I just finished a book yesterday called People Are Idiots And I Can Prove It from Larry Winget. It was recommended by a friend of mine +Leo Emery. I really haven't read a lot at all lately, and after reading Rendezvous With Retirement the other week, I was hungry for more. It just so happened that it came into my feed, so why not, right?
I've never read anything of Larry Winget's before, but apparently he's a famous motivational speaker and has a number of other books out. They're all creatively titled with witty and biting slogans like
- Grow a Pair: How to Stop Being a Victim and Take Back Your Life, Your Business, and Your Sanity
- You're Broke Because You Want to Be: How to Stop Getting By and Start Getting Ahead
- Shut Up, Stop Whining, and Get a Life: A Kick-Butt Approach to a Better Life
- It's Called Work for a Reason!: Your Success Is Your Own Damn Fault
- Your Kids Are Your Own Fault: A Fix-the-Way-You-Parent Guide for Raising Responsible, Productive Adults
It's no surprise that he's very straightforward in his approach to advice giving, and basically the tone of the book is embodied in the titles. I liked this, because a lot of self-help stuff is very lovely-dovey, “it's not your fault” type hippie-bs.
Throughout the book he gives us assignments, so we are supposed to follow along and make lists about things we do that are stupid. Don't worry, he gives plenty of examples of how he is in the same boat, so it's not like he think he's ‘better than us' or is giving advice he can't follow himself. It's actually kind of fun, and I felt I needed to concentrate more on what he said, otherwise I didn't know exactly what I need to write on the list.
The First Half
The beginning of the book focuses on money and business, so it's no wonder that this is the part I enjoyed the most. I enjoyed this part for two reasons. One, because I realized I'm not the only one who wants to buy crap every once in a while, and two, because it reminded me that I have decent spending and saving habits compared to a lot of Americans.
There wasn't anything extraordinarily genius in the money section. He basically says don't buy stuff you don't need, and stop being whiny about how you can't save money because there's always a way if you really try.
I think that message was the thing I enjoyed most about the book because I have always known it to be true, but still struggle with it today. We are the makers of our own destiny, and the more we blame others for things that are wrong with our life, the less control we have. We can complain all day about the government, our job, our neighbors, friends, and people in general, but in the end complaining gets you nowhere. If you really wanted change, you would do it.
I see this behavior all the time in Wealthy Affiliate chat, where people say they don't have a $47 monthly payment to learn how to start a business, but I'll bet they have ice cream in the fridge, a Netflix subscription, and a $90/month phone bill. The other day I saw a guy at the grocery store checkout line who didn't have enough money for the food he bought AND his lotto tickets + cigarettes so he left some food items and opted for the cigs & scratches. Sure, some of these hard can be hard to, be we all have to set priorities at some point.
I'm not a anywhere near ‘perfect' in this category either, and I definitely filled in some ridiculous stuff in my lists.
He then moves on to goal setting, which was also enjoyable, but about 65% though the book, I felt myself losing interest in what he was saying. Perhaps this was because it applied less and less to me.
The Second Half
Where I started skimming was when he had me make a list about why I should care about being a better person, why I need to be a better communicator, and why I need to be a better person. I'll admit that I just couldn't think of any good reasons for these.
Then the frequency of the lists started increasing, and I felt their value decreased steadily with each new list. Here are some examples
- Why I want to lose weight (not interested in losing weight)
- Why I want to be come a better spouse (not married)
- Changes I need to make to find a significant other
- Why I need to be a better parent (I don't have kids)
- What having a better fashion sense would do for me and why I care (I don't)
- ..and more [sic]
Then I really stopped paying attention when he started giving fashion advice for men and women. I see how it fits in the full title of the book which is The 10 Ways You Are Sabotaging Yourself and How You Can Overcome Them, so he's talking about all areas of our lives, not just money. I understand that clothes choices can subliminally affect certain parts of our life, but I didn't expect to be spending time reading about it. I'm just not into it, or at least his particular advice.
I didn't do the lists at all in this section.
I thought the book as a whole was a good idea, and had a good message. I enjoyed the first half, but I feel like the second half was stretched to complete his idea of “10 ways”, or to fill out necessary pages for a book deal. That is of course speculation on my part, and subject to my personal biases. For $11 on Amazon, it's not a bad buy. I'd give it 3.5 out of 5 stars. I'd recommend it for anyone who likes this style of No BS advice, likes interactive books, or thinks they could benefit from some ‘tough love'.