There is no anxiety or unhappiness in the present moment

What's Important Now is an all-time classic book on being present by leadership coach, author and speaker John Kuypers

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This book, What’s Important Now, will help you shed your past so you can live in the present as it has for thousands of other passionate readers.

Reader Book Reviews of What’s Important Now

“WOW! If you have not read John’s book then you are missing out. Pick up a copy of “What’s Important Now”. I was blown away with this book and it actually helped me change my perspective on achieving goals in life and evaluating what really matters. This book can change your life!”

Tony DeLiberato, CEO, Netrix, Inc.


“Yesterday, I walked in to a Chapters (bookstore) just to look. I went to the self-help section because I am being treated for a depression. Your book caught my eye – but more importantly the TITLE. I am halfway through the book. Couldn’t believe what I was reading – so simple. I can’t wait to re-read the book because of my lack of memory. I’m sure this is the book for me. Thank you.”
P.C., Ottawa, ON, Canada

What’s Important Now: Shedding the Past so You Can Live in the Present


“I am having a great time reading your book What’s Important Now and reflecting upon it. I am telling everyone about it. I find it excellent: it is up there with my favorites such as “I Will Never Leave You” and “The Dance of Anger”.

Even when I don’t entirely agree with one of your concepts, it makes me think. The book is very well written and what makes it so vibrant is your honesty, and the fact that any reader can recognize him/herself in your examples. I cannot say I have learned anything entirely new, but I see it now under a different light, in a very concrete fashion.

I now catch myself applying your principles, or at least understanding why I am doing what I do. It is very empowering. John, by opening your heart and sharing your mind, you have impressed me, and I feel like a better person after reading your words. Thank you!”

FF, Oakville, ON, Canada
p.s. I think I could talk about your book for hours! It just helped me again this morning, when I realized I was upset just because something didn’t happen according to MY EXPECTATIONS. I thought of your analysis and explanations and my bad mood miraculously disappeared!


“I just wanted you to know that I found your book when I knew I needed to work to be “present” in my life. (I am a one person business – Real estate) And it led me to the Option Institute and a course called” Exceptional Women”, as well as the weekend “Happiness is a Choice” or whatever it is called. There I met someone who was going to work with Eckhardt Tolle as a teacher of his workshops, and I was introduced to his books. All tolled (pardon the pun) I am definitely more present now than when I first took your book out of the library…and not being present had to do with fear. My fear of facing reality, which was hurtful to me. When I read your book, I underlined and noted much of what you said…it meant a lot to me. Thank you.”

MW, Massachusetts, USA


“This book is the account of one very tuned-in man who has taken the courage to look very deep inside himself and then at his life in the concentric circles of his world. What you hold in your hands is the practical wisdom that he uncovered and that he uses as a roadmap in everyday life. There is a radical integrity in the way John makes the fragmented parts of himself — mind, body, spirit — whole again. After having read this powerful book there can be no doubt about what’s important for the author — to enjoy a compassionate life. I consider the gift the author shares with his reader as an instance of his compassion. What’s Important Now is definitely one of the most useful books on living mindfully and responsibly that I have ever read. I look forward to the sequel.”

Dr. André Stein, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Retired Professor of Psychology, University of Toronto,
Psychotherapist and Author of “Father’s Milk: Practical Wisdom for First-time Fathers


“I greatly enjoyed What’s Important Now. So much so that I put it down in the top 3 books I have read in a recent survey from our local library. What is troubling to me is that I don’t see this fantastic book in the book stores. I thought I would let you know this and make a suggestion that all your readers of your Present Living Thoughts to go out an ask about the book at their local book stores. I believe in this book and think that most anyone would gain from reading it.  I look forward to your blogs each week.”

Bob Hill, WA, USA


“I picked up this book at the November 2006 Promise Keepers event in Toronto. It looked like it had some helpful ideas, and didn’t look too religious. I remember looking at bits of it now and again for about a year. But in 2007, when I told my wife I was no longer going to even try to pretend to be straight, I picked it up and started reading. It is now April 2008, and I’m only just past half way through. That’s not because I have a problem with it. It’s because it takes me about two months to process and begin to use each tool he presents that will help me live in the present, and live according to what is important for me NOW.

The chapter headings are:

  1. Listen to your body.
  2. Change your beliefs
  3. Be authentic
  4. Risk disapproval
  5. Let go of outcomes
  6. Feel your feelings

These are pretty dangerous ideas, especially for someone (like me) entrenched in the Christian church. In Christian circles, listening to your body sounds like giving in to fleshly desires. Changing your beliefs could mean stepping into heresy (and we all know where that leads). Being authentic means taking off the masks we all wear (especially around churches and church people). Risking disapproval is the scariest thing imaginable (especially if we risk God’s disapproval, and how easy is it to separate the church’s approval from God’s approval). Letting go of outcomes sounds reckless (and recklessness is the sin of Balaam). And feeling feelings… shouldn’t we base our lives on the truth, not on feelings?

My only problem with this book is that it seems to place authenticity as the supreme value. While Kuypers does mention values from time to time, and explores the dangers of being authentic (such as “authentically” expressing your road rage), I’m disappointed that he did not devote a chapter to determining a hierarchy of values. As a Christian, I believe that love is that the greatest motivator, and that there are many times when we are required to put our own desires and feelings aside in order to be loving and kind.
That aside, this book has probably been the most significant book I have read in the last… 42 years (except for maybe The Cat in the Hat). It has helped me to embrace the fact that I am gay man, and that coming to terms with that fact will indeed help me get on with my life. I am not sure that this is anything like what PromiseKeepers Canada had in mind when they put this put in their bookstore! But God had them put it there anyway, no matter what their intentions!

Kuypers is a Christian, but this book is written for anybody. He does not quote scripture, he does not use church language, he does not even talk about Christian principles. He is brutally honest and most of his material seems like common sense (even if it is uncommon).  Highly recommended!”



“Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is an illness where the sufferer is almost constantly under stress because of perceived threats to personal safety. These threats can be in the form a tone of voice, spoken words, an innocent action or even a look which is perceived as threatening to the sufferer of PTSD.

Once a diagnosis of PTSD was made, I underwent therapy for over a year to recover from it. The therapy was successful, my life has changed dramatically. I am now free of the symptoms of PTSD most of the time. There are occasionally triggers that cause me to fall back into old behaviors, but thanks to the materials in your books, What’s Important Now and Comfortable in Your Own Skin, I have been able to recognize the triggers and change the old behaviors quickly. I am now able to be fully present much more often and can recognize when I am drifting off into the past or focusing on trying to control the future.

I had in the past not been willing to listen to my body to the point where in 1985 I had to undergo a kidney transplant. When I researched the probable causes of my kidney failure, I came upon an book written by a German scientist who linked my particular kidney failure with a combination of constant high stress and poor diet. Now I listen to my body and your book reinforces that.

Chapter 2 on Changing Your Beliefs was especially beneficial because I could relate to how my beliefs had affected my life in the past. Your development of self exploratory dialogue is excellent, it helps me to discover triggers I would never see otherwise. Chapter 3 on Be Authentic is very honest regarding the courage it takes to be yourself. Chapter 5, Let Go of Outcomes helped me to free myself of trying to control my environment, something that, as a sufferer of PTSD I spent much of my energy trying to do. Chapter 6, Feel Your Feelings is a great personal coaching chapter that I use it a lot. I appreciate the sections Remember, Watch For and Try This at the end of each chapter.

Thank you for being willing to share so much of your personal life with your readers.

Norm T, Ontario, Canada


Book Review of What’s Important Now by Peggy Grall, Coach, Therapist and Editor of Psychologica Magazine, for Ontario’s Psychotherapists and Counselors

This book is a refreshing and practical attempt to help ordinary people feel more satisfied with their everyday, real-world lives through learning how to live more fully in the present, free from the burdens of past resentments and regrets.  Most of us associate living in the present with Eastern gurus and mystic monks sitting on mountain tops, meditating and contemplating.   Author John Kuypers takes this age-old subject and brings it into the twenty-first century.

The book begins with a compelling story, a time when Mr. Kuypers had the world by the tail.  He could do no wrong as a young business school graduate, excelling athletically and experiencing career and personal success far beyond his immigrant farmer’s son roots.  Then he makes three career moves in a row that end disastrously.  His confidence is seriously rattled and he locks himself into a corporate career for the following nine years, determined not to screw up again.

When he collapses on the family room floor out of sheer mental burn out as a thirty-four year old vice-president of sales, he gets a wake up call that begins what turns out to be a seven year journey to find career and personal fulfillment.  He finds his answers through learning how to live more fully in the present.

In his book, What’s Important Now: Shedding the Past so You Can Live in the Present, Mr. Kuypers takes us on a journey to know ourselves and accept who we are.  He offers us six “doorways” which is his metaphor for strategies to break through the emotional walls that unconsciously imprison usand block us from fully living in the present.

The book emphasizes that we must become true to who we really are.  John Kuypers provides practical tips such as four ways to change beliefs that are limiting a person, and causing them emotional angst.  He offers three ways to be “authentic”, even at the risk of consequences to ourselves like being rejected, criticized and abandoned.  He provides tools on how to do this while minimizing the “collateral” damage, like expressing your feelings by separating them from the triggering event, and letting go of your attachments and expectations.  The section on Listening in the Present is particularly useful to those therapists who feel they could improve their listening skills with clients.

The author tackles this complex subject using straightforward language and numerous pinpointed examples that any reader can relate to, from work to play to personal relationships.  He is remarkably open and self-disclosing about his own experiences, though the emphasis on the book is on what the reader needs to consider doing, rather than about the life story of the author himself.  His background as a businessman adds to the credibility of his work with today’s busy, stressed-out clients.

This is a thought-provoking book that will give any student of self-improvement a dramatically new perspective on how to overcome everyday unhappiness.  Practitioners of living in the present discover that life becomes an adventure. What’s Important Now provides a road map for readers to navigate their way into uncovering what they are really meant to be doing with their lives, regardless of the constraints from past career or relationships failures or even successes that may never be repeatable.

I recommend this book as a useful tool to any therapist wanting to give their clients a positive, constructive means by which to focus their lives on the here and now.

Reviewed by Peggy Grall, Editor of Psychologica Magazine,

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