How to Change Your Life in 7 Steps, Paperback

How to Change Your Life in 7 Steps Paperback

4 out of 5 (2 ratings)


In this highly-accessible self-help book Big Issue founder John Bird explains his seven simple rules that could help you change your life.

Whether you want to get a new job, quit smoking, stop drinking or go back to college, How to Change Your Life in 7 Steps explains how you can take what you've been given and turn it into something you'll be proud of, rather than spend your life wishing for everything you haven't got.

For 99% of us life doesn't come knocking on the door; you have to go out and get it.

But the trouble with aiming for the stars is that you're likely to end up in the gutter.

John Bird has learnt through his work with the homeless that if you start by putting just 3% of your energy towards your final goal rather than a gutter-hitting 99% you will eventually make the changes you are looking for.

John's six other rules are as straightforward as this first one, 'Start With 3%'. He writes with passion about the dangers of thinking like a victim and of not telling the truth; he shares with us the importance of thinking for yourself and never putting others down, and he encourages us not to define our successes by the failures of others and to recognise our own achievements.

Written in his unique no-nonsense style this is a book about 'cutting through the bullshit and making the most of what you have.'


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Ebury Publishing
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Popular psychology
  • ISBN: 9780091907037


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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

I must admit, I am a 'self-help' book fan so even though I like the idea of the quick read books I was obviously drawn to this one from the first set of quick reads launched on World Book Day 2006An inspiring book from someone who has experienced the highs and lows of life written in both a realistic and motivational way. I found a lot to think about from reading this little book and will probably re-read it again in the future.The Seven Steps are:1) Start with 3% - One small step at a time2) Stop thinking like a victim3) Be true to yourself and others4) Stop knocking everyone else5) Think for yourself6) The importance of making mistakes7) Be your own leader

Review by

This is my second review of a book in the ‘Quick Reads’ series designed to encourage us to read more and provides an interesting companion and contrast to ‘Screw it, Let’s do it.’ By Richard Branson.In many ways it deals with the same issue of helping people to recognise that they can achieve more with their lives. The differences in approach reflect the different starting points of Richard’s and James’ lives. Whereas Richard Branson’s childhood provides a host of positive role models in his parents, grandparents and relatives that included Sir Peter Scott the naturalist and descendants such as Scott of the Antarctic, John’s role models more often provided examples of what not to do. In particular he speaks of his abusive father’s attacks on his mother.What is interesting is that given their quite different start points, each describes a very similar set of required characteristics, though they arrived at them by quite different routes.John speaks quite candidly about his early life much of it spent homeless and being offensive, violent and distinctly un-likeable. He talks of his clashes with the law and reflects on key decision points that changed his life. His journey is no less remarkable than that of Richard Branson having climbed from the position of self confessed victim, homeless and on the streets, to creating ‘The Big Issue’ magazine to be sold by the homeless as a way of helping them improve their lives. The idea of the magazine and the use of what he describes as ‘the most unreliable workforce on the planet’ is so preposterous that Richard Branson would be proud of it. He would be equally proud of its remarkable success and the impact it has had on helping the homeless in ways that the experts said were impossible. His achievements have been recognised through awards by the United Nations and many others.In describing the 7 steps of the title John candidly draws on his background, the successes and the mistakes he has made in his early life and in creating ‘The Big Issue.’ It is a true display of his commitment to Step 3, ‘Be truthful to yourself and others.’For those who see Richard Branson’s account describing something they couldn’t dream of emulating, John’s description is much more down to earth. He describes his seven steps, not to climb up to the boardroom, but to climb out of the gutter.The steps themselves are not rocket science, nor are they different at heart from those described by Richard, but like many simple things, they are most easily overlooked.- Take a first step, however small- Stop thinking like a victim- Be true to yourself and others- Stop knocking everyone else- Think for yourself- Make mistakes- Be your own leaderAgain this is an accessible book that won’t spend its time sitting unread on your bookshelf as you will probably read it in an evening. I’m sure it will give you at least one useful new thought, and perhaps inspire you to action. What more can you ask of a book.