How Life Works (Andrew Matthews)

How_Life_WorksThis book is about why GOOD THINGS HAPPEN WHEN WE ARE FEELING GOOD, why BAD THINGS HAPPEN WHEN ARE FEELING BAD—and how to feel better so that more good things happen.

In the process you may get some insight into:

-why bad things sometimes happen to good people
-why placebos work and diets don’t
-why rich people make money—even by accident
-why June now has boyfriends coming out of her ears.

Whether you get the job of your dreams, whether you stay healthy, or whether you find your perfect life partner depends on how you FEEL.

How Life Works may confirm what logic told you is impossible, but a part of you always knew.

Your life is not a lottery. It never has been.

— Andrew Matthews

Someone I know would always tell me these words “It’s now what you know but who you know” whenever he remembers it and complains about his job (a job that I think is better than what I had when I was his age). He’s in his mid-20s and when you’re in mid-20s it’s a very critical period, it’s the confusing stage where you think about where you wanna go, what you wanna be. I know this because I’ve been there that’s why when I was in my 20s, I was hopping from one job to another like as if I was looking for this Yamashita treasure (perfect job) that doesn’t really exists. But there is one gem of a lesson that I’ve learned: That wherever you go, whatever job you choose, you will never be contented. You will always see the bad side of things. And it’s really up to you to look at the bright side.

Is it true, that to be truly successful “It’s not what you know but who you know” ?

I don’t think so. Maybe sometimes but not all the time. I don’t think success has a fixed formula, that you have to suck it up with a boss to be promoted, that you have to know someone with a high stature to get that big break. Life on this earth moves in mysterious ways although it’s hard for me to tell that to my friend. And I was too tired to explain it. If I did, he would just keep on defending his belief. So I thought it would be better to just allow him vent out his grievances without me contradicting him.

That’s why when I was at the bookstore and checked out Andrew Matthews books and saw what seemed to be his complete collection of books there, I grabbed hold of his book How Life Works then looked at the back cover. At the bottom part, it said:

How Life Works explains why:

  • It’s not WHAT you know
  • It’s not WHO you know

“It’s all about how you FEEL.”

I instantly remembered that friend of mine. Hehe. So I bought this book. For my own sake.

As part of Andrew Matthews books tradition, How Life Works is filled with funny-because- they’re-so-true anecdotes and illustrations making this book light, fun, but still inspiring to read. The author did a painstaking work to do research and even sacrificed sharing his personal experiences (even how he met his wife!) and present them wonderfully that’s easy to understand in this 144-page book.  Everything written here you probably read already in other books, in other sources, and that is exactly the role of a writer like Andrew Matthews. The role of a writer is to give reminder of things that we know but often forget about.

Here are excerpts from the book which I think summarizes everything:

Page 66: It’s Not about THEM

Many people never get it. They spend a lifetime blaming other people—but it’s not about OTHER PEOPLE

  • If you feel that you deserve to be paid nothing, you will find a boss who pays you nothing.
  • If you ignore your feelings, you will get a job where people ignore your feelings. Maybe you’ll join the army where people shout at you! It’s not about THEM; it’s about your relationship with YOU.
  • If you hate your big backside, you will find a boyfriend who laughs at your big butt. When you accept your backside you will likely a) change boyfriends or b) discover that your old boyfriend has a new attitude. It was never about your boyfriend. It was always about your attitude toward you.
  • If your boss demands better results, if your wife wants more from you, it is usually because in your heart, you want more from you.
  • Even racial prejudice and religious prejudice isn’t about THEM. When you accept you, people accept you.

If you love yourself, people will love you.

In a Nutshell: You create your world. You don’t have to convince anybody else. You just have to feel different.

how life works illustration

“The harmony you seek is not with other people; it is with yourself.” –Andrew Matthews


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