Book Review & Excerpt: 12 Simple Steps to Loving Life -by Robert Radcliffe

*Excerpt from Step 1 at bottom

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12 Simple Steps To Loving Life, published January 2016, is author Robert Radcliffe’s second book. In his first book, 180 Degrees, Robert chronicles his inspirational success story in which he goes from homeless teenager addicted to drugs, to self-made millionaire by the age of 30.

Currently, Robert is one of the nation’s leading real estate agents with Sotheby’s International Realty. He also appears with his wife Tara on the current season of Bravo’s “Newlyweds: The First Year.” But it’s Robert’s continued participation in the 12-Step community that’s so well-prepared him to write 12 Simple Steps to Loving Life.


“My intention is to provide everyone access to this simple method of enhancing life through a proven, world renowned, Twelve Step process. This is the perfect book for anyone interested in a healthier, more compassionate approach to life’s challenges. A joyous, peaceful life is yours for the reading. Namaste”  ~12 Simple Steps to Loving Life, Robert Radcliffe


12 Simple Steps To Loving Life is an adaptation of A.A.’s Twelve Steps. And while the book can absolutely stand on its own, as a recovering alcoholic who’s worked the 12-Steps and read most of the A.A. literature, I found it impossible not to make comparisons as I read it. Which isn’t necessarily good or bad, I just want to be clear about from what viewpoint this review is being written.

The objective of 12 Simple Steps to Loving Life is to guide everyone, not only alcoholics and addicts, toward an improved quality of life. To do this, Robert states that we may simply remove the word “alcohol” from The Steps, or replace it with “vice that may hinder our success, or any of the seven deadly sins.”

At 116 pages, it’s an easy read. Similar to the book Alcoholics Anonymous, it includes a chapter {its preface} titled How It Works. Robert translates and summarizes each step in his own words, making the book feel both honest and relatable. In keeping with the A.A. program and literature, 12 Simple Steps to Loving Life has a sturdy spiritual foundation. This won’t come as a surprise to those in recovery. But seeing as how this aspect of A.A. is a common roadblock for many people, Robert appropriately took careful consideration when addressing this topic. As he shares his spiritual journey with us, he comes across as open-mind and human, which is refreshing considering that’s exactly what he’s encouraging us to be.

Robert opens up about deeply personal experiences and generously offers them to us as examples. Particularly in Step Four, when he shares three instances of which would trigger anger and resentment in pretty much everyone. Yet Robert’s forgiven and even found compassion for the people who’ve treated him so wrong. Sharing that, “Anger is futile. It’s forgiveness that sets us free. Anger and resentment cannot simultaneously coexist with peace and happiness.” I especially love his take on resentment here…


“We harbor resentment because we feel threatened. We are either afraid of having something taken from us or afraid of not getting something we think we deserve.” ~12 Simple Steps To Loving Life, by Robert Radcliffe


Overall

Overall, I feel this book fulfilled its intention. That is, “to provide everyone access to this simple method of enhancing life through a proven, world renowned, Twelve Step process.” It’s the type of book that will continue to help you for as long as you allow it. You can pick it up five years from now, and so on, and apply The Steps to your life circumstances. I think the non-addict will read this book from cover-to-cover and no doubt be incredibly inspired and motivated.

But I also feel that, to reap the full benefits of 12 Simple Steps to Loving Life, one should take time to carefully consider and work each step. Ideally with the assistance of a mentor or therapist, as Robert encourages us to do. A workbook would make a great addition to 12 Simple Steps of Loving Life, or at least links to downloadable worksheets. The 12-Steps are steps of action, and though Robert states this in the book, I’m afraid the non-addict is not likely to take action from reading this book alone. I suggest partnering up with someone you trust, ideally a mentor or therapist, and working through it together.

Simply put, I love this book and its motives. It left me feeling lighter, more serene and inspired. 12 Simple Steps To Loving Life has the potential to change many lives, and I hope it certainly does. Similar to the A.A. program, it will work if you work it; and you’re worth it.


Excerpt from Step 1

12 Simple Steps To Loving Life, by Robert Radcliffe

Step 1 is about admitting what is wreaking havoc on our lives. For me, it was drugs; and while I wasn’t ready to admit powerlessness, I was willing to concede that my life was unmanageable. I couldn’t deny my life was a mess, a nightmare, in fact. I’ve since learned this is often the case with the first step. People will admit one part or the other, but seldom do we grasp it entirely until we’re in a great deal of pain. Pain is the trigger for most change.

We don’t have to wait until our situations are unbearable to take the first Step toward a better life. Anyone can take this Step at any time regarding any matter. This Step is appropriate for the ordinary, primarily healthy people who allow traits and behaviors to interfere with their well-being. Often, we know things could be better but we are accustomed to things as they are. We aren’t uncomfortable enough to do anything about our impediments to true happiness. We may be powerless over feelings of anger, fear, resentment, insecurity, anxiety or depression. We may be powerless over bad habits like over-eating, gambling, procrastinating, or worrying. We may be addicted to sugar, caffeine, tobacco or sex. Possibly we’re strapped with irreconcilable differences in relationships or at work; maybe we suffer from an inability to commit, or to complete tasks or goals. We’re stuck in a proverbial rut. Let’s insert any one of these obstacles or Life Liabilities into the first step and make a start toward overcoming it.

These bad habits and negative feelings are handicaps, hindrances to the life we are meant to live. They can get out of control and cause stress, conflict and related health problems. They prevent us from reaching our potential and deter us from our rightful purpose. “Life Liabilities” as I like to call them, pull us off course like a flat tire does a car. The flat has to be changed before we can successfully continue our journey.

Once we identify which aspect of our lives is creating a problem for us, we simply acknowledge it. If we determine it is within our power to fix it, great; but the chances are we would have done so already if we could. We embark on the 12 Simple Steps because it is beyond our capacity to overcome this difficulty on our own. So, we take Step 1. We admit we are powerless over our problem, that it is making our lives unmanageable.

We got honest with ourselves; this is the crux of Step 1. Leading us to the next step we concede to our innermost selves that we need help with this issue whatever it may be because it is too much for us to handle on our own. We are powerless to change it and our lives on our own. We enjoy immediate relief from this quiet act of admitting our powerlessness and surrender, from relinquishing control. We free ourselves from the struggle.

Our dilemma is that we are powerless without help. The solution is to find a Power greater than ourselves who will help.

Meet the Author: Robert Radcliffe

Author Robert Radcliffe | 12 Simple Steps to Loving Life | Book Review -via theSUNNYshadow.comAfter seven years of considerable struggle, at the age of twenty-two (March 11, 1991), Robert made the choice to be sober from drugs and alcohol by applying the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, enabling him to turn his life around 180 Degrees and as a result of his commitment to living the twelve steps in his life, his recovery and self-improvement has led to his massive success spiritually and financially; once being a homeless drug addict to a self-made millionaire by the age of thirty.

“I went from being a daily-using drug addict, eventually, a home-less addict living on the streets to today, a completely sober, self-reliant, self-employed husband and father. I was able to miraculously transform my life before I turned thirty. The Twelve Steps presented in this book are credited to mine and millions of others success.”

Eternally grateful to everyone who helped him become and remain sober, Robert felt compelled to reach out to others with both of his books; 180 Degrees, www.180book.com and 12 Simple Steps, www.12simplesteps.com, in hopes that his story would inspire others to find their own success.

Robert continues to be of service as a philanthropist and active community member. He has shared his fascinating story on panels, in high schools, juvenile detention centers and throughout his community. He continues to be an active participant in the twelve-step community.

Robert resides happily with his wife Tara in Malibu, California. They are one of the couples on season 3 of Bravo’s hit series “Newlyweds: The First Year.” To learn more, go to: //www.bravotv.com/newlyweds-the-first-year

Connect with Robert on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Krista-Lee-Pfeiffer

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