In Your Lifeonomics, Dr. Thomas John shares the areas in which you can take action to see immediate improvement in your life. Life doesn’t come with a manual for success, but John has gathered together for his readers the many skills he has learned that have helped him have a successful career and a fulfilling personal life.
Before I go further, it’s important to know what John’s successes are. He was born in India, the son of two doctors who were successful but worked constantly. From them he learned work ethic and dedication, but he also learned about the importance of balance in life. Wanting to pursue medicine, and specifically ophthalmology, he decided to study in the United States. He ended up being accepted into programs at Harvard and MIT and then establishing his own practice in the Chicago Area. Today, John is considered a key opinion leader in the field of ophthalmology. He has been named America’s Top Doctor by Castle Connolly, Ltd. (CCL), America’s Top Ophthalmologist by the Research Council of America, Chicago’s Top Doctor by Chicago Magazine, and is ranked in the top 1 percent in the nation in ophthalmology by US News & World Report. Impressive, yes, but medicine isn’t John’s only area of success. He is a bit of a Renaissance man with multiple interests. He is passionate about helping others, which has led to his interest in public speaking, including being heavily involved in Toastmasters, presenting at international conferences in his field, and writing books both within his discipline and now this one to help others. And to top it off, he’s a rock ‘n’ roll drummer.
But enough about John’s credentials. They’re impressive, but more impressive is his desire to help readers, for which reason he shares the skills he honed that allowed him to achieve success. Your Lifeonomics is filled with time-tested strategies for you to use to improve your life. John states, “Before writing this book, I shared with some of my closest friends some of the principles included here that I formulated for my own life. As a result, their lives changed for the better, and they have thanked me profusely on more than one occasion. Encouraged by these results, I set forth to write Your Lifeonomics.”
There is a ton of useful information in this book, and I can only touch on it all briefly. At the forefront is the need to be a leader in your life. John shares the ingredients for leadership and how to acquire them. A lot of it has to do with self-discipline and also making difficult decisions that ultimately will be to our benefit. For example, we have to look at the return on investment we receive from any activity we engage in. Some activities are just not worth the investment, and John holds back no punches in listing them, including watching mindless television, engaging in relationships that aren’t right for us just for the short payoff of sex, and eating food that hurts rather than strengthens our bodies.
Some of John’s advice may be hard to hear, but I admire how he gently shares it. John has an intimate style that few authors acquire when speaking to the reader. Here is an example from when he asks us to focus on the words we say and think:
“Words are more powerful than most of us imagine. Words can make a champion out of you, or a total failure, which can even lead to the end of your life via suicide. Therefore, think before you speak.
“You can say positive words that generate positive energy, or negative words that hurt or kill another person’s initiative, drive, and happiness. You can say a thousand kind or feel-good words to a person, but if you say one harsh, negatively charged word, she will not remember all the good words you said, only the harsh one. That is why God has given us all two ears, two eyes, and only one mouth and one tongue. I say to you, my friend, say less and listen more all your remaining life on earth, and when you do speak, seek to uplift people, not put them down.”
Your Lifeonomics is filled with personal stories of how John has taken his own advice, as well as the stories of famous people ranging from Madame Currie and Albert Einstein to Martin Luther King, Jr. and Oprah Winfrey whose lives have embodied the principles shared in this book. One of my favorite stories is how John learned not to be such an introvert by simply smiling and greeting people and the remarkable connections he felt with others by implementing this change. Nor is he above laughing at himself. He tells us, “Today, I can speak to anyone around me, smile and connect, and exchange some pleasant, positive words. Maybe now I am overdoing it since my wife often instructs me to stop talking and be seated, especially at social gatherings.” You have to love John’s wife and how she reins him in at times-wait until you read the story about his red shoes.
Other areas John focuses on include the importance of attitude, the importance of hard work, how to strengthen your relationship with your significant other, how to develop problem-solving skills, how to become self-disciplined so you can convert your dreams into reality, how to complete tasks at lightning speed, and how to dress for success.
The final chapter is unique beyond anything I’ve seen in other self-help or personal development books because it focuses on global megatrends that people who want to succeed in life need to keep up with-these range from innovations in energy and technology to population growth and global warming-all of which are reshaping our world. If we want to stay on top of things, we need to be knowledgeable about them and capitalize on them when possible.
Your Lifeonomics is packed with powerful advice that will help anyone at any stage of life experience positive and continual improvement. I would especially recommend this book as the perfect gift for anyone graduating from high school or college who is about to enter the work world, or anyone who is simply struggling in their career or personal life and needs a little boost in self-confidence or direction. If you’re not sure how to get what you want in life, reading Your Lifeonomics and applying the tools it offers will give you a roadmap for determining your destination.