Bob Goldman

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.

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-seeded sadistic tendencies, and it's better for society if he abuses his readers, instead of bullying the kids at the playground.

Bob Goldman

Bob Goldman is a business humor writer.

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