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Life Strategies: Doing What Works, Doing What Matters [Hardcover]

Dr. Phillip McGraw
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)

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Book Description

7 Jan 1999
Take a good hard look at your life. Are there things you are unhappy with? Your life is your responsiblity; the choices you made yesterday brought about the life you have today. If you don't like what you have, then get ready to act and move on. Life Strategies gives powerful, straightforward advice on shaping your life and tells you how to make dramatic changes. Whether it's a bad relationship, a dead-end career, or a harmful habit, Dr McGraw helps you wake up and get out of your rut. It is never too late to take charge of, and be responsible for, your life.
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Hyperion; First Edition edition (7 Jan 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786865482
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786865482
  • Product Dimensions: 24.2 x 16.1 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,063,421 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Amazon Review

Dr. Philip McGraw will be a familiar figure to those who watch Oprah Winfrey. He's the psychotherapist on Oprah's new "Change Your Life" TV show, and the trial scientist who helped Oprah win the Amarillo beef trial in 1997. But even without his TV personality tag, Dr. McGraw is a formidable figure with over 15 years experience in the psycho-legal system, and now head of a litigation firm consisting of a team of experts from various specialisms. As such, Dr. McGraw's Life Strategies is a punchy, no nonsense guide to shaping and reshaping your life.

There are certain Life Laws that are necessary to succeed, McGraw explains, and these include: You create your own experience; Life rewards action; Life is managed, not cured; and We teach people how to treat us. Each chapter, most of them headed by one of the Life Laws, brims with sharp-shooting advice, insightful commentary, case-studies and assignments to test and measure your progress. And be warned, McGraw is a brilliant observer of human foibles. He knows all the excuses we tend to make about bad relationships, unsatisfying jobs and negative behaviour, and he offers the kind of straightforward advice that makes mincemeat of every excuse. So, if you don't intend to make active or dramatic changes in your life, this is not the book for you!--Lucas LoBlack --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"If you're allergic to buzz words and jargon, Dr Phil is your man" (Mail on Sunday) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Now I know we're unlikely to read about your problems and challenges in the New York Times, or see you tonight on CNN-at least I hope that's true. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
I must admit that I like to use self-assessment tools to find out what I am taking for granted, and ignoring. Complacency is a terrible foe! I found the exercises in this book to be the best that I have ever used. If you have read a lot of self-help books, you can skip right through to the exercises.
If you haven't read many personal self-help books, be sure to read his ideas first before doing the exercises. Basically, Dr. McGraw is pointing out that we become victims when we stop making conscious choices. He helps us surface those areas where we are operating on automatic pilot, and helps us to take the controls again, consciously.
I think that this book is one that everyone would benefit from, who wants to improve their own situation. If you feel particularly weighted down by failure in your own eyes, I also suggest you read Failing Forward. My review of that book will tell you how to find self-assessment exercises for that book, as well.
If you want to improve how other people perform, however, that is beyond the scope of this book. You'll have to look elsewhere. If you have read nothing on the subject, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and The One Minute Manager will be good starting points.
I found Dr. McGraw's beliefs to match my own very closely, which is why I liked the book so much -- even the parts that paralleled things I knew already. If you skip the exercises, though, you will have made a serious error. That's probably 98% of the benefit of this book.
I first read the book four years ago, and keep the results of the exercises in a place where I can review them daily to help me stay focused on the changes I need to make.
If you like this book, be sure to also read, use and think about the questions in The Life Strategies Workbook.
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67 of 70 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars True way to an honest and satisfying life 26 Nov 2001
By Smudger
What a book! I have read many self-help publications in my life in an effort to improve my understanding of human characteristics to enable me interact with others in such a way to minimise friction.
I studied eastern philosophy,many spiritual books and quite a few on psychology. To be honest I found and learnt much of interest from the majority of these books, but too often the advice and suggestions given missed the point which is that it was me who needed to change most of all.
Dr Phil leaves the reader in doubt that until you look at the way you operate in the world and change your attitude, then you are most likely to continually misdiagnose the problem which confronts you and never obtain a satisfactory solution.
In short, each of us must take responsibilty for our own lives no matter what type of childhood or parents we had. Too many of us continually blame others for the adverse things that occur to us instead of looking critically of the part we played ourselves.
I have read several books that tell you that it's all part of God's plan and everything that happens to us is pre-ordained. Rubbish. It might be part of God's plan that we mature as humans through the traumas and challenges we experience, but the way we react is definately down to us.
One of the saddest sights is seeing an elderly person still not taking responsibility for their own actions. Our society to some extent helps us in this thinking in that there appears always to be somebody there to 'hold our hands' when things go wrong. It gets you into an unhelpful mindset.
I wish that I had know the contents of this book years ago. I did not, but do now - no excuses from now on!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AMAZING BOOK 21 May 2007
By emma
Amazing book, i can't believe the difference it made to my life. The book is easy to read and understand, i would highly recommend it for anyone who wants to make changes in their life. Dr Phil has a no nonsense approach and comes across as a mentor rather than a 'pushy' doctor as some authors of books like these can appear to be. The steps are clear and there is no rush to complete the sections, you can complete it in your own time. I found this book informative and easy to absorb, i enjoyed the process of working through each step and i especially loved the 'life lessons'. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost Perfect 27 Sep 2007
This book is excellent apart from one small detail. The strategy for a partner who refuses to communicate. It mentions that this maybe the case but then continues as if you have your partner's ear. Unforunately in my case that is not how it is. However, as for defining your own place in the relationship, providing you are able to put in the work, suffer the pain and be completely honest with yourself it works. I have discovered things about my make up that had remained hidden all my life, I'm 54 now. Has it made me think more about myself and my actions?.... You bet and I'm not so bad after all
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Dr. Phil gives good, sensible advice not only on how to enjoy and live your own unique life, but also gives you the reasons why you alone must take responsibility for today and tomorrow - no matter who did what to you in the past.
He explains how to be a life-manager without the usual "buzz" words. He plays it straight, encourages you to play it straight and gives you the insight on how to turn your life around and become someone who "gets it".
Brilliant, humerous and above all human. You know this man doesn't care if you've failed in the past all that's behind you. With this book your future is all yours.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Love me some Dr Phil but...
I love me some Dr Phil but reading his books are hard for me to catch his style, I prefer his audio books and will stick to them in future however the message in this self help... Read more
Published 1 month ago by NevJamGal
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable.....
I like the way the Dr writes..straight talking and with humour...hopefully I can apply it all to my life..Thanks Dr....
Published 4 months ago by lmw7954
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting
I enjoyed this book and thought the 10 life strategies interesting.Will it impact on my life?I'm not sure but I like the concept of the 10 life strategies.
Published 7 months ago by J.L.
2.0 out of 5 stars Poor
Not in even good condition. Pages brown through age. Cover very wrinkled. Only readable if you wear rubber gloves cause it makes your hands feel grubby!
Published 8 months ago by letsbefair
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
I read this book looking for answers and I found them. The authors approach was e real eye opener
It made me take note and act.
Published 8 months ago by Mr N Moon
5.0 out of 5 stars GOOD PRICE GOOD READ
Excellent value for a very useful book and one I would recommend to any one, willing to see things from a different perspective.
Published 8 months ago by mairelouise
4.0 out of 5 stars Perfect condition.........
Once again no dissapointment great value
thank you so much for the quick delivery, .
love reading Dr. Phil..........So far so good..........
Published 9 months ago by mary fox
4.0 out of 5 stars No Nonsense
A refreshingly good read, focussed on getting you started on a road to understanding yourself and making your life into what YOU want it be. Very helpful.
Published 9 months ago by Amazon Customer
1.0 out of 5 stars Not for me
I can't help feeling it's more about the author than the reader. Self-help from a self-righteous. He's the one who benefits from my reading it and inflating his ego. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Gustaf
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent book
I'm so pleased I chose to buy this book. It is very well written and easy to read and understand. Full of interesting advice. Read more
Published 15 months ago by J S
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