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The Rhythm of Life: Living Every Day with Passion and Purpose Paperback – October 4, 2005

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Editorial Reviews Review

Matthew Kelly, the charismatic minister, speaker and best-selling author from down under, wants you to live life out loud and on purpose. In this expanded version of The Rhythm of Life he syntheses Christian theology, cognitive psychology and storytelling to unpack the paradox of being happy. As Kelly explains, "We want to be happy. We know what makes us happy. But we don't do those things--because we are busy trying to be happy." So here's the gospel according to Kelly: Find a life-changing rhythm by choosing a central purpose and becoming "the best version of yourself." With examples draw from his own life and diverse cast of characters including Charlie Chaplin, Jude the apostle, piano man Billy Joel, the Magi, and Willy Wonka's chocolate factory, he maps the way to a meaningful life. Kelly makes thoughtful distinctions. He contrasts the difference between doing and having, the legitimate need for health and happiness with the illegitimate desire for expensive toys and the pursuit of minimalism vs. excellence. Then he gets specific, offering five questions about life's meaning, three instruments for anchoring your life and ten principles of excellence. At times, Kelly seems to be recycling his speeches and sermons or downplaying his religious stripes to seek a wider audience. And he lets cliches share the pages with memorable gems. But Kelly's gift is to convey the much-discussed ideas of personal accountability, mind management, and spirituality with passion and clarity. Barbara Mackoff --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Now 30, Kelly began his Catholic inspirational speaking at the age of 19. In this new edition of his self-published book, Australian-born, Cincinnati-based Kelly exhorts readers to rediscover what he calls the rhythm of life: "the perfect combination of rest, activity, and pace" that will enable each of us to become "the-best-version-of-ourselves." Some will be inspired by these sermonlike essays; others will feel Kelly recycles standard self-help messages, such as "everything is a choice" and "enjoy the journey." Much, for Kelly, rests in self-discipline and control. "If you can teach yourself, condition yourself, to desire those things that are good for you, there is nothing you cannot achieve or become." Like so many self-help authors, Kelly also promotes good sleeping, eating and exercise habits, and suggests a daily hour of prayer and using the "seventh day as a day of rest, reflection, and renewal." More idiosyncratically, he predicts that what he sees as our declining civilization will end in 60 years to be replaced by a vaguely defined superior one.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone; Reprint edition (October 4, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743265254
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743265256
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (226 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #22,216 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Matthew Kelly is the New York Times bestselling author of The Rhythm of Life and twenty other books that have been published in more than twenty-five languages and have sold more than 15 million copies.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

107 of 108 people found the following review helpful By M. Welsh on April 4, 2006
Format: Hardcover
If you're checking out this review, you're interested in becoming a better person, or as Kelly says, a better version of yourself. Kudos. This book will help you do it. It has brought a certain clarity to my inner monologue that I have never before felt.

And just so you know, I've read so many self-help books and books on seeking happiness I can't begin to list them here. (Relatively) Recently written books like "The 7 habits" and Dale Carnegie's "How to", all the way to Existentialist writers like Camus and enlightened thinkers such as Thoreau and ancient philosophers such as Aristotle and Plato. Whether or not you have, this book will put all the others into perspective. It will show you how those books, and this one, will help you on your journey of becoming the best version of yourself, and the byproduct (happiness) which comes from embracing this journey.

One last note...I subscribe to no particular faith, and I have avoided reading Kelly despite some of my friends recommendations because his books are always in the Christian section of the book store. I guarantee you that whether you are a born again Christian or an agnostic, this book can help you.

I don't know how else to put it: I give this book my strongest recommendation. You will do well to read it.
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44 of 48 people found the following review helpful By M. Killeen on November 15, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I had spent so long looking on the outside for happiness, discovering of course that happiness is an inside job, but I was never sure how to find true happiness. In reading this book I realized there is a voice within me that is helping me become "the-best-version-of-myself", I had to rediscover that voice and listen to it. Reading this book helped me to do that. Everything is written so straightforward, and so sincere.

I have started to read other motivational books, but they lost my interest after awhile. "The Rhythm of Life" I read once all the way through and right now I spend a few minutes each day reading a chapter and than I take some quiet time to think about what I have read and how I am applying the simple suggestions to my life.

Matthew Kelly has an astonishing way of writing and story telling that has kept my attention. I had the pleasure of seeing Matthew Kelly speak a few months ago and I was really looking forward to this book. I can honestly say that I was not at all disappointed. It truly has given me a new outlook on life!
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Paul E. Straus on September 5, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I have had the fortune of hearing Matthew Kelly speak on two occation and his message is just inspiring not only in his talks but also in this book. What he is saying is definitely not "rocket science" and as you read it you will constantly get a sense of "of course that is true, why have I forgotten that?".

I know I have fallen into a "life of quiet desperation" on many occations and it is not until I am out of these times does it pain me to realize that I really put myself there. Matthew is simply trying to put up some road signs to our journey reminding us to lookout for any pitfalls ahead but to enjoy the ride as much as the destination.

I definitely recommend this book as a simple reminder that every life is pretty darn incredible and that we should always try and be "the best possible versions of ourselves".
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47 of 54 people found the following review helpful By A customer on September 25, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Disclaimer for the objective reader: I'm not a Matthew Kelly obsessor, I've read Plato, Nietzche, Hume, and the like. I try my best to have an objective view and steer away from becoming overly enthusiastic about one man's view on life. So, take this review with a grain of salt, but also with the knowledge that I am coming from a less biased stand point than one who might have taken himself to a level of cultish obsession of Mr. Kelly.(Not to the fault of Matthew Kelly either, his message is not meant to create a cult following... people have a tendency to need a single leader though, and I say better Matthew Kelly than President Bush.)

eh hem... So, on to my review... If you are searching for self and struggling to become the best person you can be- spiritually, physically, emotionally-- this book is one that will cover all the bases for you. Matthew Kelly taps into the human psyche and acts as your own personal self-help coach. The Rhythm of Life is broad enough in terms that anyone can read it- no matter what your spiritual affiliation is (if you have one at all), and in the end, if you disagree with a point he makes- the author gives you room to do so without passing judgement. His approach is gentle and respectful and it has a powerful undertone of truth and honesty. He's a great story teller also, something he's known for, and he's got a good grasp on past philosophers and leaders whom he adamantly quotes and praises as great examples of people who found the rhythm of life.

This book has changed my life, not just because of what it says, but because the timing was right and I was open to his message. I was in sincere search for self and guidance when I read it and Matthew Kelly is really the only person whose words I found and felt comfortable enough with to truly start me on the way to living my life to its fullest and greatest potential. It will give you the boost you've been looking for.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Brad Shorr on December 25, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Kelly encourages to be the "best versions" of ourselves, to take control of our lives. He employs a wide variety of techniques to show us how--parables, philosophical reflections, personal confession, appeals to common sense, examples of great famous lives, and "how-to" tips for prayer, meditation, and developing good habits. While I'm not sure he's breaking a lot of new ground, he's easy to understand, intelligent, challenging and persuasive. His values and his suggestions make enormous sense, especially when he advises us to spend less time on doing and more time on being. If you feel like you're drifting through life, this book could be great medicine!
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