I could do anything if I only knew what it was
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I could do anything if I only knew what it was

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  3,052 ratings  ·  109 reviews
If you suspect there could be more to life than what you're getting...if you always knew you could do anything if you only knew what it was, this extraordinary book is about to prove you right!

A life without direction is a life without passion.The dynamic follow-up to the phenomenal best-seller Wishcraft, I Could Do Anything If I Only Knew What It Was (the New York Times B...more
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Published 1999 by Hodder Headline Australia (first published 1994)
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Zarya Rubin
Proceed with caution: this book helped me to quit my job and change my career! Seriously, it is a very powerful, insightful, honest analysis of what might be holding you back from finding true career satisfaction. Through detailed breakdown of different personality types, you can be on a very enjoyable road to self-discovery and a brighter, happier, more fulfilling future! A great book!
Amy
Mar 07, 2008 Amy rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who needs a motivational boost
Shelves: about-writing
I am one of those people who always thinks I'm not doing what I should be doing--that I have a bigger, better life out there I haven't grasped yet.
This book doesn't say anything groundbreaking BUT it totally organizes your ability to think more clearly on the topic. It actually gives you the mindset to be able to fix your situation.
The author has a ton of exercises for the reader to write out; one of them is writing down everything that made you happy when you were 5 years old; another one is w...more
Manal Saad
I got the chance to listen to the audio version of this book last week. It was the perfect timing as I have been going through a lot of questioning about the future of my career and considering a drastic change. It was insightful and very helpful. Unlike most of self-help authors, Barbara Sher says it like it is. There's no sugar coating here or fake-it-until-you-make-it talk. It has a realistic approach towards finding one's goals and dreams. We lose sight of our original goals with our hectic...more
Avel
The book begins by suggesting our career indecisiveness stems from childhood, and assumes we were all bombarded with messages from our family & friends as to what we should do in life -- and that all along we've simply been trying to be what others want us to be. That may be true to some degree, but the author seems too adamant that that is the root cause. The other thing I found off-putting is that that author uses one exercise, early in the book, in which the reader imagines his/her dream...more
Anna
Jun 23, 2007 Anna rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: People who really want to start living their dreams
Wow! I had to read this book for a course and had no idea just what nuggets of truth it contained. If there was a 3.5 I would give it to this book. I can't give it 4 or more as the layout made it so hard to read.

This book is one of the things responsible for deciding to take a risk and live my dreams and it's really happening! I wanted to start a book group and I did it! I wanted to have my own classes and teach in a school part-time and I do! I wanted to make friends with people who I usually w...more
Gwen
Apr 22, 2013 Gwen rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Gwen by: comment section on The Billfold
Shelves: well-being
Started off incredibly strong--I read 2/3 of it in one sitting (2am on a weekday at a 24-hour McDonalds when I was mourning over a rescinded job offer and felt doomed to a life of unemployment and living with my parents) and was encouraged by its message.

Very meaningful during a 2am bout of unemployment-related depression: "Allowing bad feelings to hang around too long can cloud your judgement. When we're depressed, happiness looks stupidly short-sighted. We take the long view, think the long t...more
Stephanie
I picked this book up on a whim, since I still, at the age of 39, haven't figured out what I want to be when I grow up. It was the perfect choice! I loved the no-nonsense, plain talking way she wrote this book. She's an actual career counselor, and you can just HEAR her debunking all your internal resistance strategies! There are lots of practical exercises, and if you do them, you can't help but feel like you have a better understanding of yourself, your likes and dislikes, and a different way...more
Ellen
I checked this book out of the library, and would love to add a copy to my personal collection. I did not read the whole thing word for word, so I feel a little guilty saying that I've "read" it; but then, it's not meant to be read from cover to cover. The suggestion is to read the first three chapters, and then choose to read the chapters that you think will help you the most. It's designed to help you discover and acknowledge your dreams and then to act upon them. It is full of ideas, usually...more
Nina
Considering this is something I really struggle with right now, and have for the last few years, this book was right up my alley. While it told me exactly what professional career advice I had already received, that of "just go and do something because that is the best way to figure it out", the added value came of helping me understand how and why.

It also helped me understand where this uncertainty and being stuck came from, some things I already had gotten explained to me, others which were n...more
Gini
I really liked this book! Would definitely recommend to the Quarter Life Crisis crowd or anyone really struggling with their jobs, job identities, or places in the working world.

Also love the psychologist. I wish she could be my personal therapist and life coach, I thought her treatments of this subject were great.
She articulated my thoughts that you can’t change your life through “positive thinking,” that is is false and if you could change your life that way, you wouldn’t have these problems...more
Theo Karner
I really liked this book. It is not a typical 'what career do you want' type book that has you look at what skills you have, what skills your good at etc. etc. It focuses more on the self and has an excellent way of guiding you through the process of discovering what you want out of life and what may be holding you back.

The real gem is the structure of the book and the exercises that you are taken through. I was initially skeptical about the many exercises and tempted to either skip them, or do...more
Mel
I really enjoyed this book, and am reading it side by side with Sher's other book for "scanners" like me, Refuse to Choose! In some ways, Barbara Sher seemed to spearhead a school of thought around career counseling that heavily influenced another author, Margaret Lobenstine, who wrote my all-time, 5-star favourite career exploration book, The Renaissance Soul. Both of these authors are a great comfort to me, in my own incoherent (or as one friend called it "circuitous") career path. This is par...more
Josephine
I decided this is a bad time in my life to read this book. It's a fine enough book with lots of words of encouragement and motivation. See, the thing is, I need a book right now called "I could do anything if only I wasn't pregnant." or "if only I didn't have 3 little kids," or, "if only I had the energy," etc. You get the idea. I actually do know what I want to do, now just isn't the right time for me.
This book put me through a range of emotions. First I was irritated because the author was try...more
Linda
Ah what a funny and embarrassing title! On my quest to figure out what I want, I saw a blogger mention this book by title and I was instantly intrigued.

First three chapters are written to everyone and after that it's divided by personality. Chapter 6, written for people who don't know what they want because they want too many things had me pegged. (I double majored in biology and philosophy and minored in computer science.) I'm scanning through the other chapters since it doesn't pertain to me....more
Steven Veach
This was a tremendous book and should be given as required reading for every senior about to graduate. God I wish my high school years could have been different. This book has helped me work through may of my issues pertaining to launching and sustaining a writing career. Before I read this book I was convinced that there was no chance I could write for a vocation, but here I am looking head-long into my next three or four books with very little apprehension or doubt. The book is great and the a...more
April
I found many of the chapters helpful. A few of the stories brought tears to my eyes as I saw a little of myself or people I know in them.

I've been reading a lot of books like this lately, and I have to say, this one covers not only the usual bases, but some new ones as well. The discussion of how you can't force your feelings to be "politically correct" was inspiring (it was in the context of a woman feeling ashamed that love was her number one priority).
nicole
ugh, i know. i am embarassed to admit i read this. i am just desperatly searching for a clue as to what i should be doing with my life (career wise).
this is a great book if youre looking for excuses for why you are lazy and unambitious. it lets you blame all your shortcomings on your parents or upbringing. i, on the other hand, am fully aware no one is to blame but myself. therfore this book and i didnt jive.
Wanda
Positive advice for understanding what blocks you and what to do about it if you are ready to face it.
Tess
I don't have any experience with self-help books, but I felt this was a good read. A friend suggested it to me and I figured I could give it a try - I do not regret it. This is a book mostly about finding your right career path, but I read it because I felt aimless in general and I think it can help with that, too: achieving something or even just finding a goal you're lacking. It may be a little blue-eyed sometimes and a little vague at other times - so maybe don't expect a full plan for your f...more
Milka
This is a good book if you feel stuck where you are but have no idea where you should be heading. I personally found the book to full of real life examples that took away from the substance so I skimmed through a lot of parts, focusing on the content I was interested in. This book can help you identify not only what you're interested in, but also what may be stopping you from doing it (that's my problem). If you really have no clue what to do with your life, this book probably is a good starting...more
Eman
i didn't imagine such a book exists, when i saw it at the book store i got hooked it was as if it was there for me at the right time.

I loved the classifications and the exercises in this book,the idea that everything we do as adults is rooted from childhood is really true though it's annoying, we think we have passed childhood long time a go and grew up and become strong adults, but it's not true, there are a lot of unsettled issues that tend to hunt us in different ways and forms,it could effec...more
Yvonne
What makes this book stand out is that the author focuses on the source of what is preventing you from finding the right career or fulfilling your dreams, rather than just telling you to change your attitude or environment as many other self-help books do. The author does not offer a quick fix but instead helps you to identify and remove obstacles in the way of your goals, which can lead to long-term solutions in various areas of your life, not just your career. It's unlikely that you're going t...more
Wilma
great! now i am busy to find out what i want so that i can do it :-P easy to read, one can find oneself in almost every second phrase...at the moment, when i dive into that book, it feels like its only written for me. hah ja well i bet there are lots of people who will feel the same. worth to read if you like such psychologic helpers :-) i would recommend it without doubt to my friends.
Jessica
THIS BOOK.

It helped me. A lot. More than any other book has ever helped me. Every chapter contained some wisdom, some thing that helped me break down the barriers to my dreams even more, even the chapters that seemed to have nothing to do with me or my situation.

It took me more than a month to work through all of the exercises and such. It was well worth it. I honestly think that this should be required reading for everyone, but especially the people trying to make decisions about what to do w...more
Adam Bricker
I just finished this book after about 2 months of on again/off again reading. There were some chapters that were amazingly insightful and made me wonder why I hadn't thought to explore those subjects before. And then there were a few chapters that I would read a page and check how much closer I was to the end of the chapter.

That's how this book is supposed to work though. If you read the description at the beginning of each chapter and it sounds applicable then you proceed and hopefully learn so...more
Julie L
I loved this book when I read it several years ago. I recall sitting up late into the night reading it because, at the time, what I was reading was ground-breaking. Some of the exercises were terribly helpful, some of the points gave me a hugely new perspective on my life and who I am.
Danielle
This was one of the better books I've reading on figuring out what you want to do. It doesn't get into career options, there's no quiz to see potential jobs. However, there are some good exercises that help you get out of your own way and figure out what makes you happy.

My only criticism of this book is that I wish the author would have set the book up to guide you to read the chapters relevant to your situation rather than the whole book. There was a lot of helpful items, but I got bored with s...more
Saura
I'm removing this from my currently reading list, because it isn't a book you just read. You need to work your way through it at your own pace while doing the excersises and thinking about your choices and past and everything that has led you here, where you are now.


My thoughts in general so far: The author comes with great excersises thoughout that really helps readers identify the the things they find imortant, and elliminate all the negativity and pressure they have been bombarded with all t...more
Ulrika
Excellent book with many exercises that supported me in getting clarity around what I really wanted to do in my life! I keep referring back to this book and use multiple exercises from this book with my clients.
Angelica
This book is incredibly insightful and goes beyond the typical "help me figure out my career" type of books. It goes on a deeper level, including exercises to help understand ourselves and behaviors, and its chapters are divided by different personality types (I recommend reading them all!).

For anyone who feels lost and just not sure what to do with his/her life, I highly recommend this book! It gave me so much insight on myself, and also made me feel like I am okay right where I am, and underst...more
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inspiring 2 19 Aug 18, 2011 01:42AM  
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Barbara Sher is a speaker, career/lifestyle coach, and best-selling author of seven books on goal achievement. Her books have sold millions of copies and been translated into many languages. She has appeared on Oprah, The Today Show, 60 Minutes, CNN, and Good Morning America and her public television specials air regularly in the United States. Sher lectures at universities, Fortune 100 companies...more
More about Barbara Sher...
Refuse to Choose!: Use All of Your Interests, Passions, and Hobbies to Create the Life and Career of Your Dreams Wishcraft: How to Get What You Really Want Live the Life You Love: In Ten Easy Step-By Step Lessons It's Only Too Late If You Don't Start Now: How To Create Your Second Life At Any Age What Do I Do When I Want To Do Everything?: A Revolutionary Programme For Doing Everything That You Love

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“What you're really supposed to be doing is whatever makes your heart sing.” 29 likes
“Every time you have to make a choice about anything, think "Does this go toward or away from what I want?" Always choose what goes toward what you want.” 15 likes
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