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Wishcraft: How to Get What You Really Want Paperback – December 30, 2003

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


“One of the most popular books among those who want their lives to count for something. Barbara Sher is to be commended for making hope practical.”—Richard Nelson Bolles, author of What Color Is Your Parachute?

“A sprightly, sensible book brimming with advice, suggestions, and examples.”—Pittsburgh Press

“Comprehensive and inviting . . . eminently practical.”—San Francisco Examiner & Chronicle

“A most useful and enlightening book.”—Houston Post

“The most irreverent and refreshing self-help manual now on the market . . . Feisty, funny, and down-to-earth, this book is bound to benefit all those
who sense they may have temporarily lost track of their true goals.”—New Age Magazine

“Wise, compassionate, and pragmatic. Written by an expert for people of all ages who seriously want that something in life.”—Theodore Isaac Rubin, M.D.

From the Inside Flap

Cindy Fox was a waitress. Now she?s a pilot. Peter Johnson was a truck driver. Now he?s a dairy farmer. Tina Forbes was a struggling artist. Now she?s a successful one. Alan Rizzo was an editor. Now he?s a bookstore owner.

What they have in common?and what you can share?are Barbara Sher?s effective strategies for making real changes in your life. This human, practical program puts your vague yearnings and dreams to work for you?with concrete results. You?ll learn how to

? Discover your strengths and skills
? Turn your fears and negative feelings into positive tools
? Diagram the path to your goal?and map out target dates for meeting it
? Chart your progress?day by day
? Create a support network of contacts and sources
? Use a buddy system to keep you on track

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 246 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; 2nd edition (January 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345465180
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345465184
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.6 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (82 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #29,647 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

163 of 163 people found the following review helpful By Penny on September 20, 2006
Format: Paperback
I came to Amazon to buy yet another Wishcraft to give to someone who is wondering, "What next?" While here, I read a skeptical review asking, "What happened to these people twenty years later?"

I can't tell you about the people in the book, but I can tell you what happened to one person who read it more than twenty years ago. I was a Kansas housewife and mother when I read Wishcraft. While working through the first half of the book, I decided I wanted to be a negotiator or mediator. The book makes no mention of any such thing; I knew no one who did this. The book's exercises gave me tools to imagine. Sher's strategic question, "Can I do this tomorrow?" led me to decide that the first step was to go to the library to find a book about negotiation. I can still feel the knot in my stomach as I pulled that book half-way out from a top shelf -- then pushed it back, thinking, "Who do I think I am? I can't do this!" Then pulling it all the way out, thinking, "I've been checking books out of the library all my life, I CAN do THIS!" With strategic tools and encouragement from Wishcraft, I found training, an internship, and supervision from some of the best in the field, and went on to head a state-wide farmer/creditor debt-restructuring mediation agency. As life went on, my goals have continued to grow, and the tools I learned from this book continue to help me achieve them. It helps that I eventually studied negotiation at Harvard and earned an MPA from the Kennedy School -- but I never would have even applied if this book hadn't give me the tools to imagine and to go after what I really want. Sometimes things imagined appear without work. I don't credit the book with those gifts; I credit the book with helping me recognize and savor them.
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529 of 544 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Peacock on July 26, 1999
Format: Paperback
Over the years, I've read many a book on goal-setting and achievement. I started many years ago with the obligatory `Think and Grow Rich', avoided Anthony Robbin's `Unlimited Power' because it looked `too American', floundered around some more in the Positive Mental Attitude books, and came back to Anthony Robbins in desperation. I was seeking something practical and effective, to help me manage my life, as I was having problems due to giving up a well-paid job to study full-time. At that point, I was hooked on NLP. However, if I had read Wishcraft, I might have bypassed Anthony Robbins altogether, and would not be where I am today (such at it is :-) ) Why? Because this book provides everything I was looking for in a book at that time.
It is split into two broad sections: the first helps you to answer the question "What are my goals?"; the second, "How do I achieve them?". The first section contains a number of fairly standard exercises to help you brainstorm your goals. If you are new to the idea of goal-setting, this is a great place to start; however, if you have done many exercises in goal-setting, then most of these exercises will be familiar. However, I suspect that most people will find something of use here, no matter how well- read they are.
The second section is where the book comes into its own. The authors outline a number of tools and methods to help you be successful once you know what your goals are. Some of them are to do with planning, some to do with emotions and managing your state, some are to do with getting the help of others.
The planning model is the best I've come across, and I've done some formal training on planning in a corporate environment.
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195 of 200 people found the following review helpful By Ray McDowell on April 5, 2000
Format: Paperback
As with other reviews I've read, I wish to commend WishCraft for its practical and effective approach to strategy planning and development.
I first read WishCraft in 1990. I was homeless and emotionally destitute, in the worst part of my mid-life crisis, and clutching at straws to find ways to rebuild my life. A friend whose couch I was sleeping on suggested I give it a read, and I did.
I have since rebuilt my life. I have the wife of my dreams, a home overlooking Victoria Harbor in Hong Kong and a brand-new, bright and shining son, all of which I treasure.
This is two "five year plans" down the road, and I still use the book's tools as an outline for planning and shaping my life. It is not the only tool I use, but it is invaluable. It provides a reference for me to determine and adjust my life's goals.
Like any such book, I don't believe you should marry it. It is not a bible. Rather, it is a guidebook, and especially suited for those of us who have not had any training is creating life strategies.
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150 of 155 people found the following review helpful By Kelly L. Norman VINE VOICE on April 15, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I truly love this little book. I was originally introduced to it years ago when I was not sure I wanted to stay in mental health, and a mentor suggested I check it out. I found the exercises a blast and very original. My favorite: the one in which Sher suggests you play a spy in your own house or apartment, taking notes on what "the occupant" wears, how they decorate, etc.,in order to find out more about them. These tasks were just as good at increasing my own self awareness as finding career direction. They also reminded me of things I loved or wanted that I hadn't had the chance to do or missed doing....such as living in the town I wanted, getting a particular degree, community theatre, and musical performance.
Interestingly, I remained in mental health, but with a higher degree, working in a different area, and with changes in other things in my life that were important to me. The book was a big factor, though not the only one, in that choice. I'm still glad I made it.
One very practical suggestion in the book is, if you can't have all of what you want right away, get as much of what you want as you can. If you can't afford a trip to Paris yet, put a picture of the Eiffel tower up in the living room and play Edith Piaf music and keep saving. In my case, I wanted to move to a town 100 miles away; so I started spending weekends there, or even taking day trips to shop there or attend seminars at the university.
Sher includes a fairly elaborate time management system. It consists of flow charts,to-do lists, a bulletin board, and pictures of sort of a cheerleading family she encourages you to formulate from characters you admire and believe would understand and be supportive of you (this can be anyone, dead or alive...Einstein & Paul McCartney adorned my board!
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