“Negative and exploitive people are obstacles to your success, happiness, security, and peace of mind.”
This statement comes at the beginning of Dr. Phil McGraw’s guide to helping us navigate this crazy journey we call life. His book, Life Code, is packed with direct and honest truths about how we fool ourselves into missing out on what’s important because we can get swayed off course by negative influencers he calls BAITERS—Backstabbers, Abusers, Imposters, Takers, Exploiters, and the Reckless.
What I appreciate so much about McGraw’s style and tomes is that they are both direct. His words are not peppered with warm fuzzy blankets that encourage us to sit under the stars and ponder our inner wisdom until all is right with the world. Rather he couples honoring our instincts with a tough schooling on how to navigate life’s scary and very real obstacles in order to achieve our personal and professional success. As a career coach, I appreciate that.
“We all know the truth when we hear it, even if it is not what we wanted to hear, we feel better when we come to grips with the reality.”
There are no magic wands and we can’t rely on others to take care of our needs and security. Yes, we should turn to others to compliment our lives and support us and even guide us in certain areas where we are not experts, but we can’t let go of the wheel. McGraw shares his own experiences and wake up calls when making this same mistake. He uses these as a testament that instead of ignoring the reality of our situation we need to face obstacles head on as painful as it may be in order to get successfully to the other side.
“It is better to be awakened by a powerful truth than to be lulled asleep by a seductive lie.”
He goes on to say that “once you are tuned in, plugged in, and in control of your life, you will experience a genuine peace that comes from knowing and dealing with the truth.” McGraw outlines a step-by-step plan for us to do so, which he calls the “Life Code Playbook.” It begins with a hard look at your ten greatest fears (which was a scary but liberating exercise to put in writing).
Then he honestly, firmly, but peppered with humor and heart, walks the reader through his sixteen steps for success. Each of which are challenging, but when you consider the outcomes they are worth the push beyond our comfort zones. Some of them reflect the work I do with my clients, including enforcing accountability, creating a “passionate nucleus of supporters,” and “stretching to success.”
“Imagine the possibilities if you would try just as hard to change as you do to hide.”
But just because I’m highlighting some of the obviously necessary success steps doesn’t mean this book is trite. On the contrary, McGraw’s choice of words, direct challenges, and hard truths, all of which he backs up with personal experiences and research, provide a clear roadmap to personal and professional success.
How to Be Career Happy? Follow Your Life Code