Book review: S.U.M.O (Shut Up, Move On) by Paul McGee

SUMO Shut up move on book review self help motivation Paul McGee 10th anniversary edition

Today’s book is S.U.M.O (Shut Up, Move On) by Paul McGee, specifically the 10th anniversary edition. It’s billed as the ‘straight-talking guide to succeeding in life’, and has had several new case studies, personal anecdotes, and other updates added to it.

In particular, you can now interpret S.U.M.O as Stop, Understand, Move On if you prefer. And that’s a good change – if someone I cared about came to me with a problem, or needing to talk something through or just to vent, I’d probably have a very hard time forgiving myself if I turned around and told them to ‘Shut Up, Move On’. Yes, it was an eye-catching original title that probably helped significantly with marketing, but it somewhat misrepresents the contents of the book to an extent.

The main emphasis of the book is about taking control of your life, rather than getting over things. Okay, there is a chapter about not letting life turn you into a victim, but the rest of it is as follows:

  • Take time to reflect, and get off auto-pilot
  • Build some down time / recovery time into everyday life
  • Use personal responsibility as the cornerstone for creating the life you want
  • Find new ways to react differently and develop resilience
  • Decide what’s really important, and keep things in perspective
  • Improve communication and the quality of your relationships
  • Take action rather than letting things happen / avoid fatalistic thinking

There are various exercises throughout the text, and the author states that the book won’t work unless you take the time to do them. Fair point. They encourage deeper thinking and focus, and there’s probably something in there that most people can relate to or find useful.

I found the final chapter the most interesting. It’s entitled ‘Ditch Doris Day’, and is about avoiding a ‘que sera, sera’ attitude. The chapter points out very effectively that life is short, and that we need to stop putting important things off and create a balance in it, along with making our own meaningful long and short term goals.

To sum up: While I don’t think the title’s 100% right for the book, the contents are a good read and written with humour. If you’re feeling a bit listless about your direction in life or need to re-set your priorities, this would be a useful book to try.

The 10th anniversary edition of S.U.M.O. (Shut Up, Move On) by Paul McGee has an RRP of £10.99. It’s currently £10.68 for paperback at Amazon.

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