"Don't Gamble..." was written to assist people with achieving their goals. I've seen people make the same mistakes I've made, and figured it must be some sort of pattern. This 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. They don't appear as daunting.
In the book, 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. Everyone knows 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 clearer focus, and make the journey getting to it much easier. This book chronicles my journey through a tough, but necessary transformation from "was" to "is."
It's never too early (or too 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.
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 the need for change. It wasn't easy to do (or accept), but it was necessary. I hope explaining what I went through simplifies the journey for somebody else.
If this 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.
The point I'd like to stress is, I don't refer to my book as a "self-help" book, though it falls into that category. I see it more as "self-development," because I focus on unlocking and developing traits a person already has. What makes my book different is the degree of realism. Many of the scenarios in the book are personal experiences, and I think if the reader sees another person who's gone through what they're going through, the words have a bigger impact.
Often 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 and practicality get the job done just as, if not more effectively. Ideally, every reader will begin reading and not be able to put the book down. I want them to get to the bottom of a page and wonder, "What in the world is Kevin going to say next?"
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!
I wrote the book as if I was having a conversation with the reader. I felt it was important to add the aspect of realism, because without it, credibility might be lost. By highlighting my own experiences, the reader can see a person who went through a number of obstacles designed to defeat them, yet found ways to overcome those obstacles.
A reader should expect to go through a wide range of emotions while reading the book. Expect raw realism, because the topics aren't sugar-coated! They'll be tough for some people to read, but the intent is to assist the 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, "I needed that."
Improvement only occurs by getting beyond the boundaries of the comfort zone, and this 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!
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 says, "Improvement always begins with an idea, but is advanced or defeated by an attitude." My hope is the book gets people to start looking within themselves for solutions. Generally, when things go wrong, we want to look for outside causes. That's fine, but you must make sure you're okay, first! What I discovered is the solution to overcoming an obstacle is often closer than where many people want to look!
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