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59 of 61 people found the following review helpful
on December 10, 1999
Recently I was reminded that most men lead lives of quiet desperation. I had forgotten that I was one of those men back in 1992. Like most, I have been on a hero's journey to discover the treasure of a life of meaning and purpose. Far too often I have chosen the futile pathes that masquerade as meaning and significance for my life. I have read every self-help book under the sun and listened to every personal development tape series in existence. Nothing has had greater impact in my life than The On-Purpose Person. First, it is a parable that is elegant in its simplicity. It can be read in about 2 hours. It avoids the cook-book how-to approach that accompanies the multitude of inspirational literature. Second, it is a truly interactive book. The author engages the reader with compelling questions along the storyline. I found this quite refreshing. It's like having the mentor you've always wanted. We all want someone in our lives to not let us get away without being who we really are.
The greatest value I perpetually gain from the book is the growing sense of profound identity that we all seek. Only by discovering my reason for being here, or, my purpose, did I harness my profound identity. I thank God for this, for I have lived almost 1/2 of my life without clarity about my profound self. I had too much practice affirming my mediocre self to notice.
I gained distinction in my life between purpose, vision, mission, and values. The author masterfully illustrates the distinctions and linkages between them. I learned that my life was truly off-purpose resulting in feelings of hopelessness, anxiety, fear, and meaninglessness. After reading the book, I have become anchored in my true purpose which gives me substantial feelings of hope, boldness, clarity, and peace.
The only complaint I have about the book is that I wish it had been written 20 years ago. Had I received the special message in the book then, I would have made wiser choices educationally and professionally. I'm glad to say that all is redeemed when you're on-purpose. A must-read for anyone in transition and people who need to revitalize their lives.
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on May 20, 2001
This book was given to me by a friend eight years ago in response to a plea for some assistance in organizing and managing a very busy life. What I was looking for was a book on time management. What I received was a book on life management. This book almost singlehandedly enabled me to organized my life in several key areas: family, church, job, and being a full-time graduate student trying to finish a Ph.D. One might be skeptical of a book you can read in over an hour having that profound an effect, but do not dismiss the ideas and claims of Mr. McCarthy: they work. This book reads like a story and is most engaging. No two people will ever interpret or use the book in the same way. I have given this book to people as a gift, knowing that it will meet needs in their life, if not immediately, at some point in the future. When so many sources are claiming to "change your life", this one not only makes claims, it fulfills them. It is a must read for any person needing to prioritize their life and to find simplicity in becoming an "On-Purpose Person."
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on April 12, 1999
One of the best books I've ever read. Create and discover your "purpose" in life with the help of Kevin McCarthy. Then, learn what you need to know to stay on the right path to that purpose. Read it for yourself then give it as a gift to someone important in your life!
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
I picked up this book at the beginning of the year after reading rave reviews in hopes but not truly expecting it to help my mindset. Each year I set goals and though I may accomplish one or two..generally the next year I am setting the same goals.

By the time I had completed the first half of the book my way of thinking had changed. I completed the exercises as I read the book.

You begin by listing your goals. Then you decide which is more important and finally which is MOST important. It seems so simple yet the way the author teaches you to do this gave me greater success than other methods.

I was really surprised to find what my most desired goal was. I thought it was something else. But by following the exercises I realized a I had a strong desire to accomplish another goal I never realized was the most important to me. Next you work towards accomplishing your goal.

McCarthy uses the image of a light switch. If you are switched on you are working towards your goals. Conversely if you are not you are not ON PURPOSE.

Within days I was accomplishing tasks to help me achieve many of my goals! An excellent book and most highly recommended!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on January 2, 1999
Kevin recommends reading the book through once and then going back to pick up the structure and technique. I heartily recommend following his advice. I've read a great many self-help and success books and listened to many tapes. I've heard about this book from many people that I respect and it has exceeded my expectations. Kevin walks you through a "process" designed to put you "on the path" to achieving your dreams and being "congruent" with your purpose in life. If you don't yet know what that purpose is, Kevin's wisdom will guide you in finding it.
GET THIS BOOK and if you want to discuss the process after you've read it, email me.
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73 of 97 people found the following review helpful
on April 28, 2000
Imagine Coca-Cola served in a golden beaker, presented to you as a wonder medicine that cures all the diseases. That's what this book's like.
The book tells a story of a man who, despite of his tremendous professional success, feels empty and unhappy. He meets a professor who introduces to him a way of becoming an On-Purpose Person - finding a purpose in one's life.
Sounds great, you say. There, that's the golden beaker I was talking about. The actual contents of the book are very banal. The first sixty-something pages are dedicated to a vague presentation of a most primitive goal setting and selection system: 1. write down all the things you want that you can think of; 2. choose the things you want most. And yes, Mr. McCarthy actually manages to waste sixty pages on that! Of course, this shouldn't make you think that he's very thorough or detailed or something. Roughly 80 % of his text is just the hero driving around and hearing how good the new system is and thinking how happy he feels. In the remaining 20 %, Mr. McCarthy actually describes the system in a very wordy, but unfortunately not at all in a systematic or comprehensive way. The system itself contains nothing new, compared to the one presented by Raymond Hull in his book How To Get What You Want thirty years ago. I've been doing things like that for years, I kept writing want lists, prioritizing them, reaching my goals - and still feeling empty and purposeless. Mr. McCarthy's book was of no help at all.
Well, I was talking about the first sixty pages. The rest of the book isn't much better. Our friend meets more and more people who tell him how happy they are, having found the purpose in their lives. You'll also hear a number of stories about famous people who's lives had purposes - Mother Theresa seems to be the author's special favor. The advice-to-blubber ratio decreases while the book progresses, then the book is over and you are left wondering what the heck was it all supposed to mean.
To sum up, the book can be considered almost worthless. You'll learn to set goals but you won't learn how to find out what really matters to you. If you haven't read ANY self-help books before, you might get something out of it. Yet, to really learn the goal-setting system Mr. McCarthy is trying to present in this book, you should read Mr. Hull's book I mentioned (if you succeed to find it). If you want to find your purpose, however, it will be hard for me to suggest anything - I am left pretty clueless by this book that I hoped would help me. However, Harry Browne's "How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World" just might provide you some kind of a start. One part of it is dedicated to that very subject and he presents three general techniques for trying to find out your purpose. (Be sure, however, to read the reviews carefully to decide if the book is compatible with your principles.)
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on July 8, 2011
It was Socrates who said, "The unexamined life is not worth living."

I remember a family member, a therapist, laughing at me when I was 22 and setting my goals for life. It wasn't but a few years later when I quickly met most of my life goals, probably due to being focused.

Now we are much older and that family member appears to be frittering away her life, involving herself in a bunch of trivial pursuits. Another family member lives to eat in front of her television.

The lives of these two family members are depressing to me. I want something better for the thirty years I have left to live and I don't want to die with regrets.

Kevin McCarthy's book presents a strategy for determining and prioritizing objectives relating to every aspect of life and for establishing purpose, vision, missions and values. I have my own methodology for life planning, but I'm going to use the one presented in this book and supplement it with mine.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on March 24, 2004
Kevin's system of organizing the important things-to-do in your life has really helped me streamline my life. Sometimes I get complacent and don't have my to-do list written down, but then I'll feel super husband calls it "overwhelmed to the point of paralysis!" Soon, I realize I need my OPP to-do-list form! I print out a copy of the form I made on the computer, and start writing my to-do list using Kevin's formula. Then I can sleep soundly knowing my priorities for the next day or two.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on April 30, 2012
What could be more important than living a life of purpose. Kevin's book is one of my top twenty of all time--maybe even top ten.

His inspiring story is entertaining, enlightening, educational, though-provoking and profound.

The On-Purpose Person is a must-read for anyone who cares about things that matter who want to make a difference.

Michael Angier
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on May 19, 2012
Very good book. It had a lot of good points in there. Read the whole book through once quickly. Kind of lost me in the last half because I hadn't done any of the 'steps' yet. Now it's time to reread it slowly, PURPOSEFULLY, and take the steps as they go through them. May take multiple readings and several months to totally understand and implement the steps the book talks about to making my life 'On Purpose'. I can see where it could make a huge difference in everyone's life if these steps were implemented and followed through on. Just reading the book does no good unless you are willing to do the necessary work that accompanies it.
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