I wrote this book to help you deal with stress. It’s a safe bet you need help with this emotion even if you don’t feel it, because in today’s world stress is extremely widespread and far-reaching. You probably also wish your life could be better, at least in some areas, or you would not be reading this book. Maybe your particular issue is some serious and seemingly insurmountable problem, like unemployment, an inability to pay bills, an unhappy relationship, or a physical, emotional, or mental illness. Maybe the stress you feel is not due to such monumental challenges, but to other important ones, like how to better relate to your children, boss, spouse, lover, friends, or co-workers. Perhaps you simply want to behappier and less frustrated, angry, and disillusioned. I’d also be willing to bet that, regardless of your particular problems, you’re tired of all the crap you have to deal with. This is understandable, because “crap” stands for “criticism, rejection, assholes, and pain,” and we all come up against these things from time to time. Whatever your issue is you are not alone. We all suffer from stress. Indeed, the only place you’ll ever find anyone who doesn’t is in the cemetery! Now I’m happy to tell you that you already have within yourself everything you need to successfully combat stress. You just may not know how to do so. This is where Your GPS For Less Stress comes in. It will teach you how to reduce stress. Never underestimate how important this is. Over the course of some twenty-five years of service as a rabbi, and untold hours of adult, teenage, and couples counseling, I have come to believe that stress is responsible for most of the discord, anger, depression, frustration, and burn out I see. In my personal life, it was an inability to deal with stress, or at least deal with it effectively, that made me an angry young man, then an angry middle-aged man, who was frustrated, demoralized, broke, helpless and hopeless. It destroyed important relationships, derailed my ambitions, and probably contributed to my Wegener’sGranulomatosis, a rare auto-immune disease. I’m positive stress is directly responsible for the maximum weight of 368 pounds I foolishly placed on my five foot nine inch frame and dangerously carried around for years. Sure, I could blame my obesity on the fact that I stopped smoking. Everyone knows you gain weight when you stop smoking! Right? I could also blame it on the massive dosages of steroids I took to put my condition into remission. Many people would do so, and who would dare second-guess a sick man who got fat trying to save his life?! Yet, because I haven’t smoked in over twenty years, and have not consumed steroids for over three years, were I to do this I would only be fooling myself. However, excuses always do more harm than good, especially over the long-term! It is the lessons found in Your GPS For Less Stress that inspired me to take my stress to the gym most days of the week, exercise it, meditate it, and feed it healthier food choices and moreambitious and inspiring dreams. I believe that the same way this book helped me address my stress, it can and will help you if you let it. But, just like I did, you’re going to have to trim your excuses and take serious and positive steps to turn your life around if you want to be successful. You have already taken a huge step in that direction by committing to read this book. Moreover, although stress is all over and cannot be escaped, there is much you can do to insure it does not cause you to give up, lower your standards, lose your goals, derail your relationships, suffer a heart attack or stroke, wind up in the loony bill or hospital, or worse yet dead! In fact, what you can do to most effectively manage stress is what this book is all about. It is why I wrote it. I felt that, although we must all occasionally suffer from it, in varying amounts, on multiple levels, over many things, if I could help others deal with their stress what I have endured will not be in vain. What I found is that stress is really no different from other problems we all face. Just as our challenges are usually multi-faceted, there is more than one form of stress. In fact, there is actually “good” stress. Imagine that! Stress that is good for you! I also found that we bring a lot of stress on ourselves. In this, as in many life areas, we are our own worst enemy. One supreme irony in this, as you will see, is that we do this because we think it will help us. The good news is that, if we have the power to be our worst enemy, we can also be our best friend and reduce our stress. Interestingly, stress has self-destructive mechanisms that can predictably trigger it in just about anybody, as well as realities that can reduce it. I have distilled these “stress combat suggestions” into twelve rules that, if followed, almost guarantee you will experience the least amount of stress possible. In fact, I named this book Your GPS For Less Stress because, like the GPS in your car, its lessons will guide you to the happier, more productive, stress-reduced and successful destination you want to arrive at. You owe it to yourself to learnthese rules and make them into habits so they can become a part of who you want to be. Many people have helped me throughout my life. My late Grandmother Ella Scher believed in me and encouraged my dreams. Ingeborg Buium, whom I love very much, has always provided much needed motivation and support. My paternal grandfather Isaac arrived in America alone and penniless in 1917 at the age of fourteen. When he passed away over 60 years later, he had supported his family for close to four decades from his own business, helped raise two sons, and earned the love and respect of his sons, their wives, six grandchildren, and innumerable nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends. His example motivates me every day. As does that of my friend and dentist Robert Kaufman. Next time you are tempted to complain about your commute, remember that Robert travels every month from Israel to New York to support his family! However, the person who inspires me the most is my dear friend Joseph Gibney. Although Joe became paralyzed at a very young age, he managed to earn college and law degrees and work for the Justice Department. More importantly he has not become a sourpuss. Somehow Joe continues to enjoy life and inspire others with his warm smile and pleasant demeanor. God bless you Joe. I am also indebted to the many self-help experts and authors who paved a path beforeme and made it that much easier to formulate my contributions in this book. These include Jack Canfield, Og Mandino, Steve Pavlina, Anthony Robbins, and W. Clement Stone. Then there are truly remarkable individuals, like Chris Gardner, David Murdock, Liz Murray, Oprah Winfrey, and others you will learn about, who somehow found it within themselves to surmount extraordinary obstacles to make a better life for themselves and help others. They inspire me. I also thank the psychologist Izzy Kalman for his advice.