A controversial one this week: James Smith. The man who has fast become one of the world’s most recognised fitness trainers / PTs. I read his first book, Not a Diet Book which was okay, but his recent one was… gamechanging.

I LOVED Not a Life Coach.

Not a Life Coach is a self-help book – but not. Probably not very helpful of me to say at the minute, but it is a collation of everything we are all experiencing or have experienced.

The world is changing and many of us aren’t. Companies aren’t changing or not fast enough. Younger people know what they want, but the people in charge at the top are reluctant or slow to let that change happen.

This is where he demonstrates the possibility that anything is actually possible, as long as you can define your own happiness – not have it defined by someone else, which is what social media and the news can often trick us into doing.

This book was recommended to me by a friend who shares a mutual appreciation for James Smith. It was motivating, blunt and honest (like my mate), not very suitable for snowflakes, but perfect for people with a growth mindset or seeking change in their lives, whether that be professional or personal – maybe both. Smith says it as it is and isn’t afraid nor sorry – he sums up what most of us are experiencing and how we feel about our lives.

Some would say he is controversial and unrealistic, but I guess that depends on your mindset. Smith is a living example of how his actions have changed that. Some people may even be envious of his success and would you believe – happiness.

You could think ‘oh, but that’s alright for him’. Yeah you could think that, but he has actually done it – have you? Tough comments hurt, I know. I haven’t.

I’m feeling it right now after consuming his work, but my goodness I feel so uplifted after reading his book, which I find can be the opposite when I read self-help books which often make me feel worse and sh*t about myself and my decisions.

This positive review by no means comes from the fact that I may have had a bit of a crush on Mr Smith… I just agree with a lot of the things he says. He says the facts that most people are too afraid to say aloud. He’s upset and offended people and he has acknowledged that, like on his podcast, but I guess that is one of the reasons he has become so successful; because he is different and he still enjoys what he does!

I would recommend his book if you are going through life wishing for the ‘when I’ moment. The reality is you are probably in that moment when you last thought about it. Bit of a deflating feeling right? Smith outlines relatable points like these throughout which I highlighted in my own copy (I had to end up buying my own copy as I didn’t think defacing the library copy would do any good!), which gives me the kick up the butt to take action and believe in myself which can be difficult to do when we are stuck behind screens or doing the same thing everyday, just because it is safe or what is expected of us: job, mortgage, dating, babies… we all encounter these judgements and expectations at some point.

It’s about how you react and choose to feel about it, followed by your action.

You can choose to be motivated by this book, or offended. I chose the former.

A great read! Highly recommended!

Some takeaway quotes…

You can’t control what happens to you in life, but you can control how you feel about it.

Mondays do not suck if you feel that way, it’s not Mondays that are the problem, but the current structure and routine in your life.

You do not need to be the best in the world to be happy, as long as you choose the level you want to be happy at.


Don’t compare your values to others; don’t be influenced by your parents or the societal norms, as this is unique to you and you alone.

You. don’t go through life to make other people happy; you do it to make yourself happy.

Rating – 5/5 ⭐️ and beyond!
Genre – Self-help


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