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Life Strategies

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Life Strategies

Doing What Works, Doing What Matters


15 min read
10 take-aways
Text available

What's inside?

Get off the couch and start living the life you’ve always wanted.

Editorial Rating



  • Innovative
  • Applicable


Phillip C. McGraw, Ph.D., better known to Oprah Winfrey fans as Dr. Phil, has popped out a refreshingly in-your-face contribution to the self-help genre that doesn’t beat around the bush. You will not be asked to commune with your inner child or vent your anger and pain. Instead, Life Strategies is a prescription for action, complete with stories, including about Oprah. Each chapter contains at least one writing assignment, designed to stimulate honest inquiry and to challenge even your most basic assumptions. These culminate in a meticulously detailed set of instructions for creating your life strategy. Organized self-starters will love the lists and matrices, but even readers who don’t plunge into the assignments will gain fresh insights into their behavior. getAbstract prescribes this bouncy book to anyone seeking a step-by-step plan for self-assessment and realistic life change. Cynics need not apply.


Red Alert

Our society is experiencing an epidemic of unhappiness. The divorce rate is more than 50%. Depression and suicide are increasingly common, and violent crime is omnipresent. In response, the so-called self-help industry has pumped out multiple books and gurus, but this isn’t helping, people are not getting any happier. The pharmaceutical industry has responded with waves of antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs, but without effect, emotional health continues to go downhill.

The root cause of all this misery is that people have simply forgotten how to live harmoniously together. Whether you are conscious of it or not, you may find that you are engaging in self-reinforcing behavior patterns that prevent you from getting what you want out of your life.

Some of these common behaviors are:

  • Denial - If you refuse to accept something, you can’t change it.
  • Relying on untested assumptions - The opposite of open-mindedness.
  • Inertia - The paralyzing effect of fear and denial.
  • Keeping a stiff upper lip - If you don’t speak out and admit that you need help, you may not get it.
  • Not realizing that behavior is a conscious ...

About the Author

Dr. Phillip C. McGraw has worked in human function and strategic life planning for more than 20 years. He is the co-founder and president of Courtroom Sciences, Inc., and has been associated with some of the highest profile court cases in America, including Oprah Winfrey’s "Mad Cow" suit. A professional psychologist, he appears regularly on Oprah’s show.

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