A back-to-basics book dispenses advice on clarifying one’s life.
Successful businessman DeCoursey fills his nonfiction debut with telegraphic sections designed to keep his readers focused on key questions. Do you know what you want out of life? Do you like what you’re doing? Do you have a specific timeline for changing what you want to do into what you are doing? In laying out this bullet-pointed program for achieving the balance he views as essential for a happy, fulfilled life, the author downplays the idea of chance, favoring instead personal agency. “I have had a lot of people tell me that I am ‘lucky’ because I managed to find success in lots of different categories of my life,” he writes. “The problem is, I don’t believe in luck as a trait that some have and others don’t have.” The core of his book is refreshingly old school; the author’s insistence on personal responsibility wouldn’t have been out of place in self-help manuals from a century ago. “If you don’t hold yourself accountable,” he writes, “you start making excuses for why nothing went right for you.” And these excuses take the form of an “economy of falsehoods,” in which people’s refusal to accept responsibility for the consequences of their own actions can escalate over time. At the heart of DeCoursey’s work is the “DISC” concept, first developed by David P. Snyder in his book How to Mind-Read Your Customers (2001). In the sales and marketing world—and, by extension, in life in general— people can be categorized according to four personality types: Dominant, Influential, Steadfast, or Conscientious. Clearly assessing both their own types and the types of others should help readers achieve the personal and professional balance that’s the goal of the work. Some of the book’s punchy lessons are fairly rudimentary—stay positive, avoid fake smiles, don’t answer text messages during meetings, etc.—but the brisk main body of the message should be thought-provoking to just about anybody.
A serious and enthusiastic guide to taking control of one’s destiny.