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Four-Word Self-Help: Simple Wisdom For Complex Lives Hardcover – September 1, 2010
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"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
--Roger von Oech, author of A Whack on the Side of the Head: How You Can Be More Creative
From the Back Cover
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.
- Publisher : Skirt!; First edition (September 1, 2010)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 176 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1599219808
- ISBN-13 : 978-1599219806
- Item Weight : 0.635 ounces
- Dimensions : 4.94 x 0.83 x 6.38 inches
- Customer Reviews:
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Reviewed in the United States on December 22, 2014
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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.
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.
My favorite part of this book is knowing that Patti's words here are authentic and heart-felt. The author of [...] comes to the conversation open to change, open to diverse perspectives and I can feel her presence in each word and page. These four word missives are part of her life and she is sharing these gifts with us and inviting readers to create their own four word stepping stones to simpler lives. It seems to me that we can all use a little simplicity at this point.
Top reviews from other countries
I love her gentle down to earth approach
Patti speaks a lot of good old fashioned common sense and is never preachy
A perfect book to have by your bedside or in your handbag it's like a friend holding your hand
Few writers have found the power of simplicity as Patti Digh has. Few writers can use it as well. she shares it generously as her gift to us.
She also shares the art work of others, so they too can enjoy the feeling of having their work published in a book - how generous is that?
In four words, four short words we can find life's truths one at a time. We can pause for reflection. We can make their meaning our own. Most of all we an learn to share her acceptance of life with all its humour and tragedy, all its boredom and terror.
This is a simple, warm book that is a treasure.
Patti has divided the small-format book into twelve sections, each with its own four-word descriptor. So you'll find "Travel: Take just enough baggage" and "Soul: Leave some things undone" and "Children: Learn from small humans". Each section begins with the kind of essays that made Life Is a Verb an enchantment, essays full of stories, humour and insight.
So instead of zipping through the book and wrapping it as a little gift, I found myself pausing to reflect, laugh, nod my head, and, frequently, to head to the computer to write. Now I've filled the book with margin notes. I'll have to buy more copies to give away.
Robert Frost's description of a poem fits Four Word Self Help. It "begins in delight and ends in wisdom".