16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Brilliant!
Dr. Cloud has an amazing ability to articulate extraordinary complex psychological principals in a manner that any person can comprehend. This book gives the reader a blueprint of what is possible should he/she choose to take ownership of their life. The section that I love the most was "Follow the Misery and Make a Rule." Dr. Cloud does an excellent job in describing...
Published on September 19, 2008 by Socrates
5 of 49 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars It's not the economy; it's your "boundaries"!
Henry Cloud (a psychologist who did his dissertation on "leadership personality" - a concept that has no meaning in the actual field of psychology) tells us that, in an era of increasing work hours for decreasing pay, our problem is our "personal boundaries." We need to stop thinking about workplace reform, unionization, or a living wage and start drawing pie charts...
Published on January 12, 2009 by Jennifer M
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Brilliant!,
This review is from: The One-Life Solution: The Boundaries Way to Integrating Work and Life (Hardcover)Dr. Cloud has an amazing ability to articulate extraordinary complex psychological principals in a manner that any person can comprehend. This book gives the reader a blueprint of what is possible should he/she choose to take ownership of their life. The section that I love the most was "Follow the Misery and Make a Rule." Dr. Cloud does an excellent job in describing how despite all of the modern "advances" that technology has brought us (i.e., email, pda's, blackberry, cell phones, etc.) we, as a society, have become more "disconnected" from our loved ones due to the increasing demands placed upon us. The importance of creating structure and deciding where, when and with whom we will spend our energy and time is clearly evident as these can be a source of energy or a major distraction to accomplishing our goals. As I finished reading this book I felt a sense of empowerment, hope, excitement, and sheer joy for I read on it's pages exactly the tools which I have needed to assist me in completing the tedious process of completing my doctoral dissertation. I have already begun implementing the tools that I have learned from this book and they have made an amazing difference! This book can help anyone learn how to have balance in their work, home and family life. Dr. Cloud has done a stellar job and I recommend this book to anyone who desires to grow or who is in the growth process. Thank you Dr. Cloud! CD, MS
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Setting Limits,
This review is from: The One-Life Solution LP: Reclaim Your Personal Life While Achieving Greater Professional Success (Paperback)The author does a good job of defining the grey area
of boundaries. Dividing lines are needed to live a
good life- one undisturbed by constant interruptions.
A boundary provides structure so that work and other
issues do not invade our spare time without escape.
People need to gain control in order to relax, plan
and catch up with an ever growing schedule.
The author asks the question " Which areas of your life
do you control? " . If work or play takes up 100% of the
time, then realistic boundaries aren't being set.
These problems are encountered by young people. For
instance, friends may occupy an inordinate amount of
time leaving no opportunity to complete studies or
household duties. Resultingly, people need to develop
and implement rules to ensure that important
activities are scheduled/completed in every event.
At some point, people need to be assertive when their
valuable space or time is being taken up without
a compelling rationale. The volume is excellent for
any individual who seeks to plan to enjoy a more
wholesome and pro-active lifestyle.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Defusing Relationship Land Mines - at Work and at Home,
This review is from: The One-Life Solution: The Boundaries Way to Integrating Work and Life (Hardcover)In an age when self-help, self-improvement books line shelves and racks of every bookstore, it's difficult to find a book that stands out. This one does. Author Henry Cloud offers a perspective that applies to many situations I have observed, many I have been a party to.
How often have you watched interactions slide into disaster because someone, a boss, a spouse, a sibling, failed to define limits and then stick to those limits? How often have people crossed your personal limits without knowing they were? Could the disaster have been eliminated before it destroyed a relationship? Can you actually improve your life by clearly setting limits in your relationships? Those are the sticky wickets Dr. Henry Cloud tackles in "The One-Life Solution."
For me, the whole book was a thought-provoking review - of people and situations I have observed, of situations in my own life I could have prevented or handled more effectively. I thought of friends who won't set limits for their children - and what a disagreeable experience it is to be around those children. I thought of times I allowed people to go beyond my personal boundaries because I was trying too hard to please. I thought of the times when work was routinely a 24-hour-a-day ordeal, and how I could have managed the demands placed on me more effectively. I decided what I would do in the future to avoid or mitigate such situations.
Author Cloud will show you how to set limits effectively and actually improve situations that may now be causing you significant discomfort. He focuses primarily on work relationships, but the problems and solutions he presents fit many human interactions.
You'll find this book especially helpful if you're hiring friends or relatives, so don't miss the tips found in the Appendix. They're pure gold.
I highly recommend this book - for bosses, employees, spouses, lovers, friends, and parents, that is for everyone. If we take his advice, openly declare our boundaries, listen and observe the boundaries of others, our relationships will improve - for everyone involved.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Holistic Perspective,
This review is from: The One-Life Solution: The Boundaries Way to Integrating Work and Life (Hardcover)From spirituality to professional advancement to martial arts, the development of balance is the lynchpin to achievement and success. As creatures of mind, body, and spirit, we thrive only when we remain attentive to the fundamental equilibrium within our being. As a career services professional, I often encounter those who gauge success or advancement solely by monetary concerns or by the illusions of power. While these may be effective motivators for a time, eventually, when individuals find themselves in situations (whether in their jobs, relationships or other areas of life) contrary to their nature, the imbalance inevitably leads to a downward spiral that can result in unhappiness, frustration, and extreme cases, even catastrophe.
Dr. Henry Cloud, the author if the bestselling INTEGRITY, offers an erudite, yet simply and directly written book concerning the importance of maintaining boundries as a means to maintaining that essential balance among competing demands in our life. He begins with the concept of boundaries in establishing individual differentiation, containing destruction, defining oneself, setting limits, owning and living our values, and developing self control to become and remain free and autonomous.
Chapter Five, in which Dr. Cloud challenges us to conduct a self-audit so that we can realistically determine our strengths and weaknesses, is particularly valuable, and serves as an essential blueprint by which we develop our holistic understanding of ourselves.
Building boundaries on the job takes general principles and applies them to the specifics of career and professional challenges. Dr. Cloud addresses specific topics related to business, including such demands on our time as technology, email, toxic relationships, and other distractions that cannot only impede our effectiveness, but can intrude onto other aspects of our life.
With the skill of an accomplished professional, the author provides the perfect blend of principle, anecdote, and analysis in a brief, yet comprehensive and engaging book. It is a book that I will use in working with students and professionals, who seek to advance while maintaining balance and perspective in their lives.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Work Life Balance Book I Have Ever Read,
There is so much I liked about this book. First, I so like the thoughtfulness with which the author relates the challenge that we face as our work world and our personal life have merged together due to the instant communication that has become such a part of our lives. Second, I found the author to provide a wonderful balance between a scientific response and a pragmatic response to this challenge. This is not some "happy talk" book. Nor, is it a dry academic piece. Dr. Cloud is a clinical psychologist who communicates in a way that makes his prescriptions both enlightening and interesting. Third, the author strikes a beautiful balance between offering us hope for a better balance and not promising nirvana.
Not surprisingly, central to Dr. Cloud's philosophy is using "boundaries" to create a life that effectively weaves together work, family and spirituality. I say not surprisingly, because Cloud is author of an earlier book devoted to this subject. I have not read that book, but it is my next step in absorbing the exceptional wisdom of this author. Having personally learned and begun harnessing the power of boundaries over the last decade, I feel a kindred connection to the author's pragmatic use of this important psychological technique.
This book has quickly become my personal favorite to give as a gift to friends suffering overwhelm from the stresses of their work life. It really is that good!
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Person of Property,
The metaphor is spatial with a focus on "boundaries" of personal "property." It helps to generate hypotheses, cause and effect statements that can be tested empirically. Following up on his earlier work, Dr. Cloud writes that conscious boundaries provide structure for successful business decisions. A major problem for many people is that they do not know enough about themselves to use their thought processes effectively. They let the external environment (e.g., other people, business situations, workplace setting) determine their emotions, relations, and performance. This is a conceptual problem. The good news is that people can learn to use cognitive methods to re-structure their internal property and create stronger boundaries. This is not easy because our current society seems to be "structureless," but it can be done with practice.
The range of the book would be severely limited and could be criticized as psychobabble without Dr. Cloud's operational definitions of terms. These definitions consist of operations the business person can use to observe and measure the effects of hypotheses derived from the metaphor. One way to gather empirical data is to conduct a "time audit," recording the "time of your life." How many hours of the work week do you spend establishing and reinforcing your personal property? In contrast, how many hours do you experience anxiety, seek approval, and avoid making decisions as holes open in your "fences?" Dr. Cloud demonstrates how to keep a log, recording empirical results of the use of the metaphor that can be used for successful action.
Another operational definition involves the "word audit." A major concept in the spatial metaphor is communication about boundaries. Words and phrases can be tabulated and used to develop effective spatial cognitive strategies. Phrases like "I think..." and "I will..." indicate your independence and resistance to encroachment into your property by other people and business situations even in restricted work environments. Dr. Cloud discusses words and phrases that weaken your boundaries and gives clear examples. Again, a log should be maintained so that frequencies of word usage can be changed and monitored for effectiveness. Rhetoric is an important aspect of the spatial metaphor and is essential for self-determination in the workplace.
Dr. Cloud presents many other operational definitions in his book related to his metaphor. He reviews major themes and gives additional specific business examples in the last chapters and appendix. He concludes by showing the importance of the interaction of metaphor and objective measurement, thought and action, hypotheses and conclusions. Often, authors of self-help books present powerful metaphors but give few operational definitions (a useful explanation of the term psychobabble). Because it quantifies the integration of both ideas and performance, The One-Life Solution is an excellent practical manual for personal success and satisfaction in business.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book On Having a Successful Career Without Compromising Your Personal Life,
Cloud covers some important topics such as:
1. Learning to say no when necessary.
2. Have time for yourself (family, friends, hobbies, community involvement, etc.).
3. Do a personal audit and consider what area(s) of your life may need change.
4. How to make sure technology (email, voicemail, Crack/Blackberry, etc.) does not impose on your personal life).
5. Take steps to add value to your personal worth (education, etc.) and improve yourself so you may have more bargaining power with others.
A great and timely read. Read and enjoy and be challenged! Highly recommended.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I've turned my life around....,
Dr. Cloud has an impeccable ability to communicate to the reader in a straight forward, no bull kind of manner .... perfect for the multi-tasker, busy professional.
A must read!
Interior Design Professional
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Helpful Advice for Dealing with Workplace Tensions,
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This review is from: The One-Life Solution: Reclaim Your Personal Life While Achieving Greater Professional Success (Paperback)It is hard for me to ignore any book by Henry Cloud. Back in 2003, my pastor preached a sermon based on Cloud's earlier book, co-author with John Townsend, called: Boundaries. The sermon interested me enough that I bought the book and read it. Applying prescriptions from the book to my personal and professional life led me to perceive my call into pastoral ministry. It is hard to ignore any book by Henry Cloud.
The One-Life Solution is a book focused on constructing and developing better boundaries at work (19). Cloud observes: The irony is that most people are so caught up in trying to control the things that they cannot control--other people, circumstances, or outcomes--that in the process they lose control of themselves (22). In this context, Cloud defines a boundary as a property which defines where you end and someone (or something) else begins (25).
In a work environment, Cloud sees boundaries bringing order to six key areas: 1. Ownership, 2. Control, 3. Freedom, 4. Responsibility, accountability, and consequences, 5. Limits, and 6. Protection (25-30). Interestingly, these six areas do not lend structure to the discussions that follow. Rather, much of the book focuses on untidy areas in professional life where applying boundaries can establish structure and reduce anxiety.
Cloud suggests that a good place to start is with an audit. The purpose of this audit is to measure where you spend your time, disconnects between time spent and personal values, and what personal issues contribute to the problem (69). This method of analysis is reminiscent of what Miller and Rollnick (2002, 38) referred to as gap analysis--highlighting the discrepancy between present behavior and ...broader goals and values.
An important point in assessing books with the character of movie sequels is: does the sequel add value to the initial book? Here the answer is yes--The One-Life Solution contributed real value to my understanding of boundaries. For the key was seeing examples of how to manage difficult office situation with tact and grace. A personal favorite was a story that Cloud told about an obnoxious CEO who would show up at his desk at 4 p.m. and lay into him--ruining his evening as well as his day. Cloud (152) simply made a rule not to talk to him after 4 p.m. If you have ever had a supervisor like that, then the wisdom of such a rule is obvious.
Cloud, Henry and John Townsend. 1992. Boundaries: When to Say YES; When to Say NO; To Take Control of Your Life. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.
Miller, William R. and Stephen Rollnick. 2002. Motivational Interviews: Preparing People for Change. New York: Guilford Press.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dee Lundgren, Christian Counselor, Langhorne, PA,
This review is from: The One-Life Solution: Reclaim Your Personal Life While Achieving Greater Professional Success (Hardcover)This is one of the most insightful books I have read yet. It takes the best of Dr. Cloud and puts it all together in an understandable and applicable form. The first chapter lists different problem situations that specific people encounter and then the rest of the book lists how the one life solution is the answer. I personally learned to put limits on the time I spend at work since I own my own business. Before reading the book, I was constantly thinking about what needed to be done, bills to be sent, clients to call, and articles to read. I learned that I needed to put boundaries on my time spent working when not at my office. As a culture with increased technology there is often no longer boundaries to one's work. E-mails can be answered at home and a person can be contacted 24/7. I learned that I needed to set up boundaries on the assess that people had to my life. This principle applied has totally revolutionized the stress I feel in my life. This is just one example of the practical biblical truths that can be applied from this well written book.
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The One-Life Solution: The Boundaries Way to Integrating Work and Life by Henry Cloud (Hardcover - August 12, 2008)