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Life Your Way: Refresh Your Approach to Success and Breathe Easier in a Fast-Paced World Paperback – December 29, 2010

4.8 out of 5 stars 82 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


Maine psychologist Amy Wood has written a new self-help book that, rather than overpromise, actually empowers the reader. -- Maine Sunday Telegram, April 3, 2011

Amy Wood, Psy.D., of Kennebunk offers well-versed advice on finding success, facilitating growth, and overcoming challenges in this new book. Wood writes in a pragmatic and straightforward style that applies well to the subject matter, and delivers it all with a good sense of humor. -- Maine Magazine, April 2011

I absolutely love this book! My copy has more sticky tabs than I've had on any book in a long time -- and as a nationally syndicated radio show host, I get alot of books! -- Dr. Marlene Siersema's Amazing Women radio show, May 25, 2011

Remember when self-help tips were limited to books like I'm Okay, You're Okay and The Power of Positive Thinking? Life really was simpler then. Today, personal improvement advice comes at us from a flood of not just books, but blogs, websites, tweets, ezines, infomercials, emails, texts and ... you get the picture. So much so that sifting through it all has become a new source of stress. That's why psychologist and fellow Baby Boomer, Dr. Amy Wood, felt compelled to write Life Your Way: Refresh Your Approach to Success and Breathe Easier in a Fast-Paced World (Modern Sage Press, $14.95). This inspiring, 175-page foundation for personal growth offers practical tips for making sense of TMI (too much information) while juggling professional and personal demands, no matter how overwhelming they might seem. It includes helpful strategies for taking control, finding confidence and going after what you want (not what you've been told you should want). -- The Boomer Brief, June, 2011

Life Your Way is down to earth, wise, charming and, above all, chock full of common sense. -- George Vaillant, MD, Director of the Harvard Study of Adult Development, January, 2011

Life Your Way is a fresh approach to success...serves to solve the overwhelming sensation of having too many choices in all aspects of life. Wood helps people to weed through the hectic modern world, to find their own best path...assists people in finding their own versions of success and planning and executing strategies for achieving those definitions. -- York County Coast Star, January, 2011

Life Your Way by Amy Wood is a practical self-help for those feeling overwhelmed in a fast-paced world in which information is overly abundant and time is scarce. The author divides her chapters into areas which affect most people who work in the professional world where decisions must be made rapidly and effectively. It is first important to get a prospective on why you feel overwhelmed and stressed. Sometimes the problems run deep and are long standing in duration. At other times, the problems may be situational and simply overlooked because other demands appear to be of greater importance. It is essential for the stressed individual to realize what is working and what is not working so that ineffective and time-patterned habits can be discarded and replaced with a more effective means of interacting socially and in the work place.

The author notes that sometimes people must be reeled in from overly-rigid expectations, and at other times, reserved individuals need to be introduced to greater risk taking within their own comfort zones. Probably the best chapter in the book was on the importance of emotional intelligence; it was a bit disappointing that more time was not spent on that subject, particularly as the author identified it as the primary motivation for most socially successful individuals.

This is an easy book to read and is filled with practical advice, which will appeal to those feeling overwhelmed by the demands of modern day society. As with many self-help books, you need to hear the right words from the right teacher. The author teaches well and should gather many students who will respond well to her practical and timely advice. -- Readers Favorite, October 2011

Life in the twenty-first century is lightening fast and there is an epidemic of books, business coaches, and gurus who are penning self-help guides, websites, blogs, and more telling us how to do it all and do it faster. The result: people are on overdrive and heading for burnout. Dr. Amy Wood proposes the opposite in her new book, Life Your Way, worth reading before the brain's byte space is at maximum usage.

Wood emphasizes bolstering one's capacity for coping and riding the waves as a solution to the frenzied and pervasive force of emerging technology. However, this is not a multi-tasking manifesto. The author encourages readers to do one thing at a time and do it well. Juggling goals, tasks, and personal upgrading simultaneously adds to one's stress and diminishes a sense of accomplishment and enjoyment.

"This book is all about letting go of what's not working anymore, clearing your head of all those supposed solutions you've been inundated with that are only adding to the clamor," says Wood. "I will give you a basic road map for revitalizing that adult brain you developed in adolescence so that it can once again perform for you in a way that makes you feel good about who you are and where you're going."

Life Your Way speaks to the inevitability of change and the discomfort that accompanies it. Adventure is king but adaptability to new circumstances is typically resisted, as it brings one into unchartered waters for more than a brief moment. Wood criticizes quick-fix programs that omit the integration of new behavior that is vital to long-term change.

A self-imposed six-month fast targeting self-help books, seminars, and social and print media led one of Wood's clients to recognize that she was an addict and a break from the topic precipitated a hard reset. Wood urges readers to take on one self-improvement project at a time to reduce stress related to change and a near impossible to-do list.

Today technology runs one's life rather than serving it. Driving is no longer in the hands of the driver; the GPS has the controls and intuition has bowed down to external systems. Wood reminds readers that following one's gut has always eventually yielded better results.

"I have found consistently in my work with both genders that intuition is an experience of inner knowing, an intangible personal adviser, and a faithful barometer," writes Wood.

The path of least resistance in the name of alleviating stress is a key prong in Wood's program. Readers are prodded to puzzle out behavior that will allow them to adjust to situations as they arise all with the view to self-care. Merge that advice with the surrender of time management and the reader learns to direct themselves within the constraints of time. The route to productivity and happiness is to synchronize these concepts and to stand strong against the demands and distractions that pervade our present-day culture. -- Foreword Reviews, October 2011

"Whatever you want to do
deep down at this moment,
wherever you happen to be,
shake off whatever is distracting you,
imagine your outcome,
and go for it."

Life Your Way by Amy Wood is the "real deal," an authentic self-help book with an inviting professional style that is indubitably inspiring and downright rational--a pearl of practical wisdom among the swells of personal transformation writings flooding the information age. Furthermore, Wood's personable tone, knack for story-telling, and succinct writing techniques are the perfect canvas for her educational background and trained experience as a psychologist with a deep understanding of human nature. In addition to her engaging composite representations of the "real life" obstacles she has helped her clients navigate, every chapter of her energized narrative is accompanied by actionable advice--via her "Apply the Wisdom" bullet points. No doubt, time-deprived readers seeking personal improvement are weary of yet another self-help book, yet another road map to self-realization that leads to nowhere. But, it will take readers no longer than the first chapter of Life Your Way to see that Wood delivers on her introductory promise...

By the time you close this book, you will have established specific expectations, goals, standards, and strategies for your continued growth and development that are simultaneously energizing, workable, and fit for the times.

Wood adds an abundance of clarity to the reality that making lasting changes in our lives is hard--always has been, and has only grown harder in our recent time of seemingly endless choices. And the conflict between our rational and emotional mindsets is addressed head on in Life Your Way with Wood's wisdom, practically and a dash of grace. Even readers that have deemed themselves immune to self-improvement as a consequence of their overindulgence in failed quick-fix approaches to establishing a healthy sense of well-being are sure to achieve dramatic results with Wood's fresh perspective, sage advice ,and practical tips. A truly empowering book!

RECOMMENDED --US Review of Books, October 2011

Being the master of your own destiny just requires the willpower to plot the path of one's life. "Life Your Way: Refresh Your Approach to Success and Breath Easier in a Fast-Paced World" is an inspirational read from psychologist Amy Wood as she advises readers to reclaim control of their life and try to discover what they truly want out of life, and how to adjust one's course to make that dream a reality. "Life Your Way" is an inspirational spin to help lean towards what you want out of life. --Midwest Book Review, October 2011

About the Author

Psychologist and certified professional coach Amy Wood has helped countless adults -- ranging from incarcerated criminals and the seriously mentally ill to corporate executives and community leaders -- to articulate and accomplish their own versions of success. Known for her dynamic, no nonsense delivery, she facilitates growth and change through speaking engagements, media interviews, writing, consulting, and one-on-one sessions. The driving philosophy behind the author's work is that every individual, no matter what their circumstances, has the resources necessary to overcome any challenge. The key is to face reality, embrace the positive, listen to inner inclinations, and solve problems by applying innate strengths, pragmatism, and a good sense of humor.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Modern Sage Press (December 29, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0615420761
  • ISBN-13: 978-0615420769
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (82 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,686,230 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I am so glad I read this book at the start of the new year. It was such a breath of fresh air. I felt like I had my own "on the go" therapist helping me see my problems and challenges from a different perspective. I am one of those people that is always looking for the "next big thing" that is going to keep me organized, motivated and on task. Amy's advice was so down-to-earth and practical---it made perfect sense to me. I have already applied some of her suggestions to my life and I am pleased to report I am having a very productive month!

I also loved the fact that she didn't save all the advice for the end of the book. Every chapter has exercises to complete when you are finished--that way you can digest all of the great advice in bite-size pieces. The format allows each chapter to stand by itself--making it easier to pick up and put down without losing momentum. I brought the book along in the car with me and worked on it while I was waiting to pick up kids. If you are feeling frazzled, stressed and looking for solutions for meaningful change--this is the book for you. Amy will help you tap into your inner wisdom and guide you with practical steps to help you achieve your personal goals.
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Every chapter is worth the price of the entire book. Very wise, practical advice delivered in a respectful, down-to-earth style. Highly recommend.
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Format: Paperback
"In this era of information overwhelm, staying open to new solutions to problems at home and work is no longer the issue. The key to adult growth and development is upgrading our capacity for coping with and capitalizing on a flow that is only going to become more frenzied and pervasive as technology advances. We can't prevent the flow from gaining ground and force, but we can restructure and refine our existing strengths to better navigate and benefit from the onslaught. By establishing new strategies for success, strategies that draw out and fortify inner resources to calm the storm, we responsible adults can learn how to be in control, competent, confident, and complete--no matter how persuasive and persistent those professional and personal improvement appeals and antidotes become." From Life Your Way.

In a genre that alternates between extremes of pseudo-mystical new-age fluff and inaccessible exercises in psychology that should come with a warning label, Amy Wood, an experienced psychologist and life coach in her own right has found the ground where reality meets expectations.

Wood knows from her own practice what works and what doesn't when it comes to personal development. She understands intimately what people can handle and more important, what they're willing to do. Using specific examples, she cuts to the heart of the matter and leads the reader through a logical sequence of steps that will make your journey to change manageable and satisfying. In each chapter she provides actionable steps to help you "Apply the Wisdom" that will help you get the results you're looking for.

Whenever I'm doing a presentation and often in my writing I share this idea:

"Perfection is not a destination; it's a never ending process...Enjoy!
Read more ›
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When I came across psychologist Amy Wood's Life Your Way, I must admit, I was skeptical. I have sought treatment from psychiatrists, psychologists and counselors of several stripes and I have generally responded favorably. But the rush of the hope of being relieved of my life long paralytic "Eeyore cloud" has always faded with time. However, the book cover image grabbed me. A clean white wash waves in a stiff breeze on an old fashioned clothesline. It said to me (among many positive things) "yes, you can clean up your act".

The content is even more refreshing. Rather than propound theory, Wood shows and tells. The book is filled with real situations from her own life as well as composite examples from friends, family and clients. In my experience, the inherent contrast between the "healthy counselor" and the "sick" counselee has interfered with the intended relief of symptoms. Wood's book offers myriad examples of perfectly capable people mired in the complexities of their own lives ...who realize the futility of forcing optimism through rote affirmations."

We are all problem solvers but often unable to find solutions to our own inner perplexities and implacable dead ends. Wood provides tools. At the end of every chapter, she offers numerous practical exercises which relate to the problems described. Personal lists are the major tool but she also suggests strategies for eliminating or controlling many personality pitfalls. She even provides a downloadable chart which helps evaluate the effort to follow 10 guiding principles that she believes will lead the reader to a more satisfying and successful life. It is pretty obvious that applying these principles will greatly relieve my negative self-image. So, get to work, self!

Carol Standish, reviewer for Maine Harbors.com
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Format: Paperback
So, I've bought self-help books before that weren't very helpful. This book is different. It deserves some space on your book shelf next to ol' Zig Ziglar's books. Any self respecting self-help book buyer surely has one of Zig's books. And should have Amy Wood's book too. But let me tell you why.

It seems most people that buy a book like this expect to discover some hidden secrets or magical words that will fix their lives. Books that try that aren't very helpful. Instead, with Amy's book, the reader will be gently reminded that each of us is unique. What works for one won't necessarily work for another. Each has to do the hard personal work involved in self discovery. Practical application of many of Amy Wood's recommendations will give you result. Personal result. Plus the book is a fun read as well.

Years ago as a 22 year old stockbroker I had an older broker give me advice that has stuck with me continually. He listened to me try to explain an investment to a client. After getting off the phone with my client this broker told me I won't get the sale. I asked why. He told me to stop being so dumb and that "It ain't the words it's the music". It took me a while to understand what he meant. But I eventually did. You have to sing to your audience to keep them interested and listening. This book does that. Yea, the words are important but they flow in a musical manner that makes reading them enjoyable. Enjoy the book!
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