Posted by: gypsytales | April 22, 2009


Life Strategies by Dr Phillip C McGraw

Dr Phil needs no introduction.  Just mentioning his name creates a reaction.  His book Life Strategies was first published 10 years ago, before he became a popular television talk show host.  While his modus operandi on television might be controversial, I was curious to read his message before I judged the messenger.

He makes it clear that for those that finish life well, they did not made it that far by fluke, but rather by careful planning.  He speaks of being a Life Manager of your own life as well as being your own Client.  These two roles, functioning simultaneously, will define the way going forward. 

By implementing the 10 Life Laws that he suggests, these Life Laws will govern the game and provide the basis for a solid foundation in the various areas of your life.  Just as penalties are the consequences for breaking the rules in a sports game, so penalties are the consequences for breaking a Life Law.  He goes on to say that if everything is relative and there are no absolutes, then there is no standard to achieve and if there is no finish line, how do you know when you have crossed the line?

By focusing on behaviour and patterns of thinking he challenges one to consider changing the things in your life that are not working.  Accepting responsibility and being accountable one can no longer make an excuse for how and why your life is the way it is.  He states that if one doesn’t accept accountability you will misdiagnose every problem one has.  If you misdiagnose, you will mistreat and if you mistreat things won’t get better.  

He reminds the reader that the one person we spend most of our time with is – ourselves.  The journey is long and we are the driver every single day.  While he is known to aim straight for the bull’s eye, I didn’t find his book to be insensitive to suffering or circumstances beyond ones control.

Although one may not agree with all his recommendations, there are nuggets of information throughout the book that are worth practising.  After all, if it’s not working, do something about it, “stop making excuses….you choose the behaviour, you choose the consequences” – Dr McGraw


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