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on 3 March 2007
This book is written in admittedly a quite different style from Mark Forster's others, and I can see why some reviewers disliked this, but I personally very much enjoyed it.

I read it in a single sitting, fascinated both by the advice contained within in and by the insight into Mark's own life -- I really like the fact he was willing to experiment on himself with his techniques, and it was an interesting look into the writing process, also.

I have to admit that I was initially rather sceptical about the self-dialoguing ideas, but I did give it a go the day before one of my University finals (an exam I had prepared hard for but was anxious about) and was surprised how much it helped me to relax and be confident that I'd done enough revision and preparation.

My one niggle might be that there is rather less concrete excellent advice in this book, compared to Mark's others, due to the style -- however, I think it's very much worth the price and the time spent reading.
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on 22 February 2006
I have read a plethora of self help books, mainly for research purposes and would agree with some of the reviews that this book won't suit everybody. However,you have to give the author credit for doing something different and giving people the tools to be pulled towards their goal rather than just pushing all the time. His style of writing is sometimes difficult to read and if you want to speed read this book you will struggle. If you are a motivated person who wants some good ideas on visualisation and questioning your motives in life then this book is for you,. If you want a step by step guide that will will push you towards your goals in a concious and well guided way then this won't suit.

I enjoyed the book and have been employing some of his techniques with some success, I am not drifting but actively pulling myself towards my goal. My only fear is that if you are a bit of a drifter you could mis-use his techniques and never get anywhere.

Overall a good read with ideas that do make you think about what you are doing and why you are doing it.
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on 12 January 2003
I loved Mark Forster's first book and I think this second one has a lot to say but sadly, the wisdom often gets lost in the layout. The author shares his personal struggle to write a book with his audience and decides to tell the story via a diary dialogue. This may have made it easier to write but it makes it dull to read! I hate to pull Mark F. down as he is a fresh voice whose advice is sound but only on the rare occassions that he reverted to traditional text did he truely manage to get across his point clearly and eloquently.
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on 26 July 2006
I bought this book because (a) it's cheap (b) I'm a sucker for this kind of book (read hundreds) and (c) the positive reviews. Thing is, I really wish I'd saved my money. I picked it up at seven in the evening on the day it arrived and I'd finished it by seven-thirty - mostly be skipping the absurd dialogues between the author's future and present selves, which are irritating, insipid and puerile to say the least and become more so. Don't say you haven't been warned.

I daresay that if you have read NO books of this type before (and I suspect that the majority of good reviews belong to people in this category) you just might get something from it. But there are too many great self-help books (look for the books by Tom Butler-Bowden to give you a start) for this to even be in the running.
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on 14 February 2005
I was very sceptical indeed. I have read many self-help books that promised to change my life. But this book was very different, in style and in method. And it sounded like fun.
So I tried it. And it worked!
I created a vision that I guessed would take five or six years to achieve and began a dialog with my future successful self.
Just six months later I had to re-write my future vision - because most of my previous goals were already achieved! Since then I have continued to achieve major life goals with this method.
The approach seemed to provide me with a gentle but powerful incentive to keep focused and motivated to attain my dream - even taking setbacks and upsets in my stride. In the past I had been great at planning, dreaming and scheming - but found it hard to keep up momentum and motivation and almost impossible to take action. These dialogs with my future self seemed to effortlessly overcome those tendencies.
In a way it was the opposite of getting in touch with my inner child - I got in touch instead with my inner wiser older loving guru! One that knew my strengths and weaknesses. One that was loving but firm and tolerant of my defects. One that encouraged me to see the progress rather than the failures. Mark has hit on a lovely magical way to let me coach myself to success.
Now I'm back to buy more copies to give as gifts to my friends.
This may not be for everyone - NLP 'experts' will cringe at some of the steps since it does not follow their specific methodology for visualisation and one can find many shortcomings with the format and content of the work as pointed out by previous reviewers - but it worked for me despite my strong scepticism.
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VINE VOICEon 5 August 2004
I read this book in about 2 days! A really well written piece of work! I'm at a time in my life right now where the traditional approach to goal setting just has not been working for me (2 kids & v.busy home life!)- I havent yet had the apportunity to fully apply all of the methods detailed in this book but see how truly effective they are. I firmly believe that reading a book is like going shopping - you take what you need at the time and leave the rest for when you need more or different things.
I think that some of the insights in this book are for me going to be the difference which makes the difference - specifically the 'pull' (allowing your goal to pull you toward it - you WORK effortlessly towards achievement) way of goal getting as opposed to the 'push' way (forced march approach of goal getting). Having read some of the other reviews this book got I can only agree - well worth it. A great book, refreshingly well written and easy to absorb. The book details simple and effective techniques which only add to the elegance of the system.
Go for it!
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on 31 August 2012
This book contains great ideas and makes you really think about what you truly want and more importantly why. I found myself thinking deeply about this especially as l've reached mid-life and still feel as though l'm coasting. But l'm getting to grips with his methods and finding them extremely helpful. I've yet to get to grips with the dialoging. It's all about the journey not the destination. I'm thankful for that.
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on 6 May 2003
When I became self-employed, I read most of the leading self-help books. All of them had something interesting to say and helped me orientate myself. However, I felt there was something missing in all of them. I didn't feel I really needed to know how to plan out the tasks that I needed to achieve my goals, I didn't want to assess the messages I had unconsciously absorbed from my primary school teacher, I wanted to know how to 'want' to do the things I needed to do, instead of feeling guilty, procrastinating or feeling overwhelmed.
I picked Forster's book because I read his first time management work. I implemented his daily 'what's better' list, I began a self-coaching dialogue, wrote out my future vision and began the goal achievement method with a short term goal that was seriously behind schedule. The results were astounding.
Within the first three days, through his methods, I realised that my stasis was caused by three main mental 'glitches', that I did an extraordinary number of tasks a day and then forgot how much I had done, that my confusion was caused by my mind not being able to cope with the amount of data I threw at it without a proper 'mental filing' protocol.
During the weeks that followed, I discovered more about myself than I had in the previous six years. I finished a major project in half the allotted time, I finally organised a holiday for the first time in 5 years, I wrote over 10K words a day, I began to go swimming everyday and I didn't feel like all this was any effort at all. I felt exhilarated, my energy levels were bionic. The speed at which I progressed was so fast, I could feel the wind in my hair. My partner started calling me 'Supergirl'.
I think Mark's key idea is the notion of narrative as a focusing tool for your mind. He asks you to live through 'story' techniques, constantly creating and revising towards your future vision, your grand narrative. This worked brilliantly for me. For the first time in my life, I wanted to do things, I lived through doing what I felt like doing and everything got done, even the ironing.
I heartily recomend his book. It has changed my life and I can't wait to see how it changes my future.
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on 15 April 2002
Good Heavens! This unassuming-looking paperback with a rather whimsical title is one of the most powerful books I've read in the last ten years.
Its message is life-altering and revolutionary and the style in which it is written draws the reader into the dialogue, appealing to the voyeristic tendencies in us all. It's a book which delves into psychology and self-enquiry in a way that is both accessible and honest and the honesty applied by Mr. Forster in writing the book is astonishing.
I believe the book can fulfill many purposes for readers and it should be adopted as required reading for those coaching others, both for its concepts and to learn about HOW to coach from the manner in which the "Present Mark" is coached by his "Future Self".
In my opinion, Mark has the makings of a great philosophical writer for our times. I can't wait for his next offering and hope it will delve more deeply into some of the issues raised in this book.
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on 30 July 2002
I found "How to make your dreams come true" a very unusual and inspiring self help book. Whereas most other self help books promise enlightment in twelve steps and make you think the author himself must be the happiest and most able person on the planet, Mark Forster teaches the art of life design using himself as a a humble and human subject.
Applying the exercises prescribed in his book to himself on his personal quest for happiness he is not embarrassed to let us witness his struggles as well as accomplishments and leaves us with the strong sense that yes, we can do this too. One of the most striking exercises is the dialogue with one's future self that Mark Forster demonstrates in the book. Through Mark Forster's very personal lens we look at the path of exploring our own dreams and desires without ever feeling insufficient or incapable.
"How to make your dreams come true" is a book written by a great coach who, when you follow his exercises, will teach you how to access your internal wisdom by asking the right questions to the only expert on your life there is - yourself.
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