Saturday, August 16, 2008

Review: Inner Architect: How to Build the Life You Were Designed to Live

Summary: The only step-by-step guide to creating a life you love. This book holds your hand through the six phases of building a new career. From considering change through moving into your new life, Inner Architect provides you with all the how to's, tips and exercises you will need to break through obstacles and create your desired change.

Phase 1: Considering Change
Phase 2: Designing a Job You Love
Phase 3: Breaking through Fear
Phase 4: Creating Your Plan
Phase 5: Building from the Inside Out
Phase 6: Moving into Your New Life
-- Inner Architect Media

A few months ago, I was asked to take a look at INNER ARCHITECT: HOW TO BUILD THE LIFE YOU WERE DESIGNED TO LIVE by Susan Hanshaw. I'm not a huge reader of self-help type books, but I thought the idea sounded promising. I mean, who doesn't want to identify something they are passionate about and then make money doing it? Of course, most of us are concerned (if not terrified) about leaving the security of our regular job to head into the unknown and start something new. That's where Susan Hanshaw comes in with this book.

When I started this book, I thought that I'm probably not the ideal reader because I no longer have a "real" job -- I'm a stay-at-home mom (which I know is a very real job, but it doesn't pay real money!) But the more I thought about it, I actually did have to go through a process (not unlike the one in this book) to ultimately decide to quit my relatively high-paying job and stay at home with my daughter. Not everything in this book applied to my scenario, but a lot of the advice and wisdom was valid.

This book is divided into lots of very detailed steps to help the reader tackle this enormous project -- it's apparent the author feels that if the reader can just do one step at a time, he/she will gain momentum from the small accomplishments. Ms. Hanshaw first breaks the process down into 6 Phases to Creating Change. Each of these phases is then divided into specific Steps (there are a total of 27 steps) with questions and writing exercises for the reader to complete as part of the change. The author seems to do a good job of covering all the angles to change including what it takes to implement it as well as addressing the issues that will arise as part of this process.

Susan Hanshaw is actually writing this book based on her own experience. I liked the parts of the book where she gave details on the process that she actually went through when she left her Vice President level job to follow her dream. I especially enjoyed when she explained some of the things that she didn't do and how that affected her as well. I felt that Ms. Hanshaw was a credible authority on the subject matter, and she presented it in a very thorough manner. As I read INNER ARCHITECT, I could almost imagine her presenting the concepts in a workshop environment.

Of course the book is specifically for individuals who are unhappy with their current jobs and want to make the jump to a new, meaningful career. I'm not really in this situation right now, but I did find lots of Ms. Hanshaw's advice to be useful. Phase 3, the section on "Breaking Through Fear" contained a lot of wisdom about dealing with the obstacles that we face on our way to any type of change. I also really enjoyed the section on "Choosing to Believe in Yourself." The author makes the case that "Believing in yourself is a choice." In fact, a recurring theme throughout the book is that you have "to make a shift in taking control of what you choose to believe and accept." Isn't that just true of so many things in out lives? Two other sections that I found helpful were about "Trusting Your Heart" and "Trusting Your Instincts" -- learning to do both of these things would be extremely helpful in my daily life.

I recommend INNER ARCHITECT to anyone looking to make a major change in their life, but especially those looking to leave their current paying jobs to follow their passion. Either way, there is a lot of useful information in the pages of this book to help anyone improve their lives and take control of finding their happiness.


Jeane said...

I don't read many self-help books either, but this one certainly sounds useful! Even though, like you, I am a stay-home mom and not looking for a career path right now.

Anonymous said...

Julie, enjoyed your review. You did a great job of highlighting elements of the book with universal applications.

Suey said...

Just a little comment here to let you know you've won my giveaway. I've sent off an email to you also! Congratulations!

Anonymous said...

This blog is really nice, you must be a very books lover, I'm, too:)

raych said...

This sounds like you could take a lot of useful tidbits from it and apply it, whatever your situation.