A self-help guide that presents readers with a five-year plan to become more active and actualized.
Management consultant DeCosta’s book opens by encouraging readers to visualize their futures as if they were DVDs featuring each aspect of their lives, from personal relationships to career milestones to day-to-day quality of life. It uses this metaphor to illustrate how one can take a more active leadership role in one’s life decisions. The book is divided into four parts, each prefaced with quotes from famous figures, such as Muhammad Ali and Mark Twain. Its overall thesis is that when people don’t have fully realized plans, they allow outside events to bully them and make them unhappy. The book provides detailed, nuanced examples of how to reverse such crippling thought patterns. In chapters such as “Welcome the Critic,” the author encourages readers to stop rejecting the commentaries and judgments of others and instead learn how to embrace constructive criticism. He ably imparts the book’s lessons in taut prose, as when he writes of his former boss: “[W]hen I screwed up, he let me know how and why.” In a pleasing bit of symmetry, he closes with a revamped metaphor, encouraging readers to imagine a classroom of 30 different potential future versions of themselves: “[N]one of them have superpowers, nor are they a member of the Royal Family of England, and none of them are on a reality television show.” This relatable illustration deflates the starry-eyed quality of many other self-help books. Overall, DeCosta’s pragmatism and punchy prose make this book an enjoyable, inspiring read.
A solid self-help work containing informed advice for living.