- Buy this product and stream 90 days of Amazon Music Unlimited for free. E-mail after purchase. Conditions apply. Learn more
Navigational Tips for Living in an Imperfect World Paperback – 29 Sep 2012
|New from||Used from|
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Special offers and product promotions
Customers also shopped for
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
To this end countless pre-conceived theories and techniques have mushroomed to cater to our demand to be put to rights. Countless exalted visions of who we really are and how we could be in the world have been promoted. Yet still we remain dissatisfied.
In reading `Navigational Tips for Living in an Imperfect World' it quickly becomes apparent that anyone hoping for a dramatic vision, exalted or otherwise, is likely to be disappointed. Right there on the first page we're told that there `is no magical goal, no fantasy destination to be reached.' And as if this isn't enough, the author seems keen to disabuse us of the notion that there is in fact any problem with any of us at all. We're all right as we are, if only we knew it!
For those of us familiar with the Unitive approach pioneered by Charles Bentley PhD, who authored the present volume in collaboration with writer and journalist Marian Edmunds, such seemingly outlandish ideas are a welcome respite from other pre-packaged approaches encouraging little but blinkered goal-orientation as commonly supplied by many of Charles' peers. The Unitive approach promotes a journey of the self it is true, but it is not a journey from bad to good or from flawed to perfected, rather it is a journey you take back to yourself.
The metaphor of a journey is particularly apt with regard to the book under review. Charles himself repeatedly uses the idea that we must `navigate' our way through life - `a personal pathway though an imperfect world ` - and suggests that we view this book as a `global positioning system for humans.' In fourteen short chapters, he clearly and succinctly demonstrates that the problem is not with us in any essential sense, but rather with how we perceive ourselves and the world around us to be. In particular he highlights our fascination with and our desire for perfection, whether in us, in others, in our workplace or in our love lives.
By yearning for a perfection we cannot hope to achieve, he argues, we distort our relationship with all of these things. But Charles delves deeper than this to shine further light on the root causes for our dissatisfaction. He suggests that fixed patterns and personality structures laid down in our pasts prevent us from behaving authentically in the present. As he himself puts it, `We confine ourselves to lifetime performances in insignificant theatres of activity.'
And that's the jackpot right there: we confine ourselves. Charles isn't suggesting that life is necessarily easy or that we won't ever have to face problems or difficulties. He certainly isn't suggesting that we should aim for an adversity-free life, indeed his whole thesis is about how to live in an `imperfect world.' But he is suggesting that the key to living spontaneously and authentically is to recognise that we confine ourselves from the get-go. We're all right as we are, but in order to accept this very simple fact we need to deconstruct the self-inflicted barriers we build around ourselves. We need to let ourselves be free.
Charles' suggestions for how one might go about this take up much of the rest of the book. I won't describe them here - after all, that's what the book is for - but it's impressive to see Charles distil the essentials of the Unitive approach into such a slim volume. Charles' approach has always been less about technique and more about overarching principles, and this book manages a lot of big ideas in a few small chapters.
So is there really no `exalted vision' in this book? Well, not if you're talking about some dream destination or goal-oriented route to self-gratification. Charles' vision, the vision that underlies Unitive coaching, is much simpler than that. It is nothing more than a return to our natural state. By letting go of our previously conditioned learning, and directing our full attention to our place in the world in each moment, we can reconnect with our authentic nature and let it take us where it will. We can begin to enjoy the journey, which would be nice.
Peppered with original drawings and cartoons by Roger Beale and with an afterword by Marian Edmunds, Charles' style is approachable and friendly without being patronising. This book will make for indispensable reading to anyone interested in their own personal development and as an important introduction to Unitive coaching for other professionals in the field.
I know that I will certainly be recommending it to friends and family.
It is a reminder to take responsibility for my life in the present moment; to value and share the `true me' with others.
In an imperfect world, this book shares information to enable me to remain authentic and consequently to be empowered and enriched within life.