Excerpt from Self Matters by Dr Phillip McGraw, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Self Matters

Creating Your Life From Inside Out

by Dr Phillip McGraw

Self Matters
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Nov 2001, 320 pages
    Paperback:
    May 2003, 336 pages

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


But he would play the good soldier. He would shrug off the negative feelings and forge ahead. Soon he would be scrambling so fast that life would crowd out the nagging thoughts, and he would focus instead on meeting the expectations held by so many who loved him. He told himself it was probably just anxiety anyway, nothing a little hard work won't take care of. So with a healthy dose of dutiful self-righteousness, a work-your-butt-off commitment, and a naïveté that can only come from being young and stupid, he prepared to go to work. There were those doubts, and there was that vague uneasiness about the road he had started down. That nagging sense that something just wasn't quite right continued. But hey, he was going to make a lot of people really proud.

At the same time, he made a heartfelt promise to himself: I don't care how much money I get to making -- If I ever find myself doing this just for the money, if I am ever just going through the motions, I am out of here. I will turn on my heels and walk smooth away. I will never sell out and live without passion and fire just because it is secure, expected, or easy! I'm no one-trick pony. If I can succeed at this, I could succeed at a lot of things just as well, no problem.

Ten years later...

Ten years and thousands of patients later, the not-so-young, not-so-stupid, and not-nearly-so-naïve doctor and his wife step off of a client's private jet at a busy airport in the heart of a teeming, fast-paced city. It is a crisp and beautiful Sunday afternoon in October. His practice has exploded to perhaps the largest in the country. He has mastered his profession. Successful? Yes, certainly by any standard he knows of. A secure lifestyle? Without a doubt. Houses and cars? Only the best. Two great children, a wonderful marriage, and proud parents: he has it all.

So why doesn't it feel any more right than it did ten years ago, standing at the pay phone in that hot, deserted parking lot? His self-righteous declaration of ten years ago haunts him more and more. He has often wished he had never said it. There are those dreadful times when "the truth" runs faster than he can. It is particularly bad when he is really tired, or in those rare moments when he has allowed himself to become very still. He has hated those times, because it is then that his private reality mocks him: If I ever find myself doing this just for the money...if I am ever just going through the motions, I am out of here. I will never sell out. I will never live without passion and fire just because it is secure, expected, or easy....

The promise haunts him, because he knows that money and lifestyle have in fact "bought him," just as he swore they would not. Far from being vitally involved in his own life, he feels trapped by it. There is a part of him that remembers what it was like to have passion, hope, optimism, and energy. It is a part that has refused to succumb to and accept the roles assigned by an insensitive and sometimes hurtful world. It is a part of his concept of self that just wants to get in the game, the game he wants to play: a game that means something to him, whether it means anything to anyone else or not. It is a private, usually denied, part of himself that does not want to be controlled by what is expected. It is a part of him that knows what is genuine, yet it is a part that usually lives in silence.

The simple truth is that he is not living a life that he wants, or that he chose. He is living a life that pleases a lot of people, most of them well intended, but not him. He is doing what he does, simply because it is what his father did. He is even living in a place he did not consciously choose. In fact, it is the last place on earth he would have ever chosen. He has a life many would love, but his heart is not in it. It is not natural for him, so he has to do what he does by brute force: Everything is a chore. There is no passion; there is no excitement. He ignores his real dreams, but doing so is hard and getting harder. Being someone and something he is not is the hardest thing he has ever done.

Copyright © 2001 by Phillip C. McGraw

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

One Month Free Membership

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Invisible Life of Ivan Isaenko
    by Scott Stambach

    "An auspicious, gut-wrenching, wonderful debut." - Kirkus, starred review

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Book That Matters Most
    by Ann Hood

    An enthralling novel about love, loss, secrets and friendship.

    Read Member Reviews

Book Discussions
Book Jacket
This Must Be the Place
by Maggie O'Farrell

An irresistible love story for fans of Beautiful Ruins and Where'd You Go, Bernadette?

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win Lady Cop Makes Trouble

The Kopp Sisters Return!

One of the nation's first female deputy sheriffs returns in another gripping adventure based on fact.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

Manners M (T) M

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
X

Free Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the world of books:
Reviews, previews, interviews and more!



Spam Free: Your email is never shared with anyone; opt out any time.