Note: This description also appears on the "About This Book" page in case this text seems familiar.
Maybe you've asked yourself how it can be that the most affluent culture in the world with the most envied lifestyle can also be the most violent, with so many angry people who act out their hostility on each other. I did. Beginni ng in the early nineties, I watched, listened, and wondered. Shortly thereafter, I began formulating the core of what would eventually become this book.
Time was the first of the trends I observed. As a nation, young and old alike, we became more hurried, fast paced, busy, and frenetic, and the time crunch continues to this day. Overload followed. And then, slowly and steadily, the rest of the ten trends that are complicating our lives fell into place.
This book is about maintaining your integrity and identity in a complex world. It's about taking charge of your life and not letting external pressures tell you how to live. It's about living life consciously instead of caving into other people's expectations or falling prey to commercial illusions.
It's about maintaining a center of calm in a stressful, demanding world. You see, unrelieved stress causes crankiness and if this condition goes untreated for an extended time, disaster can follow. It's a one-way trip down Stress street, up Cranky court, around Anger avenue and onto Rage road. That spells SCAR and you don't need any new SCARs in your life.
Why Is Everyone So Cranky? is a "one stop shopping" life balance and stress management manual with ten Cranky Quizzes that help readers zero in on the specific areas of life most needing attention. Meant to be read in small doses and then acted upon, this book offers hundreds of practical tips and many valuable lessons about how simple life really is, and how close we all are to true happiness, given the proper choices. I am convinced that if we were as focused on getting "enriched" as we are getting rich, this would be a different world.
Appropriate audiences for Why Is Everyone So Cranky? include working adults and single parents who feel as if their lives are moving too fast, managers who want to improve their work climate, couples who want to enhance their relationship, people who feel victimized by stress and time pressures, counselors, therapists, and those in the healing professions, plus anyone else who harbors serious concerns about our societal priorities.
Do you see them? Are you one of them? Have you witnessed the hoards of hurried, worried people throughout our country as they rush and scurry, preoccupied, and too easily piqued: the overwhelmed, overworked, overscheduled, and overspent. They race on the road, even when headed somewhere they don't want to go. They walk, talk, and even balk at warp speed! Impatient, easily irritated, and driven by chronic urgency, the cranky among us flaunt their rudeness as if it were a prized possession.
Despite the brief outpouring of compassion the followed the 9/11 tragedy, once again we are beset by frequent outbursts of "attitude." The word "rage" is once again in our headlines. As we make our adjustments in this less predictable, more uncertain world, we once again face the daily complications of time, overload, money, relationships, work, technology, change, and complexity: the social forces responsible for our cultural crankiness. There is a problem, and there is hope. Find out how you can immunize yourself against everyday stress, pressure, and hassle so you don't get bit by the cranky bug and unknowingly infect others!
This book represents an intense six years of my life. The core ideas began to gel in the late eighties, but only years later did I realize there would be a book. What I did realize though, was that wherever I was, in the US, increasing numbers of people confided or complained that they were stressed out, they didn't have enough time to exercise or stay healthy, they didn't like their jobs or their bosses, and their personal relationships were a mess. For years, I heard these same sad themes, in small towns and big cities alike.
Because of the consistency of these comments, I began wondering about the social forces that were lurking out there in our culture, undetected. That's when I began observing the effects of time compression, information overload, a growing fixation on money, ever increasing corporate competition, accelerated change, technology, the aging of the Boomers, and the increasing complexity of our lives.
While writing this book, it was my goal to take an inherently negative, serious topic and present it in an approachable, light, and occasionally witty manner. I'm delighted with the results, both with the book itself, the responses from readers, as well as the attention it still draws from the media, three years after the hardbound was released.
"A valuable, upbeat contribution to the anti-stress literature.
Leslie Charles shows us that we don't have to participate in the mad rush
all around us."
"This is a wonderful book that will give you a series of simple practical,
proven techniques you can use to remain calm and effective in dealing
with any cranky person or difficult situation."
"Charles has honed in on a problem that diminishes the quality of all
our lives, and even extinguishes life."
"Leslie Charles provides necessary understanding and practical solutions
to the people problems of today."
"This book will help readers live more rewarding lives by accepting their
flaws and turning them into positive attributes."
"This book is terrific."
"Why is Everyone So Cranky? contains a wealth of information for spiritual
renewal, and is specially designed fro busy readers who need guidance
on how to slow down and catch their breath."