The Silicon Valley Voice

Power To Your Voice

Tough Love

If you’re looking for emotional support in these terrible economic times, if you’d like someone to put their arm around your puny shoulders and assure you that everything is going to be all right, then you’d better stay far, far away from the latest book by Larry Winget — “Shut Up, Stop Whining and Get A Life. A Kick-Butt Approach to a Better Life.”

As the title of the book hints, this is not a book with an uplifting, inspirational message that will set your spirits soaring. This shouldn’t be a huge surprise considering that Mr. Winget, a speaker as well as an author, calls himself “The Pit bull of Personal Development.” (Note to aspiring speakers, don’t try to take this title for yourself. Winget has a registered trademark on this catch phrase. On the other hand, you probably could use “The Fuzzy-Wuzzy Kitty-Cat of Personal Development,” assuming, that is, you get to the patent office before me.)

As much as I appreciate a good kick in the butt, I must admit that this volume initially put me off. That was before I realized that the author’s name was Winget, and not Wingnut.

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The truth is — Larry is dead serious about being dead serious about you and your chances for success. He sneers at the power of a positive attitude. He scoffs at the idea that the key to success is to “be yourself.” As for the benefits of “feeling really good about yourself,” he chortles so loudly that, when he’s drinking his Ovaltine, the milk comes gushing out of his nose.

What does author Winget believe? He believes that you should stop talking so much and start listening. Or, as he so poetically puts it, “Shut up!” He is also not enthused about people who see the negative side of life. To these sorry souls, Winget recommends that they “Stop whining!” The same cease and decease order goes for “complaining, blaming, griping, bitching, moaning and groaning.”

This is a problem. Without complaining, blaming, griping, bitching, moaning and groaning, you’d never have anything to say!

At this point, you may have a suspicion that Mr. Winget’s style is slightly confrontational. This he freely admits. And, at this point, I have to admit that I would like the author better if he also admitted he likes to make us mad because he has deep-seated sadistic tendencies, and it’s better for society if he abuses his readers, instead of bullying the kids at the playground.

Unfortunately, it turns out that the real reason Mr. Winget is so anxious to deliver cruel and unusual criticism is because he wants to make you “mad enough that you will do whatever it takes to accomplish whatever you want in life.” In other words, deep inside this big, bad, bald brute with his shades, cowboy boots, goatee and earrings, lives a pixie with a heart of gold.

You got it — the pit bull is a poodle.

But maybe I’m being too mean to Mr. Meanie. Based on the cover photo, he’s an imposing figure, and I wouldn’t be so harsh if I knew he knew my address. (One of the advantages of being in the witness protection program.)

For a motivational author, Winget does think out of the box. He thinks you should “listen to people who know more than you do.” He also thinks you should listen to Leon Russell, Elvis and Merle Haggard. He’s “sick of listening to people blame their lousy life on the fact they have ADHD, or they were first-born, or they were breast-fed or bottle-fed, or because they have restless leg syndrome.”

He believes people who are not successful are stupid, lazy and don’t give a damn. And if you think you can be whatever you want to be, think again. “It’s a lie.” He also believes that if you’re not having fun in a job, or a marriage, you should “move out and move on.”

Going beyond the workplace, author Winget also has advice for people who are fat. The advice — “Stop being fat.” Hope that helps.

For me, this book succeeded in making made me so mad that my restless leg started flip-flopping around. As I am stupid, lazy and don’t give a damn, I found myself looking for a bottle to feed myself. Fortunately, I found a bottle of 40-year-old Scotch. So, thanks, Larry Winget. Your coaching helped. If someone will just put Merle Haggard on the CD-player, my life will be just about perfect.

Bob Goldman has been an advertising executive at a Fortune 500 company in the San Francisco Bay Area. He offers a virtual shoulder to cry on at bob@funnybusiness.com.

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