‘How to Have a Great Life’ – Book Review: 35 Surprisingly Simple Ways to Success, Fulfilment & Happiness

How to Have a Great Life is the latest book from Paul Mcgee (also known as the SUMO guy, we’ll come back to that later). Paul wants you to have a Great Life, and promises you’ll get there by building on your own strengths and potential.

As many of you know, I am a big fan of the self-development and self-care genre (see some of my past reviews here, here and here) and I am delighted to be playing a part in the Book Blog Tour for the launch of this new title. How to Have a Great Life promises that we already have the tools we need to succeed, we just need to know which ones to use and how best to use them.

Here is my review of the title, a little more about the author, and whether I would recommend you take a look or not…

Book blog tour4

Each bite-sized chapter has simple and emotionally intelligent tips for achieving success and fulfilment.  By taking responsibility, expressing gratitude, and being reflective, you will become the most successful, fulfilled and happy you, that you can be.


How to Have a Great Life is Paul McGee’s eleventh title. He is an expert on workplace Vist_1510_2203lowrelationships, communication, motivation and resilience. His book SUMO – Shut Up, Move On – became an instant bestseller and is still in print 13 years later. Self Confidence: The remarkable truth of why a small change can make a big difference reached number one in the WHSmith’s business book chart and remained there for a further 24 weeks. He has appeared on BBC Breakfast Television, and also on the Chris Evans Radio 2 Breakfast Show to talk about How Not To Worry which Chris described as ‘a gift to the world’.

Building on his academic background in psychology and drawing on his experiences as an ME sufferer, Paul’s aim is to deliver practical, relevant messages that can make an immediate impact on people’s personal and professional lives. 

With this impressive CV in mind, I think it would be fair to say that Paul is someone that certainly ‘walks the talk’ in terms of his experience and his credibility, and I’m pleased to say that this experience transfers to his latest book with real enthusiasm.

The Book

The book is structured into small and easily consumed chapters with snappy titles and great anecdotes. This makes it a real joy to read, and easy to take in the information within the chapter. It flows like a story through different aspects but with practical (and funny!) examples from Paul.

It was quite eye opening to read how honest Paul was about his past struggles, and also inspirational to hear how he has overcome those challenges and achieved what he has in life. Many books like this talk the talk, but don’t walk it – Paul’s book definitely walks the talk.

The chapters flow nicely and include the ‘7 Cs’ (love that), ‘Your Past is not your Prison’ and ‘Show some Leadership’. The chapter structure makes it an easy book to pick up and put down again – essential for me as I juggle kids (not literally), work (as a full-time juggler) and many other commitments. I liked Paul’s style throughout, there was no BS that you often see in books within this genre, Paul comes across as a credible voice who has been there, done it, and has several t-shirts to prove it.


There are many tangible ideas within the book for getting a better balance within your life, with an ultimate aim of fulfilment. That f-word is important, many of us say that we want to be rich, or go on lots of holidays, or get a new job, but fulfilment is critical – there are plenty of people who are wealthy, or in the job of your dreams, but still unhappy. One of my take-outs from this book is that fulfilment is the key to happiness, and the key to fulfilment is understanding what drives us / what is important to us.

I really enjoyed this book and some of the great quotes within it. The chapter themes stick with you thanks to the stories attached (I’m off to get a tattoo on my torso this afternoon, read the book for context!), and Paul’s writing style is warm and welcoming.


I would recommend you give this book a go, especially if you enjoy books about personal development, or if you are in a little bit of a funk.

I am happy to say that you can win a copy of this book – check out my pinned tweet for information on how to enter (UK only, closing date 9pm 13/08/18)!

You can also buy the book from Amazon here.

I was gifted a copy of the book for taking part in the Book Blog Tour, but this in no way influenced my review.


  1. I loved Paul’s book SUMO – I thought it was so motivational. He came into my work place a few years ago to discuss the book and how it can help those in an educational work environment so I am excited to see how this book can also help people!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ok. Here are my thoughts on this post. 1. You are a great writer. Your copy is tight and sounds conversational (as though you would say these same words were I sitting across from you at a coffee shop.) That conversational voice is engaging and, man, I KNOW you know the value of engagement. 2. Your review of the book was amazing and made want to read it. Moreover, it was peppered with a little humor and you directly connected the book to it’s personal value to you. Hearing that it inspired you to want permanent tattoo will make readers buy the book. 3. I don’t live in the UK and cannot win the contest. 😥 I can buy the book, though! 4. If I haven’t already imparted my review of your review adequately YET, I give it 5 stars. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

    Liked by 1 person

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