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Life Strategies: Doing What Works, Doing What Matters

3.59  ·  Rating Details  ·  5,284 Ratings  ·  93 Reviews

Whether it's a bad relationship, a dead-end career, or a harmful habit, Dr. McGraw's 10 Life Laws will empower you to take responsibility for your own actions and break free from self-destructive patterns. Drawing upon more than fifteen years of experience, Dr. McGraw explores each of the 10 Life Laws necessary to succeed:

Life Law #1: You either get it, or you don't.


Paperback, 304 pages
Published January 1st 2000 (first published January 1st 1999)
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Sara Montgomery
Aug 07, 2011 Sara Montgomery rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Despite what you may think of Dr.Phil and his television show, this is really a wonderful book. I read it years ago when I felt my life was out of control.... reading it literally changed me and enabled me to find my footing again. That's a pretty big feat for a relatively small book. Will always be one of my favorites.
ياسمين خليفة
لو كنت مثلي من متابعي الدكتور فيل ومن مشاهدي برنامجه فهذا الكتاب لن يضيف لك الكثير من المعلومات الكتاب عبارة عن عشر قواعد وضعها الدكتور فيل للتعامل في الحياة ضايقني انه أنفق أول خمسين صفحة في الكتاب وهو يتحدث عن أهمية الكتاب وعن أنه الكتاب الذي سيغير حياتك تماما ولكني عندما قرأته وجدت فيه نفس المعلومات التي يرددها الدكتور فيل في برنامجه طول الوقت عن أنك مسئول عن حياتك وأنك من تعلم الآخرين كيف يعاملوك وفي أثناء الكتاب يطلب الدكتور فيل من القارىء أن يدون أهدافه والمجالات التي لا يشعر فيها برضى عن ...more
Jan 05, 2009 Zinta rated it really liked it
"Life Strategies" is a quick, very basic reminder of sound - just as the title states - life strategies. Nothing profound here. Nothing earth shattering. Nothing you probably haven't heard in most contemporary self-help books, in fact. Or from your favorite neighborhood therapist, I imagine. The book may be a good addition to your bookshelf if that is what you seek - something of a reference book, or checklist, to turn to now and then to jog your memory about how to stay on track toward achievin ...more
Nov 27, 2012 Margaret rated it it was amazing
I've never before read a book of Dr. Phil's, although I have watched his show a few times and found him to be surprisingly realistic, and to give relatively sound advice. I was pleasantly surprised by this book. There's not a lot of new ideas, but he offers new ways of looking at old things. At first it seemed like it was going to be easy to read, but I found myself re-reading several sections, then waiting a few days and reading them again. If you're really willing to change your life, and your ...more
Ilya Mrz
Apr 15, 2015 Ilya Mrz rated it really liked it
#1: You either get it, or you don't.
Strategy: Become one of those who gets it.
#2: You create your own experience.
Strategy: Acknowledge and accept accountability for your life.
#3: People do what works.
Strategy: Identify the payoffs that drive your behavior and that of others.
#4: You cannot change what you do not acknowledge.
Strategy: Get real with yourself about your life and everybody in it.
#5: Life rewards action.
Strategy: Make careful decisions and then pull the trigger.
#6: There is no reality
This is one of those books that I'm not going to finish. And I'm one of those compulsive 'gotta finish it' kind of people that usually waste too much time on books I'm giving the benefit of the doubt, hoping to find at least a little bit of value in.
But this book... I could, but I won't. I'm just going to save myself the trouble and the time. And I'm
Able to do that because from what I've read I already know that I highly disagree with the premise of this book and the ground perspective of the au
Mar 14, 2010 Tim rated it it was ok
I think that there is some good to be had from questioning the way things are and our own behaviours from time to time and I rather like Dr Phil's homely anecdotes and his "no bull" way of putting things across. In fact based on that I have recommended this book to several people, in fact even bought a copy for the odd person here and there who I thought would benefit from reading it.

Only trouble is that at some point one has to question whether this isn't just the ultimate pyscho analytical eq
Martha Davidson
Apr 12, 2016 Martha Davidson rated it it was amazing
Dr. Phil's Life Strategies (1999) presents 10 Life Laws, beginning with #1 You Either Get It or You Don't and #2 You Create Your Own Experience. In the book, Dr. Phil advises about the importance of taking responsibility for our lives. What he teaches about the Power of Forgiveness in Life Law #9 deserves the 5-star rating in and of itself, but I learned a great deal from all of the Life Laws. In writing this annotation, I am using one of his strategies, what he calls "project status" in Life La ...more
May 12, 2010 Jill rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
My mom said that "everyone should read this book" and I would probably agree, but I think what my mom meant was, "everyone that doesn't have a clue what they are doing in this life should read this book". At first, I thought Dr. Phil would test my nerves with his southern drawl and high and mighty philosophies, but I liked it. He just makes sense and he doesn't mince words, and it all seems simple, but it is always interesting the more things seem simple..the harder they are to accomplish for so ...more
Sep 08, 2007 Laurie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book really made me turn my life around and start "creating my own experience!" I used it with the workbook and took it seriously. It helped me heal my relationships with my parents, forgive people I didn't realize I needed to, and taught me how to move forward and have the life I want and deserve.

I still refer to the book 4 years later when I'm teaching the youth or a lesson at church. The principles in this book are so empowering. It's the stuff I wish my parents had known so they could h
Nadosia Grey
May 02, 2014 Nadosia Grey rated it liked it
This book is another self-help guide, but—unlike others—held with good intentions. Perhaps the most interesting thing about this book is that it is interactive in that there are assignments. If one follows them, they will certainly see results. Although assignments are part of the book, it does not dominate the entirety of it so there is no need to worry about having to do them to get anything out of the book.
The life lessons are straightforward and sometimes obvious. They are all things which
jefrey das
Mar 24, 2014 jefrey das rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: all self help groups
Sometimes we tend to forget what's the most important thing we are born to do...cherish ourselves and our existence... In this wobbly & erratic world we come to live, there is no scarcity of distractions & chaos which take us away from what is our right,so it pays to have a quick reminder of what is important for us than all the juggling acts in the world put together. In this down to earth prescription of change in our values, the author makes us see what we tend to lose in our rush for ...more
Dec 17, 2008 Brett rated it did not like it
I feel very sorry for people that buy books like this and read this one for my mom who sent it to me. Having a guy describe common sense to you as a life lesson like not talking back to cops, understanding that life is not fair, and that things will change in an instant is no surprise to me. Nor should it be to anyone that does not live a sheltered life where they have people do stuff for them. Phil talks on others stories from afar that he is close to as if examining people's ability to merely ...more
Apr 29, 2016 Mckinley rated it it was ok
Build strategies for living. People will take things away from you unless you stand up for what is yours. "Life is serious, and you are judged by results."
Life laws - not fair, simple are. Life is managed. Teach others how to treat us. Power in forgiveness.
Number one fear of people = rejection; number 1 need = acceptance. Views might be prejudices.
C.J. Sullivan
Aug 05, 2015 C.J. Sullivan rated it it was amazing
This is one of the best self-help books I've read, and I've read a lot of them. I think Dr. Phil wrote this before he had his own show, but he still has the wisdom, intelligence, and no-bullshit attitude that someone like me needs when it comes to improving myself and taking ownership for the wrong turns I've made.
Dec 16, 2015 Jon rated it did not like it
What's telling is that I listened to this book on tape only a year ago and forgot it entirely until I saw it on the shelf yesterday at my local library. As I think back on it I can remember three things:

1. Dr. Phil manages to say it like it is (a plus) even though he's giving platitude after platitude(a minus): "own your life," "accept responsibility for your actions," etc.

2. One time Oprah was having this hard situation with a lawsuit. Then she had a talk with Dr. Phil late one night wherein
May 22, 2014 Gideon rated it really liked it
Essential reading.

Incomplete in its scope, but certainly truthful and I praise Dr Phil in his standing to find core structures to use in improving one's life, instead of getting stick in 'traditional' psychology.
Keli Wright
May 21, 2014 Keli Wright rated it it was amazing
I LOVED THIS BOOK! I had no idea I was a Dr. Phil fan. I got a lot of good advice from this book and I am glad I read it.
Sep 30, 2015 Ilva rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Iespējams, es esmu izlasījusi pietiekami daudz līdzīga satura grāmatas, tāpēc liekas, ka šajā nekā jauna nav. Kopumā likās diezgan patukša parunāšanās par tēmu, nepasakot nekā būtiska.
Harish Sankar
Mar 24, 2016 Harish Sankar rated it really liked it
Shelves: from-a-library
Just like the law of Gravity, there are universal social laws to this very life which governs the behaviour of human beings. And just because you dont believe in the law of gravity, doesn't mean you won't trip if you are careless.

This book describes 10 life laws, and asks us to build a strategy to work those laws to our benefit.
"There are a lot of dogs for the bone, and if you don't have a clear strategy, then you simply aren't competitive" is Dr.Phil's message.

Think. Build a life strategy. Focu
Gerald Thomson
Jan 31, 2015 Gerald Thomson rated it liked it
Though not the easiest read, McGraw has some excellent, down-and-dirty, advice to pass on. He does not hold back, calling people to personal responsibility, not only for their actions, but for the results those actions get. If you feel like you are drifting through life, this book will help you get focused to achieve what you really want.
Mar 23, 2016 Aisha rated it it was amazing
After reading this book, I felt like a new person.
Marcus Solberg
Not sure which year I read this one.
Apr 24, 2014 MVV rated it liked it
Shelves: psychology
Good common sense psychology.
Mar 19, 2008 Lashanda rated it it was amazing
I love me some Dr. Phil. This is the 2nd book I credit to inspiring me to move from Houston to West Coast. It totally changed my perspective on life and how I saw myself and other people. It also really helped me to face and understand the reality that I am solely and fully responsible for my everything that happens in my life and my own happiness. Seems like common sense on some levels, but becoming fully conscious of that reality and everything it entails, is so powerful. I re-read parts of th ...more
May 18, 2013 JP rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like the no-nonsense approach to counseling that he and others are starting to advocate. 1. You either get it, or you don't. 2. You create your own experience. 3. People do what works. 4. You cannot change what you do not acknowledge. 5. Life rewards action. 6. There is no reality; only perception. 7. Life is managed; it is not cured. 8. We teach people how to treat us. 9. There is power in forgiveness. 10. You have to name it to claim it.
Geoffrey Cheng
Apr 14, 2008 Geoffrey Cheng rated it it was amazing
This book tells me that I'm responsible for my every negative emotions... which is a good reminder. Without specifically mentioning higher spirits tho, people are still lost without a clear direction of what to follow, as soon as we know we should distance ourselves from the negative town.

Explained in simple-to-understand english, I think this is a great book that explains many aspects of psychology that leads to unproductive results.
Amy Young
Feb 26, 2011 Amy Young rated it liked it
This was the first book I read through the lens of a certain writing project I'm working on. This book helped me get a handle on how many words per chapter and overall in the book -- before this if you'd ask me about how many words were in different books, I'd have had no clue. Now having gone down this rabbit hole of wpp, wpc, and wpb I can bore the best of them with my analysis :-)
Oct 28, 2007 Kelly rated it really liked it
Shelves: self-help
OK, before he was on T.V. (and perhaps a sell-out) he was a level-headed guy who wrote this very good book. It's no-nonsense, no-fluff, no magical thinking.

Does it work? Yes? Then do it. No? Then quit it. I mean. how freaking sensible is that? Yay sense!
Madeline Ellis
Mar 13, 2008 Madeline Ellis rated it it was ok
Shelves: self-help
ugh. i'm not sure why i get that reaction when i bring this book back up in my memory file. it was a pretty good book- very "self helpish" which i love but you have to like dr. phil and i do, most days. he does have a tendency to yell at you through a book but then again that may work for some of us..he makes a lot of good points
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Phillip Calvin McGraw, best known as Dr. Phil, is an American television personality, psychologist and author who is the host of the psychology themed television show Dr. Phil. He gained celebrity status following appearances on The Oprah Winfrey Show.
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