Book Review: Ernie Zelinski’s Look Ma, Life’s Easy is a primer on Success

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ZelnskicoverErnie Zelinski is a successful Edmonton-based author who has sold more than 900,000 books in 29 countries around the world. He has just published his latest book, titled Look Ma, Life’s Easy, which passes on his secrets for success, primarily to the millennial generation. .

Zelinski is best known for writing The Joy of Not Working and How to Retire Happy, Wild And Free, both of which sold hundreds of thousands of copies.

The new book takes a pseudo-fictional approach like the one famously used by David Chilton in The Wealthy Barber (or less famously, in my own Findependence Day!).

Zelinski’s subtitle is “How Ordinary People Attain Extraordinary Success and Remarkable Prosperity.” The story revolves around two characters, a young adult named Sheldon and his soon-to-be mentor Brock, described as a successful middle-aged man.

The Easy Rule of Life

Over the 200-plus pages of the book Brock imparts to Sheldon his secret of success, which he calls The Easy Rule of Life.

This is the main takeaway, which has a certain amount of paradox in it:

When we take the easy and comfortable way, life ends up being difficult and uncomfortable.

When we take the difficult and uncomfortable route , however, life ends up easy and comfortable.

In a personal note Ernie included in my review copy, he noted “This is a book which can be applied to financial independence.” And indeed, so it does. In fact, on the very first page of the introduction, Zelinski writes that successful people attain extraordinary results by realizing their personal limitations are self-imposed and work to exceed them. In so doing, they experience financial independence, true happiness and personal freedom.

How to work four hours a day and be your own boss

Zelinski has previously written a book about how not to have a real job, titled Career Success Without a Real Job. In the new book, the character Brock tells his young student that he is self employed so doesn’t have a job in the normal sense. He works “far fewer hours than most people: on average four hours a day, at which he makes a comfortable living.”

That passage got my attention, since I have over the years blogged and columnized several times about the four-hour workday. In fact, the strategy is included in my own forthcoming book (co-authored with Mike Drak): Victory Lap Retirement. Here I should disclose that Zelinski kindly wrote the foreword to the book: he was our first choice to do so.

Life’s Secret Handbook

While the Easy Rule of Life is the main life lesson Zelinski imparts in the new book, there are many more aphorisms. The mechanism he used to dispense them is an inspirational book within a book that young Sheldon happens upon, called Life’s Secret Handbook. These are highlighted in bold throughout the text, so those wanting to cut to the meat of the book’s tips can scan for the numerous bold passages.

Still, the story’s the thing and for young people in particular wishing to discover the secret of success, Zelinski’s book is a good place for them to begin the journey. Also note the intriguing ongoing substory in which the characters work out creative new alternative solutions to a puzzle involving a handful of matchsticks and a simple arithmetic formula.

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