"Don't Gamble..." was written to assist people with achieving their goals, but that's where the similarities with most "self-help" books end, in my opinion. I've seen people make the same mistakes I've made, and figured there might be some sort of pattern. My book should resonate with anyone who's wondered why they keep running into obstacles on their path to enjoyment. Everyone encounters obstacles, but understanding how and why these things keep getting in the way better prepares you to deal with them.
The book chronicles my journey through a tough, but necessary transformation from "was" to "is." I discuss many of my own experiences. It was important for me to include a high degree of realism, to show the reader that I'm writing from a real place. Life isn't always perfect, and admittedly, mine felt like a never-ending train wreck, until I realized it wasn't. Obstacles and challenges make it difficult to see the finish line. However, with a shift in your thinking, it's possible to bring that finish line into focus, and make the journey getting to it much easier.
It's never too early (or late) to make an investment in yourself, or someone you know who's struggling. This book is a wonderful asset for the portfolio, and the potential return on the investment is limitless! The most effective way for a reader to get the most out of reading my book is to clear their mind of what they believe, open the book and simply start reading it. An important thing I've learned from experience is you can't grasp an alternate point of view, if you go into the discussion determined to remain where you are. I spent years being angry at the world, and it got me nowhere. A simple shift in mindset made the difference for me. I want to show readers how simple it is.
Well, I don't refer to my book as "self-help," though it falls into that category. I see it more as "self-development," because I focus on unlocking and developing traits a person already possesses. What makes my book different is the degree of realism. The majority of the scenarios in the book are personal experiences. I believe if the reader can see someone who's gone through similar experiences as they have, the words have a larger impact.
With this type of book, many people tend to look for scientific methods for resolving problems. There's nothing wrong with science, but in many cases, plain-old common sense will get the job done just as, if not more effectively. In an ideal world, each reader will begin reading my book, and won't be able to put it down. I want them to get to the bottom of a page, and wonder to themselves, "What in the world is Kevin going to say next? I have to turn the page!"
Absolutely! There are takeaways for anyone who reads it. However, the key is being ready to receive the information as it's written. The actions and behaviors discussed have been displayed by many people (including myself) on multiple occasions. I suspect most people have seen or experienced them at some point.
I've stated that every reader will either use the information in the book themselves, or they'll know someone who needs it, and I stand by that statement. They won't agree with every idea or opinion, but that isn't, nor has ever been the intent. The intent is to get each reader to agree with at least one idea or opinion.
One of my favorite lines in the book is in the first chapter: "Improvement always begins with an idea, but is advanced or defeated by an attitude." My hope is the book motivate the reader to develop what I refer to as an "Inside Out Mentality," and starts looking within themselves first, for solutions. Generally, when things go wrong, we tend to look for outside causes, which is perfectly fine, as long as you've made sure YOU were okay, first! I've discovered that in many cases, the solution to overcoming an obstacle is closer than where many people want to look.
My experiences were the main influences for the book. Life wasn't going as I'd planned, but I always felt there was a more effective way of getting where I wanted to be. My problem was I was too proud (that's code for "hard-headed") to ask for help on my own. So as painful as it was, and with some effective coaching, I was forced to take an honest look at my actions and behavior, and it prompted a need for some adjustments. It wasn't easy to do (or accept), but necessary. I hope by explaining what I went through, it simplifies the journey for somebody else.
If my book can inspire a reader to make positive adjustments to their life, and they benefit from what I've written, it has accomplished the intended task. The more people it can inspire, the better.
One of the hardest tasks to accomplish is convincing a person to consider another way of thinking, when they're convinced their current way is working! No one wants to face the possibility that their thinking may be flawed. I was no exception. I had to learn to get out of my own way, and accept the unpleasant fact that I wasn't right all the time, and wasn't right about a number of things I was doing in my life.
I think the challenge for most readers will be getting through the first two chapters. They were designed with self-reflection in mind, which is not always easy to do. Readers will need to be comfortable with the possibility of being made uncomfortable, because some of the content may make them feel that way, at times. They must also be willing to open themselves to a different perspective. Beliefs hold a lot of weight in a person's head, but are they correct? Maybe, maybe not... but looking at things from another viewpoint may make the pieces of the puzzle finally fit.
The thing to remember is improvement can be painful, because of what you find may be necessary to achieve it. What may be necessary is making a decision, or taking an action you may not like, or even want to do, but unless you do it, the situation isn't going to change!
My goal with writing the book, was to write in a way that reader feels like I'm having a conversation with them. I felt it was important to add the aspect of realism, because without it, credibility may be lost. By highlighting many of my own experiences, the reader sees a person who has gone through a number of obstacles designed to defeat them, and found ways to overcome them.
The reader should expect to go through a wide range of emotions while reading the book. They should also expect a lot of raw realism, because the topics aren't sugar-coated! They may be tough for some people to read, but the intent is to assist a person in enhancing their life for the better. I'm confident that every reader will read something in this book that makes them say, "I know exactly who could use this information!" or possibly, "I needed that."
Improvement occurs by getting beyond the boundaries of the comfort zone, and my book will test those boundaries. The turnaround didn't begin for me, until I learned how to do that. The first step was the hardest, but doing so was one of the best decisions I've made!
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