From The Crap Archives: GOALS: This Is Your Life

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GOALS: This is Your Life
Author: Kermit W. Lueck . . . and you!
Publisher: Self Image Products
Date: 1973
Discovered at: Lutheran Church garage sale
The Cover Promises: Wide World of Sports interviews infinity.
Representative Quotes: Page 10: "If your answer to 'WHO AM I?' was, 'I AM ME,' or 'I AM MYSELF,' or 'I AM JIM JONES,' this indicates that you have a strong sense of identity." Page 17: "Now, God has not overlooked you and me in the Space Age; he has given us a precious gift. This gift is a little computer -- this computer is hidden between our ears, it is the size of a walnut."

First things first. Yes, this is your brain:

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Presumably written for depressed stegosauruses, GOALS: This is Your Life promises, in just one year's time, to turn you and your brain-nut into list-making, goal-reaching, success-visualizing, moon-shooting space-travelers of total personal excellence. In his introduction "All Systems GO!" author Kermit W. Lueck gets all Kennedyesque about your self-discovery :

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Let's walk through Lueck's system. Before you can plant a flag on Planet You, you have to learn to picture your goals. (Lueck calls these "payload.") Unfortunately, modern technology has so alienated you and your walnut brain that you can't even imagine without the media's help.

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A key component of payload management is visualization. You should get used to seeing your name alongside other great successes.

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A couple more preparations and we're ready for take-off. First:

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That means that after you consult this checklist of "desirable qualities drawn up by over 500 executives and businessmen," you should put on some deodorant. Remember: in space, nobody can smell you scream.

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Once you've got the stink taken care of, there's not much left for Lueck to say. Still, he pads the book with:

  • Over fifty identical calendar pages designed for you to enter "These Six Most Important Things Daily"
  • Much talk of "radish" goals, which are short-term, and "oak tree" goals, which are long-term.
  • Pages left mostly blank so you can "draw or paste" pictures of your "Dream Home," "Next Vacation," "Next Boat," or your "Interior Decorating Plans for the Future."
  • Inspirational features on Ben Franklin, KU track star Glenn Cunningham, Tupperware distributor Aileen Sharp, and "Footsie Britt, The All-American Boy."
  • His brave, early examination of the tragedy of E.D.

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Shocking Detail: Jules Verne was a punk. A radish punk. From page 4:

"Over 100 years ago Jules Verne conceived of a trip to the moon. He drew a remarkably accurate picture of Apollo 8 and predicted that it would be manned by three Americans. He said they would blast off from Florida and splash down in the Pacific Ocean. However, Jules Verne made no plan to go there. His space odyssey was a WISH . . . not a goal."
See, if he had only practiced visualization, Jules Verne might have invented jet propulsion.

Highlight: Like many self-help authors, Lueck argues that it's more useful to savor the triumphs of your past than it is to dwell on your failings. Unlike other authors, though, Lueck's not hung up on you actually having achieved success in your past."If you cannot even think of a success picture," he writes on page 72, "make one up . . . Your subconscious mind doesn't know the difference and will produce success for you."

He illustrates this point by showing that rich people are happier than every one else, even when been eaten alive.

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