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The Why Cafe Paperback – January 3, 2011

4.3 out of 5 stars 87 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The questions surrounding the purpose of life have been pondered for thousands of years. Strelecky, an M.B.A. and inspirational speaker, gives some of these questions a fresh turn and brings the reader on a quick journey into self-exploration. Through a fictional account, he tells the story of John, who sets out on a vacation to escape from his unfulfilling life. But after a forced detour, he finds himself lost and his car very low on gas as darkness falls. Beginning to despair, John sees the lights of the Why Café in the near distance and heads in that direction. Despite its appearance, this isn't your typical cafe; it's one where the menu poses questions like "Why are you here?" Before long, John is facing up to what he needs to do to find his way to the life he really wants. This is a simple read but asks profound questions about the purpose of life and our role as individuals. While it often seems that John is overly obtuse, his questioning helps to draw the story out and offers a richer picture of the options available to anyone looking for more meaning in life. (June 1)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Have you ever wondered why you exist? It's one of those basic philosophical questions that hit us hard at certain times... This little book tackles the big question: Why am I here?

Without a million dollar publicity campaign, this little book, which only inspires us to ask ourselves three questions, has spread around the world via the best advertising machine that exists: word of mouth. That grass roots promotion has propelled this little book into the ranks of one of the fastest-selling...

--Florida Today

A cosmic guidebook for living.

...the little self-help book that could:Word of mouth largely has produced sales in more than 40 nations.

After 21 mornings of stream of conscious typing, the small, white cafe he (Strelecky) had envisioned in his mind was open for business. John P. Strelecky s little guidebook poses a profound question to readers: Why am I here? --Orlando Sentinel


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Aspen Light Publishing; 4th edition (January 3, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0974362069
  • ISBN-13: 978-0974362069
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.9 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (87 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #119,585 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
The Why Café by John Stelecky is a story of a man who happens onto an all night café and finds 3 compelling questions on a menu. Why Are You Here? Do You Fear Death? Are You Fulfilled? Sparked by a fun and interesting midnight conversation, he begins to contemplate his purpose for existing, his PFE.

Until we know what our PFE is and discover activities that help us fulfill it, we waste time and energy on lots of things. Those who don't take steps to discover and fulfill their PFE are those who fear death. We are fulfilled by working toward our PFE. What would life be like if you were always doing the things you wanted to do, and feeling passionate about it? Events would begin falling synchronistically in place to help support you along the way, and you'd notice one lucky coincidence unfold after another. You'd begin seeing the world with new eyes, and noticing new opportunities.

This isn't a heavy self help book; this is a delightful story with fun and compelling insights. After reading it, you too will be well on your way to finding your own PFE. Andrea de Michaelis, Publisher Horizons Magazine, Spiritual Solutions For Florida Since 1992 [...]
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Format: Hardcover
Ok, I know this isn't a discussion board, but come on, what is that other guy thinking.

If all that new books did was reference old books then the new books wouldn't be all that interesting would they?

I read this book because a friend was raving about it one night when we were discussing why so many people seem so miserable.

This story totally hits it. People just aren't tapped into what they really want to do with their life.

We buy off on all the ads and promos (by the way, I thought the piece on advertising was genius. I don't know if anyone has written about it before, but I hadn't heard about it before. And considering that there is someone trying to sell you things everywhere you turn, apparently even if someone has written about it before, the problem hasn't been solved! Maybe twenty more people should write about it so that we can finally start opening our inboxes without 100 pieces of spam sitting there.)

and then the next thing you know we're so far in debt we can't imagine ever quitting to go do something new or fun.

That's the piece that's so powerful about this book. Figure out what you want to do in life that makes you feel happy and fulfilled. Then go do it. Is it simple, sure. Are most people getting it, no. But when you get done reading this you definitely feel like its a lot more possible to do, and you feel more motivated to give it a try.

I don't really care if people have been searching for why they are here for centuries. I won't be around that long. Knowing that other people have been searching doesn't help me. What I wanted to know, and what I got from this, is that there is definitely an option to just following the unhappy herd.
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Format: Hardcover
What do you really want to be doing in your life? Are you in a job that you hate? Then why are you doing that?

This is a great little book that tells a story and makes you WANT to take a look at your own life and decide what it is you really want to be doing, and it shows you a simple way to start doing it. The author suggests gradual do-able things like spending an hour a day doing what it is you want to do. Then, when you have that down, increase it to two and so on. It also reinforces that the universe will back you when you follow your heart and do what it is you really want to be doing. Why does everyone think we're here to be miserable? -We're not! We're supposed to be happy NOW -and not put it off till we retire.

I liked the 'Green Sea Turtle' story a lot -it's a great analogy that tells you to stop fighting/swimming against the tides, and instead ride the waves!

This book came to me when I was contemplating changing careers from something I really like, and want to be doing, to something that I felt like I 'should' do. It also reminded me of the title of another book called "Do What You Love And The Money Will Follow."

I really liked the part about how advertising adversely affects us all -how we see these images displayed in front of us, like bait dangling on a string. Here's an excerpt from the book that I liked a lot: "The Challenge, he said, is to realize that something is fulfilling because we individually determine it is fulfilling, not because someone else tells us it is." -Wow!-loved that part!

I finsihed this book in 2 sittings, -could easily be done in one if you're not distracted. I came away feeling better for have read this, and I realized that I needed to read this right when I did. I would highly recommend this book to give as gifts.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book because it was recommended by Lee-Yee, a highly respected Chinese radio commentator/editor in Hong Kong. In one of his weekly podcasts, Lee described the basic ideas behind this book. I was hoping that I could learn more by reading the book.

If you have heard about the basic ideas of this book from a secondary source (e.g., book reviews), chances are there is not much more you can learn by actually reading the book. Suggestions such as making sure you like what you are doing during your waking hours (your jobs), pursuing your interests and passion now instead of after retirement, living the lives that you want instead of what others want, answering the question yourselves about your own purpose for existing (PFE).... are some life principles that we all ALREADY know. If reading this book does suddenly change your life, it is probably because you are ready to change anyway. This book may simply reaffirm you of what you already set out to do. If you become a more fulfilling person after reading this book, it is essentially a self-fulfilling prophecy unfolding.

If there is one insight that I concur is "new," it is the author's theory about why many people who are enthusiastic about their goals normally have the "luck" to receive more help from other people. The theory is simple: enthusiastic people are more likely to talk with other people about what they want, and their enthusiasm more likely to receive support from those people who hear their stories. Aren't we all emotionally affected by people we know who are passionate about their goals?

Good luck with your soul-searching.
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