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Life Strategies:
Doing What Works, Doing What Matters
by Phillip C. McGraw

Frankly, I seldom read self-help books word-for-word. I'm not proud of this fact, but I'm familiar with so many of the concepts and techniques that I usually just skim such books to pick up what I might not have focused on in the past. So I approached this book in my normal way - only to realize that this was one I wanted to read and really absorb.

Sometimes books can be read on an "intellectual" level - so that you understand what they're saying, but they don't particularly motivate you to take action. Well, the honest, no-nonsense confrontations by this author come straight at you and grab your attention, almost forcing you to focus on what's really going on in your life - and more important, what you can do about it.

While it is extremely direct, it is not harsh - just honest. His compassion (and his effectiveness in working directly with people) comes through loud and clear if you've see any of his many appearances on "Oprah" (whom he legally defended in the lawsuit against her by the beef industry).

To give you a flavor of the straight-talking approach of this book, here are some of its "Life Laws:" You either get it, or you don't. You create your own experience. People do what works. You can't change what you don't acknowledge. Life rewards action. There is no reality; only perception. Life is managed; it is not cured. We teach people how to treat us. There is power in forgiveness. You have to name it to claim it.

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