In my opinion, The Secret to Life Transformation does not fulfill its promise of delivering the secret to life transformation. For that matter I do not believe it offers any real new insights into life transformation.
The book is actually a collection of essays by 12 very diverse but somewhat famous people. Most of the authors were well known in their field but certainly not household names.
Because the book is a collection of writings by different authors, it does not have a consistent voice. The lessons presented in each essay do not drive toward a common method for transformation. The theme is very loosely connected. While each attempts to tell how they transformed their lives, there is no system or step by step process for others to follow. There are some nuggets of wisdom scattered throughout the book.
Some of the essays are fairly interesting. It is always interesting to learn how a person rose to the top against some steep odds. But what I was looking more for guiding principles rather than the widely varied stories.
A high percentage of the stories have a significant religious foundation. Some people may object to the strong religious leanings.
Judge Sol Wachter takes a bit of a detour discussing the criminal justice system's handing of mentally disturbed inmates. While there is no denying the huge social problem and the fact that it is inadequately handled, I felt this veered off course. It created a distraction rather than giving additional insight into how to transform one's life.
If you are interested in reading 12 loosely connected stories of how some people rose from very difficult conditions to transform their lives, then this would be a good book. On the other hand, if you are looking for a how-to guide to transforming your own live, this will probably be a bit of a disappointment.
Julie Chrystyn is a ghost writer turned inspirational writer. For The Secret to Life Transformation, she interviewed over 300 people and presents 12 of their stories in this book. In between the 12 stories are her inspirational tips.
Chrystyn writes about the self-made person. You are what you think, she claims. "Realizing that you live in a vast, infinite universe of energy will become the turning point in your life."
She believes we become what we think; if we believe we can achieve our goals, we will--if we don't, we won't.
Chrysten quotes the bible throughout the book, and encourages the reader to study the bible. A bit heavy on the bible quotes for me. She also writes about the hypocrisy of religion and how Catholics have presented poverty for the masses as a noble thing. She dismisses this, declaring that we all have the right to riches.
She believes that religion is the great oppressor of people and to cut out the middlemen and study and learn for yourself.
Chrystyn encourages the reader to become an independent thinker,a non-conformist. But is that realistic? Can people be transformed from a conformist to a leader by virtue of simply reading a book?
This book is motivating but not life transforming. It reminds me of The Chicken For the Soul Series. The 12 people who tell their stories fill the reader with hope that they, too, can succeed in their lives.
By the author of the award winning book, HARMONIOUS ENVIRONMENT: BEAUTIFY, DETOXIFY & ENERGIZE YOUR LIFE, YOUR HOME & YOUR PLANET.
on March 19, 2009
A handful of biopics and some standard "feel good" advice does not a worthy self-help book make. I can get the same amount of enjoyment out of a couple old issues of Reader's Digest and then take in a couple of installments of Oprah.
This book's description is stunning in it's over-reaching claims. Sure, some of the advice is good advice, but it's nothing new and nothing you haven't heard before. The rest is basic "what I believe and why" bios from various people. It's a bit heavy-handed in its judao-christian leanings and therefore will not be much help to anyone who is Islamic or any other religion.
I read the book. Maybe I'm not trying hard enough, but I still have yet to be transformed.
This is a quick, easy, feel good read of 223 pages. The forward is provided by Larry King who lauds the author for being a successful ghostwriter for many celebrities' autobiographies and for her philanthropy. I wondered how one of her older books was going to be associated w/ Princess Diane, so now I understand. Each of the 12 short chapters is a story given by a well-known person, although I confess they were not all known to me. Hence I learned a bit about them and their struggles and successes, which was interesting. The point was clear that many overnight successes took years to accomplish. The chapters' stories are:
The Power of a Transformed Mind: "An unthinkable Journey" by Justice Clarence Thomas (Obama could have written this too :-)
You-The Independent Thinker (I bet you were thinking of Dr. Oz's "YOU" books-I did) "I reject Limits-Period" by David Foster
The Law of Thought and Supply: "Success Unshared is Failure" by John Paul De Joria
All Things Are Yours: "I Shouldn't Be Here" by Robert Evans
Words That Build Your World: "Treasures of Darkness" by Jacqueline Jakes
The Power of Love: "How to Change the World" by Patch Adams, MD
The Liberating Power of Forgiveness: "The Eternal Hope for Redemption" by Judge Sol Wachtler
The Journey of the Wise: "Lost and Found" by Paula White
Perseverance: The Self-Correction Principle "Original by Design" by Jose` Eber
How To Make Hope Possible: "The Depths of Determination" by Steven M. Hoefflin, MD
The Gift of Vision: "We are Endlessly Possible" by Paul Anka
"I Really Conducted Warfare Wonderfully" by Bernie Brillstein
All of the stories are nicely done and somewhat inspirational, but if you've already read stories or other inspirational books, I do not think you will find anything new here. Some of the authors make biblical references, others more along the Protestant work ethic or the power of positive thinking. All abound with the thought of persistence pays. One of my favorite daily calendar phrases about adversity being a friend is "it is the wind against the sails that causes the boat's speed." I may revisit certain stories when I need a little pick me up such as the one by Judge Wachtler. Not giving complete forgiveness for old wounds is an issue that reappears more frequently as I deal more with aging parents who are fast approaching the end of their journey. Enjoy this kind and soothing book.
When I selected this book, I thought that it would contain actual techniques for improving various aspects of your life. Instead, it contains twelve essays written by such interesting -- and eclectic -- figures as Paul Anka, Patch Adams, Clarence Thomas, and Jose Eber.
While the stories themselves were interesting to read, I found, like some other reviewers, that the book lacked cohesiveness; it was very jumpy in both theme and tone, and there seemed little overarching connection among the topics discussed. Also, while I enjoy books like this, I prefer them to be non-denominational, and this one quotes heavily from the Bible.
There are some good nuggets in this book, but the fact that it really does not offer much advice on how to "claim your destiny" (as the subtitle states) keeps me from giving it a higher rating.
on September 14, 2009
In The Secret to Life Transformation, Julie Chrystyn shares her philosophy for success in spite of overwhelming personal problems. When she was eight years old, Julie Chrystyn's family arrived in America from Yugoslavia. It took an extremely positive attitude for any immigrant family to adjust to a new country where life was surely not easy either financially or socially. The family's poverty followed them to the United States, but stimulated by love and hope, the family survived.
At the age of twelve, Chrystyn underwent spinal surgery. Without it, she faced possible paralysis to her lower body. The same positive attitude and faith she and her family had relied on as immigrants once again motivated her. During her long struggle back to health, Chrystyn became fascinated watching how others face their struggles. She set out to discover why some people merely accept gloomy fate, while others seem to thrive, regardless of their misfortunes.
Throughout the book, Chrystyn unveils a strong personal belief in herself, in her God, and in his goodness. Often, she quotes passages from the Bible. I think it fair to say she views God as a being waiting to help people who ask for it and who are willing to help themselves.To this end, Chrystyn began interviewing people -- hundreds of people.
She hunted for common ideational threads among those who were successful and happy in their careers and compared them with people who just muddled through life more or less waiting to retire. According to The Secret to Life Transformation, what she uncovered was threefold. Success, or lack of it, depended on: 1) adapting to adversity, 2) learning from mistakes, and 3) trying again.
Although she could have chosen hundreds of people from every walk of life, Chrystyn limits her choices in her book to twelve individuals she considers highly successful. Each of these adaptable people tells her or his story of how each followed their personal dreams in spite of challenging adversity. This self-conviction transformed their lives.
* Supreme Court Justice, Clarence Thomas tells of his transformation which begins at his grandfather's knee during the years when the Jim Crow south was terribly segregated.
* Former New York Chief Judge, Sol Wachtler, admits that public dishonor transformed his life, especially when he was diagnosed with a bipolar brain disorder.
* Dr. Patch Adams tells his story of events, which led him to perform a clown act, while healing the sick.
* Dr. Steven M. Hoefflin tells why he changed his medical specialty from heart surgeon to plastic surgeon.
* John Paul DeJoria's transformation tale began when his mother gave him a single dime to drop in a Salvation Army bucket.
* Jose Eber weaves his fascinating story of survival in Hollywood where he arrived with little more than scissors and a dream.
* Diagnosis of a brain tumor could have ended Jacqueline Jakes plans for any real future; her moving tale explains her fight back to good health.
* After a very troubled childhood where she was abused by her babysitters, Paula White talks of her inner struggles to find meaning in life.
* Success was not so easy for Paul Anka; his narrative tells how he managed to transform his life even while walking in the shadow of Elvis Presley.
* Record producer David Foster recalls that his life was never the same after listening to his mother playing the piano - he was only four years old.
* The narrative of Robert Evans shows how he survived a massive stroke to become the producer of some of Hollywood's greatest films,
* Finally, there is the fascinating story of Bernie Brillstein who earned his way out of the mailroom of the renowned William Morris Agency to start his own business.
I liked The Secret to Life Transformation because of author Chrystyn's belief that I create the world I live in. What I think about myself directly influences the way I interact with the outside world, and that in turn reinforces my thoughts. My thinking can become a vicious, negative, sometimes implosive cycle of stress, hesitation, and failure; or it can become a vortex of positive energy spiraling outward, filled with motivation, passion, and happiness.
The Secret to Life Transformation can be an inspirational read to every person seeking real change to a hum-drum, ordinary life. You cannot help being influenced by the success stories told by the folks I mentioned above. What's even more valuable, however, are the realistic suggestions Chrystyn repeats over and over to make your thoughts positive enough to alter your daily behavior.
Although you might be tempted to read straight through the book which often reads like a variety of short stories, instead I would recommend reading one chapter per day with time set aside for meditative therapy. If you internalize the book's concepts and adopt them into your everyday thinking, then real transformation can help you fulfill your dreams.
Review of Julie Chrystyn's "The Secret To Life Transformation: How To Claim Your Destiny Now!"
Chrystyn's book is a compilation of auto-biographical stories, insights, and advice from some of the most successful men and women in this country; from U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, & Jacqueline Jakes to Paul Anka & Bernie Brillstein.
I found the motivational readings from all of the personalities to be informative, inspiring, and worthy of reflection. There was not one "dud" in the batch.
If you are seeking words of wisdom and advice on how to take the necessary steps in furtherance of positive growth & change in your life, then this book is for you.
I read through it in one sitting (about three hours) and left with many "pearls" for me to ponder. I loved it.
on June 25, 2009
Instead of a plan/guidance there were several different stories from various celebrities. Not at all what I expected.
This book covers a lot of self-help, positive thinking, law of attraction associated material. It includes a compilation of biographical stories from a range of contributors - people ranging from Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas to Musicians Paul Anka and David Foster. The core of the philosophy in this book is what you think is what you will attract into your life, as well as a philosophy of becoming an independent thinker and pursuing your dreams fearlessly. Some of the sections in the book are very thoughtful and empowering. For me, the frequent Biblical references are a drawback, as the Bible is filled with stories that can and have been interpreted in various ways for various agendas. It's not wise to imply that The Bible is the ideal source of wisdom and guidance even though there are a number of valuable quotes and stories there - quotes from other spiritual traditions or philosophers could have been included to make this message more universal and inclusive. Another thing about this book is that it's not that cohesive... the biographical sections often go in tangents that don't seem to have much to do with the main teachings presented by the author. So while this book has some good material for readers I found its content inconsistent and not as good as some other spiritual self-help books that are available.
on June 30, 2009
Unlike many books that might fall into this catagory, Julie Chrystyn's book is not afraid to direct its readers to the Source and she is not fearful of an audience who may want to reveal everything but that Source:the Living God. She uses scriptural references from the word of God that bring true enlightenment which beckons us into lasting transformation. She gives us clear cut examples of people who have depended on the Source to discover their purpose and achieve it. This book goes beyond self-help to taking us to the power that transforms the self into that rare kind of human being that we all are called to be. It encourages us to take that road less traveled where we do not become weary moving in circles of futility, but instead complete that expedited trip into an amazing and transfored future. I'm proof! Thank you Julie.