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Refuse to Choose!: Use All of Your Interests, Passions, and Hobbies to Create the Life and Career of Your Dreams Paperback

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Refuse to Choose!: Use All of Your Interests, Passions, and Hobbies to Create the Life and Career of Your Dreams + I Could Do Anything If I Only Knew What It Was: How to Discover What You Really Want and How to Get It + Wishcraft: How to Get What You Really Want
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Rodale Books (March 6, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594866260
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594866265
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 6 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (91 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #58,293 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

BARBARA SHER is a speaker, career/lifestyle coach, and the best-selling author of eight books on goal achievement. Her books have sold millions of copies and been translated into dozens of languages. She has appeared on Oprah, Today, 60 Minutes, CNN, and Good Morning America, and her popular public television specials air nationally throughout the year. Barbara Sher lives in New York City.

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Customer Reviews

Great book, full of inspirations and ideas of living a life using all the interests that you have (and if you are a real scanner, you have A LOT of them).
Svetlana Adjidersky
As she does in her other books, Barbara Sher gives wonderful tips on how to get the life you want without changing who you are-- or even changing your attitude!
Sarah S. Tatoun
For someone who has done a LOT of things and has no idea how to manage being a scanner (someone who has many interests and talents), this book really helps.
Rebecca L. Campbell

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

113 of 115 people found the following review helpful By Reference Librarian on June 6, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This is a really good book. You need to read it if you are someone who has so many interests you can't seem to get anything done. If everyone you know says you just never grew up and settled down then you are probably a Scanner. Do you have so many interests the books and papers pile up? Do you constantly find things that interest you and you never seem to be able to finish them? You are almost certainly a Scanner, and you need to hear what Barbara Sheer has to say. It can make a big difference.

I was so impressed that I went to her forum at and signed up. I don't usually like forums because they are a big waste of time. Here people are asking questions, making interesting remarks, and helping each other. It gives you a little insight into yourself just to know there are plenty of other people with the same kind of challenges as yourself, and you might be able to give them some ideas about how you solved a similar situation for yourself.

I do not like self-help books. Everyone has an idea about how you should run your life. This book is not like that. It is more like some basic information on a type of person that receives little or no affirmation in our culture. These people, as Barbara points out, are some of the most creative people around. Their problem, if it is really a problem, is that they cannot give up on pursuing other creative interests that most people give up to concentrate on or two. This book tells you how you can do all those things that really interest you. If you know someone like that you should read the book and pass it on to them. They will probably love you for it. I wish I had found it twenty years ago.
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750 of 823 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Cathy Goodwin TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 30, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Suddenly the self-help world has awakened to a shocking discovery: Careers don't move in a straight line. Some people cannot make a single choice for a lifetime. Some people can't follow traditional career guidance to choose the "right" career. So we have Margaret Lobenstine's Renaissance Soul and now Barbara Sher's Refuse to Choose.

These insights are not new. As I said elsewhere, Rick Jarow anticipated the trend in Creating the Work You Love. He encouraged readers to choose up to 5 goals for a six-month horizon. And in Working Identity, Herminia Ibarra reports research suggesting that career change never did follow a straight line. We just hoped it would.

Sher's major contribution lies in the exercises she has designed. As a career consultant, I'm totally impressed. I particularly like the "Everything I Don't Want List" (p. 216). Unfortunately, as Herminia Ibarra noted in Working Identity, self-analysis is the easy, fun part of career change. Implementing your new direction is tough, and that's where most career changers give up.

And I have to add that I'm generally suspicious of typologies. Most readers will recognize themselves in more than one of Sher's Scanner types.

That said, I believe many readers will feel relieved as they read this book, simply because they feel Sher understands them. She does a great service to readers by debunking career myths, including variations of, "You have one passion and it must be connected with your job."

My concerns come when we're asked to translate these insights into reality. Sher's time management suggestions are creative and (I suspect) practical. For instance, some people can organize their days as if they were still in school, with hour-long "periods" for their different interests.
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105 of 113 people found the following review helpful By rossetti_stunner on May 26, 2006
Format: Hardcover
First of all, I am not a friend of Barbara Sher. I have taken one of her idea classes and have seen her on Public Television. (In case you reader think I am a friend or family member)

What I have ALWAYS been is confused. I am not stupid--actually more on the intellectual side. I have varied interests in the Pre-Raphaelites, travel,hockey, making mosaics, growing a garden, politics, writing, being healthy, quirky little English movies etc etc. And instead of picking one career..I have found myself in menial jobs--retail, shelving books at a library, working reservations for a major airline, temp jobs with insurance companies etc etc. And I am still barely over minimum wage, intellegent and having friends wonder what is wrong with me--or asking if I had ADD.

That could be MANY of you..and I bet if you are looking for this have a sneaking suspicion that you don't need ritalin..but you need some TOOLS to help you be the successful person that you want to be.

This is the book you have been looking for.

Yes, you have diverse interests and your family has poo pooed them..and told you to grow up. You have not understood why. Sadly, it is because you are a scanner--a renaissance person like Leonardo or Thomas Jefferson or Barbara Sher herself. A hundred years ago you would have been admired, now the norm is having a one track mind. This book is to not only identify your status as a Scanner but to also use it to your advantage.

Barbara is a great teacher with years of experience working with people struggling to figure out what their dream work is. This book is for those of us who dream of living a life with lots of variety and still able to pay the bills.
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