Reader Reactions – Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart
Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart – Thirty Things You Need to Know Now
I am not, in general, a fan of advice books, but Dr. Livingston is the “real deal.” Having survived the suicide of his own son, he has great credibility in advising the rest of us about how to deal with disappointments and tragedy. But he also provides sage words about how to get on with living joyfully. If you’ve gone through some rough times–and who hasn’t?–read this book for inspiration.
For this 30-year counselor educator, Dr. Livingston’s book is a gem. It will be required reading for my future grad students in counseling. It is also an excellent stimulus book for “courageous” people IN counseling.
My husband and I have read it together and we’ve both picked it up individually to go back to sections that speak to us personally. It is a small book in size, but it’s packed with wisdom, understanding, authenticity and a reminder that we humans are all in this game of life together – and isn’t that a wonderful thing!
I think that this book should be a book that is required in high school. It has things in there that people learn the hard way. Sometimes people learn from others and sometimes they need to make there own mistakes. This book is not only is totally truthful but there is at least one thing in there that almost everyone can relate to. It gives you answers and meaning. I got it from the library and could not put it down I read it in one hour. I am going out today buying my own copy and putting it on my coffee table so everyone that comes over can get a chance to read it. I have decided I am buying a copy for everyone I care about for Christmas. This is a MUST READ BOOK.
I wish I’d been able to read this book twenty years ago, when I was in my twenties — it could have saved a lot of heartache.
This is a terrific book. Don’t miss it!
TOO SOON OLD, TOO LATE SMART is a brief compendium of an experienced therapist’s accumulated wisdom, honed both by his work with his patients and by his own experiences with extraordinary personal loss. Each short chapter discusses a truth about how to negotiate the emotional and interpersonal dilemmas with which we all must deal in our journey through life. A common thread throughout the book is the author’s belief in our responsibility for our choices and their consequences. Within this context, he debunks the validity of widely accepted clinical entities such as Dissociative Identity Disorder and Adult Attention Deficit Disorder that he believes are often used as excuses to mitigate responsibility for behavior. While at times opinionated, Dr. Livington’s work contains enough pearls of wisdom to instruct the lives of any reader willing to undertake the self-examination and self-discipline essential to living a full and satisfying life.
These 30 essays by Gordon Livingston, are poignant, witty and highly relevant. He looks at life with a “we’re all in this together” stance that makes this a quick and easy read. However, his musings are deep and thoughtful. You are likely to be rereading or mulling over and over his words of wisdom. Unlike most erudite psychiatrists, he doesn’t pontificate or give advice, but merely offers his conclusions for your examination.
This is a very deep, true book about how human beings work. I was really impressed by the knowledge of this man. He is like an “old fashioned” spiritual teacher who tells you that it will take some time and some hard work for you to change (in contrast to the remedies of modern American culture, which are all about quick fixes and instant success with little or no cost to oneself).
Doctor Livingston is also a great teacher. In this short volume of essays he tells it like it is regarding the things we do in life to sabotage our own happiness. He presents complex ideas in a simple and engaging manner.
Without the usual pop-psychology catch-phrases, Livingston manages to make the reader question assumptions, think in new ways, and even hope that it might not be too late to take control of the way we react to the events of our lives.
The first sentence of “The Road Less Traveled”, by Scott Peck, M.D., states that, “Life is difficult”. After reading Gordon Livingston’s book, one understands the truth of that simple declarative sentence. However, I was most impressed by the courage displayed by the author in responding to the pain that was dealt to him by life. This courage, in combination with wisdom and insight, into the mysteries of our everyday life, confers a rare legitimacy to Dr. Livingston’s observations.
I recommend this book without reservation. The insights are valuable, but the writing is a joy.
This concise book is Dr. Livington’s presentation of — what he considers — the 30 most important pieces of advice worth imparting based on his professional experience as a psychiatrist and personal experience as a bereaved parent. The details he reveals re: his life and how he coped w/ the loss of two(!) sons is both encouraging and moving. Livingston wastes no time in telling you how it really is: “We are what we do”. I could not agree more — the eventual realization of this truth is immediately empowering, albeit somewhat unsettling, since you now ought to realize (if you didn’t already) the weakness and futility of empty promises & broken commitments. I enjoyed this book, if nothing else, because Dr. Livingston writes with a voice that knows pain, courage, and grief firsthand — in direct contrast to most of the “self-help” books currently on the market.
Kthdimension – Washington, DC
I can’t say enough about this book. It helped me personally and professionally. I have recommended it to just about everyone I know. I can’t imagine anyone who wouldn’t benefit from reading this book.
As a 30 year counselor educator, Dr. Livingston’s book is a gem. It will be required reading for my future grad students in counseling. It is also an excellent stimulus book for ‘courageous” people IN counseling.
Although it shares shelf-space with “Purpose Driven Life” and Mitch Albom, this book is actually a more insightful, deeper-reaching look into what is most important in life, a subject we don’t really appreciate until our 40s and 50s. Well-written and hopeful in spirit, a joy to read.