Life's Greatest Lessons: 20 Things That Matter

Hal Urban, Author Fireside Books $13.99 (192p) ISBN 978-0-7432-3782-6
Urban, a psychology Ph.D. specializing in ""peak performance,"" draws on his own life experiences, wisdom imparted by his mentors and basketball coaches, observations of high school and college students, and the writings of other self-help gurus like Stephen Covey and M. Scott Peck to compile this catechism of conventional truisms. According to Urban, life's great lessons are exactly what you always dreaded they'd be (they're also his chapter titles): life is hard and not always fair; there's no substitute for hard work; you have to give up something to get something. Although slightly disdainful of the hug-happy self-esteem movement, Urban does insist that we all have a potential to live up to. Fortunately, since ""attitude is far more important than intelligence, education, special talent, or luck,"" with enough positive thinking success is virtually assured-as long as we buckle down, set goals and stick with them, manage our time efficiently and find Jesus Christ or some other kind of spiritual content to nourish our lives. Urban is an ex-high school teacher, a self-admitted former ""growth junkie"" and a leader of the ""character education"" movement, and is thus awash in good lessons; his prose, though, tends toward the bland and platitudinous, which may make the lessons hard for some to swallow.
Reviewed on: 12/23/2002
Release date: 12/01/2002
The Best Books, Emailed Every Week
Tip Sheet!