Book Review – You Don’t Have to Learn the Hard Way: Making It in the Real World: A Guide for Graduates

About the Book

When J. R. Parrish went from being a milkman to becoming a self-made millionaire, he learned what it takes to survive and thrive in the real world the hard way. The single most important thing that helped him along the way was finding a mentor who told him he would help him grow twenty years in just one year, and he did.
The education and insights he received were in two areas in which he was never offered a single course in high school or in college—Thoughts and Human Relations.
Now 35 years later, he shares all the vital knowledge he developed over the years so that others may avoid the pitfalls.
His new book, You Don’t Have To Learn The Hard Way, is a crisp, hard-hitting book written and published with a single goal: to convey what J.R. wishes someone would have given him when he was starting out—a no-nonsense blueprint for personal and professional success.
J. R. Parrish offers up a wealth of heartfelt and experience-based wisdom covering six key areas of life: human relations; habits; making your dreams come true; dating, marriage, and parenting; career and finance; and love and truth. He carefully explains and offers guidance that’s easy-to-understand and use, and will be of immense help to each and every high school and college graduate. His ideas will be particularly valuable to those just getting out of the military, or who find themselves unemployed and are looking for a new job or career. Here is a sample of the ideas he offers:
“You never know when your opportunities will come or what form they will take. A fundamental secret of success is to be ready for your opportunities when they appear. Opportunity does you no good if you’re not in a position to take advantage of it.”
“Your thoughts are your preview of your life’s coming attractions. We are not taught how to think, yet everything is a thought before it is a thing or action. Once you learn to control your thoughts you begin to control your life.”
Human Relations
“Practicing good human relations skills means giving another person what he or she wants in order to get what you want. It means keeping the other person’s ego intact at all times. Learning human relations skills is the fastest way to improve every aspect of your life.”
“Life is not always neat and clean. Mentors are human and subject to the same temptations as others, but their wisdom is priceless. Don’t expect that your mentor will be perfect. None of us are. I have made many mistakes. Learn the lessons mentors can teach you, always remembering that they are also human.”
Everyone’s Greatest Need
“Everyone’s greatest need after food, clothing and shelter is the need to feel important. You will win or lose with people in direct proportion to your ability to satisfy their need to feel important.”
“Self-discipline means doing what you should when you don’t feel like doing it. The habit of self-discipline is the underpinning of making your life turn out the way you want.”
“It’s a sign of confidence to be decisive and displaying confidence breeds confidence. If you’re indecisive, someone else will grab the gold ring while you’re mulling things over. To learn decisiveness, you must practice it.”
Being in the Present
“Learn to accept whatever the present moment contains and work with it, not against it. If you find yourself complaining, you are not accepting what is. Stress is not caused by being here but by wanting to be somewhere else. Learn to stay present and watch your life transform.”
Saving Money
“Money in the bank gives you courage and allows you to make rational decisions. The sooner you get the savings habit and your money working for you, the better you future will become.”
A Healthy Relationship
“To obtain the most gratifying and fulfilling relationship you can have, don’t be a doormat, keep your relationship fresh and respectful, make sure to have a life of your own, and encourage your partner to do the same.”
“If you choose a profession you’re passionate about, you’ll never have to work a day in your life, because you’ll be doing what you love to do.”
“If you want financial peace of mind, make it a practice to live below your means.”
Realizing Your Dreams
“Within a dream is the seed of a new reality. To make your dreams come true, they must be specific and backed by absolute commitment.” The exact six steps to follow to make dreams come true is outlined for you.
Parrish says that your success or failure will be determined first and foremost by your thoughts. The greatest secret to success and happiness is to learn what to think and then think it. You will become what you think about and how you think is a habit. Next your future will depend on how effectively you deal with people. Whether you get what you want from people or not will depend on your human relations skills. Every facet of life requires the support of others. Finally nothing you read or learn matters if you do not get into ACTION. Knowing and not doing is still not to know. Nothing happens until you ACT.
About the Author
J. R. Parrish went from being a milkman to a multimillionaire. In 1974, he founded J. R. Parrish Inc., a commercial real estate company in Silicon Valley. He ran the company based on the premise that to succeed in life, you must treat people with fairness and respect, a premise that not only won him friends, but made him a fortune. J.R. spent the next 25 years studying and teaching his employees and brokers about human relations. The company grew to be a huge success and one of the premier real estate brokerage firms in Silicon Valley. J.R. retired in 1999. Today, he and his wife, Lisa, live on their own coffee plantation in one of the most idyllic spots in the Hawaiian Islands. He continues to support the ideals he believes in through his foundation. He is also the author of If I’d Known Then What I Know Now: Why Not Learn from the Mistakes of Others?—You Can’t Afford to Make Them All Yourself.

My Take on the Book
This book is both a handbook/workbook that is geared primarily for high school and college students and focuses on the steps that anyone can take to set themselves up for success as they move forward with their lives.Saying this though, there are many key nuggets held within that anyone would be able to learn from.

The book itself was an easy read, with chapters being broken down into topics that young adults can relate to such as: Human Relations, Making you dreams come true, and dating, marriage and parenting.

I liked the fact that the book was interactive, providing quizzes for the reader to take as well as the fact that each chapter was set up with objectives that the reader could reflect on as they went through the chapter itself. The book was true to life and held many examples that were personal to the author, but made the book even easier to relate to.

This book covers a large amount of information in a short amount of space, and is truly a guide that any graduate will gain insights from. So if you know of someone who will soon be graduating, whether it be from high school or college, share this book, as it is definitely one that will start them down a road toward success.

If this book sounds like something that you would like to have as a part of your own library you can find it on Amazon!

All opinions expressed in this review are my own and not influenced in any way by the company.  Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider. Please refer to this site’s Terms of Use  for more information. I have been compensated or given a product free of charge, but that does not impact my views or opinions.

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