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The Big Five for Life

(The Big Five for Life #1)

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  2,879 ratings  ·  193 reviews
This book will inspire you. It will change your life in ways you can't know now, but you'll understand completely once you're done reading it.

It will also forever enhance the way you look at your role as a leader. That includes the way you lead at home, at work, in your community...and especially the way you lead you.

At every given moment we are all called to be leaders. I
Paperback, 224 pages
Published January 5th 2012 (first published January 8th 2008)
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Average rating 4.02  · 
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 ·  2,879 ratings  ·  193 reviews

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Mario the lone bookwolf
Mar 08, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: mixed

Fictional utopia of a better working world, which currently only exists for the most highly qualified

The fictional story is about the frustrated employee Joe, whose work and personal lives are being revolutionized and improved from scratch by the management methods of the successful entrepreneur Tom. At the core of the whole are the title-giving five life goals, which should be achieved as a good ideal for finding motivation and to increase it too.

Good thought-provoking ideas are packed
Mar 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The Big Five For Life is such an incredible book. The concepts it included like Purpose For Existing, The Big Five For Life, and the Museum Day Morning are quite inspirational. I learned so many useful and magnificent ideas that I never knew I would learn in this way. People might think because this book is like a self helping book would definitely be boring, however, I took the chance and decided to read it because it had an attention grabber, which is its title. I was so curious to know why it ...more
André Bernhardt
Disclaimer: Received this as a present - usually this immediately feels like a book i would never buy so I am definitely biased her.

In my personal opinion this book is a collection of platitudes. Sometimes you can find a interesting thought in it but as it is written quite poorly and feels so badly constructed it is quite annoying. Good think - you rarely need a day to finish it. I am also not sure whether everyone really needs to focus his or her life on success…
Nov 22, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: unfinished
Book from goodreads first reads giveaways.

This really just seems like more psychology blah blah. It sounded like it would be good, but it ended up reminding me of another similar book I read once that had something to do with a big yellow bus, and all the people who got on the bus had their lives changed. I get what the author is trying to do, and it's a very valid writing technique. I just don't like it I guess.
Dec 25, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Handbook for company founders and leaders on generating a motivating environment. Probably a fictional story about a dying leader giving some classical self-help advice. Don't really expect anything and it might get you in a good mood. Or just annoy you. Could go either way, but as a quick light read, couldn't hurt.

Following a hand-picked eco-friendly carbon-neutral selection of lines that resonated with my inner-future-CEO that will never come out, because contrary to the main character of this
Omri Har-shemesh
Sep 25, 2019 rated it liked it
What I liked about the big five for life is that it made me think about my big five, and my purpose for existing. It has some very interesting ideas which are worthwhile thinking about. The problem with this book is that it tries to convey the wisdom in the form of a story, but then sounds like someone is constantly "mansplaining". So more preaching than actually story-telling. This makes it a bit tedious to read and not very engaging. I also came out with a feeling that the content of the book ...more
Will Irwin
Feb 06, 2021 rated it liked it
Gets 3 stars purely for being vaguely more interesting than the standard self help books. Great for those who like a storyline.

Worth taking with a pinch of salt as some of the dialogue is pretty cringeworthy and would be nominees for the ‘Never Actually Happened’ of the Year Awards.

It also ventures a little too far. Next we’ll be paying people £70k a year to be ‘Directors or Laughter’, because being happy = productivity = profits. Come on...

Saying that, if you want good tips on leadership and
Quick and easy read, some inspiring concepts but rather suited for entrepreneurs and business leaders. Feel very ambivalent about the necessity of the narrative framing the concepts, as with all of Strelecky’s books, but somehow, I enjoy reading them.
Feb 10, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 Stars!
Timandra Whitecastle
Feb 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
I think the principles collected in this book are really great, not only for leaders, but for anyone. Full 5 stars for the food for thought!

However, the framing narrative was ... not very well written as well as extremely saccharine at times. Which distracted me. It took me quite some time to go through this very short book, and the main reason for that is I would have appreciated an actual non-fiction book that calmly and competently explains the ideas instead of having to read them in between
Oct 18, 2019 rated it did not like it
One of my big five for life is probably to stop reading a book I don't enjoy. I'm not sure why, in this case, I didn't. I think I was still waiting for the story to start when I reached the last page...

While I can appreciate the concepts in this book I really didn't like it. It was too repetitive, even the simplest concept was explained with another long-streched example and the cult around the character Thomas (celebrated by all the other characters) was just plain annoying.

It's also too ideal
Sep 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is an absolutely inspiring masterpiece.

As a book it is very easy to read. There are a clear storyline and sympathic characters. But that is not what makes it such a great book at all.

The Big Five For Life inspired me in a whole new way. It gives inspiration, calls you to find your individual purpose in life and gives you the feeling that there is nothing more important. Which is totally true. But in our daily lifes we often forget about that, forget about the short amount of time we
Nov 30, 2018 rated it liked it
The idea is great and very clear after the first 50 pages.
Although the underlying theory is great, I didn't "fall in love" with the writing style itself and the way the story is told. And because the basic idea is clarified in the first pages, the rest of the book is only a collection of examples for the ideas of the author.
But nevertheless, I can recommend it for everyone interested in leadership
Ahmed Elsherbiny
Jan 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nice book
It contains many useful hints and ideas for success in business as well as in life generally. It showed the concepts in a light story. However, it wasn't deep enough in discussing these concepts and not too entertaining as the story is filled with long talks to illustrate the concepts that the author wanted to present.
Generally a good book that invites the reader to think and reevaluate his life with many ideas worth thinking about and maybe following
Vytautas Rimkus
Sep 23, 2018 rated it it was ok
Light and not particularly well written book. Wrapped into a cheesy story with unnatural dialogue. Nothing really new here either.
Mar 26, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don’t know with this book.

First of all: I got it as a gift from my boss. So I’m not sure if she really liked it or not but I remember her being excited about parts of the content in this book.

I really didn’t like it that much though. The writing style (at least in German) was boring as hell, every character spoke the same way. Could have been just one person. The “emotions” didn’t get to me at all, I couldn’t connect with any character.

And the message? There was nothing groundbreaking, shaking
This book is very motivational and makes you reconsider your life decisions.
The writing style itself is easy, too easy at times. It reads itself like a fable, including a clear message and a lot of dialogues and situations are constructed in a way that the author can but his message into it. After all its not a novel, so I guess that is ok.

As always, I assume bestsellers meet the "smallest common multiplicator" of a large group of people. This is not deep and artistic literature but a book that
Jun 07, 2019 rated it it was ok
I got this book as a present and didn't expect anything at first. Then I heard that John Strelecky is the author of "The Why Are You Here Café" from which I heard many great things but haven't read (and won't).
The ideas of this book regarding leadership skills are good! Really nothing negative I can say about it but also nothing overly positiv. After 50 pages of the book, the theory has been explained and from that point on it starts to get repetitiv. Adding to that the writing style is very fl
JP Hellmich
Nov 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book annoyed me a lot:

I didn’t like the CLEARLY fictitious, redundant and overly long style of writing, as well as the esoteric touch.

However, I later read on Strelecky’s blog that the inspiration for this book came from imagining an ideal leader. That is when everything came together and started making sense.

Although I still did not enjoy reading the book the messages were great: Imagine your life as a museum, Purpose for existing, big five (goals) for life......

I would recommend this bo
Dec 21, 2017 rated it liked it
I like the "philosophy" of the book, and some recommendations look useful to me. But personally, I would prefer it to be in a non-fiction format with references to real companies, real stories, and real studies behind.
Otherwise, the fictional story, which author has created to make his ideas easier to grasp, was rather irritating for me, since the dialogs look fake and the whole story was not rather credible.
Besides, the constant repetitions and overlapping of some ideas made in slightly boring
Mirco Blaser
Sep 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a really nice read, John just has this writing style that you can just flow through so easily. 

I almost believed the story until halfway through the book I looked up Thomas Derale on Google just to find out he was a fictional character. I still thought it all felt pretty real for most of the story and I was a little sad at the end. 

I love the concept of the big five for Life and I'm already implementing them, so far I have three.

What I thought was missing from the book was ways to find
Jan Spörer
Jul 03, 2020 rated it did not like it
These are my key takeaways from the book:
-Aligning one’s “Purpose For Existing” with work will lead to productivity toward self-fulfillment both on- and off-work. (p. 23)
-Words are powerful. Nobody likes the word employee. If you communicate your values openly, job candidates will self-select. (p. 27)
-Take established business models and build businesses on top of them with people that gain fulfillment from doing their job. (p. 30)
-People are unproductive in the first three and the last three mo
Duncan O'Brien
Aug 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Just finished his delightfully inspiring read. I heard an interview with the author on a podcast and was curious. The advice is simple and the story itself flows nicely without ramming the message to strongly down your throat.

I would say a must for the current batch of school leavers and university graduates thinking about what to do next.

I've certainly not worked at any companies who truly embrace John Strelecky's philosophy on aligning life goals with work goals (not that it is truly about g
Jun 22, 2019 rated it it was ok
This book is in theory a problem-solver of employee motivation and uniting self-fulfillment while executing everyday job tasks. I felt like the story only touched superficial layers of the actually quite complex topic. I understand the hype over the book, as which employee wouldn't cheer for the idea of having a boss who is 24/7 busy with satisfying his employees?
Regarding the self-fulfillment, the storyline was presenting jobs that were quite easy to be passionate about, zookeeper, movie direct
Aug 13, 2020 rated it liked it
It is certainly a thought-provoking little book. I'd suggest to read it first and then, immediately after, "Primed to perform". While they cover similar grounds they approach not very differently.
While the Big Five for Life follows mainly a story-telling approach, Primed to Perform bases its insights on scientific findings.
What you eventually think about either book is then pretty much on you...but makes you comprehend the topic of leadership and motivation from two different angles allowing y
Aug 04, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

This is Yet Another Life Purpose Way Of Doing Things book. And actually it is quite nice! Having a purpose in life is important, and by defining it as your personal big five for life is a really good idea!

In fact, I’m going to apply it and make my own big five for life!

What wasn’t a good idea? Turning a simple and powerful idea into a 226 page book. Seriously? The 8 page summary in the back is sufficient enough. It really is.

4 stars for the big five idea, 2 star for trying to turn it in
Apr 29, 2019 rated it did not like it
This book came highly recommended from a person I admire, but I have no idea why. The whole book feels awkward and unnatural. It might be a case of really bad translation as I read it in German. I guess the ideas in the book are kind of nice (but nothing new) but the way it is written is just really annoying.
Annemie Martens
Jul 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I love the way John tells about how leadership could be much more humane and connecting. I believe him and enjoy reading his dead simple lessons in corporate communication. But I feel deep sadness when confronted with the daily stories I read from my coachees in our learning platform. People are being treated really badly... Still 18th century working conditions. So much despair...
The book was very easy to read and it managed to inspire me to think about my 'purpose of existence' and 'Big Five for Life'. The information and inspiration about leadership, including how to lead one's own life, were hidden in a story. That made the book sometimes lengthy and repetitive. So while I enjoyed the ideas that were brought across I would have liked a bit less repetition.
Apr 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018, motivational
I liked the “good museum day” analogy. This book is a good refresher for putting your life in perspective and thinking about what matters most to you. I’m still working on my big five, but feeling motivated to figure it out!
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My path to being a writer has been an interesting one. It started when I left my “normal” life behind and decided to follow a life-long dream of seeing the world. I was thirty-two years old at the time. Too old to be leaving a lucrative career and acting like a college kid, many people told me. I heard the word “crazy” a lot when people learned what I was planning.

I’d crawled my way up from the po

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The Big Five for Life (2 books)
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