BOOK REVIEW: How to Ruin Your Life by Ben Stein

BOOK REVIEW: How to Ruin Your Life by Ben Stein

Book Review: How to Ruin Your Life by Ben Stein

Would you like to know 35 ways to ruin your life?

Then I have the book for you.  I simply enjoyed this book.  It’s a nice compact stick in your back pocket kind of book.  It’s nothing we haven’t seen or heard before, but it was an interesting change from the books out there that talk about ways to improve your life. 

I will admit, my husband and I are guilty of some things mentioned in this book.  When you finish this book you may be surprised how many people you will see acting like the topics mentioned in the book.

From personal life to the professional workplace, you will be able to observe many people ruining their lives from convincing themselves they are the center of the universe to living above their means.

Every topic discussed in the book makes perfect sense.  For example, when we don’t learn any useful skills it makes it very difficult to progress. 

Learning doesn’t stop in the classroom. 

The first chapter is titled Don’t Learn Any Useful Skills. 

I laughed out loud when I read the first sentence that stated “Make yourself useless.”  It’s the perfect way to stall your life and career. If I had not been disciplined in college to study and learn a new language, I would not be where I am today. 

I saw too many of my classmates take this approach and they ended up not graduating.

We are responsible for our own actions. 

This is why I love Chapter 4 titled Never Accept Any Responsibility for Anything That Goes Wrong.  

Did something not work out the way you wanted it to in the past?  Of course it has, but did you find yourself placing the blame on someone else or something?  Have you been blamed for something or criticized by someone?  It’s not fun is it? 

This chapter provides great guidance for ruining your life by not accepting responsibility for your actions.

Chapter 24 is a favorite of mine and I am glad I didn’t fall into this trap of feeling like I didn’t owe anybody anything.  I owe my mom greatly.  She taught me so many great values in life and has always been there when I needed her the most for guidance and support.  She fed me, clothed me, paid for my education when I was growing up, so yes I owe someone one something, and that someone is my mom.


Being a smart-ass can be quite an annoyance to many and a wonderful way to ruin your life. 

Do you have to get the last word in on everything that is discussed?  In today’s social media world, this runs rampant.  So many feel the need to be heard and get the last word in because they think the world cares. 

Lastly, and also a separate chapter in the book, don’t tell someone “I told you so.”  I haven’t met anybody yet that truly enjoys to hear that when something didn’t go right for them.

An oldie but a goody is touched upon in this book.  Living above your means.  Unfortunately, credit cards can make it happen rather easily. 

Delayed gratification can be hard when your credit card has a ten-thousand-dollar spending limit.  For some, they have that life’s too short attitude. 

As the book advises for ruining your life by living above your means, live it up and don’t worry about tomorrow. Don’t worry about saving and enjoy the freedom of spending every dollar and cent you make.  After all, who doesn’t hate living from pay check to pay check. 

Lastly, I believe you are a reflection of the company you keep. 

So as Chapter 15 mentions, hang out with the wrong crowd if you want to continue to ruin your life.  Keep close ties with the unsuccessful and uneducated.  Soon you will adopt their bad habits and be on your way to ruining your life.

In conclusion, I really recommend you read this book.  The chapters are short and the book is only 110 pages and small enough to put in your back pocket.  It’s delightful and comedic approach to ruining your life and is a must read in my opinion for those like a change of pace. 

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BOOK REVIEW: How to Ruin Your Life by Ben Stein

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