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Life Strategies: Doing What Works, Doing What Matters

3.61  ·  Rating details ·  5,858 ratings  ·  110 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.


Mass Market Paperback, 384 pages
Published January 1st 2006 by Hyperion (first published January 1st 1999)
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3.61  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,858 ratings  ·  110 reviews

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Sara Montgomery
Aug 07, 2011 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.
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
Aug 06, 2009 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 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
Sep 10, 2008 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
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
Mar 20, 2012 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
May 22, 2009 rated it liked it
This is a great book to remind ourselves how to keep things in life in perspective. There's a lot of great advice but it can be sort of dry with his storytelling.
Mar 14, 2010 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
Ilya Mrz
Apr 15, 2015 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
Martha Anne Davidson
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
Mar 24, 2009 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
Sort of read it. I bought it and the notebook but lost interest. I think Dr. Phil is more about money making than true psychology
May 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing
i really enjoy dr phil and this book is straight to the point, which i also love.
Sharyar Khan
May 30, 2009 rated it liked it
A good book that tells you how to live life in a positive manner
Nadosia Grey
Apr 30, 2014 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
Dec 17, 2008 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
Mar 18, 2008 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
Harish Sankar
Dec 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
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
Geoffrey Cheng
Apr 14, 2008 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.
May 18, 2013 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.
Madeline Ellis
Mar 13, 2008 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
Oct 28, 2007 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!
Mar 22, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Great book if you're interested in getting your life in order. Dr. Phil's no nonsense approach is real, honest and cuts through all the nicey pie stuff. He lays it all out on the line whether you want to hear it or not. Everyone should read this book to ensure you're living YOUR life to the fullest and with gusto!!

Apr 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
Bought this book in June 2006 when I needed the information that was contained therein. It's about the 10 Laws of Life... including...Life Law #1: You either get it or you don't and Life Law #8: We teach people how to treat us. Good information...and I still refer back to it when I need a refresher!
Amy Young
Feb 26, 2011 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 :-)
Gerald Thomson
Jan 05, 2015 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.
C.J. Sullivan
Jul 31, 2015 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.
Jan 16, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jeff by: Discovered it on my own.

My copy of this book was written in 1999 and is a First Mass Market Edition.

1st Read: April 24, 2015 - April 28, 2015

Good reading for anyone who wants to discipline their way of thinking to get better results in areas of their life which are not working.
Oct 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
Enjoyed reading this, it did help me with some situations I'm currently going through.
I didn't do the work that was required, seemed like too much hard work unfortunately.
Good to know that the homework isn't essential but the book is still helpful.
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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.
“In the meantime, let’s agree that what makes a problem big is simply that it’s yours.” 0 likes
“You must learn that you do not have to be angry just because you have the right to be.” 0 likes
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