Life Strategies: Doing What Works, Doing What Matters

Phillip C. McGraw, Author Disney Press $22.95 (304p) ISBN 978-0-7868-6548-2
After advising Oprah Winfrey in her successful defense against accusations of slander by the beef industry, McGraw, a behavior specialist and trial expert, now makes appearances on Oprah's program as a member of her ""Change Your Life TV Team,"" joining such other luminaries of self-help as Suze Orman, John Gray and Iyanla Vanzant. While McGraw's presentation may play well on the small screen, it suffers on the page from lack of focus, awkward writing and a relentlessly hectoring tone. At the outset, McGraw browbeats his readers: ""You are either winning or losing in your life, plain and simple. You live in a competitive world."" His strategy for winning is built around 10 ""Life Laws,"" which include the following: ""You Either Get It or You Don't""; ""You Can't Change What You Don't Acknowledge""; and ""There Is No Reality; Only Perception."" He also gives 16 homework assignments: the first, to list the five things in your life you have failed to acknowledge to yourself; the second, to write ""The Story I'll Tell Myself If I Don't Create Meaningful and Lasting Change After Reading and Studying This Book."" McGraw does a good job of identifying many self-defeating behaviors, but it will be up to readers to determine for themselves the efficacy of his methods of changing them. 500,000 first printing; major ad/promo. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/04/1999
Release date: 01/01/1999
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