Phillip McGraw is a self-help book that helps the reader discover what internal and external factors have influenced his/her life. Dr. Phil, a criminal psychologist by profession, has risen to fame through his books and help from Oprah Winfrey. This book could be helpful to some, but I found it not useful for my needs. Dr. Phil describes a "fictional self" which is one that is obviously "not real" and derived from what others in your life perceive as "your" ideal life. It is one that is patterned after your decisions throughout life. He continues by explaining that everyone has an "authentic self". An "authentic self" is the one that you had before your life "happened". It is one that existed prior to any traumatizing events in your life. He explains that while major life altering events obviously change the course of someone's life, it is actually the smaller events that inflict the most amount of damage in our "authentic selves". Before long he has the reader wondering if every little fork in the road of life has forced a major life change. .
His book is a mixture of different types of exercises to help analyze your "fictional self" and find your "authentic self". He does this while adding stories of his life experiences and how these exercises have helped him put and end to his unfulfilling life. These exercises consist of three major components in the form of questions that the reader is asked to ponder and respond to.
1. What are the ten most defining moments of you life?.
2. What are the seven most critical choices you have made to put you on your current path?.
3. Who are the five most pivotal people in your world, and how have they shaped you?.
While these questions may seem quite simple, as you begin to think you come up with many questions about your life. Take for example, the high school student who had some problems in high school biology and had to take summer classes.