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Four-Word Self-Help: Simple Wisdom For Complex Lives Hardcover – September 1, 2010

4.3 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews

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  • Four-Word Self-Help: Simple Wisdom For Complex Lives
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  • Life Is a Verb: 37 Days To Wake Up, Be Mindful, And Live Intentionally
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Praise for LIFE IS A VERB:
"Damn, girl. You write good." -Lee Hancock, Dallas Morning News
"I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: I adore Patti Digh’s book Life is a Verb: 37 Days to Wake Up, Be Mindful, and Live Intentionally. I love her writing, her depth, her sizzle. This is a book that makes me sing with life and the possibilities we all have for transformation and awareness. It is the best antidote I’ve got these days for the pain and fear raging around us--that and loving hugs, long naps, frevent prayer and letting myself feel whatever I’m feeling."
--Jennifer Louden, author of The Woman's Comfort Book

"Life is a Verb is brilliantly-crafted, raw, gorgeously-designed, and daringly different from 'self-help' books. It relates, through stories that sparkle and astonish and soar, how to move, to be on your way, to realize who you really are through your actions. Through exercises that you participate in, as if in conversation with the author, you will learn, as she promises in the prologue, 'deeper things―how to know what to care about, how to treat others around you (and yourself), what to question, how to love, what to stand up for, and why you should tell stories and listen to the stories of others.' There is no more important learning.

So read it. Inhabit it. Breathe in every word, because every word of this book is essential. Let it animate you. Annotate it to make it your own. And then let it let you change yourself, and become who you were intended to be. Begin now. You have no time to lose."
--- Dave Pollard, author of The Natural Entrepreneur, and the weblog How to Save the World

"Patti’s guide for the last 37 days of life will turn every one of your next 3700 days a fully lived experience. If you had some unsolved fear for death, that would be your season ticket to have a free ride on the train with the author. I have never seen such a simultaneously practical, esthetic and soul-caressing book in my life."

--Kichiro Hayashi, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, Aoyama Gakuin University, Tokyo

"I laughed. I cried. I want the t-shirt! Seriously, Life is a Verb may well be the single book that will change the world or maybe only your life . . . Artful, funny, heart-breaking, Digh reminds us that today isn't a dress rehearsal and we can start today celebrating the magic of ordinary life. Reading Life is a Verb is like mainlining goodness. Digh shows us what is real and what matters, and she gives us insiders tips on how to make minuscule life corrections that result in quantum shifts in experience. She reminds us that life can easily be fun. This will surely be the last self-help book you will ever need or want to read."
--Patricia Ryan Madson, Stanford Emerita, author of Improv Wisdom: Don't Prepare, Just Show Up

"Life Is A Verb is a wonderful treat! Good exercises, stories, and examples. Reading it will help you appreciate just how much can be gained through living with intention. It's also a lot of fun."
--Roger von Oech, author of A Whack on the Side of the Head: How You Can Be More Creative

From the Back Cover

Is life really all that complicated? Do we need seminars, self-help books, more therapy? What if we could solve all our problems with just four simple words?

Four-Word Self-Help is a pithy nod to the fact that life is simpler than we try to make it. Author Patti Digh gives truisms for most of our woes in four well-chosen words, taking the issues of our busy, burdened days and proving that rather than “solving” a complexity with another complexity, the answer may well lie in simple actions.  

Twelve hot-button “issues” are addressed: Community, Love, Stress, Travel, Soul, Wellness, Success, Green, Activism, Children, Generosity, and Endings. Each concise nugget of advice, 101 in all, has been illustrated with sumptuous original art from around the world by readers of the author’s blog, 37days.com.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Skirt!; First Edition edition (September 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1599219808
  • ISBN-13: 978-1599219806
  • Product Dimensions: 4.9 x 0.8 x 6.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #266,780 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By O. Merce Brown HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 24, 2010
Format: Hardcover
*****
I received my book today and read it tonight, eager to enjoy this latest gem from Patti Digh, author of the wonderful blog 37days.com. It is filled with wise sayings of only four words each, reflecting her attempts to simplify her life, to distill her life to its precious essence. Some of my favorite four-word sayings from the book are: "Create your own tribe", "Let yourself be beloved", "Give up itchy clothes", "Protect each other's dignity", and "Live like you're dying". There are 101 in all.

Decorated with spectacular artwork from readers of the author's blog, this is a beautiful little book to read and treasure or to give to someone to bless their life. It includes inspiration to create your own four-word words of wisdom, too!

That's not all though--the book is interspersed with poignant stories, precious stories elaborating on some of the four-word sayings that highlight central values in a well-lived life.

Although it is a quick read, the message of this book stays with you a long time. It can be (and will be, in my case) read over and over again to bring love and beauty into your life.

Highly recommended.
*****
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Format: Hardcover
The book, small and charming and yet whole, is full of mantras and recognitions. It is like a book of little word bonsai trees - elegantly shaped phrases crafted and surrounded by an artful thoughtfulness. A review without mentioning the art would be amiss - the variety and depth of interpretation brought from artists around the world make the book one that should easily grab your attention as a book that makes for a great gift, one that would allow you to wordlessly tell your own four-word phrases: "Because I love you." or "Thanks for being there."
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Format: Hardcover
Four-Word Self-Help by Patti Digh is one big hug in one little book. Buy it as a gift to yourself, then go out and buy more copies to give friends and family. Patti once again shares some wonderful insights and advice that not only encourages but also invigorates the soul and the mind. It's not a book you simply read through once, then place on a shelf. It is a book you keep in your purse or bag, your bedside table, on your desk or next to your reading chair because it is a book you will go back to again and again for a dose of wisdom and warmth. Enjoy!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I actually read this book in its entirety in 30 minutes.... Its a small book, which is fine, artwork accompanies each of the sections' take on Four Words.

I'm not sure what I was expecting, but this book missed the mark for me. It felt a little too simplistic --- which I guess is its purpose.... but: 'drink your coffee black', 'wear only solid clothing', and 'say what you can't'.... well, they didn't resonate.

Having said that, there were elements I DID like... overall I liked the 4 word concept, but what would have made it more meaningful for me would be to dive a little deeper.... for instance, the above mentioned 'way what you can't'... ideas or suggestions for being able to make that happen would be helpful.

I also liked the sectionon generosity.

Overall an interesting concept that could be further developed.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Patti Digh' s Four-Word-Self-Help is a book of thought provoking sentences, each consisting of only four words. Why did she want to write a book with four word sentences? Because, she explains in the introduction, life sometimes is more complicated than it needs to be. We don't need pages and pages of reasons why we should do some things differently. She wanted to present her ideas simply, avoid the word "don't" and make each sentence an action. I think she succeeds in accomplishing this.

This is a very short book with few words but lots of things to think about. It also has some very nice drawings that she got from various places and followers. It was a worthwhile read.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is one of three books I have ready by Patti Digh, so far, and I did enjoy the other 2 more: What I Wish for You and 37 Days. This book did not capture me and reach me the same way but was not bad, nonetheless.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I think that Patti Digh may be onto something with this book. We all live complex lives, however even the busiest of us could probably remember four words of self-help. Just think of all the diet books that could be eliminated from the shelves if we all abided by the self-help advice for weight loss--eat less, move more. When you really get down to it, isn't that what all the programs espouse? I loved the positive tone of the book and the beautiful illustrations that were contributed by fans of her blog. Whether or not you believe that self-help can be reduced to four words, I think that this book is worth a read.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I should have. Then I would have realized its a TINY book rather than full size like I expected. I wanted it more for the original artwork accompanying each 4 word entry than anything else o bigger would be better.
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