Thursday, June 7, 2018

Book Review: '4D Strategies to LIVING UNSTUCK' by John Polish

Nevada author John Polish earned his B.S. in Business Administration from Youngstown State University, moved to Las Vegas, Nevada, and in 1997 earned his master’s degree in education from the University of Nevada Las Vegas. John spent 17 years as a teacher and a football coach before becoming a full-time professional speaker, turning pain into positive. John founded the Unstuck Foundation, which is a non-profit organization to help people overcome tragedies and to teach people how to start sharing their stories to help others.

In his Introduction John introduces his thoughts: ‘Just like most people I work with today, I looked at happiness as something to achieve. What I discovered is that we all have exactly what we need to live a happy life. It may be buried beneath a pile of hurts, hang-ups, and heartaches, but it’s in there. It took some horrible tragedies for me to finally realize that what I was searching for was a fantasy. I never would have believed that it would take three separate tragedies—a car accident and losing my mother and then my daughter seven months apart—for me to gain the perspective I needed to find happiness. My experience was painful. I was stuck for a long time. But I learned some invaluable lessons along the way that I am about to share with you. In the process of getting unstuck, I let go of the illusion of a fantasy lifestyle, and what I found was even greater. The perfect life does not exist. The life I am living now is far from perfect, but it is wonderful. My constant pursuit to find success led me to something greater. I found happiness and a peace that surpasses understanding. I may not walk around with a huge smile on my face all the time, but I am happy. I am happy because I know that my life has purpose. And I have learned how to conquer my greatest fear: being stuck. I discovered that being stuck is a state of mind. It is real, but it is created by you. You get to set the expectations for your life. And you get to decide how long you will sit in your misery when you are not getting what you want. You have the power to get unstuck. My life has purpose, and that purpose is to help others learn how to live unstuck lives. I have taken the lessons I learned and created the 4D strategies to living unstuck. Learn how to apply these 4D strategies and you can live like there is nothing holding you back: Deal with your unmet expectations. Define your ideals. Develop your faith. Drive on. These strategies are designed to help you process your emotions. Keep in mind that we are all the sum of our 3 E’s: education, experiences, and emotional intelligence. We are defined not just by what has happened in our lives but how we have responded. This book will help you understand the emotions that motivate you and the emotions that keep you stuck in your circumstances. By applying the 4 D strategies, you will be able to process your emotions quickly and get back to moving in the direction of your dreams. You will find confidence and the belief that everything will work out regardless of your situation. Your circumstances do not have to dictate your happiness.’

Though the book is quite short John does manage to make his ideas and guidelines clear. He fills the pages with memorable quotes, such as ‘Children are happier because they live in the moment. They are not burdened by all the expectations. They still believe they can fly.’
‘Positive psychology alone is not enough. We must master our emotional intelligence before we can move on and find happiness.’
‘Our society has become desensitized. We have more ways to connect with people than ever before, yet we are the most disconnected we have ever been.’ You may be reading this thinking that we are talking a lot about processing feelings and emotional touchy-feely things, and this is not for you. Good, it’s not for me either. In fact, it is very common for people to not want to talk about their feelings, especially men. There is actually a condition known in psychiatry as normative male alexithymia - a personality construct characterized by the subclinical inability to identify and describe emotions in the self. It is found in 10% of males.’

Yes, there is an emphasis on Christian doctrine, but not so much that readers of many spiritual beliefs can benefit from his advice. Grady Harp, June 18

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.

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