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Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart: Thirty True Things You Need to Know Now Paperback – March 4, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
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.
“The slim book by Columbia-based psychiatrist Gordon Livingston has been a source of inspiration for many.”
“The author creates an aura of wisdom about a great many things.”
Quincy Jones, Details Online
“I'm just a musician and a record producer. I'm not a psychiatrist. I don't understand all that stuff. We all got problems. But there's a great book out called Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart. Did you see that? That book says the statute of limitations has expired on all childhood traumas. Get your stuff together and get on with your life, man.”
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 1/20/2010
Palm Beach Post, 11/28/10
“A book I not only like but respect.”
“[An] excellent self-help book.”
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Top Customer Reviews
Livingston's advice as promulgated in the subtitle, "30 true things you need to know now", is delivered with the softly directed assurance of a loving parent, one who has counseled and re-parented hundreds of adults. IMO, he's too the point and for the most part accurate. I'll spell out my disagreements in a moment, but In the meantime I'll describe each chapter in a layman's terms,... mine.
Chap 1 says that "if the map doesn't agree with the terrain, the map is wrong" - We all strive to keep our worldview's consistent even when they're contradicted by an inconvenient reality (which begs the value of education?) If people blinker themselves when they should be listening, they've closed their minds to critical analysis and aren't looking at all the facets of the problem in order to arrive at the best solution (witness what passes for today's political discourse?)
Chap 2 - "We are what we do" - Here he distills patterns of behavior which IMO are the best way to predict someone's future behavior, man or woman. He discusses self deception (the result of the "blinkering process") and the fear of risking feelings in personal relationships (one could call this a fear of intimacy, no?Read more ›
So when I stumbled across a book recently entitled "Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart", by Dr Gordon Livingston (a psychiatrist), I had to check it out.
It's a very cool and accessible book about "30 True Things You Need To Know Now", written in short, several page essays. Read one or ten, skip around, read the whole book in a couple of hours. It's good information. Since he is a psychiatrist, a lot of it has to do with mental health, relationships, self-actualization, etc... but it it is very readable, and very good information.
Much of it has to do with the "I wish I knew then what I know now" sorts of things that we encounter in our lives. It's all based on him "working in the front line trenches" with those whose life problems have led them to seek therapy. Perhaps there are those who already know all of these things and don't need any additional information, but I'm not one of them!
All of the essays, I feel, will lead one in a direction towards more mature, fulfilled, and "wise" lives. The pursuit of wisdom is something, in my opinion, which is sorely neglected in our hyper, "I want it all and I want it right now" culture. It's fun to pursue a little insight and wisdom, and certainly makes me at least realize my own limitations in that search!
In fact, know up front that for EVERYONE who reads this book, there are probably one or more things that are going to make them uncomfortable.Read more ›
I've read the sixth chapter (Feelings Follow Behavior) about four times so far. I had been grappling with understanding what distinguishes "diseases" in mental health from what the author calls "certain patterns of behavior." The author's thoughts in chapter six greatly enhanced my understanding of that.
In beginning to deal with some of my childhood trauma, I am questioning what value there is in digging up all that stuff, how much to identify with it and what to do with it after it's dug up. The chapter, "The statute of limitations has expired on most of our childhood traumas" helped me understand more than anything else that acceptance is a prerequisite and powerful motivator for change and for dealing with "what's next."
Another chapter had some good thoughts on the limits of control and perfectionism. One sentence from that chapter would make a great bumper sticker: "Control is a popular illusion closely related to the pursuit of perfection" (a lesson the author no doubt learned from his losses in life). I don't think that I'm a perfectionist but I sure do like to control things. Hmmm.
This book is helping me stick with some positive changes I'm making in my life despite more than a little pain and uncomfortableness. That is one reason I consider this book and others like it to be more spiritual than self help or psychology. Considering the price of a therapy session it is a great investment.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Really an amazing little book full of ideas. I started a journal and responded to each short chapter. So much good stuff!!!Published 11 days ago by RKB_Jr
LOVED this book. Lots of "pearls" and vindication if you are 50 and above years in age. Very nice book.Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
One of the best books I ever read. Keeps this crazy thing called life intersects
One of the best books I have ever read does a great job keeping life in its proper... Read more
His first and best book, in my opinion. Reread it when I need to. Lots of very good advice about how to live life & handle struggles that you may encounter. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Ann Skwarek
At first I was inspired, except maybe the part where the author suggests that joining the military and going off to war is right of passage. Read morePublished 3 months ago by D. Ciccone
Nobody should go without reading this book! The most insightful book I've ever read! I will read it many times highlighting my favourite parts.Published 4 months ago by Kindle Customer