Review: How To Ruin Your Life By 40

January 11th, 2010

By Clay W. Ginn How many of us have struggled through our late teens, 20's and 30's, with questions like who should we marry, or what job should we take, or what is our purpose on this planet? Steve Farrar's latest book, How To Ruin Your Life By 40, reads like a how-to manual for the first 20 years of your adult life. With sometimes brutal honesty, Farrar lays out a plan to keep us all from making some of the typical mistakes during some of our most formative years.

How To Ruin Your Life By 40 is a fairly short book at only 139 pages, and it reads simply and quickly. However, that simplicity belies a strong undercurrent of powerful thought. Many of the points Farrar makes seem like common sense, but as he delves deeper you begin to realize that they are not so common. The book covers topics like finding a mate, your ideal career, determining your purpose in life, handling doubt and temptation, and what happens when you mess it all up. None of these topics are covered in depth due to the book's brevity, but what is said is there for a reason.  Farrar does not use extraneous word; he writes out exactly what he means.


Some of the insight in the book is provided by Mr. Farrar's son, Josh. This gives a bit of perspective from the other end of the spectrum. Where Mr. Farrar is looking back at life from beyond 40, Josh is looking at what is to come. The downside to the shortness of the book is its lack of depth. Many of the topics could be covered in more detail with greater insight. To counter this, Mr. Farrar makes several recommendations of other resources where a greater volume of discussion on a particular topic can be found.

I would recommend this book not only to youth leaders but to youth as well. The genesis for the book came from a graduation address Mr. Farrar gave to his son's senior class, so the material is also well suited for teenagers. This would be an ideal resource for those just starting out on their own, but also those who are a bit down the path. I found several insights in the book that I can apply in my own life at 30. I would highly recommend this resource to all youth workers and high school youth.

Check it out in the YMX Bookstore  


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