Life And How To Survive It Paperback – 24 Jun 1996
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"Breathtaking. . . On every page of Life and How to Survive It you will find insights that will cut straight to the heart of your own life" (Daily Mail)
An essential guide to what makes individuals, families and organisations function in a healthy and positive way. This is the companion volume to the world-wide bestseller: Families and How to Survive Them.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Skynner points out that most research into the subject is all about mental "unhealth" - like Schizophrenia and the "Norman Bates" side of mental health. It's curious there's been little research about "how to be healthy - and what does it mean".
He then goes on to discuss how daft we can all be - and of course John Cleese helps this along no end.
It it takes a psychological or psychotherapy viewpoint on "the world", explaining some of the more basic questions of life like:- Why people choose a particular company (not just a profession), why is laughter so good for you (that was an eye opener) and what exactly does it mean to be "mentally healthy".
Easy to read and understand, and for me - full of insights.
10 out of 10. Also have a look at "Families and How to Survive them" - a laymans view of family therapy, and how to avoid it !!! (By being mentally healthy).
Instead of discussing the symptoms, causes and cures of mental pathology, the authors discuss the "olympians of mental health" and the things they all tend to have in common.
After covering the aspects of individual mental health, the authors expand their scope to the mental health of families, organizations, businesses, countries and cultures.
For my second reading "Life.." became my morning "devotional" book. I found myself being transported to an imaginary room where I sat and listened quietly to John and Robyn, looked them in the eyes, laughing and crying with them. The profound effect of these daily trysts was that over time I was developing the same awe, wonder and respect for the "olympians" that the authors had. I also found myself becoming more like the "olympians of emotional health" that we admired so much. I've read thousands of books and this one has had a more profound effect on me than any other that I can recall.
I gave the book a score of 9 only because in a few places the discussion and banter become a bit boring (but you listen patiently because you're with friends).
If you like this book, you also will like "Families and how..". If you've read this book and enjoyed it like I have, please send me e-mail, I'd really like to hear from you.
Things I'd throw into the dialogue if I was there - society and governments are not the same as families, I felt they pushed the similarity a bit too far. There was also a massive philosophical elephant in the room which was anarchism, which was a shame as it fits in with their arguments quite well. The book is in general surprisingly pro-quo, which for me felt out of whack with some of the ideas of psychological health, but which is unsurprising given their businessy background. As another reviewer mentioned, it's a very straight book, aimed at very straight 'undisadvantaged' people, which did grate from time to time. Despite that I don't think it's valueless for people that have had 'real' problems... But perhaps not as a book to read when you're in the middle of a crisis. (Does such a book exist?) The chapters on religion and spirituality were amazing.
The apparent lack of knowledge of socialist history, despite which they felt able to talk authoritatively on the subject was disconcerting - however as many avowed socialists know nothing of their history, it's perhaps forgiveable! The concern being that if they don't know about this thing, in other areas of which I'm less knowledgeable I'll learn half truths. A half truth is better than no truth, but still.
I intend to reread it and no doubt I will learn a few new things and disagree with a few others. FIVE STARS!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The best endorsement I can give of this book is that I own it but was still willing to buy it on Kindle! An excellent read, full of funny, wise, useful and interesting advice.Published 10 months ago by Kindle Customer
Thoroughly enjoyed it , shame they only wrote 2 books together as they make a good team.Published 10 months ago by Floppy
For those of you who expect this to be a light hearted Cleese comedy think again. There a few chuckles along the way but this is a serious treatise on family dynamics and... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Mr. S. D. Furmage
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