DiscoverSelf-help

Plot-A-Course

By

Worth reading 😎

For anyone unsure of the next step to take, open up this book and lead yourself down the PAC path to success!

Synopsis

Feel good NOW!
Stop reacting. Start leading.

Plot-A-Course is the self-help book for people who crave more out of their lives but don't know how to create the life of their dreams... yet!

In this thoughtful and motivating step-by-step playbook, witty author, speaker, and good-feelings maven, Marchesa Schroeder, delivers a satiating recipe for the comfortable life everyone wants: chock-full of meaningful relationships, awesome experiences, and the best kinds of feelings! With equal parts science-backed studies, therapy exercises, stories, and mind-hacking techniques, Plot-A-Course is meant to be enjoyed bite by delicious bite, savoring each lesson as it is: simply one part of the complex, umami-inspired, Michelin-rated, self-help meal you are consuming.

Served in two actionable and motivating courses, this book teaches you to:

- Identify your "WHY," accepting the unequivocal truth that we all share the same ultimate goal

- Pinpoint and eradicate the limiting-beliefs and sabotaging behaviors that stand in your way

- Create the life you love, love the life you lead, and enjoy the journey

By the end of Plot-A-Course, you'll be feeling good, taking action, and leading the life you've always wanted.

The only question remaining is:

Are you ready?

Marchesa Schroeder introduces readers into the life changing movement known as "Plot-a-course" or PAC as it is referred to in the book. Originally coined by her father, Schroeder takes his initial idea of PAC and backs it up with loads of scientific studies and personal anecdotes. The PAC course is broken down into 8 steps, each step having its own chapter, so readers can consume one step at a time or plow through the book, although Schroeder recommends against that. Along the way, Schroeder shares mantras and suggestions of rewards and celebratory actions to keep her PAC life leaders motivated to continue along their path. There are sections within the book to add in the reader's own thoughts and is meant to act as a sort of workbook to sort through ideas. Overall, Schroeder lays out a system to lead the reader down a self-drawn course to success.


Having read plenty of self-help books in my lifetime, I found Schroeder's sense of wit and humor refreshing as many books can get bogged down in the psychological studies and data points. She provides loads of background as to the history of the PAC plan coming to life, which, while interesting to hear of her family dynamics, is fairly lengthy. It takes quite a while to get to Step 1 of the process and for some, it may take some patience to get to the meat of the book. At the end of each step, she lays out suggestions for "Carrots" (rewards) and "Confetti" (celebrations) for completing each step of the program. While these suggestions are very helpful, she provided the same exact examples after each step rather than listing different examples which I found to be a lost opportunity.


Overall, at the end of the book I felt inspired to get up and start taking some actions. Schroeder states in her book that PAC is only for people who are ready to start making changes, and I would have to agree. This is not a book for people looking for a little inspiration in life, but rather a book for the serious person looking for a structured way of "plotting-a-course" to their own success. While a little pushy at times, I think readers will enjoy Schroeder's witty and conversational tone.

Reviewed by

As a librarian, I need to be informed on upcoming titles that may be of interest to my patrons. I have been reviewing books on Netgalley for almost a year and I've been enjoying reading new works of my favorite authors and finding new authors to share with my patrons and my online followers.

Synopsis

Feel good NOW!
Stop reacting. Start leading.

Plot-A-Course is the self-help book for people who crave more out of their lives but don't know how to create the life of their dreams... yet!

In this thoughtful and motivating step-by-step playbook, witty author, speaker, and good-feelings maven, Marchesa Schroeder, delivers a satiating recipe for the comfortable life everyone wants: chock-full of meaningful relationships, awesome experiences, and the best kinds of feelings! With equal parts science-backed studies, therapy exercises, stories, and mind-hacking techniques, Plot-A-Course is meant to be enjoyed bite by delicious bite, savoring each lesson as it is: simply one part of the complex, umami-inspired, Michelin-rated, self-help meal you are consuming.

Served in two actionable and motivating courses, this book teaches you to:

- Identify your "WHY," accepting the unequivocal truth that we all share the same ultimate goal

- Pinpoint and eradicate the limiting-beliefs and sabotaging behaviors that stand in your way

- Create the life you love, love the life you lead, and enjoy the journey

By the end of Plot-A-Course, you'll be feeling good, taking action, and leading the life you've always wanted.

The only question remaining is:

Are you ready?

The Birth of Plot-A-Course

Every year for his birthday and Father’s Day, my father has always only asked for one thing: Time.

And I mean always

The only time he has ever expressed a materialistic desire was when the excessive gift-giving queen herself (my older sister Marlaina) got fed up with her lack of ability to give material gifts and threatened to spend money on him regardless. She’s an extreme giver. She needs to give at all costs and if you take that away from her for too long? Well, keep your signature hand strong because you will be blasted with gift deliveries until she feels justice has been served! #LeoProblems

My father would ask for variable, but specified, amounts of time, in addition to, the undivided attention of myself, my mother, and my three sisters. Though he probably would have lovingly accepted the time and attention of the neighbor’s gardener, our cats, the suited missionaries spreading The Book of Mormon, and the resident living room daddy long legs spider...really anyone who would give it. 

So what does it even mean to ask for time?

Well, what it meant to my father was a time to teach, motivate, and inspire us to be “the best versions of ourselves we can be.” He would often start out with what he refers to as “The State of the Union Address” or “SOTU.” This is where he would review the state of our family unit, including overviews of accomplishments, financial projections, personal goals, and any area of life that we could improve upon overall. It probably isn’t shocking that four adolescent kids who just wanted to do hoodrat stuff with their friends and a woman who has spent most of her life acting like she’s living in a Disney musical (avoiding anything that even slightly resembled a problem), would be less than thrilled to listen. 

This is how it would almost always play out:

“Five minutes until take off people! Five minutes!”

My father would glide around the house, gently and excitedly reminding each of us of our previously committed gift of time. 

We would all begrudgingly congregate in the living room on the couch, where he had set out writing supplies, a stack of paper, and what I assume to be the first set of clipboards ever made. After we got out all of our eye rolls, exaggerated exhales, wrinkling of chip bags, and arguments about who gets the crappy pen, chewed up pencil, or the reclining part of the couch, it would commence.

He would start out by addressing us in a satirical manner, using a phrase that was coined by my adolescent sister in 7th grade when she came home from school and felt it was her royal duty to bestow upon us, her familial peasants, her most recent scholarly accomplishment. #LeoProblems

My people!” 

He would then start in on his lengthy and energetic sermon. Like a well-rehearsed monologue in a play, he would seamlessly mesh body movement with the ebb and flow of his rhetoric, glancing around from time to time at his painfully unenthusiastic audience. He would passionately glide through points touching on the metaphysical, life goals, and overall, self-improvement and self-actualization. The whole shebang was very interactive and always required some sort of effort on our part (that we would usually scoff at) such as writing down our dreams, goals, and values and then categorizing and prioritizing them. He was always encouraging us to ask questions and challenge his beliefs or stances, which we (naturally) took as an opportunity to throw jabs at one another and mock the process. In retrospect, the entire thing was really impressive and must’ve taken him weeks to coordinate. I mean it was like a motivational, sermonous, self-help workshop, theater performance, and life planning course all rolled into a one-man show. A show of which I’m fairly convinced only the resident living room spider was fully attentive towards. 

Our max listening capacity was generally about an hour or two. Anything past that and one of us would end up saying a snarky comment about how someone else’s expressed goal was stupid or start flicking eraser dust at one another, while my mother would go to the kitchen for the 48th time to crinkle what sounded like every bag she could find. Then, we would all shout about not being able to hear, and it would all unravel from there. 

Despite the consistent obstacles, my father persevered in his attempts to create a space for each of us not only to explore what we wanted out of our lives, honestly and authentically, but also, to provide us with the tools to create a pathway towards attainment of our goals. 

After each State of the Union Address, my father would review what happened in the meeting and explore ways to enhance our ability to absorb the lessons he was teaching. It was his mission to make sure that, above all else, each of us felt good as often as humanly possible throughout the course of each of our respective lives. He knew that there would be times of confusion. He knew that there would be less than optimal moments. And he wanted to equip us with a set of tools to guide and remind us in the times we may be lost. He felt that in order to convey this in the most impactful way, he should devise a system we can refer back to at any point in our lives when we may feel lost, confused, stuck, unsure, or simply, less than optimal. 

Year after year, drip by drip, SOTU meeting after SOTU meeting, perfecting things little by little, he diligently worked on this system, this life approach, until one day...he finally did it! 

He developed a final, easily digestible, ultra-system to help us navigate the uncharted waters of life. A system that would meet us where we were at in life. A system malleable enough to be adjusted to fit each of our unique goals, lifestyles, and personalities. A system meritorious and formidable enough to withstand any attempts to discredit or affect the integrity. A system that could be used to nurture our best selves, manage our resources mindfully, and take action! A system that employed some of the most important life lessons and fundamental attainment strategies. A system that could truly stand the test of time. He developed a system called…

Plot-A-Course. 

And this is the basis of the book I write for you today. 

This book is a recounting of lessons, tools, techniques, and strategies that my father turned into a system to help produce clarity, answering the “who am I?” “what do I want?” “why do I want it?” “how do I plan on getting it?” questions. Quite simply, Plot-A-Course is designed to induce forward motion towards our shared ultimate goal of good feelings

So as much as I’d love to say this concept was my creation, I had nothing to do with it other than begrudgingly donating small portions of my, very divided, adolescent attention over the years. I’m really just the messenger of what I deem to be one of the most influential life-changing systems. It changed my life and I know it will change yours.

Growing up, I really did not like having to give my father the gift of my time. I was young, antsy, unreceptive, and couldn’t understand the importance. I would often wish I could just buy my father a gift like a normal person and be done with it. Happy Birthday pops! Here’s an impersonal, hackneyed card I purchased from the store and signed my name at the bottom of. And uh, here’s a grill apron with flames on it. 

I know my sister felt the same because she would usually storm off after each family meeting, leaving a trail of eraser dust, shouting, “Why can’t we just be a NORMAL family?!”— while occasionally kicking a hole through the hallway drywall in an episode of misplaced teenage anger. Again, #LeoProbs. 

Retrospectively? I see that it was much less about us giving him a gift than it was about him giving us gifts. The gift of not only time, but also knowledge, experience, and love. 

And these are the gifts I want to give back to each of you through this book. 

Plot-A-Course transformed my life and I want it to do the same for you. I could get started by giving you a clipboard with chewed up pencil taped onto the top and a stack of previously used computer paper (because per section 13.4 Frugality and Resourcefulness” in the Schroeder Rule Book, all paper must be used at least twice for writing purposes and once as either a paper airplane or an origami Tsuru before being recycled). Then, I could gas you up through a sermon-like monologue, multiple times a year, for the next 20 years…. But this book seems like a better option. 

That being said, if you are interested in the lengthy sermonous version, feel free to stop by the Schroeder house anytime. My father will likely be in the backyard with one pair of glasses on his face, the other on his head, and the last in his pocket, while trying to find his glasses so he can continue fixing some assortment of broken things that he dug out of the trashcan that are still “perfectly usable with a little TLC and J-B Weld!” 

As a final note, I want to remind you that self-discovery and personal development are ongoing and ever-evolving processes. You’re never “done” nor should you want to be. There will be moments where you feel stuck or confused. There will be moments where you are frustrated and want to kick a hole in the hallway drywall. That’s perfectly okay and expected. The path of self-discovery is exciting, ongoing, and always changing. Who you are today may not be who you are tomorrow. Embrace this. 

So without further adieu,

Five minutes until take off people! Five minutes!

(P.S Now would be the time to grab a bag of kettle chips, a couple of cans of carbonated water, and (if you’re a fire sign) the drywall repair kit, because it’s time to get started!)



... My People!


About the author

Marchesa is an author, model, speaker, and good feelings maven. But under it all? She’s really just a tall, brown, serial carbonated-water drinker, who occasionally wears full-length shirts, dances through her bouts of existential crisis, and wants us all to feel good as often as humanly possible. view profile

Published on December 22, 2019

Published by

70000 words

Genre: Self-help

Reviewed by

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