9780743227254

Self Matters: Creating Your Life from the Inside Out

Phil McGraw

ISBN 10: 0743227255 / 0-7432-2725-5
ISBN 13: 9780743227254
Publisher: Free Press
Publication Date: 2003
Binding: Softcover
About this title:
Synopsis:
What if there is a You that has never seen the light of day, has never got to say, "Hey, what about me?"

What if there is a You that you have never even met and certainly never permitted to just be, without fear of judgment or condemnation?

What if you live your life on the sidelines in constant fear of failing to please those who forever seem to stand in judgment of you and your life?

What if you discovered that you had settled for what life has served up instead of what you really wanted and needed?

What if you really think and feel things you have never allowed to come out, and certainly never acted on?

What if your marriage is not at all what you really emotionally want and need, but you silently stay the course anyway, selling out your hope to be happy?

What if you are allowing days to turn into weeks and weeks to turn into months and months to turn into years, all adding up to a lifetime of being what some nameless, faceless world has assigned you to be?

If any of these "What ifs" are true in your life, then we need to talk, and through these pages, we will. First, I have some bad news, and I have some good news. The bad news is you are making the choices that have put you in this life circumstance; the good news is you are making the choices that have put you in this life circumstance. Now is the time to make the biggest choice of your life. Through Self Matters, I will help you do just that.

-- Phil McGraw


About the Author:
Dr. Phil Mcgraw is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Ultimate Weight Solution, Self Matters, Life Strategies, and Relationship Rescue. He is the host of the nationally syndicated, daily one-hour series Dr. Phil. One of the world's foremost experts in the field of human functioning, Dr. McGraw is the cofounder of Courtroom Sciences, Inc., the world's leading litigation consulting firm. Dr. McGraw currently lives in Los Angeles, California, with his wife and two sons.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Chapter 1: What If...?

"Somehow we learn who we really are and then live with that decision."

-- Eleanor Roosevelt

The sun beat down relentlessly on the young man standing in the barren parking lot. There was not a breath of air, and the black asphalt was sticky and melting as it gave way to the afternoon heat. It radiated up into his face like a blast furnace. He wouldn't be here, using a pay phone, except that he was out of town and this was one call that absolutely had to go through an operator.

Over the years he had placed collect calls back home many times, but this one was entirely different. This time, he instructed the operator to be sure to emphasize that the call was from "doctor," rather than "mister." How strange it sounded to hear her say "doctor" in front of his name when his father answered at the other end. It was "Dr. Son" calling "Dr. Dad," an achievement that had been so very long and hard in coming. Eleven years, to be exact. Three hundred hours of college credit, tens of thousands of pages read and studied, and hundreds and hundreds of all-nighters in preparation for nearly as many tests and exams. There had been miles and miles of long walks from the remote parking lots at the hospital, where students, interns, and residents were "dog meat." More recently, it had been month after month of enduring the inescapable, acrid smell of Thorazine-laced urine on the psychiatric wards of the VA hospital -- some might say warehouse -- where he had spent long days and longer nights "treating" (storing) the inpatients on those cold and desolate wards.

No less painfully, there had been the days, weeks, and months of dealing with a variety of insecure, "emotionally interesting" professors, many of them white-coated Napoleons who were all too eager to wield the power of their petty fiefdoms. Their torments had culminated in that unforgettable final year, when he had walked the halls at school and put in his time at the hospital, armed with a signed letter of resignation on his clipboard, daring just one more anal-retentive, power-hungry mentor-turned-tormentor to say so much as "boo" to him.

In spite of it all, and as surprised as anyone who knew him, here he stood. He remembered one of his favorite profs telling him he would never make it because he had an "attitude" and refused to "kiss ass." He was told, "You have too many options in your life to put up with this fiasco of dysfunction, you aren't near desperate enough to tolerate the abuse!" Yet here he was. One by one, the department heads had signed off on his final requirements, shaken his hand, and congratulated him on earning the highest degree in his profession. Doctor -- wow! He knew how proud his dad was going to be. This phone call would be a huge step closer to a father's dream come true: father and son, both doctors, practicing together, side by side!

Throughout the long ordeal, he had been powerfully influenced by his knowledge of his father's vision and dream. Theirs was a family of meager and simple beginnings. In fact, the young doctor and his father were the only ones from either side of the extended family ever to go to college, let alone earn doctoral degrees. Surely, then, this phone call was to be a proud moment indeed. The long journey was over. Victory was at hand, and parents and family were bursting with pride.

It was all cued up just right. Ready and waiting for him was a thriving practice, all set to explode with the energy and inspiration he would bring. That meant no more scrounging for money for him and his young wife. No more driving cars that were beyond old. No more living in apartments so small you had to go outside to turn around. Most importantly, the young doctor truly did care about helping people, and here was his chance to do just that. So there couldn't be anything wrong with any of this. Right?

Yet standing in that parking lot, mouthing the words of expected excitement -- even as he heard his father's voice breaking with unmistakable pride -- he looked over at his wife waiting in the car. There sat the only person in the entire world who knew him well enough to know that something was wrong. How could everything be so right, yet feel so wrong? He looked into her eyes. Without speaking a word, he knew that she knew.

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.

Clearly, this is not some monumental tragedy. I mean, come on: "Poor baby has to work in a cushy office all day!" It is not the kind of cause célèbre that makes the evening news. Could he "get happy"? After all, his marriage and family are great. Could he be satisfied with that and just keep on keeping on? Yes. But it gets harder with every day that passes, days that have turned into weeks, months, and years. He sometimes hears a voice, his own voice, crying for relief, but he does not react. Sometimes it is just easier not to think about it. After all, does feeling right, does having passion<...


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Book Description: SIMON SCHUSTER, United States, 2003. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 213 x 138 mm. Language: English Brand New Book. What if there is a You that has never seen the light of day, has never got to say, Hey, what about me? What if there is a You that you have never even met and certainly never permitted to just be, without fear of judgment or condemnation? What if you live your life on the sidelines in constant fear of failing to please those who forever seem to stand in judgment of you and your life? What if you discovered that you had settled for what life has served up instead of what you really wanted and needed? What if you really think and feel things you have never allowed to come out, and certainly never acted on? What if your marriage is not at all what you really emotionally want and need, but you silently stay the course anyway, selling out your hope to be happy? What if you are allowing days to turn into weeks and weeks to turn into months and months to turn into years, all adding up to a lifetime of being what some nameless, faceless world has assigned you to be? If any of these What ifs are true in your life, then we need to talk, and through these pages, we will. First, I have some bad news, and I have some good news. The bad news is you are making the choices that have put you in this life circumstance; the good news is you are making the choices that have put you in this life circumstance. Now is the time to make the biggest choice of your life. Through Self Matters, I will help you do just that. -- Phil McGraw. Bookseller Inventory # ABZ9780743227254

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