|I Could Do Anything If I Only Knew What It Was: How to Discover What You Really Want and How to Get It
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"A life without direction is a life without passion," says motivational specialist, therapist, and career counselor Barbara Sher. In I Could Do Anything If I Only Knew What It Was, a sort of broader, less dense, and less intimidating version of What Color Is Your Parachute?, she reveals how to "recapture long lost goals, overcome the blocks that inhibit your success, decide what you want to be, and live your dreams."
This is a perfect book for new college graduates or anyone sick and tired of languishing in a dead-end job or relationship--yet reluctant to make drastic life changes due to uncertainty about what would actually inspire them. I Could Do Anything combines the I'm-not-buying your-excuses inspiration of Dr. Laura Schlessinger with the soothing, analytic encouragement of Dr. Martin Seligman in his classic Learned Optimism. In other words, Sher will pick you up off your butt and get you moving. She's included enough self-analytical exercises in here to save you hundreds of dollars in therapy.
Whether you're looking to make improvements in your job or personal life, Sher will teach you how to determine what your goals are, and how to successfully reach them--even if right now the only thing you know is that you're vaguely to very unhappy and haven't the foggiest idea what to do with yourself.
If you suspect there could be more to life than what you're getting...if you always knew you could do anything if you only knew what it was, this extraordinary book is about to prove you right!
A life without direction is a life without passion. The dynamic follow-up to the phenomenal best-seller Wishcraft, I Could Do Anything If I Only Knew What It Was (the New York Times Bestseller) guides you, not to another unsatisfying job, but to a richly rewarding career rooted in your heart's desire. And in a work of true emancipation, this life-changing sourcebook reveals how you can recapture "long lost" goals, overcome the blocks that inhibit your success, decide what you want to be, and live your dreams forever!
You will learn:
* What to do if you never chose to be what you are.
* How to get off the fast track--and on to the right track.
* First aid techniques for paralyzing chronic negativity.
* How to regroup when you've lost your big dream.
* To stop waiting for luck--and start creating it.
- THANK YOU, BARBARA!
Once again, Barbara Sher has raised the standard for Self-help books. While others tell you "Just Do It" Barbara takes a deep, sensitive look at why most of us "Just Can't". You don't need to be Superman to do what you love; you do need to look carefully at what keeps getting in your way. And you need this book!
- One of the best books I have ever read
I have spent many hours agonzing about what I want to be 'when I grow up'... even though I am already grown up. I have read many books about how to analyze your skills and the job market. Those books only skim the surface of the issue. This is the ONLY book I have read that speaks to the heart of the matter -- the reason you do not know what you want to do. You will absolutely find yourself on the pages of this book, wondering if the author somehow has been spying on you. This is the only book I have read that I have gone back into and highlighted passages of to read and re-read. Buy it. Read it. Read it again. ...until you are truly happy with what you are doing....more info
- helpful but not as helpful as I had hoped..
This book has some excellent ideas in it. But since it is targeting the vocationally clueless - I think it could have gone into more depth, as I really think it was more of a surface level study. I'm probably one of those people she calls scanners - but it didn't go into much detail with what can a scanner do for a living..
- The best book ever
If the title of this book caught your eye, then it will probably be perfect for you. It is very well written and has many great chapters about what may be holding you back from realizing your full potential. The woman who wrote this really knew exactly what she was doing. Take her advice, which is specific and goal oriented. Her exercises are difficult but they help solve dilemmas in finding direction in life. Inspiring, funny, and a quick read. ...more info
- "I Could Do Anything If I Only Knew What It Was" might be your answer
Steve Jobs' commencement speech at Stanford University. In it, he says the advice we've all heard a thousand times:
"You've got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do." - Steve Jobs
Barbara Sher has some excellent books, DVDs, CDs and seminars on helping you to find your passion. Get your hands on everything that you can until one of them turns on that light bulb and you discover what that passion is and then do everything in your power to follow.
One example she offers: You have a passion for ice skating and competing, but you are not quite good enough to make it professionally. Well, there are still alternatives. Go to work for the Ice Follies in some capacity that keeps you close to your passion. Take a position in sales with a manufacturer of ice skates, etc. You get the idea.
You have to work hard at this and try to think out of the box. Let Barbara Sher help you step by step.
If Barbara is not the answer for you, don't stop looking or you may follow my true story below.
In my youth, after leaving my hometown, I read all of the books and listened to all of the tapes PMA, success, motivation, sales and on and on and they helped.
But, "If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you be and what would you be doing?" Traveling on a sailboat through out the South Sea Islands didn't seem like it was going to make me a fortune or support my family. It is still necessary to be pragmatic.
So, what do you think happened? I did what probably 99% of the population does. I went to work for a large corporation and at the end of nearly 5 years I realized this wasn't for me. I had been transferred 5 times in 5 years, San Francisco to Houston to Philadelphia to Houston to Los Angeles and finally to San Diego. But, the reality set in. What was I trained to do? The answer was, since I had been the general manager of a national collection agency with branches across the United States, I would open a collection agency. That's what I knew and I knew I was good at it. And, I knew I could make good money doing it.
And, all of a sudden, I was the President of my own company, small though it might have been at the time.
But, then the frightening reality set in, I hated what I was doing. I didn't look forward to getting up each morning and racing into the office and I hated the overwhelming stress that came with being the President of my own company . But, of course, now I was in my late forties so what was I going to do? The only practical thing was to continue going in to a job I hated and tough it out until retirement time. My life had flashed before my eyes and twenty five years had gone by, unfulfilled, unsatisfied and day by day.
The point is that this is what happens to most of us in life. We get rapped up in the day to day routine, the need to make enough money to pay our bills and raise our children and then all of a sudden, it is over. The children have grown and there we are.
I had essentially done the same thing, but I left Spokane, Washington after high school and had been introduced to a whole other world, one with goals, goal setting, big dreams, Zig Ziglar`s, Brian Tracey`s, etc.
What I lacked was the single most important thing of all, finding my passion and following it. And, finally I discovered "I Could Do Anything If I Only Knew What It Was" by Barbara Sher which was recommended by a close, successful friend. Now, I am recommending it to you.
- Not very helpful
The book begins by suggesting our career indecisiveness stems from childhood, and assumes we were all bombarded with messages from our family/friends as to what we should do in life -- and that all along we've simply been trying to be what others want us to be. That may be true to some degree, but the author seems to adamant that that is the root cause.
The other thing I found off-putting is that that author uses one exercise, early in the book, in which the reader imagines his/her dream job -- your ideal job. Whatever you envision as being the ultimate great job. Well, isn't that why we're reading the book -- because we don't know what our dream jobs are? After that exercise, and one more in which the reader fine-tunes their dream job, the author writes, "Look who just figured out what she wants." It seemed an oversimplification, to say the least.
There was one part I found somewhat helpful, and that was the section about "meaningful work" -- making the reader examine his/her idea of what that is.
There may have been a statement here or there that was a good thought point, but overall the author seems to make very bold statements, yet I found myself wondering what her credentials are. I read the first few chapters, skimmed a few others, and decided this book wasn't worth purchasing after all. I think "What Color is Your Parachute," though much more time-consuming to work through, is probably more sensible and helpful....more info
- Doesn't quite deliver the goods
This book is helpful to an extent and has some interesting ways of looking at the problem. Like many such books however, it is lacking when it gets down to brass tacks. She has you fantasize about your Dream Job (and she does mean fantasize: your dream job might be rockstar on weekdays, fighter pilot on weekends)and next thing you know she has you trying to make it happen. What's missing is that crucial jump from fantasizing to identifying real, practical jobs that suit you.
Also, most of the chapters deal with various types of resistance you may have to finding your perfect job. These can be useful, but again she omits a certain amount of reality and practicality. What if your 'resistance' is not the result of a personality trait, but of practical concerns about earning a living? What if they are not hiring rockstars this week?
You can get some insight and inspiration here, but it's not necessarily going to actually deliever what it promises....more info
- I have recommended this book for years
More than any other self help book, this book has actually changed my life. I was a massage therapist for years and suddenly got the courage to audition and sing again. This book can actually move you to action, when most books do not....more info
- Problem solved.
I am not a touchy-feely person. I don't buy self-help books. But this book honestly saved me from a lifetime of failing at one career path after another and helped steer me toward a career that I know will be personally fulfilling and FUN. It also helped me to identify the reason why I sabotage my own success every time I try something new. It was kind of rough, but now that I am aware of my self-sabotaging behavior and where it started, I feel like I can finally grow up and do what I was meant to do with my life.
I had tried the "What Color is your Parachute" book and thumbed through books filled with laborious exercises geared toward changing careers based on the skills I already possess. But I hated my skills. They were gained doing jobs I didn't really like very much, wasn't very good at, and didn't want to do again because they weren't what I was meant to do. This book has very simple exercises (if you can call them that - it's just jotting things down, really) that you can do in a short time.
If you feel like you were meant to do something with your life, meant to be really great at something, but you don't know what - read this book. Give it a weekend - that's all you'll need.
- Take Action to know your Resistance
Barbara Sher has a direct, no-nonsense approach to finding and leading a meaningful life. Her answers are simple, straightforward -- and the kind of things that make you think: "WOW, why didn't I think of that? It's so easy." Its common sense, but somehow we lose track of it, become afraid, lost, forget what we dreamt for ourselves. Her central message do what you love to give your life meaning. Find your resistance by taking action. Sher uses exercises, lots of examples, ideas, personal anecdotes (hers and from other people) "The universe is not going to see someone like you again in the entire history of creation." (Gregorian) That's why its important to live the life you were meant to live - and as Sher states - that life is as individual as you are. If you don't think you remember your dreams ... or don't believe you had any -- if you think you're all over the map and want too many things, if you feel you have nothing left, or have lost interest - then there's something here for you too -- Sher addresses these problems, and their underlying reasons....more info
- A Roadmap to Success!
I Could do Anything if I Only Knew what it Was provides practical common sense guide for determining what career you should decide on. In other words it helps you discover what makes you want to jump out of bed in the morning.
The book is informative, refreshing and extremely useful. There are many rich topics for anyone who isn't sure what he/she wants to be when he/she grows up! Some of the topics are: What are you suppose to be doing?, Fear of Success: Leaving the Ones You Love Behind, I Want too Many Things, I'm all over the Map, Help! I'm not Ready to be Born Yet, How to Live an Extraordinary Life and much more.
Besides excellent topics there are fun exercises and explanations to learn what makes you tick.
For example, I wasn't sure if the book could categorize me very well, but it did. I have many varied types of interests and the book validated who I am and what I enjoy doing.
Barbara Sher called us Scanners. These are individual who want to taste everything. She goes on to say "To scanners, the universe is a treasure house full of a million works of art, and life is hardly long enough to see them all." Sher notes that career aptitude tests tend to miss scanners. This book provides some great recommendations to be successful by not changing.
The thread throughout the book is to be true to whom you are and mold a career around yourself! This is an excellent book for anyone who is ready to make a decision on finding their dream career!
The Re-Discovery of Common Sense: A Guide to: The Lost Art of Critical Thinking...more info
- Good start on changing your life
This book provides some excellent advice on becoming who you want to be, but I don't think it went far enough in helping readers assess who they are and what goals are realistic for them.
Author of The Portable Coach: A Do-It-Yourself Approach to Personal Coaching...more info
- For failures only
This book will likely help you if you really have never accomplished anything in life yet are reasonably capable but tied in knots by psychological, childhood related fears. Otherwise, I think you'd be wise to look for career guidance elsewhere....more info
- I think the last reviewer read a different book!
"I could do anything if I only knew what it was" is NOT about blaming anyone in any way. It is about analysing yourself, to see what you liked doing and were good at back throughout your life (and I was only 27 when I used it, so you don't have to be able to go that far 'back'!)
It's an absolutely wonderful book, which saved me from a dull and unfulfilling but high-paying career. I'm now in one that I ADORE and am great at. Well worth reading!...more info
- Cheesy title for a Cheesy book!
Cheesy title for a Cheesy book!
I didn't come across this book in a bookstore nor did a therapist or a friend recommend it to me. It was given to me by a family I have known for many years as a gift for Christmas. I felt a bit insulted by this gift because of its title and the family's association of me not having a direction in life. Yet I could see why it was given to me, being 22 years of age, 4th year at junior college, and still undecided on what career I want to pursue. It was just recently that I thought that this book might have an answer for me. So I finally picked it up and had begun to read what Dr. Sher and Dr. Smith had to say to enlighten me on what I should or need to do to get inspired. The book runs through 8 or 10 situations that could be the case in witch prevents one from becoming enthused about a chosen career. From that the book tells the reader to turn to a corresponding chapter and discusses how one can overcome the different conflicts. This was not helpful to me because it didn't really pinpoint my conflicts, I could relate to some of what the author had to say and the situations that where given but overall this book just did not live up to its title. I realize that I probably don't represent the majority that has look at the book. The reason I think this book wasn't helpful to me is that this book was written from a female's point of view. Me being the opposite sex, I just couldn't relate....more info
- You can trust desire
You can trust desire to lead you to the life you were meant to live. Barbara Sher has a direct, no-nonsense approach to finding and leading a meaningful life. Her answers are simple, straightforward -- and the kind of things that make you think: "WOW, why didn't I think of that? It's so easy." Its common sense, but somehow we lose track of it, become afraid, lost, forget what we dreamt for ourselves. Her central message do what you love to give your life meaning. Find your resistance by taking action. Sher uses exercises, lots of examples, ideas, personal anecdotes (hers and from other people) "The universe is not going to see someone like you again in the entire history of creation." (Gregorian) That's why its important to live the life you were meant to live - and as Sher states - that life is as individual as you are. If you don't think you remember your dreams ... or don't believe you had any -- if you think you're all over the map and want too many things, if you feel you have nothing left, or have lost interest - then there's something here for you too -- Sher addresses these problems, and their underlying reasons....more info
Yawn. hmmmm...what was I going to say? Oh, yes...yawn.
I read this when I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do. It helped me not at all. I would have been better off to spend that time reading one of the Emmanuel series, or even Do What You Are.
All in all, this book was what? A yawn....more info
- MyBestLifeCoach Applauds this Book
As a life coach, I find that most people really do know what they want in life. There is a subset of folks who truly have no clue; this is an excellent resource for them. I find that most confusion about life goals does come from resistance to declaring, "I want this". Ms. Sher deals with these issues beautifully in her book, and I use many of her ideas in my coaching work with clients. All of Barbara Sher's books are an excellent vehicle for stimulating change, but many people will need a life coach to move through the change process....more info
- You can have it all - just not at once!
I really enjoyed this book, even though I have changed careers many times. I am what Barbara calls a "scanner" and want to do everything in the world - this helped me see that this is fine, but I have to have my adventures sequentially. It also reminded me that life is long and I have time to achieve it all. I particularly liked the exercise on planning your life until you are 95 - yes, I have time!
I like Barbara's non-nonsense approach - I can almost hear her counselling me at times! The book profiles different situations you might be in, and how to change them. I absolutely agree with taking action at anything to make a change - even if you don't get it right the first time, it is easier to change direction when you are moving.
Great book - love it! I even blogged on it! Thanks Barbara. ...more info
- It Helped Me
This is a great book to listen to when you're at a crossroad in your life and you don't know what to do. No self help book ever really solves one's problems, but they do give one a place to start. The title alone gets you to focus on what you really want. I played this tape over and over again for months, and in combination with a lot of talk therapy and Susan Jeffers' Feel the Fear..., eventually I was able to find out what I want to do with my life. And I'm now on my way to achieving my goals.
I Could Do Anything If I Only Knew What It Was: How to Discover What You Really Want and How to Get It
Feel the Fear . . . and Do It Anyway (r) ...more info
- Excellent Career Book Especially If You Hate Personality Tests
Whether you just graduated from college, have been working at a dead-end job for twenty years or simply fantasize about having the perfect life and career, this book can certainly help.
I've alway found that the biggest obstacle to my career sucess was simply not having a passion for anything. After countless personality tests and career match quizzes, I always ended up with multiple personalities (wondering if therapy was the real solution to my problems) and/or careers that did not interest me at all but matched my ability to make lists. Barbara Sher's book claims that everyone deep down knows what they are passionate about and it has nothing to do with whether you are a "green" or "gold" person, an introvert or an extrovert. There is just something holding you back from finding it. The exercises in this book proved truely helpful when I realized that the reason I've been stuck unhappily in a 9-6 corporate job was because it was what my dad had always wanted for me, and following my passion scared the you-know-what out of me (maybe I did need therapy afterall). I was enlightened and gratified by the book and would recommend it to anyone who is struggling to find what is really in their hearts. ...more info
- I Could Do Anything If I Only Knew What It Is........
I found this book to be an excellent resource for those needing help finding their career path or life's work. Barbara Sher has wisdom to offer all ages and phases of life....more info
- Great read, very uplifting
Very positive thought process in this book. Ms. Sher takes you through a series of exercises to help you identify your current state of mind, what might be holding you back from pursuing your true ambitions, and how to combat that fear. Good stuff. ...more info
- Best Book I Ever Read!
This book covered every question I could think of about life transition like: (1)What do I really love and what do I want to do with the rest of my life? (2)What's keeping me from moving forward in my life? (3)What is resistance and where does it come from? (4)What part of me is my real-self and why has it been in hiding so long? (5)Why action is better than analysis when I'm in a low mood? (6)How to move beyond a hurtful past. (7)How to overcome narcissistic tendencies. (8)How to claim and create a new life for myself.
Barbara Sher demonstrates how understanding that there is a reason for everything and finding that reason, can literally transform one's life. She encourages compassionate understanding as opposed to deep analysis of problems. She supplies creative, fun exercises that help target and clarify the answers to a myriad of questions. Her suggestions are priceless, like how to create your own support system.
This book is an artful fusion of creative career counseling, wise therapy, motivational inspiration and plain old common sense teaching. I've never seen so much information given away in one book. You'd think it would have taken her a lifetime to write. Thank you Ms. Sher for the best book I have ever read! ...more info
- Not a Career/Vocational Guide
If you are looking at this book as a way of finding a new career or vocation you are way off base. This book is about finding out what you want to do with your life not what job you want to do. Sure, there are chapters that deal with jobs but the main point of the book is that you can find what will truly fulfill you in life. Your job (the thing you do to make money) is not who you are - it's just the thing you do so you can finance your life. Barbara Sher wants your life to be worth financing and your job to be rewarding too. Who can fault her for that?...more info
- Sorting Out Your Life
This book has exercises to help you figure out what you really want in life. It aims to get you beyond the negative thinking and self-sabatage, those messages in our heads, that keeps us stalled. It was interesting reading about the family patterns and life experiences that might keep you in a state of stagnation.
At times I found it hard to keep reading as it brought to the surface issues that have been kept tamped down for decades. This is a good book to return to for a refresher. You will get different things from it over time as your resistance grows less....more info
- If you're ready for a change, Sher shows you how
Maybe you're just out of college wondering how you ended up with a business degree when you hate business. Or you've been spending way too much time on the job/in life daydreaming about some other job or life. Or maybe, like me, all seems right with your world, but you have a nagging feeling there's something else you should be doing. Barbara Sher's book will help you sort it all out. She'll help you figure out what's at the root of these feelings and how to understand and handle them. Through a series of exercises, explanations and examples she guides you to discover just what it is that you truly want to do. And then she shows you how to get to do what you want.
You have to be ready to do a little psychological work on yourself, think hard about your past and realistically about your future. You have to be ready to put aside the excuses and fears, and Sher knows them all, and commit yourself to working towards the life you want to live. If you're looking for something easier, like tests or checklists to tell you what you should be doing, this book might not sound like it's for you. But buy it anyway. I read all the books with the tests, the checklists, the affirmations and the goal making, etc... and they got me nowhere. This book finally got me somewhere....more info