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Wishcraft: How to Get What You Really Want

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  2,122 ratings  ·  122 reviews
Cindy Fox was a waitress. Now she's a pilot. Peter Johnson was a truck driver. Now he's a dairy farmer. Tina Forbes was a struggling artist. Now she's a successful one. Alan Rizzo was an editor. Now he's a bookstore owner.

What they have in common--and what you can share--are Barbara Sher's effective strategies for making real changes in your life. This human, practical pro
Paperback, 272 pages
Published December 30th 2003 by Ballantine Books (first published 1979)
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Average rating 4.05  · 
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 ·  2,122 ratings  ·  122 reviews

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Sep 09, 2007 rated it it was amazing
This little gem has been around for almost thirty years now and I've worked through it a number of times, both personally and sharing it with friends, particularly those making life choices.

The central principles of the book - daring to say what you really want, and then finding the support to help you broaden the idea and make it a reality -- were freeing to me intellectually when I first read this. I had just come out of a graduate program in which I studied vocational choice theory, among oth
Apr 26, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone who has a dream
I read this book MANY years ago, so I am commenting on that edition - don't know if she has changed it much in the years since. I hope not - it was excellent then.

I am NOT a sucker for a good self-help book, but this takes a very practical approach to figuring out what is important to YOU and then figuring out how to make it happen.

There's no navel-contemplating, no existential psycho-babble - just clear cut, real life ways to make things happen in your life.

Sep 18, 2011 rated it did not like it
I give up. This book was recommended to me ages ago and I tried to read it then. For some reason I couldn't get into it and never finished it. I assumed it was just a matter of timing. Later I tried to read it again but had the same experience. Started but stopped. I think this was my third time, or maybe even my fourth attempt, to read this book. In chapter 2 Sher asks a series of questions to help identify those experiences that may have disconnected the reader from their essential self and th ...more
Nick Brown
Sep 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This book is easily the best and most important book I've read this year!

What makes this book so important is the metaskill that Barbara Cher teaches the reader - how to go out and get what you want.

The essence of this book can be pulled from the title itself - Wishcraft. Or rather Wish-Craft. The first part is the "wishing" part, and Barbara walks the reader through several exercises that removes their inhibitions and allows them to reveal what they truly want out of life.

The "craft" part is wh
Rebecca Waring-Crane
Jul 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
The new age-y title seems more like edgy spin for this nuts and bolts handbook for owning and realizing goals (wild dreams). First printed in the late 1970's, this 30th anniversary edition references quaint, dated practices like using a typewriter and researching at the library. But charming anachronisms do not dilute the potent, practical guidance Sher presents with humor and tested, step-by-step expertise. Over and over Sher's wisdom made me laugh as I realized how much that is served up as cu ...more
Jul 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I need to reread this and read any updates in the latest edition. I had to laugh one time when I saw some unschooled cataloguer had Deweyed it in the "witchcraft" area! Ha! But in a way, this self-help book is witchery because it guides you to begin to bend and manipulate your life in the direction you really long to go.

A good way to read this is not propped up by pillows in your comfy bed but upright in a chair, at a desk, with pen and blank notebook at the ready. You will be prompted to consid
Nicole McElhose
May 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
There must be some mistake. I mean, the fact that I read a self-help book is weird enough, but the fact that I enjoyed a self-help book--well, I think we must have stumbled into some kind of parallel universe. Pretty sure doing so threw those universes out of whack.


I actually picked this book up for research purposes. It was referenced in a writing book about archetypes, and the title called to me. It proved a fantastic book for both character sketches, especially in terms of motivatio
Dec 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
One of the most underappreciated self help books ever written.
May 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: self-help
I read this book because I desperately need to make changes in my life but didn't know what I wanted, or how to get it. This book helps you figure out what you really want and WHY you want it, and then goes about teaching you how to get it--and how to deal with success once you have it. I've read this book before, many years ago, and it's as helpful and informative as I remember it being. Reading can be difficult for me these days, but I found myself eagerly turning the pages of this book, ready ...more
May 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I really think everybody should read this book, instead of seeing a career or life coach!
Feb 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Edit: 27/03/2015

This book IS the holy grail, the one that rules them all! Re-reading it I have found that it contains concentrated wisdoms taught by all the wise people such as Tony Robbins, Brené Brown, Jonathan Fields, Sage Grayson, Beate Chelette etc... And yet it's nearly 40 years old!!
It contains concrete and easy to follow instructions and exercises. It's not some la-dee-da self help book, it's a very practical tool to get s**t done!
I know I will need to go back over and over again to var
Jun 27, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Though written and published in the late 1970s--as reflected by some of the "winner" language--Wishcraft: How to Get What You Really Want is still relevant and full of helpful techniques for all people who dream of a life more satisfying, and want to bring more of what they love into their currently lives rather than waiting for happiness to arrive sometimes in the distant, uncertain future.

Admittedly, being a "Scanner" (see: Refuse to Choose!: Use All of Your Interests, Passions, and Hobbies to
May 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-help
This self-help book was recommended to me by a friend when I was going through about a million bad things at once. One of those bad things: unemployed and at a juncture in my career where I have to figure out what path I want to take, and I was totally in the woods. Here I was reprocessing my entire life and worldview and at the same time I have to look for JOBS?? Ugh.

Anyway, the book is sometimes hokey and sometimes outdated, but the core of it is solid. It does two things:

1. Talks you through
Donna Woodwell
Jul 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If you're struggling to figure out your passion in life -- or how in the world to make it reality -- do yourself a favor and pick up this book. It's full of practical exercises to help you visualize your "perfect lifestyle," then learn how to make a concrete, actionable plan to get there.

For me, Wishcraft has been more than a book, it's been a friend. I first read it years ago when I was just starting my own business. Since then I've used my love-worn copy not only for my own reflection, but to
Michelle Baillie
Apr 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is about working hard for your goals. When I first saw this book I thought: sounds like a "Positive thinking" book, but it actually gives you permission to be grumpy, and not expect things to fall in your lap just because you "attracted" them. She teaches you practical steps and gives lots of examples. Really enjoyed this read and I will be taking a lot of her advice to set and work towards my own goals. ...more
Sep 07, 2008 rated it it was ok
This sort of crap should not be allowed near ANY college campus. Unacceptable.
Ray Charbonneau
Feb 05, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: self-help
Really almost the same book as her "I Could Do Anything If I Only Knew What It Was", but the advice in both books is worth reinforcing. ...more
Julie Moore
Jul 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely fabulous book! I would recommend it to anyone who is "SEARCHING". Very different from any "self-help" genre book I've read! ...more
Grace Samis
Bar none - this book is the BEST book on teaching you how to not only 'get what you really want', but how to figure out what it is that you really want! ...more
Cosmic Arcata
Dec 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book. Helped me unschool myself.
Alex Ankarr
Oct 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Enjoyed the book. Did not enjoy interacting with the author on her forum. hem hem a million hems (REDACTED)
Mar 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A title that makes you think of The Secret (or some craziness) but was recommended on a couple podcasts and a few blogs I follow, so hey. Turns out, some of the most useful advice I've seen on figuring out what you want to get out of life. The language is down-to-earth, funny without being flippant, and very human. The last half of the book is all about processes and systems you can use to actually start reaching your goals, where the first half helps you narrow down the "Why" portion of your id ...more
Dave Manning
May 14, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Ohh I love Barbara's work. I read this after reading Barbara's "Refuse to Choose" and watching some of her videos. Apart from the fascinating insight into 1970s gender roles and some celebrity names I had no idea who they were, the book has aged phenomenally well and reads like it was just published. Excellent content that, in today's author context, is like Tim Ferris and Simon Sinek wrote a how-to-get-things-done book. I checked by copy out of the library, skipped some of the exercises, but wi ...more
Melanie Walker
Sep 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A great book about how to get what you want in practical steps, with goal-setting, planning sessions, tasks, time management, overcoming obstacles, and addressing fears.

This is a great practical book and I really enjoyed tangible steps to getting what you want. It's a lot like SMART goals (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound). It teaches how to grow your dreams by taking the big vague dream and breaking it down into pieces that you follow each day, week, month, and year.

May 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book helped me a lot! I kinda knew what I rally wanted but with this book and all the exercises I could make a plan!
the second part wasn't that important to me as I didn't have a bunch of people that could help me. But even alone I feel like I can really achieve my goals now! planning is everything!
Elvira Krytsyna
Jun 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Fake it till you get used to it or "fake it till make it" ( as we all know) one of my favourite message in this book, and something that really helps (at least for me). I can't say I found something particularly new for myself,, but this book definitely gave some piece of inspiration. Also, I like the style of writing and its easy to read. So,,, my 4 stars ...more
Karen Briscoe
Jan 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Truly a classic! How to get what you REALLY want - it is all about discovering your strengths and skills, then turning fears into positive tools, diagraming the path to the goal with target dates, chart progress daily, create a support network and use a buddy system. Karen Briscoe, author "Success in 5 Minutes a Day! ...more
Oct 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I read this book years ago and it still resonates with me. I recently recommended it to someone for her daughter who has completed first year undergrad and is not feeling that she is in the right program. The exercises may seem silly but they drill down to the essentials of what one really wants, in order to be fulfilled, whether that be vocational or otherwise.
Feb 06, 2021 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed her humor and down-to-earth tone. It invited rather than alienated me, which is helpful for convincing people that they can achieve things that they previously thought were reserved only for geniuses. Definitely is dated, but still has useful tips. The Designing Your Life book I read a few months back feels like an updated version of this classic.
Dec 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The book is very interactive. It requires a lot of time for self-reflection but it is worth it. Barbara proposes an easy structure describing every step you need to take to achieve your goal.
'Having a structure makes it a lot likier that you will act!'
'Do it right, do it wrong but do it'
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

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 ai

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