This week, Life Training Online is reviewing Why Your Life Sucks (and what you can do about it), by Alan Cohen, the fourteenth of fifty-two books in the 52 Personal Development Books in 52 Weeks series.

Basically this book is organized into 10 reasons (chapters) why your life sucks. Here are the ten:

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

Today, we’ll be taking a look at the first five.

Reason #1: You Give Your Power Away

It’s not uncommon to find yourself looking up to and wanting to emulate other people. We all have our role models. The problem, the author states, is not so much in having these models as much as who we choose to be our role models. The moment you begin to think that someone else has the power, wealth, wisdom, beauty, talent, or strength to rescue you from your deficits, you are setting yourself up for trouble. Those things you are looking for already reside within you.

Imitation of your role models may be a form of flattery, but it is also another way in which we give away our power. In the early stages of skill and character development, imitation does provide a necessary stepping stone, but eventually we need to learn to set out on our own. As we go out alone, our creativity and personal power increases. And very much like a muscle — the more you use it the more it grows.

Reason #2: You Expect it to Suck

In this chapter, Cohen basically states that you will never get ahead in life if all you do is expect the worst. Your expectation creates your situation. This chapter is more or less a focus on the Law of Attraction — you attract into your life that which you predominantly think about.

I guess you could say that this reason has to do with the blame game. You figure that since you’ve been born into poverty or that you have some deficiency, that life as you know it is pretty much set in stone. There’s no way you could be any different. Heck, your whole family down to the time they came over on the Mayflower has had a sucky life, and so naturally by default, so should you. Or should you…?

…not if you can help it, Cohen says. You’ve got the power to make changes and take control of your life. You’ve got the ability to create whatever it is that you want, because you have the most important tool you’ll ever need for success. And that is the power of choice.

Reason #3: You Get Fooled By Appearances

Man, this chapter was all over the place! With its hodge-podge collection of unrelated anecdotes and poor analogies, I was left wondering what Cohen was talking about.

The one redeeming quote from this chapter was this, “Discover the crucial relationship between your beliefs and your experience, and you will dump the programming that has made your life suck.” Digging through the muck, you’ll find that this is what the essence of the chapter is about. It’s learning to step away from your limiting beliefs that allows you the clarity to choose without bias.

Reason #4: You Waste Your Energy On Things That Suck

When you find yourself spending time with activities or people that don’t bring you happiness, your energy gets sapped, you feel unfulfilled, and you generally lead a sucky life. Take the power back and realize that your time here on earth is very precious. By investing your energy on things which raise your spirits and brings you life, you will truly experience heaven on earth.

Reason #5: You Keep Trying to Prove Yourself

Realize, right now, that you are never ever going to achieve universal admiration and approval from everyone. The approval that you are seeking needs to come from you and you alone.

Some of the more common ways we try to prove ourselves is by living someone else’s dreams, measuring yourself against an impossible standard, or comparing yourself to others. If your sense of self worth depends on how others view you, you’ll never feel worthy. True self worth and happiness only comes when you learn to relax in your own skin and be yourself. Pretty cliché but true.

Why Your Life Sucks (and what you can do about it) is the fourteenth of fifty-two books in Life Training – Online’s series 52 Personal Development Books in 52 Weeks.

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