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The Road Less Traveled

3.99 of 5 stars 3.99  ·  rating details  ·  45,384 ratings  ·  1,213 reviews
Hailed by the Washington Post as "a spontaneous act of generosity", "The Road Less Traveled" has already given more than two million grateful readers an inspirational framework for achieving profound personal growth and satisfaction. Now Dr. Peck, a practicing psychiatrist, reads from his extraordinary work in the first of a series of audio programs drawn from the book.

Dr

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Paperback, 320 pages
Published September 1st 1988 by Touchstone Books (first published 1978)
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Chris Wolfe
It gets four stars for the simple truth of the opening lines:

"Life is difficult. This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it. Once we truly know that life is difficult--once we truly understand and accept it--then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters."

It amazes me how much damage I have done by expecting life to be something other than difficult
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Birdie Passaro
An extraordinary book about Life and the art of Living. It was the most complete and indepth book about personal development from which one become much more aware of the nature of all kinds of relationships.
This book will help to shape your vision of Life!
Please, just read it. Your perspective about things will never be the same. Notable, indeed!
Jonathan Ridenour
May 13, 2007 Jonathan Ridenour rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
This book is by now a classic in the field of psychology. Yet, it's written for a mainstream audience and goes through some of the basic tenets of psychological theory (e.g. attachment, individuation, boundaries, delayed gratification) but does so through the lense of spiritual growth. Peck is an excellent writer and fine therapist who is sensitive to the issues of spirituality. The case examples and stories in the book really bring his concepts and ideas together. This is a book that I would re ...more
Laura
"Dr." Peck's first doorstop. Inexplicably, this sorry waste of time and paper remained on the NYT Bestseller list for something like ten years. (I don't know why I'm surprised, actually -- this is the same country that elected George W. Bush twice.) If you were unfortunate enough to buy this, or have it given to you as a gift, do yourself a favor now: put this one the shelf right beside that other pop-pseudo-psychology piece of shit Michelle Remembers. Leave them both within spitting distance, a ...more
Jamie
A very insightful book authored by a psychologist/psychiatrist who reveals the secrets to fulfilling, healthy, meaningful and lasting relationships. It really makes you see yourself and others in a different light, as well as words and concepts we think we understand. His hallmark argument is that we so often view love as a noun instead of a verb... as something that just happens to us or doesn't happen to us, instead of an ongoing task we must work at...that work, that action-is love. In fact, ...more
Martin Röll
Probably the most important book on love, psychological and spiritual development that I have ever read. Clear, straightforward, concise, very accessible. Don't be put off by the criticism of the numerous references to "God" and "grace" in the later chapters: I found them useful and "open" (in the sense that "God" might be substituted by "universe", "energy", "oneness" or whatever you might want to call it. There is no need to believe in a deity.) If you do find the reference to concepts of onen ...more
Julia
I cherish this book and give praise to Scott Peck for writing this masterpiece, a wealth of knowledge and wisdom.
The first time I read it I was in my early 30's. It changed my life, encouraged me to live authentically and with courage. when your raising a family one needs to follow their conscience and make tough decisions. Peck teaches and encourages this process. I have followed up with Peck's subsequent books in the last few years.
I recomend this to any adult searching for a better life but p
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Gina Marcelin


This book is second only to the bible to me. It teaches you what love is. What love is not. Why old fashioned values like honesty, hard work, discipline and integrity are important. Every person should read it. This book should be required reading in high school or college.
Jennie
Jan 10, 2008 Jennie rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jennie by: my mom
I read this book to make my mom happy. Her church book group was reading it, and she got all stoked about it after reading the first section. It was a fairly bland combination of basic common sense (self-discipline is good, laziness is bad), pseudo-spiritual psychobabble (your unconscious mind is God!), and the occasional moral zinger (open marriage is the only real form of marriage). Overall, I was unimpressed, but I wasn't begging the Lord for the 6 hours of my life back, either. I never even ...more
Kathleen
I have owned this book since I believe 1980 or so, but consider this a book, everyone should have on their life travel.
Michelle
I read the Road Less Travelled because several Internet sites rated it the most read self-help book ever. As a therapist and fan of self-help books I felt like I needed to get right on it. I'm glad I did. Peck has wisdom and depth to spare on the topics of psychotherapy and human fulfillment. He offers a fundamental jumping-off point to anyone hoping to improve their life, whether through therapy or introspection. So you need to read it! That being said, there are some cautions. Peck can by turn ...more
Mike
This book starts out extremely engaging and helpful in nature - worthy of four or five stars. But midway through Peck reveals his psychology of teaching his patients and readers to become like God. While I'm certain he means no malice in this objective, he seems ignorant of negative psychological aspects of this philosophy. Indeed, the book "Toxic Faith" cites "You can become God" as one of the twenty-one Toxic Beliefs of a Toxic Faith (p.98). Having observed the deleterious effect of this belie ...more
Kressel Housman
This book was recommended by one of my seminary teachers whose specialty was mitzvos bein adam l'chavero, i.e. the Biblical laws that govern interpersonal relationships. It was the only non-Jewish self-help book she respected, and considering her own expertise, I think that's quite a compliment.

As the subtitle states, this is a book about the union of psychology and spirituality, or more specifically, how psychotherapy and spirituality are so close, they are almost one and the same. Having been
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Cole
I initially picked up this book because I was told that this author was the inspiration for a women's retreat I went to a couple years ago. However, I found no connection to the theme of the retreat and this book.

Initially I found Peck's theories on discipline appealing. He promoted fundamental ideas of Buddhism, such as life is suffering and only through acceptance of that suffering can we truly live and be free of it. He believes that the pursuit of the truth regardless of the pain involved is
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Chris
I have run across this book so many times in used bookstores that at some point, I don’t know when, it started to indicate in my mind that a store was overstocked with generic titles. I periodically stop in at thrift stores—hoping to salvage some prophetic oracle from the ravages of being sandwiched and left to die a slow death between the James Pattersons and Julie Garwoods of the bargain aisles—and there this book can be found in droves. The title, extrapolated from a poem by the great poet Ro ...more
Murray Crowe
The author endeared me early on to his obvious skill, professionalism and empathy with his patients. The first part was fairly entertaining, with the right amount of insight and entertainment from Peck's own therapy sessions. I could identify with the people and situations and could pause at times for self reflection. There was a challenge to personal change as Peck built his case for seeking maturity and using therapy to achieve that end.

Peck is strongest as a therapist. His insight is keen, an
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Davis Aujourd'hui
"The Road Less Traveled" will make you realize that you CAN take charge of your life and your destiny. It is a journey toward self-acceptance that will affirm that life is worth living. It is one of the best books I have ever read.

I was introduced to the book when I first began 12-step recovery over twenty years ago. I have had a long road to travel in coming to terms with my past and learning to accept myself. This is a powerful book for anyone who has come from a troubled background and who wa
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Mehrsa
I give this book five stars because I can honestly say that reading it has made me a better person. I have plenty of criticisms, which I will get to, but the bottom line is that there are a lot of difficult truths in this book and it stands as a challenge and a guide to the reader to progress and develop beyond where you may be comfortable. I do not often read or like this genre of book, but my mom has been recommending this book to me for years and I finally borrowed her copy (which incidentall ...more
Loy Machedo
Loy Machedo’s Book Review - The Road Less Travelled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth by M. Scott Peck

It amazes me to know I had purchased the book when I was 19 years old without any knowledge of its contents or even an understanding of what psychology was all about. In fact even though my grasp of the English language was still in its infancy, the only driving force that compelled me to buy this book was the big bold red letters printed at the bottom of the cov
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Steven Belanger
Despite the high rating I'd give to this book, it's time to let it go. By this, I mean it's off to the box for my yard sale, or the box to my used bookstore for credit, or yet to the box for donations to my local Salvation Army. Probably in that order.

Why am I letting it go after all these years? Why, if I'd rate it so highly?

Well, first, why I like(d) it.

It's got one of the all-time great opening lines for any self-help book: Life is difficult.

It is, indeed. I also believe that life is often (t
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Mustafa Kamel
I have absolutely no idea why i haven't bought this book earlier. My first encounter with the term "The road less travelled" came almost 5 years ago through the writings of Paulo Coelho. Now I know where Mr Coelho got his inspiration from for his most famous book "The Alchemist". If you enjoy PC or the alchemist, then this is a book for you. It's a wonderful journey through the soul of human beings. During this journey, you will recognize the fact that you are not alone. Millions of people are i ...more
Wendy
The Road Less Traveled is a philological book that is highly recommended. I feel that this book along with other reasons inspired me to become a counselor one day. This is one of those books that is great to read on a cold winter day drinking hot chocolate indoors. It took me a while to finish the book because it is a book that is not meant to be rush read but instead read and reflected on.
My favorite parts of the book were the real life stories. One of my favorite was about this woman name Mar
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Annie
The book opens with the words "Life is difficult." Once you accept that, it becomes a lot easier!

But most of us don't accept that. We think if we do things the right way, or if other people would, then eventually life would become easier. Our material needs will be met, love will bloom forever, bad things won't happen to us, and life will unfold according to our individual needs and wishes.

Guess again. If you're constantly trying hard and finding life to be a major disappointment, you may find c
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Thom Dunn
Peck begins well, citing the first of Buddhism's Four Noble Truths, "Life is Suffering". And what we all need is a discipline instilled in our childhood by a love which teaches us to face our problems instead of ducking them in procrastination, denial, and the like. Sounds fine, but there seems to this reader to be something missing....a mythic element, perhaps. Life will be beautiful if only we get ourselves under control and work hard, etcetera, etcetera.... It feels to me as if all wonder has ...more
Andre
I loved sections I-III. Section IV turned pretty biblical on me, and very fast, although I got the point. Going into section IV, it was a solid 4 stars.

Afterwards, I'm not sure so much. Maybe that might change as my spirituality grows, but it just seemed like I was reading the bible instead of a book on Psychology.

"What I Learned From This Book" - what a freaking loaded question this is - you always take out of something what you *want* to take out of it. As Mr. Pirsig would state, I took out o
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Adria
I enjoyed reading The Road Less Traveled as I felt as though the author, Dr. Peck, was an older and much wiser friend intent on guiding me out of my current pathology. The book is written by a psychiatrist and seeks to help the reader explore her life through her preconceived notions and definitions of love, the self and personal values. Using a gentle voice and clear examples the author grapples with profound life questions. For example, Dr. Peck addresses the ways in which each person's uncons ...more
Bryan
"Life is difficult. Once we know that life is difficult - once we truly understand and accept it - then it ceases to be difficult."

This is the opening line of the book. His object is to describe the path of spiritual development over the course of our lives. He believes that most people avoid the difficulties of life, the pain and suffering that will provide us the most beneficial spiritual development our mortal lives have to offer. Because people avoid the lessons God wants us to learn, we ex
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Joe
The fact that I am reading this book for the first time 30 years after its publication reflects how far behind I am with my reading, not to mention how much worthy stuff there is out there to be read. It also means that without a lot of buzz about it day-to-day, I really had no idea what it was about and, therefore, waded into it rather naively. What surprised me most was where he takes us—namely that while mental health aka spiritual growth is all about discipline and love, the question of why ...more
Eric Tracy
One of my favorite lines from a movie is when Jack Nicholson's character, Melvin Udall in, "As Good As It Gets" says to Helen Hunt, "You make me want to be a better man."

My lovely wife does that for me, and she introduced me to this book, which helped me understand love so much more profoundly than I ever had before! I felt like I'd been a Flatlander suddenly introduced to a third developmental dimension. In fact, I compare it in my mind to the paradox of trying to describe an orgasm to one who
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Melissa
For anyone who has issues....need I say more? The first 2/3 of this book (I didn't care for the last 1/3 at all when he gets into religion) is really thoughtful and helpful when it comes to sorting out your "issues". Issues with family, issues dealing with your strengths/weaknesses and habits, and more. I re-read this often, as every time I read it, I seem to get a different answer/lesson that fits my concerns.

This book has stayed with me, and helped a great deal with overcoming aspects of my l
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Dr. Peck was born on May 22, 1936 in New York City, the younger of two sons to David Warner Peck, a prominent lawyer and jurist, and his wife Elizabeth Saville. He married Lily Ho in 1959, and they had three children.

Dr. Peck received his B.A. degree magna cum laude from Harvard College in 1958, and his M.D. degree from the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in 1963. From 1963 unti
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More about M. Scott Peck...
People of the Lie: The Hope for Healing Human Evil Further Along the Road Less Traveled: The Unending Journey Towards Spiritual Growth The Road Less Traveled and Beyond: Spiritual Growth in an Age of Anxiety The Different Drum: Community Making and Peace Glimpses of the Devil: A Psychiatrist's Personal Accounts of Possession, Exorcism, and Redemption

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“Genuine love is volitional rather than emotional. The person who truely loves does so because of a decision to love. This person has made a commitment to be loving whether or not the loving feeling is present. ...Conversely, it is not only possible but necessary for a loving person to avoid acting on feelings of love.” 102 likes
“Human beings are poor examiners, subject to superstition, bias, prejudice, and a PROFOUND tendency to see what they want to see rather than what is really there.” 96 likes
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