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4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 11 November 2012
Read the 'back of the book' on Amazon and it promised a lot. Unfortunately it didn't deliver. Not much details on optimizing hormones which is the main thrust of the book. A series of articles published on the web - some looked interesting but didn't carry the detail. Needs an editor and proof-reader. Too many rants about nothing - including ex-g/f

Got me excited. But didn't deliver.
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on 1 August 2012
This is a very strong book and the fact it is so hard hitting and well structured differentiates it from most of the self help book genre. The author certainly pulls no punches and skilfully draws on his own instructive personal life experiences and an impressive bibliography to back up his arguments. There are sections of this book which are plain brilliant, not least the last chapter which is as stirring a call to arms as you will come across. However, I'm giving it four, and not five, stars for three reasons. Firstly, there is some padding and some of the anecdotes are a bit too long which slightly dilutes the punchy style. Secondly, whilst the author states this isn't a typical self help book, there are passages which struck me as familiar and slightly lacking in originality. And thirdly, I felt the book contradicted itself slightly in terms of pursuing your own (selfish) goals whilst showing compassion to war veterans, animal charities etc. - you may want to fly off elsewhere and pursue your lifetime passion/dream, and that's very laudable, but the harsh reality is we all have to keep the wolf from the door (mortgages, pensions etc.) and your wife, kids, ageing parents etc. might be worth considering in sticking to your slightly "sub optimal" lifestyle and I think those sort of considerations make you more of a man, not less of one ! All in, though, a great read and all very thought provoking and hats off to the author for differentiating himself in an overly crowded genre.
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on 5 January 2012
This is a book I can perfectly relate to which is shocking if you consider the fact that I'm a 28-year-old female of Eastern European origin, living in the UK and having very little to do with kettlebells... Probably because I grew up in a former socialist country, I usually find things coming from the US very difficult to digest and way too cheesy. Anyway, at first it looks like we do not have much in common... So I never thought this book could have a significant effect on me or if I could benefit much from reading it.
Out of curiosity I still bought the paperback because whenever I read an article by Mike or listen to his seminars, it feels like I've known him for ages. I'm a vegan, too, not watched TV since I was 17 and run my own fitness business. Often life slapped me in the face on my journey to try to make a living out of what I love the most, which is hulahooping. Friends, family, everyone said that "noone makes a living out of hulahooping". It was tough & extremely hard work but I proved them wrong and if you are passionate and very good at something there's no such thing as impossible. There are still days when I need motivation or a bit of energy to come up with a new strategy to make things work better and that is when this books comes handy. You pick it up and feel like you can conquer the planet if you want to. It wakes you up and opens your eyes and does that in a wonderfully straightforward and honest way. It can make you smile sometimes or just make you learn about your own mistakes, weaknesses. It is OK to have a dream and be passionate - all you need is a good plan, attitude and perseverance. Mike has done a brilliant job and I cannot recommend this book highly enough.
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on 18 October 2012
I'm about half way through this and trying to persevere, but the tone of the author is putting me off.

It's a shame really. The author is obviously a successful fitness trainer and I like pragmatic approaches to self-improvement, especially from those who recongise the improtance of the physical condition on the rest of our lives.

Certain chapters are interesting - particularly his insight regarding diet and its effect on our body and mental states. But quite frequently the chapters (articles that appear to be taken from his website, which, incidentally are free) degenerate into rants that in places seem petty, cycnical or under-informed.

A lot of this seems to be rants about what not to do. That's only so useful to an individual looking for advice on how to make improvements in their life. And some of his attacks on "Self Help Gurus" stem from theories that have simply been taken at face value. It makes me wonder if he has actually read the books by the big names (Dale Carnegie, Napolean Hill, Anthony Robbins etc) or is criticising on the basis of quotes he's come across but not taken the time to explore. At the very least it can seem cynically reactionary for the sake of drawing attention to his work. His "against-the-flow" attitude attracted me, but I wouldn't go to him for advice having read a few of the chapters.

In short, if you're intrigued check out the articles on his website - they're free and you'll get a flavour of his advice, but I'm sticking with the more positive stuff out there.
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on 6 June 2012
Mike has been a constant source of enlightenment, entertainment and motivation within my life since I first met his work in 2009. Mike's direct approach to his students is refreshing in a world where people are often too afraid to give the advice that is actually needed. I always find Mike's writing to be thought provoking and his "self help" book is no exception. `Live Life Aggressively, What Self Help Gurus Should Be Telling You' is a collection of articles that you can dip in and out of it does not need to be read in order, you can pick a chapter which best suits your needs. Throughout the book though Mike relates some of his own personal history and this explains how Mike became the man he is today and equally important, it means that his advice is built upon real life issues and struggles - Mike has lived close to the edge and learned a lot from his mistakes. He's also now enjoying the benefits of learning from those mistakes and taking his own advice - a skill that many of us need to learn!

Mike Mahler is direct and to the point, make no mistake this is not a sugar coated "feel good" book nor is it meant to be. But don't mistake this directness for lack of tolerance or lack of empathy, Mike is one of the most humble, sensitive and humane people I have ever known. Initially I was going to say if you are easily offended don't read this book but actually, if you are easily offended you definitely need to read this book and take some real world advice - get over yourselves and stop thinking that the world owes you a living.
Buy the book, learn some lessons and do some thinking - enjoy!

The profits from sales of Live Life Aggressively, What self Help Gurus Should Be Telling You are divided between Mikes 2 favourite Charities - Lifequest Transitions and Nevada SPCA.
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on 28 August 2012
I enjoyed this book very much, it gives a positive incite into breaking day to day mediocrity of life. Mike covers a wide range of partsof his life as examples from which to learn from, and the book is structured in a way that you can just pick up and read the odd chapter, as how I do as I do not have a lot of time to read. I strongly reccomend this book as it has spured me to make some changes that i've been needing to make for a long time. I'm even considering reading the book a second time to keep the ideas on my radar.
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on 7 November 2011
What makes this book different, is that Mike provides invaluable insight based on his own experience and observation (backed with references and recommended reading), while at the same time mapping out practical application, that so many self help books fluff on. He holds no punches and is often ruthless in his compassion.

This is not a "How To Guide" but instead is there to provoke thought, and ignite a spark that lights the path to your own physical improvement and self empowerment. Whether you agree with Mike or not is not the point (I'd be surprised if he actually cared if you do) the purpose of the book is to stimulate personal responsibility for who we are and what we stand for. Are you prepared to be accountable for an outstanding life?

If you are tired of the same old same old, or want kick up the back side to make that shift you wanted, this book is the difference that will make the difference. Put Mike Mahler's book in your shopping cart.Live Life Aggressively! What Self Help Gurus Should Be Telling You
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on 4 November 2011
This book provides a great kick up the backside for anyone getting intellectually fat and physically cozy in the comfort zone. Mike Mahler tells it how it is and many may not like this. Why are you in your current situation that you're not happy with? More than likely, it's your fault!

The book covers various themes about 'living life aggressively' BUT this does not mean walking down the street and decking someone because they 'looked at you funny'...but rather, being aggressive means to move forward with purpose, intention and ice cold focus. This book does not tell you how fluffy and wonderful you are but highlights your (possible) weaknesses and flaws - if you, as an individual, can grow some balls and admit to YOURSELF that you may be dealing with you life in the wrong way (with cotton and woolen gloves), then the book provides a nice raw slap in the face!

I could relate to alot of Mike had to say but espicially when it came to my career. I am in the arts and have a pt-time job (and have for 4 yrs) - the pt-time job started to become the full time job and the artistic career was becoming the weeknd hobby. The job gave me a comfort zone and I began believing the phone would ring regarding my arts career...it didn't. I knew I needed to do something but it wasn't until I read the book, that things became clearer. After reading Mike's book, I have quit the pt-time job and am working (not playing) on 2 projects and am working also in 2012 (yes, already booked up in 2012). I stopped accepting (in Mike's word, a "Mediocre" lifestyle/career) I allowed myself to become mentally 'fat' and loved the warm security blanket that is the pt-time coffee stimulated job BUT on reflection, I am at my happiest in the Botswanan bush, living rough amongst the wildlife (which is not cozy!) and not so happy working for some boss who has given me a 10 pence pay rise in 4 yrs! To cut a long story short, the book helped make my own picture clearer and helped me take aggressive (purposeful) action. I have and it worked. - it also made me realise that some people around me wanted me to stay in this lame job...why? Because they didn't have the balls themselves to leave. I did. I'm off abroad to work for myself and then back in 2012 to work for myself. The book also made me realize why someone would say, "If ya leave the job, you'll miss it here..." Read the book and you'll understand where I'm coming from and why someone would say this.

The book is about taking charge of your life and to stop 'bitching' about your current situation. We in the west are so lucky and don't even know we're born in some cases! One chapter also highlights the importance of doing something for someone else (great and touching story about his Dog, the landlord and operation) - I can attest to this. I am a member of the Born free wildlife foundation that helps save and release animals back into the wild and regularly give money on an annual basis the the cause BUT the animals cannot thank me...BUT it feels rewarding from a personal POV.

Mike also discusses (in the 1st chapter) the importance of hormonal optimization (a passion of his) and an interest of mine...this is a must for any fitness 'expert' and his lectures can be found at youtube.

There is also some very personnal experineces that Mike shares with us and highlights that anger can eat you up...but read it, you'll understand what I'm talking about. That's between the author and you!

On a lighter note, Mike Mahler quotes from many a great story and suprised me at his ommission that he is a Star Trek fan - as am I - but mentioned my least fav Trek! The search for spock!!! There are better quotes in 2 (The wrath of Khan), that tale highlights what revenge can do to your soul...it eats you up alive inside. Star Trek 2,4,6, 8 and 10 shine...the odd numbers suck...but that's for another review!

This is a book from one of the world's best strength coaches and fitness professionals and forces you to take a hard and cold look at yourself (and human nature) and can be applied to each and everyone of us. I have given it a high score because the book is 100% useful and relevant to all of us esp. in the West. It would be a crime to look back at your life and say..."If only I did this and why didn't I do that...", espicially when most of you have the oppotunity to do what you like in the West but chose to use an excuse the justify your weakness to take aggressive action in order to achieve your goals!

stephen, London, UK
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on 10 February 2013
Living in the UK and not having heard of Mike Mahler, I didn't really know what to expect.

The book, in my opinion, is on occasion clear and yet at other times difficult to read,

It is very thought provoking in places, however and one that I would recommend to anyone on a journey of self improvement..
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on 7 November 2011
This is not a self-help book more a kick up the arse book! Mike doesn't pull any punches here but this is tempered by large doses of humour and an obvious passion for the subject matter. He is very open and honest drawing on his life experience and extensive research. The writing style is very approachable with lots of examples that we can all relate to. You will find that many of his points hit home, so not always a comfortable read and not for anyone content with their life of `quiet desperation'. Mike becomes the best mate (or maybe the wayward uncle!) you wish you had, helping you to do an honest self inventory and then giving you advice on how to grab life and move forward with purpose. Thank you Mike!
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