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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Self-Help Book to End Self-Help Books?, 17 May 2011
This review is from: What's Stopping You?: Why Smart People Don't Always Reach Their Potential and How You Can. (Paperback)
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The author has been a passionate reader of self-help literature over the years and discovered one important thing - they didn't really help him. He also felt they didn't really help anyone else either because of one key factor they omitted to mention. Atkinson's work on motivation was apparently the key. It seems we all fit somewhere on Atkinson's scale of how achievement motivated we are. High AM's (achievement motivationalists I guess) don't need self help books. At the other end of the scale are what the author designates High FFs - with the FF standing for Fear of Failure.

This book is all about High FFs and written for High FFs (the author is one of these). This book contains many useful insights with quotes and advice gathered from the author's favourite self-help gurus, Anthony Robbins author of Awaken the Giant within, and Stephen Covey author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People plus one or two others, as well as much of value from his own personal experiences.

It's not a fun read, and I had no problem putting it down, but the odd gems of useful information that appear from time make it well-worth reading. I found the chapters on Leadership and Networking especially valuable.

I did have one small disagreement, which I only mention because of the author's disparaging attitude to the majority of other self-help literature, and that relates to his comments in the chapter on dealing with a bad Boss. He makes a statement which is mistaken. 'Here's what I could have done differently' and then he lists his errors and what he should have done instead. Anyone who works in the self-help/motivational arena knows that the past is dead and unchangeable. There is no possibility of ever being able to have done something differently. All you can ever do is recognise that what you did didn't bring you the results you wanted. Looking into the past and thinking that life would have been better if only you'd done this instead of that is one of the many Roads to Hell. It's only a tiny section of the book, but it does lead me to think the author is not the expert in change that he is setting himself up as. For this reason I only give 4 stars. But, if you are someone who's fear of failure is preventing you from living the life you want, then the book is well worth reading, but treat it as a starting point for further research. On it's own there is insufficient information for it to qualify as a 'self-help' manual.
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Location: Runcorn, Cheshire, UK

Top Reviewer Ranking: 1,513