I began reading The Happiness Workbook with a degree of scepticism, as I've long believed that happiness isn't something we can achieve via studied technique.
Having now completed Jerry Lopper's book, I retain some of my scepticism, but I will accept that Mr Lopper offers us techniques which at least improve our chances of attaining happiness. Moreover, the book is well written, with a range of easily applied development tools clearly described.
If I'm to offer a criticism, it's that the book lacks the practical, real-life examples of how particular people have benefitted from specific techniques. That said, many of the techniques advocated by Mr Lopper make intuitive good sense anyway.
In short, this is an easily-used, practical self-help book for anyone inclined to do some work on themselves. Like all books of the genre, you do have to apply the lessons in order to make the gains. Merely reading the book never quite seems to cut it!
Success in relationships, time management, goal setting, overcoming one's fears, developing a life purpose, living in the moment, the importance of yoga... all of these and several more areas of self-help and personal development are covered in Jerry Lopper's Sample Personal Development Plan and Workbook.
It's the book's incredible breadth which makes it different to so many personal development manuals. This breadth is probably both the book's most commanding strentgth, and its likeliest weakness.
The manual's breadth is good in the sense that it provides a panoramic view of personal development for people wanting to do some work on themselves but aren't sure where to start. Lopper's self-development questionnaire, and clear explanation of the eighteen dvelopment modules, gets the self-help newcomer away to a good start.
Tremendous breadth can, however, lead to a loss of depth. For that reason, it's important that anyone doing the work described in any of the modules knows that they can dig much further than the book describes. Although Lopper does reference further reading in some of the modules, I feel that his book would be better were there more of this.
Overall, it's a useful, well-written manual for anyone taking their first conscious steps into self-development. It's important, however, that neophytes know that there's a great deal more reading available in each of the chosen modules.
5 Keys to Balancing Work and Life: Get Back to Basics and Balance Your Life
on Oct. 12, 2011
Jerry Lopper’s 5 keys to Balancing Work and Life is a valuable reference work for anyone finding their life to be either disordered or lacking in direction. For those of us who are dissatisfied with our lives, who perhaps feel a sense of aimlessness and drift, Lopper’s book will help us attain structure, contentment and a sense of purpose.
The operative word, though, is “help.” As Lopper himself makes clear, improvement comes from reading the book and then doing the work, not from the reading alone. For those that are willing to work – for example by investing time in meditation, and in the business of quietly thinking – the book’s tools seem to offer a genuine way forward.
The five tools are Purpose, Passion, Powers, Principles and Perspectives. It’s from these cornerstones that the reader is taken on a prescribed journey towards self-improvement. “Know thyself” is a piece of advice common to the teachings of many philosophers since time immemorial, and it’s one that Lopper enlarges upon by showing a pathway towards self-awareness and the consequent self improvement that can result.
It’s a great guide towards life improvement for anyone willing to absorb the lessons and do the work.