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Inner Architect: How to Build the Life You Were Designed to Live Paperback – June 10, 2008
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When I started reading Inner Architect by Susan Hanshaw, I was perplexed. Other books I have read on self-help or personal growth immediately delve into meaty matters of mind, body, and soul, such as Here's your problem, here's every reason behind your problem, and here's the answer to your problem.
I assumed Hanshaw would follow this pattern in the typical parental or professorial or counselor-type writing style. She does not. After a few more pages, it suddenly struck me. She is writing this so I can be my own life coach! I expected this book to give me just a few new insights here and there. Instead, it gives me the right tools for me to kick my own life into gear.
Her writing style isn't for the reader to passively ingest words and ideas. Instead:
It is about taking action.
It is about taking action right now.
It is about cutting through the hype and hyperventilation we often use to avoid change.
Her approach challenges the reader to actively progress through change in the form of over 30 fill-in-the-blank exercises. None of the exercises can be completed with superficial thought. For example in the section on Personal Obstacles, one asks, What frightens you most about making this change?
Her book is subtitled How to Build the Life You Were Designed to Live. Hanshaw uses the metaphors of designing, clearing obstacles for, constructing, and even moving into that life. I liked her stair-step process of beginning from the earliest point of considering a change to embracing, claiming, and enjoying a new life resulting from that change.
As I read more, I could easily imagine a life coach sitting across from me motivating me to think through all the steps. For example, in the finding purpose section, she helps readers find their passion by listing these Clues ;
Activities that cause you to lose track of time
Unique talents and characteristics
Yearnings and dreams that don't go away
Section in a bookstore you are most drawn to
Classes you enjoy taking
Complements you often get
Roles that you naturally take on with family and friends
Someone whose life you admire and wish you could be doing the same
Because of the straight-forward nature of the book and the mental work involved, readers may shy away from this type of life coaching in a book. If, however, you are ready to make changes and need a guidebook to your new life, Inner Architect will get you moving and thinking in more clearly defined, step-by-step, and motivational ways.
--Lori Hoeck, spaceagesage.com
About the Author
Author Susan Hanshaw abandoned a thriving 20-year corporate career, culminating with a position as Vice President and second-in-command of her firm, to create a life with greater passion and purpose. Her journey away from the corporate world provides the substance for Inner Architect, and the workshops, keynote speaking and one-on-one coaching she does to promote this work.
Susan holds a BS degree in Business Management from Keene State College, NH, an AA in Psychology from Skyline College, CA and Ordained Ministerial Counselor certification from Pathways of Light Spiritual College, Kiel, WI.
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The good news is that today technology and skills learned in the corporate world are making new self-directed lives possible. There is a renaissance in entrepreneurship. People are leaving the corporate world in growing numbers to pursue their own vision for their lives. They are creating lives of fulfillment and financial security by following their bliss.
There are a plethora of books and coaches out there promising to help you find that bliss. However, Inner Architect really delivers. It places the keys for your new life firmly in your hands.
"I felt stuck and didn't know what to do about it. My heart had been absent from my work for a long time. I had a fuzzy idea about what I really wanted to do, but I couldn't even imagine how I could possibly make it happen. So I continued to hold on to the job that was attached to my paycheck." ... "I felt dead inside. It then dawned on me what I was doing - trading the precious hours of my life for money and a piece of security. This revelation brought me to the understanding that the life I had created was one I was no longer willing to tolerate."
So writes Susan Hanshaw, in the introduction to her latest book Inner Architect: How to Build the Life You Were Designed to Live.
With those words, Hanshaw captures the feelings of millions of people who trudge off to jobs each day attracted by the gravitational pull of the paycheck and the inertia of the obligations that have grown up around that paycheck.
Hanshaw was vice-president and second-in-command of a thriving direct marketing firm. She was making good money and "living the American dream." The only problem is that she wasn't happy. Her work had become meaningless because it was not aligned to who she wanted to be.
Maybe you have felt that same sense desperation and wondered if there is a way out. You have "tried" a side business or two; or dabbled with your great American novel.
Your heart was in the right place, but the truth is you didn't really have a plan and your momentary energy turned to disappointment when things didn't go as you hoped. You found yourself back in your cube less confident and more confused than ever.
Thankfully, Susan Hanshaw chose not to go back to her office. Instead, she writes, "I wrote my resignation letter that night and handed it to my boss the following day." Thus began her journey of self-discovery and hard-earned lessons about what it really takes to move from the corporation to the life of your dreams.
The great American mythologist Joseph Campbell is often quoted for his affirmation, "Follow your bliss!"
"Yes," you say, "I want to follow my bliss, but how? How can I abandon the paycheck? How can I develop the confidence? How can I change my vision of myself? How can I develop a plan for success? How can I stick to my plan?"
Inner Architect is a step-by-step master's guide to charting a course for your heart's desires and creating success on that path from someone who's been there and done that. Susan Hanshaw consciously offers encouragement and wisdom through inspiring material and workbook exercises. The exercises are designed to draw out the knowledge, wisdom, and courage necessary for you to answer your questions and to claim your life back.
Hanshaw's process is comprised of six phases:
Designing the Job You Love
Breaking Through Fear
Creating Your Plan
Building from the Inside Out
Moving into Your New Life
Each phase includes a series of steps and thought processes to work through. Hanshaw's process is at once logical, emotional, and spiritual. This author really "gets it" that your whole self is engaged in bold, life-changing choices and she expertly provides the tools you need to deal with each aspect of your decision, plan, and implementation.
Inner Architect combines the practicality of a book you'd find in the business section of the bookstore with the insight and compassion of a book from the self-improvement section. This book helps the logical business person connect with the other aspects of his or her being that are needed to succeed in this change. It helps organize the emotional person to develop a concrete plan for action.
Inner Architect offers no illusions that "the leap" is going to be easy or work-free; or that it is not frightening. Hanshaw warmly dispels your worries by acknowledging them and openly sharing her own fears, obstacles, and heartaches from her journey.
Each step in the book is punctuated with a Key to Evaluate section. Here Susan assumes the role of coach. She asks questions that ensure you have digested the material and that you are committed to moving to the next step. It's your gut check to see how committed you are to making the choices your change requires.
Inner Architect is not for the casual cube farm daydreamer. Rather, it is for the serious-minded person ready to affect real change in his or her life, but needing some guidance on how to get there. Those readers will walk away from this read with a fully-developed action plan to change themselves and their lives.
Even if you are not yet ready to make the "hand in your resignation leap", Inner Architect allows you to work at your own pace. You can begin working towards your goal today and arrive when you are ready.
More than anything Inner Architect by Susan Hanshaw offers a tested route to living a happier, more fulfilled life - personally and professionally. It lights the way to your bliss, if only you choose to follow it.
change their life path, a road map on how to do it. Susan has been there and
done that and that's obvious from the first page. From my perspective, she
leads the readers though a series of exercises that have the effect of
releasing their resistance to having the life they really really want. If
you read the book and do the exercises, your life will change for the