The Renaissance Soul: Life Design for People with Too Many Passions to Pick Just One Hardcover – 19 Aug 2006
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Identifies the personality quirks and characteristics of the "renaissance soul" and explains how these dynamic, multifaceted people can develop an effective life-planning strategy that will allow them to achieve success regardless of endeavor.
About the Author
MARGARET LOBENSTINE founded Alternative Approaches, a career and life-coaching business, fifteen years ago and has worked with more than five thousand clients. A Renaissance Soul herself, she has created three successfulbut entirely differentbusinesses. She lives with her husband in Amherst, Massachusetts.
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I often found that the book mentioned things I had thought in my own mind many times before; and sometimes it used the exact words...
I took what I needed from the book and it helped me get out of a depressing situation.
1. Choose just 4 of your interests.
3. That's it.
The rest, assuming that your various interests are all career related rather than hobbies/private interests, is mostly standard careers advice which could appear in any career-related work, not just for my personality type, plus the obligatory large number of case histories, most of whose circumstances enabled them to make a career change without much effort.
Try looking instead at Barbara Sher's "What do I do when I want to do everything?", which, while itself far from perfect, is infinitely superior to this book. (Update 13/8/2008: The Barbara Sher book looks like it now appears under the new title "Refuse to Choose! A Revolutionary Program for Doing Everything That You Love")
I've often said 'if only I'd known this years ago' but have rarely meant it so whole heartedly. The Renaissance Soul has reassured me that I'm not fickle, unable to settle to anything, a part-timer or doomed to never amount to much. I had the misfortune to attend the kind of school where we were not encouraged to have wide-ranging interests and were expected to make a once only career choice at a very young age. My 'failure' in this respect led to a lot of unhappiness.
Margaret Lobenstine has told me I'm normal. Different, but normal.
Her explanations of what it means to be a renaissance soul and the advice and exercises she gives to help us cope with our renaissance nature are invaluable. I felt a huge sense of relief after reading this book. Highly recommended for those who can't stay happily on a narrow path.
The book makes an effective case, which perhaps I am too eager to agree with, that: you're not a failure if you can't map out your whole life and if you change careers several times; and you don't have to be financially impoverished if you do; you don't have to decide upon one, ultimate purpose for your life; you can do more than one thing, and you can do all these things well.
That this seems to be a revelation is surprising, but nevertheless, something literally relaxed inside me (maybe life can be more fun than I thought?). The book goes on to offer familiar, but flexible, self-help tools and approaches to build a productive life that includes paid work. There is practical advice on making informed choices about what interests to focus on right now, and ways to stick with them until you consciously decide to change these focuses.
This book has changed the way I think about paid work. If you're struggling to choose a career it may help identify some of the problems you're experiencing, and just might help to get you unstuck.