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4.5 out of 5 stars42
4.5 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 23 March 2004
Yes - I was hooked by the title. "What is this about" I asked myself, "now", "a gift"...?
Well in a very clever way it's about both. The book is very short and written as a story within a story, the inner story being about the interactions between a young man (learning) and an old man (the teacher).
We find out in simple words about the potential of the present, the past and the future in a way that I found to be both helpful and enjoyable. I don't want to spoil the story by giving details here. If you feel the need to change the way you look at your life and respond to events around you, then I commend this to you.
(I have given only 4 stars because of the comparison between price and size - it's a bit pricy for 100 pages of rather large print! Nevertheless, a great read!)
0Comment14 of 14 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
The Precious Present by Dr. Johnson was a particularly effective book published in 1984 presenting a series of meditative thoughts to keep one appropriately focused on the moment. The only thing I didn't like about the book was the overuse of Capitals in the key meditations. That overuse made the meditations seem to scream at me rather than whisper ("Be In The Present" versus "Be in the present").
In The Present, Dr. Johnson has taken The Precious Present and packaged more of a story around the simple tale of an older man helping a younger one to recapture the joy of losing oneself in what one is doing . . . while keeping the choice of one's current perspective in focus. The gift wrapping around the earlier story is to see how one can tell this tale to someone else . . . and help them learn about how to share it with other people. I felt a little like I was reading instructions for how to create a network marketing company for Dr. Johnson's story.
Inexplicably, Dr. Johnson still uses CAPITALS too much for his meditations . . . and has added BOLDING to make the SHOUTING of his text even stronger. I graded the book down one star for moving away from its simple, quiet potential nature.
I recommend you read The Precious Present rather than The Present to learn these important lessons:
Be in the present; learn from the past to do things differently in the present; and envision a better future and act now to create it.
Like many of the fable books, this one has an enormous price per page. I suggest you read it at the library rather than purchasing the book. It won't take you long.
How can you do something you love now that will build a better future for you and those you love?
0Comment29 of 30 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 15 January 2007
This is a must read for anyone who is finding life a little bit over whelming & wants to take control of their life again. A simple read that works on simple principles that just about everyone should be able to relate to and understand.

Read this book before you embark on anything else that's a bit heavier on the psychology side... you may save yourself a lot of time, energy & effort.
0Comment7 of 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 16 May 2011
I wanted to read this book at a time of change in my life, and having already read Who Moved My Cheese - which was excellant, I sought more from the same author. This book was a useful reminder of living in the present, stop worrying about the future (although plan for it) and learn from the past. It is about focusing on the NOW which was useful, but when reading it I did think that was fine when you were just concentrating on a few projects at a time - with many on the go it is much harder to practice. But still a good short read which wasn't too heavy.
0Comment3 of 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
The Precious Present by Dr. Johnson was a particularly effective book published in 1984 presenting a series of meditative thoughts to keep one appropriately focused on the moment. The only thing I didn't like about the book was the overuse of Capitals in the key meditations. That overuse made the meditations seem to scream at me rather than whisper ("Be In The Present" versus "Be in the present").
In The Present, Dr. Johnson has taken The Precious Present and packaged more of a story around the simple tale of an older man helping a younger one to recapture the joy of losing oneself in what one is doing . . . while keeping the choice of one's current perspective in focus. The gift wrapping around the earlier story is to see how one can tell this tale to someone else . . . and help them learn about how to share it with other people. I felt a little like I was reading instructions for how to create a network marketing company for Dr. Johnson's story.
Inexplicably, Dr. Johnson still uses CAPITALS too much for his meditations . . . and has added BOLDING to make the SHOUTING of his text even stronger. I graded the book down one star for moving away from its simple, quiet potential nature.
I recommend you read The Precious Present rather than The Present to learn these important lessons:
Be in the present; learn from the past to do things differently in the present; and envision a better future and act now to create it.
Like many of the fable books, this one has an enormous price per page. I suggest you read it at the library rather than purchasing the book. It won't take you long.
How can you do something you love now that will build a better future for you and those you love?
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on 4 March 2014
The more I read, the more, stressed, anxious and angry I became. I felt cheated by this oh so predictable, childishly written, condescending piece of dribble. What got me was the number of wasted words it used to get across its message, when quite honestly all that required to be written was that the best present you can give yourself is to live in the present. There are much better books out there, don't waste you time and money on this one.
0Comment1 of 1 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 1 February 2009
Read It and then think about how we all over react and never realise how lucky we are
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on 21 February 2014
I enjoyed Spencer Johnson's previous book "Where's My Cheese?" so much more than "The Present".

However, his books all tell a truth, and are useful because of it.

This one was just a little bit harder to work with, as with the "Cheese" book you suddenly feel like your previous thoughts and flaws all suddenly become crystal clear to you, and fall into place, whereas this one was that much more obvious from the start, and therefore more like 'work' to read.

But it's still useful to remind us that each moment counts...and that what we decide in that very moment is how our life will be. From that perspective, these books are a very useful tool.
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on 17 August 2013
What a great little book, very interesting and . Makes you feel good all the way through. I feel so much better already with issues at work. Forget the horrible people,move on and do well.
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on 28 March 2011
This is a great book and needs reading twice to really understand things.
It wasn't until I read this book that I thought about being in the present - I spend too much time looking at historical failures and worrying about what lies around the corner for tomorrow. This book has made me see things differently now and try to be in the present with everyone rather than my mind wandering off to tomorrow or back to yesterday!
Like Fish I have bought this book for a few of my staff for them to enjoy.
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