Review Blog

Mar 06 2014

Life in half a second: How to achieve success before it is too late by Matthew Michalewicz

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Hybrid Publisher, 2013. ISBN 9781925000207.
Described as 'Truthful and hard hitting' this book is an exhaustive (and exhausting) look at the ingredients of success. It is sold as the product of 'thousands of studies and decades of research'. Yet it all seems so familiar and reminds me of being introduced to Dale Carnegie by a young teacher when I myself was in Year seven.
There is no doubt that Matthew Michalewicz is on a mission to help young people understand that they have to make choices and how to go ahead and plan for their success. He breaks down the book nicely into the five doors of success bookended by the countdown and waking up.
His main premise is that life is short and that if you want to achieve your goals you must plan how to achieve them by breaking down the components that are necessary for success. I like the fact that he encourages young people to realise that the first step necessary is to define their goals.
Each chapter finishes with a summary of the actions required in order to see through the vision. These breakdowns are useful and reinforce the ideas presented. While the book is ostensibly about how to achieve life success, I feel that there is much useful advice in how to break down any concepts into achievable chunks. This makes it useful to students whose goal may well be to be a better student and to learn concepts of study and note taking.
While I may quibble about how the author defines and measure success in what seems to me to be very material terms I feel that he has written a very useful book for young people which does not talk down to them. Having taught in Boys' schools I know that there is a demand for this type of material. I do believe that my colleagues, the school counsellor and the careers teacher would be very happy for this book to join the collection.
Michael Jorgen

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