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The Power of Losing Control: Finding Strength, Meaning, and Happiness in an Out-of-Control World Hardcover – February 10, 2003

4.8 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this earnest volume, consultant and motivational speaker Caruso encourages readers to "remember that the only control you really have is over yourself," and demonstrates how readers can keep their focus on the things that they can control rather than waste time and energy struggling against a situation or a person they can't. In letting go of the need to control, he believes, readers can attain find power in situations that used to make them feel powerless, "move past" their fears, achieve greater self-knowledge and understanding, and take great strides towards happiness and satisfaction. The author underscores his points with apt quotations from great thinkers and philosophers, from Confucius and Aristotle to John F. Kennedy and Sam Snead. He also includes poignant stories from his own life-his struggles with sports and music and a miraculous recovery from cancer-and the wisdom that helped him gain perspective.. Some anecdotes of success from his work as a corporate teacher and inspirational speaker seem too simplistic, and his overuse of italics and "quotes" are distracting, but this friendly and readable book is an inspiration to make small but meaningful changes in the way one views and responds to the world.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

Joe Caruso is a business consultant, public speaker, and workshop leader who spends 170 days a year speaking to corporate groups that include AOL/Time Warner and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. His syndicated column, "Cup of Joe," appears in the Detroit and Ontario area, and over 246,000 listeners tune in daily to his radio show of the same name.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 237 pages
  • Publisher: Gotham; New Ed edition (February 10, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592400035
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592400034
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #418,263 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Niki Collins-queen, Author VINE VOICE on March 6, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Power of Losing Control by Joe Caruso is a book about how the true power of losing control lies in knowing the difference between what you can control, what you can effect, and what you need to accept. When you realize the only person you can change is yourself and stop wasting energy trying to change others you will have more peace and personal satisfaction. Caruso's book gives you an opportunity to experiment with yourself, learn new truths and become more aware of how you can enhance the meaning of your life. He points out how you are the stories you tell yourself and how rewriting your personal driving myths can reshape how you live your life. His book has helpful insights such as the real story of who you are isn't about what happens to you as much as it is about how you interpret it and define what happens. Also the more you repeat the story to yourself the more powerful it becomes and the more you allow the story to determine your behavior and behave as if it were true. My early life illustrates his point. I felt abandoned as a child so I believed I would be abandoned as an adult and I was until I wised up. He says the key to fulfillment is to keep asking, "Is the story I am telling myself serving me?" Caruso's book is packed with other powerful insights and advice: the difference between responding and reacting and a commitment and a decision. Also the 10 ideas and attitudes you need to let go of and the five stages of wisdom. If you use what you read in this book and apply it to the five stages of wisdom it could change your life.
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Format: Hardcover
While the basis of the book deals with the energy consumed on things we have little or no control over, I found far more wisdom than this morsel. From my prospective of the book, what grabbed me most was this insite; We all own images of ourselves based on myths and fears and I own myths about myself that prevent me daily from being the best version of myself at work, home and play. The author does an excellent job of using stories and examples to light a path to self-betterment from within.
Most self-improvement books I have read deal with external processes such as setting priorities and time managment. This book deals with the inner set of beliefs we maintain true that hold us back from being the best version of ourselves. One example: Why do physically abused people choose frienships and partners that continue to abuse them? Answer: Until they change the inner belief that say's I'm not good enough, the cycle will continue.
The book challenged me to differentiate from precept and preception. The author includes exercises that I found very helpful.
This is an extrordinary book, easy to read but challenging to read. It has changed my life. Buy it! Believe that you're worth the $20 investment.
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Format: Hardcover
Simple powerful tools, yes, but not simple to truly master. You can spend a lifetime with the lessons in this book. So what does this author give you that you can't find in other self-help books? Well, for me it was a few things: First, it's clear that there's nothing in his book that Joe Caruso hasn't completely experimented with and committed to in his own life. His book is full of examples drawn from his own experience, from those who have come into his life, and from his study of many of the world's greatest teachers throughout time. Which leads me to the second point: This book reads as if the author is sitting across from you at the kitchen table. You get so engrossed in his stories, and as you're smiling or laughing with recognition, Joe has gently persuaded you to see inside yourself. And the last point: this book is so rich with tools for living that no matter where you are, right now you will find an "a-ha!" lesson that is right on time for you.
The one caveat is that at times while reading "The Power of Losing Control" you may feel that so much good stuff is coming at you that you can't absorb and connect it all at once. My advice is to hang in and read the whole book, because the key messages boil down to just a few and really hit home by the final chapters. Just mark up the pages as you go, because you'll have to come back and re-read portions later.
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Format: Hardcover
This book shifted my perspectives about "Control". It's one of those books that I come across once in a while that makes an impact on how I work, think and live.

The title itself was interesting - the power of losing control. Sounds oxymoronic, right? How could anyone gain power by losing control? What I understand now is that there wasn't any power to exercise in the first place. As Caruso wrote, what we really have is an "Illusion of Control". That's the essence of what I learnt -- we DON'T have control of many things in the first place, so we're worrying about noting!

The author doesn't preach or anything. What it did for me was to reframe how I could view the concept of control (or lack of). Subsequently, that changed how I viewed things -- my job, my work, my relationship with my wife. I've become a happier person now, and when I cite things from the book, my friends think I'm some genius. I tell them to read the book. : )
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By A Customer on January 31, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Reading "The Power of Losing Control" helped me understand that delicate balance between what I can control and what I cannot. I learned to recognize many of the control illusions that are driving my behaviors and sapping my energy. I was thrilled to find a manual that helps me let go of control illusions in order to focus on the only thing I can control -- myself!
This may sound simple, but it is with Caruso's book that I finally grasped some central concepts about myself -- my contexts, my myths, my driving stories, my attitudes -- that have helped me grow in happiness. It was fascinating to learn, through Joe's many stories and examples, that these same concepts work for businesses too.
If Joe could find power while facing a terminal illness, then I can certainly do it in my everyday struggles. I think the first chapter of this book is a must-read for anyone feeling out of control and needing help. It's a great start on a path of self-discovery. Then, the rest of the book gets into the details of real things we can do to help ourselves -- the only person we can really control.
I'm glad I found this book.
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