-Dollar Roundtable. He has appeared in local and national media (television, radio and print) many hundreds of times, including Oprah, Larry King Live, Donahue and Anderson Cooper, helping the general public deal with everything from the day-to-day challenges of living to terrible tragedies.

Above all his career accomplishments, and the considerable success of his company, Druck Enterprises, Inc., Ken has always prided himself on being a good and loving father, son, brother, uncle, friend, community member and citizen.

In 1996, Ken's life changed dramatically. The tragic death of his oldest daughter, Jenna, on a study abroad trip in India, inspired Ken to put his career aside and found the Jenna Druck Center. To honor Jenna, Ken, his loyal staff, Board and volunteers build the Center's programs, Families Helping Families (helping families who had lost a child) and Spirit of Leadership (a Jenna creation for teen girls), into highly-acclaimed, award-winning programs. Today, the Center has directly helped over 7,500 bereaved families and trained over 15,000 young women.

After many years of 60-70 hour work weeks as Executive Director, Chairman of the Board and primary resource for bereaved families at The Jenna Druck Center, Ken has gradually stepped back from the day-to-day operations. Wanting to touch even more lives with his message of hope, Ken went into retreat and wrote "The Real Rules of Life: Balancing Life's Terms with Our Own." Ken also hired an amazing new team and revived Druck Enterprises Inc. to resume his coaching, consulting and speaking careers on a national and global stage.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Bryan Carey VINE VOICE on July 7, 2012
Format: Hardcover
The Real Rules of Life is a book about the challenges we all face as we get through our existance on the planet Earth and try to deal with the many different obstacles and opportunities that present themselves, often at untimely moments. It is a book about learning how to deal with things while maintaining a realistic perspective and not getting lost in the empty wisdom of cliches, popular sayings, and the like.

Most everyone has had to deal with the unexpected and this often leads to important but often difficult questions to answer. Why do bad things happen to good people? Why does playing by the rules, working hard, and treating people ethically not always result in success? Why does it not seem possible to gain closure to a terrible, life- altering tragedy? These questions do not have simple answers and, more often than not, the replies we hear from people we know and from society at large are not based on reality. The solutions are often intended to make us feel better and while feeling good is nice, it doesn't really resolve the issue at hand.

The Real Rules of Life is all about reality and this is the main aspect of the book that sets it apart from others in its genre. Some self- help books want to place a positive spin on everything, as if thinking positively will somehow erase all of life's disappointments and make everything better. There are even some books that prescribe thinking positively as the solution to every problem you will ever face. I agree that positive thinking is better than negative thinking, but to suggest that going through life with a smile on your face no matter what happens is somehow going to guarantee the achievement of great things is not only naïve, it can also be counter- productive. Like this book states, we have to get real about things.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Debra A. Polfus on July 2, 2012
Format: Hardcover
The Real Rules of Life is both a reality check and a wake-up call. It is nothing less than a course in the realities of life.

Ken Druck puts a slightly new twist on old truisms. He tells us to buck up and face life on its own terms. In his "Real Action" takeaway section, he offers many tools for doing just that.

The chapter titles are intriguing, and they enticingly introduce us to the experiences we will have exploring them. For example,

* Running From Reality Takes Energy: Truth as Courage
* Closure is a Myth: Healing is a Lifelong Process
* There Are No Deals: Life's Real Terms

In Real Rule #21, Druck reminds us of the universal truth that straining and struggling with the events of our lives causes pain. Not everyone sees that this mega-battle is pointless. For example, the mentally ill tend to go against the flow, shadow boxing with what is.

When we struggle through the moments of our lives, we end up with a lot of psychic bruises and wasted effort. Unfortunately, this behavior is learned in our families of origin and becomes our modus operandi and ultimately our addiction. The illusion of control is very, very seductive. We start to think that getting our way is the goal, when it's actually inner peace.

Learning to separate these two concepts is one of the great challenges of our journey.

In Real Rule #11, Druck tells us that happiness cannot be mandated. A lot of people insist that life events unfold in a particular way. When life doesn't comply with their demands, they become infuriated or deeply depressed.

But happiness comes in its own time, and we cannot hang onto it. This is a good thing in a way, because it means that unexpected joy can take us by surprise at any time.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Pascal on April 17, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm not the kind to review books...just wanted to share that this book is an excellent resource for people that have had to come to term with the loss of a loved one. For anyone that has had to hold this emotion face to face, they might understand how hard it is to find someone (or something...anything) that can be of assistance on the road one has to walk alone. This book is an excellent resource for anyone wanting to better themselves and come into a deeper rapport with life.

In other words, it is a must buy for people desiring to look inward and grow upward, like a new bamboo shoot through the snow.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Norman Reiss on June 5, 2012
Format: Hardcover
It's hard to imagine how a parent can avoid being angry and bitter after losing a daughter at such a young age. Yet Ken Druck has somehow gotten through it by starting a foundation in her honor which helps others in similar situations and now by offering us 'The Real Rules of Life.' There is much wisdom here, such as how to deal when unexpected things happen, making us realize that we don't have as much control over our lives despite our best efforts. Each chapter offers a list of takeaways which summarizes its main ideas and specific acts we can implement. Much of this will be familiar, but some of Ken's tips will be especially poignant. I especially liked the 'listening is love' analogy which demonstrates how we can best be there for those who are close to us.

I've read many self-help type books over the years, but this is definitely one of the most inspiring I've come across recently. If Ken can survive such a deep personal crisis, then my day to day concerns seem a lot more trivial.
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