Sunday, August 03, 2008

Caught in the Headlights by Barry K. Phillips ~ Blog Tour!

Recently I had the privilege of reading Caught in the Headlights by Barry K. Phillips. I had wanted to read this book since I sat behind Barry at the 6-7-8 Conference at Cedar Fort Publishing in June of this year. I was the unfortunate road block between a conversation between Candace Salima and Barry and it was hard not to get caught up in the excitement that Barry exuded.

He was fairly bursting with the great news of the upcoming release of his new book Caught in the Headlights—and his enthusiasm was contagious! So I was equally thrilled when Candace contacted me and asked if I would be willing to review Barry’s book. Willing? Absolutely! Ecstatic is a better word.

I am happy to report that Barry’s book is something to be proud of—no wonder Barry couldn’t wait to tell his friends at the conference about its release. I want everyone to read this book and I didn’t even write it!

The press release for Caught in the Headlights reads:

“From goals such as happiness, self-esteem, protecting our pride, or the perfect physique, Phillips takes a closer look at those aims prized by society and explores how we can pursue higher goals. A thoughtful, funny, and at times profound look into the real reasons we all have for the things we do, this book will entertain, enlighten, and inspire.”

I was surprised by some of the goals Barry included in the book—like the perfect physique. But when I read his take on it and how his quest for that perfect bod really became a search for _____ I understood why it had to be there. Of course it had to be there. Too many of us are way too caught up in how we look and not enough concerned with the quality of person we are on the inside.

Others, like Pride and Forgiveness, resonated with me.

On Pride, Barry said:

“Pride is about comparisons. You never become happy with what you have or what you have accomplished because you always need to keep ahead of everyone else. Rather than being happy for another’s success, you despise them for it. It’s as though you are playing a zero sum game and if anyone else gets something, you are diminished. Even if another’s success is not related to you or your world at all. And if they are in your field, your world, or your sphere, then the pain of their success is almost too much to bear. Pride brings a fear of losing that which we value most—the love and admiration of everyone we see. Of course, as we just talked about, if you are prideful, you don’t’ have their love and admiration to begin with. You just think you do.”

You have to read the book for yourself to find out what it is that Barry believes we really need when what we desire is to be proud. Here’s another little taste to pique your interest—on Forgiveness:

“One of the hardest things I’ve had to do is to truly forgive someone. That may surprise you, and I know it did me. It seems so easy to do, until you are faced with a situation where you’ve really been handed a raw deal. The truth is, most times we can usually find something we could have done better ourselves in a given situation. But that doesn’t matter. Even if you are completely in the right with no fault of your own—like the woman with the frozen turkey—the requirement is the same. Forgive.”

In addition to Pride and Forgiveness, Barry offers truly insightful thoughts on Happiness, Self-Esteem, Freedom, Control, Tolerance, Success, The Big Event, and of course, The Perfect Body. The only thing I didn’t totally love about Caught in the Headlights were the poems at the end of each chapter. It’s not that that they were bad, they just didn’t thrill me. What did thrill me were the original cartoons at the beginning of each chapter—they were really funny!

You can buy the book here, or check out your local bookstores. You can also check Barry out at his site and blog. Oh, and if you’re a Glenn Beck fan, you’ll appreciate knowing that he gave his stamp of approval on Caught in the Headlights—and you know, if Glenn likes it, it’s gotta be good! And, for what it’s worth, I approve of it too—buy this book, and buy a couple more for co-workers or friends—this book is a keeper.