The Secrets to Living a Fantastic Life

Two Survivors Reveal the 13 Golden Pearls They've Discovered

Non-Fiction - Inspirational
164 Pages
Reviewed on 08/04/2020
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Deborah Lloyd for Readers' Favorite

When a person faces devastating life challenges, there is a choice about how to respond to adversity. Both authors of this book lived through a major difficulty (which each shares) and learned how to transform these frightening events into enriching life lessons. Dr. Allen Lycka and Harriet Tinka have written an inspirational, nonfictional work titled The Secrets to Living a Fantastic Life: Two Survivors Reveal the 13 Golden Pearls They’ve Discovered. Each chapter describing a pearl begins with a story illustrating the main lesson. Numerous insightful quotations are sprinkled throughout the chapters. Written as a conversation between the two writers, the book will cause the reader to ponder deeply – and to smile often. It is a thought-provoking and entertaining read.

One of the most fascinating aspects of this book is the in-depth sharing by each writer. There is an authentic honesty that reveals down-to-earth, relatable people. The pearls range from topic areas such as forgiveness and tenacity, balanced with laughter and enthusiasm. The timeliness of the book is also remarkable, as the current pandemic and its associated fears are also addressed. Again, this topic highlights the theme of how one responds to a negative situation is what is important. The Secrets to Living a Fantastic Life, penned by Dr. Allen Lycka and Harriet Tinka, is a treasure chest full of eloquent and intriguing thoughts. This book would be perfect for anyone who struggles with life’s challenges, this year or any time. Best of all, more books by these two authors are planned!

Mamta Madhavan

The Secrets to Living a Fantastic Life: Two Survivors Reveal the 13 Golden Pearls They've Discovered by Dr. Allen Lycka and Harriet Tinka shares the important pearls they learned in their lives through the events they experienced. The stories shared in the book are not just about them but about all elements of human experience and will make readers cry, laugh, and be part of the process. Pearls are a metaphor for transcendence and the 13 Golden Pearls shared will help readers face their adversities and challenges, and evolve and transform for the better. This book is not about what can happen; it is about what is done with what happens. The stories will enrich readers, change their lives, and empower them.

Written in a conversational style, the question and answer session between these Dr. Allen Lycka and Harriet Tinka throws light on the complexities and nuances of life and will guide readers to embark on a journey inward to discover themselves. The topic is profound and gives good insights for improvement and growth, and the life-changing experiences of the authors help readers connect with their words. The 13 Golden Pearls speak about a whole new philosophy of life and will guide readers to understand what it takes to lead a fulfilling and joyful life. The Secrets to Living a Fantastic Life is a beautiful book, written from the heart of these two authors. The techniques and tips are easy to understand and practice set the soul free from negativity and lead a life that is healthier and better. It is a book that will also make readers reflect on their lives and see where they need to make changes to live with positivity and optimism.

Rabia Tanveer

The Secrets to Living a Fantastic Life: Two Survivors Reveal the 13 Golden Pearls They've Discovered by authors Dr. Allen Lycka and Harriet Tinka is an inspirational self-help book that will motivate readers unlike any other. Harriet Tinka is a youth instructor and a former model. While most people have to worry about their next paycheck, her life is a little different. She is a stabbing incident survivor, she also was kidnapped and lived to tell the tale. Dr. Allen Lycka, on the other hand, is another kind of survivor. Instead of professional competitors, his enemy turned out to be his body. He is a man who survived ALS and has lived far beyond the 6 months he was given by his doctor. Both of them share the tools and the life lessons they learned from their difficult journeys. The book consists of thirteen chapters - Golden Pearls (+ a conclusion) - where these inspirational authors share how to live a fulfilling and amazing life despite the odds.

Real, authentic, and personal, this is a book that shares valuable advice and authentic helpful material that can be applied in real-life situations. Their stories are far more inspiring and motivational than I thought they would be. The structure of the book is very soothing and positive. It is fast-paced, arranged brilliantly to maintain the attention of the reader until the end, and has a conversational tone that allows the reader to feel connected with the authors. Each chapter is aptly named and the dialogue that ensues between Harriet and Dr. Lycka adds more depth to the narrative. On the surface, they talk about such mundane things, but once you start reading you will realize how important these mundane things are. We take things such as love, vulnerability, and forgiveness lightly, but they perform a very important role in our lives. The authors share the key to success and a happy life with readers and I don’t think they could have done this any better. This book is phenomenally brilliant and exceptionally well-executed.

Lesley Jones

Throughout life, everyone at some point faces adversities, obstacles, and tragedy. The authors have themselves suffered personal hardships that could have destroyed their lives. Instead, they discovered the golden pearls of wisdom that turned their outlook from victim to victor. Throughout The Secrets to Living a Fantastic Life, Dr. Allen Lycka and Harriet Tinka share the valuable lessons they learned which transformed their outlook, mindset, and beliefs. From understanding the importance of love, forgiveness, to tenacity and vulnerability, your perspective on life's challenges will change dramatically. The principles will develop your strengths so you can deal effectively with and be able to find positivity in any given situation. When you understand the philosophy behind the 13 secrets, you will view each and every obstacle with optimism, strength, and enthusiasm. Become the master of your own life journey and realize the untapped potential you are yet to discover.

When Jack Canfield writes the foreword to a book, you know the information inside is going to be of excellent value. However, what I discovered surpassed my expectations. Each golden nugget brought with it exciting and profound lessons that were inspiring and motivating. The authors' personal experiences, along with the other stories, are emotional to read and strike a powerful arrow to the heart. I loved the view on vulnerability and forgiveness and how these are essential to your well being and to 'remove the venom from your veins'. The four questions to find your life purpose was so helpful as I imagine many people struggle to discover what their purpose in life is. I also loved the analogy of living your own groundhog day because you fear to step outside your comfort zone. The assignment to combat worry was amazing as was the section on attitude to combat negative internal dialogue. The humor between the two authors was also hilarious and affectionate. The Secrets to Living a Fantastic Life by Dr. Allen Lycka and Harriet Tinka is a definitive guide that will truly turn your life from a dead-end to wide open spaces where you believe anything can be achieved.

Grant Leishman

The Secrets to Living a Fantastic Life: Two Survivors Reveal the 13 Golden Pearls They’ve Discovered by Allen Lycka and Harriet Tinka is a deep-dive into the self-help world but with a difference. The two authors set out to present some of the most important things that go into making a fantastic life, calling these attributes, “golden pearls”. Both of them approach this task from the perspective of being survivors. Dr. Lycka was a successful, world-renowned cosmetic dermatologist and surgeon when he was diagnosed as suffering from ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) and told he had about six months to live and he’d better get his affairs in order. Harriet Tinka was stalked, brutally attacked and seriously injured. Both the authors were determined that these terrible circumstances would not be the defining moments of their lives. In this book, they outline the attributes which have allowed them to overcome the difficulties placed in their way and how they have been able to live fantastic lives. The usual suspects are all there; love, forgiveness, attitude, gratitude, the non-negotiables, and eight other characteristics, with a bonus thrown in for good measure. The two present their work as a conversation between themselves, focusing on anecdotes, stories, and quotes that highlight the traits they seek to illuminate. That it contains a foreword from the incomparable master of the art, Jack Canfield, signifies that this is one self-help tome that is serious.

The Secrets to Living a Fantastic Life is intensely familiar to those who read self-help books regularly, yet also different enough in its presentation to lift it out of the jumbled morass of similar books in the marketplace. The idea of presenting the story as a conversation between two people, filled with life anecdotes, folk-stories, and quotes from famous individuals was an inspired choice of presentation. This style certainly draws the reader in and keeps them engaged in the narrative. The “golden pearls” themselves were predictable but what matters the most is the narrative and the way in which the information is presented and, in this book, it is well done. Clearly Allen and Harriet have significant age and cultural differences but they do seem to mesh well together as authors and their banter makes the read easy and flowing. I loved the many inspirational quotes peppered throughout the stories and there was much to be gained and learned from the 13 “golden pearls”. I think this pairing have found a natural literary home together and their promises of more books to come, even in these difficult times we face, is something to look forward to. Because the book was completed at the beginning of the current Coronavirus pandemic, which gets more than one mention in the narrative, it does ring true as authentic and fresh, which is always an issue with books that re-iterate previous espoused principles. I can highly recommend this read, especially to those struggling to cope in a fast-changing and seemingly more dangerous world.