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Life's Greatest Lessons: 20 Things That Matter

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  611 ratings  ·  72 reviews
With more than a quarter million copies sold, award-winning teacher Hal Urban outlines twenty lessons that answer timeless questions about how to make the most of your life.

Life’s Greatest Lessons is a wise, wonderful book. In it, Hal Urban, a parent and an award-winning teacher, presents twenty principles that are as deeply rooted in common sense as they are in compassion
Paperback, 167 pages
Published January 7th 2003 by Fireside (first published August 1992)
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J. Renee
Aug 31, 2016 added it
Shelves: my-books-read
I had to read this book for a community college class in 2010 that was supposed to be about "workplace attitudes, ethics, and responsibilities" and found it to be vomitous in the way that I find all books of this nature to be.

Amazing canned phrases such as:
"Remember attitude is a choice-the most important one you'll ever make"
"Self esteem is the reputation you have with yourself"
"Remember there's no substitute for hard work"

And finally: "What's easy is to ignore god and to reject all religion wi
Jan 28, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book offers some good advice about how to form a healthy philosophy on life. The gist of the advice is: be proactive, positive, don't let circumstances get you down, and be the master of your own destiny. It does acknowledge the areas in which we are helpless, and stresses the importance of a positive attitude in spite of negative circumstances.

The author draws heavily on his own life experiences as an athlete, father, and educator to deliver his message, and gives a personal touch to the a
Negar Safari
Jun 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
می توانم به جرئت بگویم این کتاب یکی از موثرترین و بهترین کتاب هایی بوده که در زمینه روانشناسی خوانده ام...و حتی برای مرتبه ی سوم و چهارم به سراغ مطالبش میروم. ترجمه این کتاب را آقای مهدی قراچه داغی انجام داده و نشر آسیم منتشر کرده .
بیست درسی که شما باید در زندگی آنها را به کار گیرید تا از زندگی بیشتر لذت ببرید
این کتاب درباره ی خوبی هاست...خوبی های زندگی، خوبی های مردم و از همه مهم تر خوبی هایی که در شما وجود دارد
Kristin Antosz
Aug 21, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: for-class
Short, sweet, and positive. Nothing I haven't heard before, but not bad advice either.
Jul 10, 2009 rated it it was amazing
this is the book to read when you feel you are loosing perspective!!
Apr 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: build-your-life
My Dad gave this book to every member of our family one Christmas and I have been so touched by so many of it's truths. One of my favorite bathroom books! :)
Jan 10, 2009 rated it really liked it
Good book to start the year with. I enjoyed it, but felt overwhelmed at times by all the quotes. I felt like I should be writing most of them down and sticking them to my fridge or mirror.
Feb 03, 2013 rated it liked it
Really more of a common sense book than very inspirational. I thought it was meant to have more of a Christian/Biblical slant but it was very neutral. Good thoughts but nothing hugely mind blowing.
Don Gubler
Aug 27, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: improvement
Don't we already all know this?
Jul 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
It's everything I dreaded it would is hard and not always fair; there's no substitute for hard work; you have to give up something to get something; "attitude is far more important than intelligence, education, special talent, or luck". Oh, and about 15 other good lessons all of which I need pounded into my head.
Mar 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book and will be getting my children each a copy. Words of wisdom.
ام مریم
Jul 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
great book . i recommend all to read and act upon the twenty lessons for a successful life and hereafter as well. its one of the greatest book on personality development , i read .
justin williams
Jan 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent Book By Hal Urban - As Always

I loved this book, Hal Urban is a genius and is the best philosopher of outlet times. This should be required reading in schools.
La-la Charles
Sep 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book was extremely insightful; it provided an opportunity for new perspective to be gained on conventional ideas. The lessons that can be learnt from this are numerous and extremely important to all the copious facets of life. From this book there are several lessons that I have observed and learned. They range from the all important lessons to those that are less noted. The lessons that I have learnt are as follows; I've learned what successful people do in some of the most important areas ...more
Aug 14, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked up the original 20 Things I Want My Kids to Know in 1992 as my wife and I were starting to plan for children. We found the book encouraging and got us thinking about what life lessons we wanted to model and pass on to our kids. We found a significant overlap between the 20 lessons in this book to the lessons we thought where important. I had thought this book was out of print so I have been recommending the book Never Mind the Joneses which touches on many on the same themes though is m ...more
Allison Fetch
May 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
What a great little book! My sister gave it to me for Christmas a year or so ago and it's sat on my bookshelf til I finally decided I should give it a try. While it doesn't have any new, earth shattering information, the author presents common truths in such a way that they are inspirational and motivating. I've found my behavior changing a bit already as some of his writing sticks in my head. A great read for absolutely anyone. I wish he would write a children's version so that I could share it ...more
Yosuke Hashimoto
Sep 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
- A fireside book
- 10/1= 60 minutes
- 7 word summary: mind, attitude, think, habit, training, difference
- Discussion Question:
1. Do you have any habit you want to change?
2. Do you think that you have an open mind to learn something new or try to understand it?
Yes, I have a habit to be change. I cannot get up early. If I could get up earlier, I could do more things than now. I tend to sleep too much. This is a habit I want to change... Yes, I think so. I always understand my ignorance and my possi
Christa Cordova
Sep 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I love this book for it's simplicity, yet also for it's depth. The author's passion for "character" and everything that word entails shines through on every page and he includes practical advice for how to realize the 20 truths in life. I read this once immediately after graduating from college 8 years ago, but I feel that I have the maturity to appreciate it more now. Highly recommend to all 20/30-somethings, products of the 80s/90s "self-esteem" movement, who wonder if there's "something more" ...more
Mar 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book. I appreciate that it wasn't incredibly long or filled with pages and pages of elaboration on the same topic. It was the right length. I did find that some of the lessons Hal listed were lessons I already learned, but some were ones I am currently working toward, while others were ones I never fully considered before. The book was filled with a lot of quotes, but I found Hal's own words to be more inspiring overall. I think this is a good book for anyone to read.
Agung Maha Putra
Jun 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book give me new perspective about 20 cliche thing that my parent said to me. Before reading this book i don't realize this 20 point are important because my parent didn't tell me very well about it and mostly they tell me about this point when i made a mistake. With Hal Urban writing style and example im able to understand how important is 20 point from his book. This book is worth to read for people who really want to get self-advice :)
Feb 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: self-help
I had to read this book for a volunteer project working with middle school children, who were also requested to read the book. It was a very clear read, one that I wish I read earlier. It does not preach or placate - it is simply a series of experience that offer children (and adults) a choice on how to live. This was quick read that offered this older person some gentle reminders. In addition, if you have or are working with children, it offers some nice conversation about the various lessons.
Mar 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I read this book in university as a required reading for one of my nursing courses. The professor had experienced much tragedy in her life, yet was such a strong , resilient and interesting woman. I'm not sure if it was just the right time in my life for me to read the book, but it really empowered me. I'm not one for self-help reads, but this was great. I've recommended it many times.
Emily Rakowsky
Jun 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is a great professional development/personal development book! I read it for my building communities course. It has some good reminders about how we can improve our lives, and how we should be teaching students to live their lives. It is a quick read, and could be one you read over and over again!
Jun 28, 2010 rated it really liked it
I highly recommend this book. The 20 lessons that Mr. Urban outlines are highly relevant and important to everyone regardless of age. For young people it dispels many of the media and celebrity induced myths about success. For those in middle age it confirms much of what we have experienced and provides some ideas for meaningful reflection. I intend to review this book on a regular basis
Mar 01, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
A great deal of the wisdom offered in this book is summarized in its table of contents. The book is organized ino twenty essays, each offering a lesson in its title and providing providing good thinking behind it in the essays. The book is simple to read and thought provoking. You can't ask more than that from nonfiction.
Leslie Ann
Mar 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: self-help
This is a must in every household for young and If I was to own only one self help book, it would be this. My fave chapter is 'Honesty is Still the Best Policy' and Hal Urban stresses this is the most important in his book. Love his quote "you'll never be truly successful unless everything you do is undergirded with honesty and integrity."
Shannon Murdoch-morris
Jul 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This was my second time reading this book. I took my time reading it and the lessons sank in and made sense to me. I have even seen a shift in my thinking during this time. My goals are starting to become accomplishments and I am experiencing success and looking differently at failures. Very good. Well written, easy to read and very important and pertinent information for getting through life.
Dec 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book gives solid, good advice for life and how to use it to improve and be the person you want to be. A quick read, but much longer and difficult to implement in your life. I've got much to work on to improve. Enjoy this book!
Aug 11, 2016 rated it did not like it
This was very low-level knowledge. I suppose it could be helpful for someone who had the misfortune of growing up in a family that wasn't giving them basic parental guidance, but this really isn't anything special.
Sep 05, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who is in search of life lessons
Shelves: most-influential
This book is one of the best books I have ever read. I revisit these life lessons at least once a year. The ideas are simple yet idealistic. If we all lived by these "rules," the world would be a better place.
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Hal Urban holds a Bachelor's and Master's degree in history, and a Doctorate in education from the University of San Francisco. He has also done post-graduate study in the psychology of peak performance at Stanford University.

For thirty-six years he was an award-winning teacher at San Carlos and Woodside High Schools and at his alma mater, the University of San Francisco.

Hal is the author of six b
“I happen to believe that the overwhelming majority of people in the world are law-abiding, loving, and caring. They just don’t get any publicity for it.” 1 likes
“Success means doing the best we can with what we have. Success is in the doing, not the getting—in the trying, not the triumph. WYNN DAVIS” 0 likes
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