Book Review: Help Yourself by Dave Pelzer

As a boy Dave Pelzer went through horrendous emotional and physical abuse from his mother. He was robbed of the childhood he was supposed to have. He survived and lived to tell his story in several books, one of them called Help Yourself, Celebrating the Rewards of Resilience and Gratitude. In this book he talks about how he worked through his issues that arose because of his unfortunate childhood and gives suggestions to the readers on how they can work out their own issues.

In the first part of the book called “Get Rid of the Garbage in Your Life” the author emphasizes the importance of getting rid, as soon as possible, of whatever is troubling the person — unresolved issues. Instead of becoming bitter while surviving the negative environment, Dave Pelzer learned to let go and made a choice not to hate but to forgive and help others do the same.

The second part of the book, “Know What You Want out of Your Life”, points out that the victim mentality will not get a person too far. The author gives direction on what to concentrate on to make things better as well as providing steps to take to make the impossible possible.

In the third part of the book called “Celebrate Who You are and What You Have” the author shows how what you say to yourself first thing in the morning affects how the rest of your day will go. He demonstrates the power of a positive attitude and gives suggestions on how to create your own positive environment. Throughout the book, at the end of each chapter, the author lists “help yourself” reminders.

All of us go through some pain and injustice, though perhaps not as severe as the pain and suffering young Dave Pelzer went through. Reading the horrible accounts of abuse in his life would make anybody feel grateful for the life they’ve been living. The resilience of this young boy to his circumstances can serve as an example. The power of his spirit and gratitude brought him to where he is right now — living a happy, fulfilled and productive life as an adult in spite of all odds. He shared his wisdom in this book so others can also have a great life in spite of their own negative circumstances.

How to Effectively Read a Self Help Book

Below are the easy to follow steps that will allow you to effectively read a self help book with ease. Follow these steps and you will see success.

Step 1

Take an hour each day. I suggest with any book, that a good solid hour each day to read through the material is a sufficient amount of time. This time will allow you the opportunity to do the following steps in an easier manner.

Step 2

Use a highlighter. Make sure to highlight all the parts you read in the book that are important to you. IF a sentence or paragraph really makes sense to you, and you want to remember it later when you go over the book again, highlight it. You can highlight as much as you want, but just use it as a reference for the future.

Step 3

Write in the margins. If there is something that you have a question about write it in the margin. If there is some section in the book that you really resonate with also write that out in the margin. The point is to make notes that you will want to remember and possibly start using in your daily life.

Step 4

After you have completed all these steps. Begin now to try to implement some of the things in the book that you really resonated with. If needed re-read the book, browsing through sections highlighted to act as a reminder for what you choose to work on and put your focus.

Book Review – They Call Me Coach by John Wooden

Coach John Wooden epitomizes what a coach should be. Earlier this year, he passed away at the age of 99. Back in the 60’s and 70’s, his UCLA team dominated the college basketball scene. The book,”They Call Me Coach”, is his autobiography.

Coach John Wooden was a rather soft-spoken. He was precise on his practice and games. Prior to becoming a coach, he was a great point guard at Purdue University. He became a Hall of Fame inductee both as a college basketball player and coach. When he speaks, he sounds like a poet or English teacher because he uses poems and quotes to make a point.

The book vividly illustrates how Coach Wooden had solid principles that he lived by. The two key source of his life and coaching philosophies comes from a Seven Point Creed from his father and his Pyramid of Success.

The Seven Point Creed states:

* Be true to yourself.

* Make each day your masterpiece.

* Help others.

* Drink deeply from good books, especially the Bible.

* Make friendship a fine art.

* Build a shelter against a rainy day.

* Pray for guidance and give thanks for your blessings every day.

The Pyramid of Success is a list of foundational principles that are layered by:

* Competitive Greatness

* Poise

* Confidence

* Condition

* Skill

* Team Spirit

* Self-Control

* Alertness

* Initiative

* Intentness

* Industriousness

* Friendship

* Loyalty

* Cooperation

* Enthusiasm

His story can help anyone in any field to become better and ultimately achieve their best. Coach Wooden’s story is success through solid core principles. He was a master of the details. In the book, there is a story on how important it was to put your socks on correctly. He even taught his players how to do that. Another key aspect of Coach Wooden is that he does not directly talk about winning. Instead, he teaches his players to do their best. If they do their best, then the result does not matter as much.

Coach Wooden coached a variety of great players including Lew Alcindor (aka Kareem Abdul-Jabbar), Bill Walton, Gail Goodrich, and many others. He treated each player fairly. Fairly is not the same as equally. He had to spend a bit more time with the star players, but he recognize and acknowledge the importance of every single player. Many of his former players succeeded in basketball at the professional level- but most of them succeeded in other areas including business, medicine, teaching, ministry, etc.

This book is a must-read for anyone who coaches which includes athletic coaches, parents, business leaders, supervisors, etc.