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About the Author

Award-winning author Barbara "The Games Lady" Sher is an internationally popular occupational therapist specializing in developing children's natural love of play to enhance sensory, motor, and social skills. Visit her online at gomeslady.com.

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Works by Barbara Sher

Teamworks! (1656) 31 copies


Common Knowledge



Finally! A book about people like me. I’ve spent my entire adult life thinking there was something wrong with me. If I could just find my main passion, the one thing I was going to be amazing at and be able to stick with, then I could be successful. Only it never happened. Occasionally I thought I found it, and my engagement would last a while - sometimes years - making me think this was it. But inevitably the excitement would fizzle, and I’d find myself completely engaged in something else. I’d start to think that maybe that was what I was meant to do… until I woke up one morning and found all my enthusiasm for that new sure thing completely gone. So what on earth was wrong with me?

According to Barbara Sher, absolutely nothing! (Imagine my relief!) I am apparently a “Scanner”, someone who loves “to read and write, to fix and invent things, to design projects and businesses, to cook and sing, and to create the perfect dinner party… To Scanners the world is like a big candy store full of fascinating opportunities, and all they want is to reach out and stuff their pockets.” Yes, that definitely sounds like me.

Barbara Sher then goes on to describe the various kinds of Scanners (apparently we’re not all the same), what makes them tick, how they get themselves into trouble, and what tools they can use to make the most of their abilities. She also talks at length about career choices for the various types of scanners, something that’s extremely important for those of us who feel like we can’t stick to anything long-term.

All in all, this is a fascinating book that opened my eyes to many things I didn’t realize about myself.
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Elizabeth_Cooper | 17 other reviews | Oct 27, 2023 |
The new age-y title seems more like edgy spin for this nuts and bolts handbook for owning and realizing goals (wild dreams). First printed in the late 1970's, this 30th anniversary edition references quaint, dated practices like using a typewriter and researching at the library. But charming anachronisms do not dilute the potent, practical guidance Sher presents with humor and tested, step-by-step expertise. Over and over Sher's wisdom made me laugh as I realized how much that is served up as cutting-edge in coaching, menifesting, and hefty-price-tag online courses, has been around a LONG time.

The writing works. It's not brilliant prose, but it doesn't set out to be. Sher's engaging voice reads like a wise, patient, and compassionate aunt who KNOWS you're brilliant and won't let you give up your dream for lack of good counsel.

Chapters 1 & 2 build the rapport and trust. Beyond that I kept nodding and smiling as she shared her experiences and examples from students in her classes to illustrate each step of the wishcraft process. Instead of banning fear or complaining, Sher honors them as important tools for realizing great goals. The chapter "Barn-raising" is a brilliant study of the value of social capital.

A few lines that reeled me in:
"What I'm interested in is what you love. ... You may have a case of amnesia about it. That amnesia can be so total that you're not even sure anymore what you love." I've spent plenty of time there.

"All the people we call "geniuses" are men and women who somehow escaped having to put that curious, wondering child in themselves to sleep. Instead, they devoted their lives to equipping that child with the tools and skills it needed to do its playing on an adult level."

"Before you can get what you need, you've got to take responsibility for knowing what you need."

"Love your life. ... Be really happy at what you're doing. That's when you're irresistible ... you're cheerful, enthusiastic, and loving."

Instead of purging references to typing or pocket calendars from the original text, Sher simply includes her website www.barbarasher.com and BlogTalkRadio.com credit in her brief bio.

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rebwaring | 6 other reviews | Aug 14, 2023 |
Read this based on a recommendation from metafilter when I needed to stop feeling guilt and shame about my useless hobbies and diverse interests. Turns out, they are not useless; in fact, they enrich your life and energize you, instead of wasting "your time". Managed to pick my random interests back up again, and the daybook idea definitely helped start that process (though I didn't stick to it, I still find the practice of writing out any fleeting idea as if I'm going to execute it on a down day to be super helpful, and do it to this day. Turns out, sometimes exploring an idea is all you need to do now).… (more)
womanwoanswers | 17 other reviews | Dec 23, 2022 |
I’ve had this book forever, but I’m glad to finally read it through a recent audiobook recording. I loved it as the author (RIP) really gets it, and even though the term “Scanner” isn’t a fave, I definitely am one in all its glory. This really got me thinking more about options and what I can do with my endless desire to learn more; it’s a bit outdated (sad considering it’s only sixteen years old) but still full of wonderful information and anecdotes for those of us who need it.
spinsterrevival | 17 other reviews | Nov 11, 2022 |


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