Dr. Erica Miller's Thanks for My Journey is autobiographical in nature and focuses on her tumultuous life; first spending four years in a Ukraine holding camp after the Nazis invaded, then the family's struggle with homelessness after they found their former home occupied by Russians.
Unlike most Holocaust survivor stories, Miller only touches upon events of the past, focusing more upon the life that evolved from these events. Her journey to Israel, her unusual service in the Israeli Air Force, and her entry into the field of mental health all make up the heart of the story more so than her Holocaust experiences in a combination of inspirational reading and autobiography that traces the evolution of grit, determination and lessons from this survivor's experiences.
Thanks for My Journey is a vivid memoir and a life story. It should ideally be pursued as a predecessor to her inspirational handbook, laying the foundation and groundwork that allows readers to understand how her psyche, attitude, and philosophy evolved.
Even more so than Thanks, the companion volume, Miller's Don't Tell Me I Can't Do It!, comes from a Holocaust survivor who has created five 'core beliefs' to live by, and who imparts the basics of how to live an optimistic life no matter what obstacles and adversity this includes. This attitude comes from a therapist and mother who leads the kind of life she talks about, making her tenants both easy and authoritative.
Don't Tell Me I Can't Do It! is a dual offering: an autobiography relating the author's life and process of making it a goal-oriented success, and a set of admonitions others can use to follow in her footsteps. This is not to say that everyone can do so: it takes a certain attitude, flexibility, determination and grit to take these philosophies and make them your own. Intended as a motivational read offering food for thought, this comes in a format that lends to quick reading and insights which can be easily tailored to different personalities, goals, and lives.
Dr. Erica Miller does a good job of leading the horses to water, but it's up to readers to drink in whatever way works for them. Those seeking not an exact path but a broad-spectrum guide for taking these first steps will find her approach is both general and based on her own choices.
Hers isn't a book for those who would be provided a complete formula: it's for the self-motivated who need only a direction and some basic insights in order to hone and stay a course.