Conspiracy theories generally make for an interesting backdrop to mystery and thriller fiction (aka Ludlum). In a bit of a twist, Utopian Frontiers: A story of hope (Burman Books, 2012), provides a reverse conspiracy backdrop, a secret research city devoted to bringing utopia to humankind. Recognizing humankind is racing forward to self-destruction of its environment, a secret, multi-government sponsored research facility, hidden in a national park, is working to finding the answers to humankind’s salvation.
Somehow, this benign form of conspiracy isn’t near as exciting as one with threats of world domination, but aside from that, Utopian Frontiers provides a host of “what-ifs” that will challenge and stimulate your thinking.
What if a city of 100,000 could function with no government, no institutions in control, no bosses, and phenomenal use of technology to provide all its inhabitants’ needs and wants? And get this, this research city, termed a “facity,” uses no money nor other medium of purchase or debt exchange.
People do what they do out of interest in learning and developing the processes and materials of sustainable future life, fully co-existing with nature and ecological preservation.
No government, no taxes, no credit cards (they do have carbon cards to provide self-review of one’s carbon imprint actions), no economic gain or loss from one’s actions. But don’t people run amuck stealing, murdering, cheating? No. If everyone has everything they need and want there’s no incentive to take from others, nor to dominate others. Peaceful co-existance, cooperation, and contribution are more satisfying.
But don’t get hung up arguing over whether a society can function long term this way, the technology revealed in Utopian Frontiers is mind-boggling and comes at you in rapid fire sequence page after page—nearly too much to absorb.
Utopian Frontiers is not the latest from one of the giants of science fiction genre, it’s the product of Utopian Frontiers Foundation, a non profit organization dedicated to developing multi-media works intended to educate and provoke meaningful discourse on global environmental concerns – including the relationship between humankind and technology.
A comprehensive suggested Sample Personal Growth Plan is available just in time for New Year’s
resolutions and thoughts of those personal growth goals you’ve been meaning to address.
Though New Year’s resolutions normally have a terrible history of goal failure, following a structured plan increases the odds of success remarkably. The Sample Personal Growth Plan is a nineteen-week personal development program with suggested areas of personal growth focus for each week.
The program begins—appropriately—with where and how to begin a personal development journey. The plan’s personal growth areas include finding life purpose, discovering personal strengths, learning to meditate, overcoming fears, successful goal setting, effective time management, improving relationships, and much, much more.
Articles relating to each week’s focus contain exercises, tips, advice, and references helping you to personalize growth efforts and effectively integrate new ways into your daily life.
There’s no charge, no registration, and no credit card required. Simply print off the Sample Personal Development Program and follow it.
Follow a structured plan for your personal growth and development using the examples and exercises in this Sample Personal Development Plan.
This is a summary of a comprehensive personal growth plan eBook: The Sample Personal Development Plan and Workbook.
How This eBook Will Guide Your Growth
With this sample plan guiding your personal growth you’ll have a structure to follow that builds a solid foundation for growth. A brief self-assessment points out specific areas for focus, so you can either follow the author’s progression of modules or pick and choose from among the sixteen areas of proven personal growth.
If you’re serious about your personal growth and development, you’ll recognize the value of planning your growth rather than jumping among the latest hot topics of self-help. The sixteen areas for growth in The Sample Personal Development Plan and Workbook are chosen from the latest positive psychology research studies as areas for growth that are validated components of well-being.
Among the growth topics included are: Finding your Life Purpose, Identifying Limiting Beliefs, How to Meditate, Tips for Improving Relationships, Goal Setting, Time Management, and many more.
This plan builds on recent scientific information from the new science of Positive Psychology. The resulting exercises, examples, and suggestions for growth are based on proven scientific research studies.
Review the schedule of topics included in the full The Sample Personal Development Plan and Workbook. Then obtain your own complete sample plan to begin an exciting journey of personal growth and development.
There’s a special gift waiting for you at the end of this (fairly long) page. I hope you’ll read your way to it, but it’s yours to use even if you succumb to curiosity and jump down immediately.
Meet Jerry for an eBook Overview
The Sample Personal Development Plan and Workbook is available in all formats (Kindle, Nook, iPad, Sony, PC, Mac, and more). View the video for a bit of background on Jerry and a quick overview of the book. At the end of this 4 minute video you’ll find a discount coupon you can use when you purchase the eBook. For those preferring more detail after watching the video, each module is summarized below.
Module One – Self Assessment
In this module you’ll respond to a brief self-assessment questionnaire to determine the areas of your life most in need of further development. The questionnaire addresses eight aspects of life common to everyone, but provides for additions and modifications based on your unique life situation.
The self-assessment lends itself to ready identification of high-level goals for growth.
Module Two – Life Purpose, Finding a Meaningful Life
Having a purpose to your life is extremely important to your feelings of well-being and satisfaction. Research studies find that people whose lives are meaningful are happier, healthier, and more successful than others. Life purpose is a foundation critical to a happy life.
Learn the fail-safe indicator that tells you if you’re living your true purpose.
Many people define themselves by what they do. Learn the difference between what you do and your purpose in life.
Module Three – Your Unique Strengths
In this module you’ll learn to identify those unique characteristics that scientists call your signature strengths. Learn how to identify your own signature strengths and how you can build a more successful life with them.
Module Four – Learn Meditation and Yoga
Meditation and Yoga are no longer viewed as mystical, mysterious rituals available only to monks and religious recluses. Learn the healthful benefits of meditation and yoga and a basic meditation you can easily begin right at home.
Module Five – Fully Experience the Present Moment
You’ve heard the expression, Stop and smell the roses. Now learn why it’s so important to a happy, fulfilling life. Even busy people can learn the simple tricks of living each moment to the fullest.
Module Six – Examine Your Values and Beliefs
Beliefs held deep in your subconscious could be limiting your personal growth, preventing you from achieving your dreams. Identify these beliefs and your sacred values allowing you to continue utilizing those that are helping you become all you want to be.
Module Seven – Overcome Your Fears
Fear could be keeping you stuck in a dead-end job or relationship. Fear often prevents us from taking action on our dreams. Learn to identify your fears and overcome those that are holding you back.
Module Eight – Adopt a More Positive Attitude
People who are inherently positive are happier and more successful than those biased toward negativity. Learn how to shift your thinking to a more positive attitude and gain the benefits it brings.
Module Nine – Become a Great Goal Setter
There’s an art and science to goal setting. Learn the common reasons people fail to meet their goals. If you seldom achieve your goals, this module will help you become successful at achieving what you want.
Module Ten – Learn to be Grateful
There’s no simpler, easier way to bring greater happiness and satisfaction to your life than by developing an attitude of gratefulness. Learn some easy steps you can take every day.
Module Eleven – Self Care, Body and Mind
Taking good care of your body and mind is critical to having a good life. The reference resource identified in this module has been proven to help people overcome severe addictions and bad habits.
Module Twelve – Making Better Use of Your Time
Do you often wish there were more than 24 hours in a day? Learn how to utilize your 24 hours in ways that help you accomplish what you want in life.
Module Thirteen – Become a Better Listener
Become known as a great communicator and strengthen all your relationships by learning to listen more effectively. Learn the common mistakes people make and how to correct them.
Module Fourteen – Improve Your Relationships
Becoming a better listener will strengthen your relationships, but listening problems may not be the only things that are damaging relationships with your co-workers, customers, family, and all the other important relationships of your life. Learn the issues that commonly damage relationships and what you can do to correct them.
Module Fifteen – Be More Generous
Generosity is good for your soul. You don’t have to donate a million dollars to reap the benefits of generosity.
Module Sixteen – Develop and Enforce Your Boundaries
If you have trouble saying no, or find yourself involved in activities which cause you to be resentful and angry, you’re probably not enforcing your personal boundaries. Learn to say no without feeling guilty and without offending anyone.
Module Seventeen – Apologize and Forgive
In this module you’ll learn how to apologize and forgive, relieving your inner anger and angst from previous transgressions. Reduce your stress and improve your health by forgiving past transgressions and apologizing for your hurtful behaviors.
Module Eighteen – Reflect on Your Growth and Celebrate
The final module guides you in recognizing and celebrating how far you’ve come on this personal growth journey.
To Obtain Your Copy
The Sample Personal Development Plan and Workbook is available from Amazon in Kindle format and from Smashwords, my publisher, in all formats including Kindle. Both suppliers provide sample chapters of the book so you can try it out on your favorite eReader, whether pc, Mac, Kindle, Nook, iPad, Sony, or others.
Your Special Gift for Making it this Far
For a limited time, take 25% off the normal purchase price of The Happiness Workbook: Take Control of Your Happiness – Dozens of Proven Ways to be Happier. The Happiness Workbook is a three part book, including a Questionnaire to identify areas of your life preventing you from being as happy as you want to be, a Workbook to help you apply scientifically proven interventions for becoming happier, and a Resources section identifying books, articles, and web sites providing more information on being happy.
Learn if you’re as happy as you want to be, the areas of life you can improve, and dozens of tips for becoming happier, all in The Happiness Workbook. Use coupon code TY68M at checkout to claim your 25% discount.
What is Life all About? How do I Find my Purpose? is the latest in the Personal Growth Resources series of personal growth books. Other books in the series include:
The perfect life is yours once you uncover the beliefs and attitudes blocking it.
Anyone growing up in the ’50′s might have formed a view of the perfect life—an easy life—from watching The Donna Reed Show or Leave it to Beaver.
Based on these and other shows like them, one might have formed an impression of the perfect life: superficial problems, interpersonal conflicts—if any—resolvable with one or two insightful statements, close friends and family one can always count on, issues resolved with fairness and equity to all, and everyone is happy in thirty minutes or less.
Life Can Be Messy
Life, of course, is not like this; relationships are complex, personal issues can be deep and troublesome, tragedy can and does hit, and life doesn’t always seem fair and just. Real life is anything but the perfect life of TV drama.
Still, life is good, and can be perfect when one’s attitude and expectations are aligned with what life has to offer.
The Perfect Life
The perfect life is actually relatively easy to accomplish. It’s all in attitude training. Your attitude toward life makes all the difference in how life feels to you. Attitudes are formed by core beliefs, those ideas about life and life’s circumstances that are held deeply in your subconscious.
If your life is not as you want it to be, a valuable self help tip that will provide the personal improvement you’re seeking is this: examine your core beliefs and the attitudes about life that result from them. Change the beliefs and attitudes that aren’t serving your best interests.
Research shows that our senses and perceptions are imperfect. Seeing is not—it turns out—believing. It’s the other way around, believing is seeing. That is, you’ll see what you believe you’ll see. Our minds are so powerful, that they’ll filter the information of the five senses so the mind will interpret what it sees to conform to what is believed.
“Whether you think that you can, or that you can’t, you are usually right.” ~Henry Ford
What are Beliefs
Beliefs are simply thoughts about things. Most beliefs are formed early in life by the influence and teachings of authority figures:
[ad#MSNBanner]parents, teachers, relatives, religious leaders, and even popular heroes. Once a belief is assimilated it resides in the subconscious where it can provide guidance and influence without conscious thought.
A belief is not the true, it’s your truth.
Being in the subconscious is both good news and bad news. The good news is that one needn’t think consciously about how to feel about something that is covered by a belief. Reactions can therefore be quick and decisive. The bad news is the belief will cause your mind to ignore factual data, recognizing only the information that seems to support the underlying belief.
“The thing always happens that you really believe in; and the belief in a thing makes it happen.” ~Frank Lloyd Wright
Attitude Training to Change Beliefs
To change a belief you must first fully understand and acknowledge it; then you have the power to question and change any beliefs not serving your best interests.
One way to accomplish this is with a stream-of-consciousness writing exercise. For example, to uncover your fundamental beliefs about life start with a blank sheet of paper or fresh word processor page and write this at the top: Life Is…
Finish the sentence with whatever comes to mind quickly. Repeat this over and over again, allowing your subconscious to take over and feed you the words without your conscious thought. Eventually—this may take ten to twenty minutes—you’ll write something that carries a strong emotional message. You may feel very strong emotions, ranging from surprise to tears.
Re-casting the Perfect Life
This moment of emotional clarity is your signal you’ve uncovered a fundamental belief about life. Now examine that belief from all [ad#MSNBanner]angles and perspectives. It is true? Is it always true? Is your belief serving you in your personal growth and development?
If it’s not, make the decision to accept another belief, one better aligned with who you are and who you want to be. Since beliefs are simply thoughts about how things are, you can change them and the resulting attitudes you hold by choosing to think differently about the topic, whether the topic is life or chocolate ice cream.
The perfect life for you begins with the life you have right now and moves forward into the life you want for you.
Outside Magazine’s second annual “Best Places to Work” list includes thirty companies selected in a year-long evaluation of policies, programs, employee benefits, and employee satisfaction
survey results. Full 2009 results aren’t online yet, but you can see their 2008 Best Companies list.”These 30 companies share a common belief: that the secret to success in any economy is empowering employees to live balanced lives and remain committed to their communities and the environment,” said Michael Roberts, Executive Editor of Outside. “Our winners know that happy workers are good for the bottom line.”
Wow! Wouldn’t it be great if more companies felt this way?
Also in the news, Balance Magazine is hosting its fifth annual Work-Life Balance Educational Conference this month in Davie, Florida.
Many of the blogs I monitor are wondering if current economic conditions will cause companies to eliminate some of the benefits people associate with work-life balance. Faced with a tough economy and the need to trim expenses, will companies focus on the known costs of employee benefits at the expense of the more elusive savings of balanced employees?
Psychologist, author, and Harvard lecturer, Tal Ben Shahar speaks of work-life balance issues in his latest book, The Pursuit of Perfect. Shahar suggests perfectionism is one of the issues affecting whether people feel unbalance in their lives.
He suggests reflecting on your most important roles and responsibilities and identifying on the level of performance that is sufficient, good enough given your other responsibilities. The level may not be your best performance in any one role, but may be the best you can do to strike a balance among all of your important roles. My complementary Life Balance Worksheet (link) will be a good place for you to start.
A Special Offer
I rarely include direct offers for products and services, but this one seems a very good value. SelfGrowth.com, which bills itself as the worlds #1 self improvement site, is offering a book of 101 articles from some of the success and motivational gurus of our time. In addition, anyone purchasing the book this Tuesday, April 21st, receives a wide array of other self help materials, articles, e-books, and audios. With material from people such as Zig Ziglar 101 Great Ways To Improve Your Life ($14.95) seems a good value.
Most of the products and services I see offering to solve work/life balance issues dwell on some of the life skills, such as learning to say no, managing your time, and setting priorities. My Balanced Life E-course includes these, too, but starts first at a more fundamental level, showing you how to get clear on Life Purpose, fully utilize your Passions and Powers, and align with or modify your Principles and Perspectives—the Five P’s.
I believe that when you have the fundamentals—the five P’s— in place, work/life balance is self regulating, easier to achieve, and easier to maintain.
Radio Show Guest Appearance
My radio show guest appearance on Friday, April 3rd, is now available. The show’s host, Mary Eck, graciously gave me lots of internet air wave time to discuss how to achieve and maintain a balanced life.
Each week I search widely for information, ideas, and news items relating to life balance. These are summarized and linked on my Balanced Life website in the In the News column (right sidebar.)
Keep informed of articles I publish by following the instructions on this RSS page. It’s easy to set up an RSS link that will send you a brief summary of my latest articles with links so you can access the full article if it strikes your interest.
I’ve recently reviewed two books carrying a similar theme – we’re responsible for our lives; each of us is living the life that results from our choices…or maybe the life that results
from our excuses. The two books are quite different, however, in the ways they attempt to get their messages across.From the title of Larry Winget’s book, People Are Idiots and I Can Prove It, we can anticipate his approach will be direct and confrontational. Larry doesn’t disappoint, laying out example after example of how people sabotage their lives with poor choices. Citing everything from continuing to smoke despite overwhelming medical evidence of the dangers to continuing to spend more than can be afforded, Winget attempts to shock us into re-examining how we choose to live.
Winget describes five principles for living as follows:
Your life is your own damn fault.
Take responsibility for it.
Learn what you need to do to fix it.
Take action on what you’ve learned.
Enjoy the results.
Aggressive and confrontational, Winget pulls no punches in attempting to reach those who limit their own health, wealth, and
happiness. Though Winget’s message is on target, his method of delivery, I suspect, will have little positive impact on those he’s attempting to reach.The second book I reviewed is Dr. Wayne Dyer’s newest self help offering, due for release by Hay House on May 26, 2009. Dyer’s title is Excuses Begone! How to Change Lifelong, Self-Defeating Thinking Habits. Dyer’s message is that we limit our own growth through the choices we make and then justify and rationalize them with excuses.
Dyer, however, takes the high road, a path befitting his Ph.D. and status as a well known self help guru. Citing recent scientific research that our beliefs are so strong they can overcome DNA, Dyer urges us to take full responsibility for our lives and provides seven principles for identifying and eliminating self-limiting beliefs.
Dyer advises using these principles to eliminate habitual, self limiting behaviors:
Awareness - to raise consciousness of self-defeating thinking and behavior.
Alignment - with God, remembering our spiritual connection to a loving, higher power.
Now - taking advantage of the only time we have, and the only time we can move forward in our lives…now.
Contemplation - Learning to think about what we want, whom we wish to be, and bringing that into being through contemplation.
Willingness - being willing to accept responsibility for our lives and to accept the role we’ve played.
Passion - finding those activities about which we’re passionate, energetic, and enthusiastic.
Compassion - moving the focus from ourselves to serving others.
Winget’s book is published by Gotham Books and is available now. Dyer’s book is available for pre-order at major booksellers.
>Both books touch on reasons we fail to achieve our goals. For more on traditional goal setting methods, read SMART Goal Setting. A different approach to goal achievement is described in Creative Goal Setting.
Balanced Life Update:
Issues of life balance have never been more important than they are now. With jobs being either lost or threatened, with savings shrinking, and the housing market in shambles, there’s no better time to get back to the fundamentals of living. The Balanced Life E-course does just that, helping you identify, clarify, and integrate your own personal five fundamentals so critical to a meaningful, well-balanced life.
I’ve been honored by recent featured guest appearances on several radio shows discussing life balance issues. You can listen in to several of these from the Audios tab on the Balanced Life website.
My next guest spot will be on Friday, April 3rd, at 2 PM ET, as a guest of Mary Eck on the Co-Creator Network. You’re invited to listen live and call in with your questions or download the audio and catch up with it at your convenience.
Each week I search widely for information, ideas, and news items relating to life balance. These are summarized and linked on the website at the In the News column (right sidebar.)
You can keep informed of articles I publish by following the instructions on this RSS page. It’s easy to set up an RSS link that will send you a brief summary of my latest articles with links so you can access the full article if it strikes your interest.
Best wishes for a fulfilling, balanced life, Jerry