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But Everything Else Counts

by Hector R. Hernandez

Pub Date: July 8th, 2010
ISBN: 978-1450234269
Publisher: iUniverse

Hernandez presents a self-help book about attaining personal and financial success.

The author was just 8 years old when he and his family left Cuba for the United States, where he went on to a 30-year career at IBM and is now a college teacher and professional lecturer. His book’s premise is that everyone has unique abilities and the key to success is unlocking those abilities. One of Hernandez’s prescribed techniques is that each of us should connect to one’s higher self, meaning the individual must tap into their ability “to do something out of the ordinary…rise to an occasion…do something that was not expected.” Hernandez relates stories about how finding the higher self enables one to overcome challenges as well as act on unique opportunities, whether it’s earning a college degree or overcoming self-doubt and sharing ideas with higher-ups. The book contains thoughtful quotes from a wide variety of sources as well as the requisite acronyms covering a number of motivational and behavioral theories. Topics include how to build mental strength by “rehearsing victory” and the importance of welcoming new experiences and people into one’s life. Hernandez includes excerpts from six letters he received from appreciative students, illustrating how his lectures have buoyed and empowered them. He also shares some interesting anecdotes, as well as some not so interesting. Readers who enjoy taking quizzes in the hopes of reaching a particular self-actualization will be disappointed by the three-part quiz in which one question includes the true/false statement: “People who write books exaggerate.” In addition, a 29-page self-test covers 46 true/false statements, assorted questions and pronouncements, too many being either redundant or trivial: “From time to time, eat some Oreo cookies,” or “If you are having a good day, don’t forget to tell your face to smile.” The book would be more effective if Hernandez relied less on stories, included a more constructive self-test and offered a deeper exploration of his appealing theories.

Upbeat and encouraging, but short on real depth.