Why Your Life Sucks (And What You Can Do About It) - Alan Cohen
We all have areas in our life that "suck". They are the un-investigated thoughts and assumptions we have made that are a part of our reality. These, in turn, affect our decisions and perspectives. As a result, we often sell out, self-sabotage, and put up with things that suck our energy. It's these "little foxes that spoil the vine", to borrow from the Bible, that often eat at our enjoyment of life and its blessings.
I'm glad that the publishers of this book, The Jodere Group, were brave enough to allow for the title. "Suck" is an oft-used word in American culture, but it has the stigma of being crude slang. Yet, Cohen maintains that there are many aspects of life (including "energy vampires") that can literally suck the vitality right out of us--leaving us feeling drained, tired, anxious, depressed, angry, cheated and empty.

It took me awhile to get through this book because there are so many wise nuggets to absorb. I had my highlighter out, and soon realized this is a book that is not to be consumed quickly. Don't get me wrong: it's not difficult reading. Cohen writes in a friendly, conversational style--as if he's sitting in the living room with you. He uses personal stories, examples of well-known people, and quotes from others. (And he's also hilarious!) But what makes it a book to read slowly is that it contains such practical wisdom and advice for every area of life: relationships, money, vocation/work, spirituality, creativity, personal empowerment, sex, and so on.

Why Your Life Sucks is divided into 10 Chapters or reasons why your life may suck. Each Chapter/Reason then has sub-sections that cover the areas of how your life sucks and what you can do about it.

For example, Reason 1 that your life sucks is that You give your power away. The how of giving your power away is:

You put people on a pedestal.
You imitate instead of create.
You don't listen to your intuition.
You let others choose for you.
You think your destiny depends on something outside of you.

He then shares ways to plug up the proverbial leaks in your bucket, so you're not sucked dry. Here are a few gems I highlighted just in Chapter 1:

Physical death is mandatory, but spiritual death is optional.

If you don't use your mind, someone else will.

Drop what you've been taught so you can remember what you know.

Your true strength resides in holding your power in the midst of those who have abdicated theirs.

In the long run, you are the one who will have to live with your decisions, so make sure they represent your true desires.

Here are the other 9 reasons that your life may suck:

Reason 2: You expect it to suck
Reason 3: You get fooled by appearances
Reason 4: You waste your energy on things that suck
Reason 5: You keep trying to prove yourself
Reason 6: You say yes when you mean no
Reason 7: You think you have to do it all yourself
Reason 8: You try to fix other people
Reason 9: You starve your soul
Reason 10: You forgot to enjoy the ride

Many self-help offer little advice on how to navigate out of the murky waters of discontent; they just tell you what you already know--being big on what, but not how. However,  Why Your Life Sucks (And What You Can Do About It) gives practical advice and real-life stories to help you plug up that leaky bucket that's been draining you of your life, your passion, and your energy.

I'll leave you with a nugget from Chapter 4: Do what brings you life. Do not do what deadens you.

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