How to Help Yourself to Be Who You Want to Be: A Simple Guide for Those Who Are Ready to Take Charge and Redirect Their Lives

Pam Grewall

Publisher: iUniverse Pages: 172 Price: (paperback) $13.99 ISBN: 9781532094033 Reviewed: February, 2021 Author Website: Visit »

This self-improvement book, author Pam Grewall states, is “a simple manual that will help you recognize your strengths and weaknesses and understand that you’re the maker of your destiny.”

With her early references to “soul growth” and “karmic debts,” it’s apparent that Grewall is spiritual in the non-traditional sense. But the brief mentions of reincarnation throughout are few and carefully placed, helping those uncomfortable with this concept feel more at ease.

The book is comprised of three parts. Part 1, “What to Do,” is told through essays, stories and fables. In a chapter on healing, for example, the author discusses the difference between a cup caked with mud and another with sand. Like long-held negative beliefs, she posits, it takes longer to rinse out the one with mud. One fable features two friends sharing a meal and heatedly debating God’s existence, with the non-atheist friend pointing out that neither of them saw the chef but that someone had created the food.

The introduction to Part 2, “How to Do It,” notes that the section—a mere 11 pages—will include advice on “helpful tools to get you where you want to go.” What follows, unexpectedly, are four book suggestions with brief overviews and excerpts.

Part 3, “Inspirational Words of Wisdom,” includes poems, brief stories and quotes, some unattributed and others from high-profile contributors, such as Kahlil Gibran and Steve Harvey.

Although Grewall is a skillful writer, sentence by sentence, the book suffers from several flaws overall. The lack of a table of contents is disorienting. Likewise, the first few short chapters, including one on controlling anger, are introduced abruptly, without context or transition from one to the other. While things improve after this rocky start, the subsequent information is poorly organized, and the many disparate parts never cohere into a meaningful whole.

While readers will find some helpful nuggets throughout, the book requires revision before it will appeal to a wide audience.

Also available in hardcover and ebook.

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