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In Search of Balance: Keys to a Stable Life Paperback – February 1, 2010
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"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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From the Back Cover
Dr. Swenson offers not only important organizing principles for making sense of our lives but also scores of practical Rx’s for recovering our balance. Having worked out his principles as a physician, author, and speaker, Dr. Swenson gives advice that is grounded in the daily realities we all experience. But his wisdom has been honed by the big-picture perspective of an exhaustive study of the stresses of modern life and progress, the forces that relentlessly give us “more and more of everything faster and faster.”
Let Dr. Swenson be your gentle guide for reaching a new stage of personal balance. Want to use the book in a group? See the free online discussion guide at www.navpress.com.
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Among the points covered include:
1. God is a God of order, peace, depth, and contentment.
2. Margin restores what culture has taken away: time to listen, strength to care, space to love, and time for God.
3. Suggested ways for restoring balance in the escalation of life (larger house, expensive car, etc.).
4. Using math to determine: doing what is really important, tasks you can do without, eliminating clutter, appropriate house size, getting the right amount of sleep, dealing with stress, and dealing with other topics.
5. Suggestions for achieving a maintaining a work-life balance.
6. Life is more than just work.
7. Be careful of letting your business or busyness keep you from the things that matter most.
The narrative flows smoothly, is enlightening, and may be completed in a few sittings. Read, enjoy, and be encouraged and challenged to evaluate your life and not let the fast pace of life keep you from the people and things most important to you.
Eight words that describe all aspects of our world. More and more - a rapidly increasing volume and quality and intensity. Of everything - all aspects of our life, such as technology, money, every area of knowledge, experiences, entertainment, great books we should read, quality of consumer goods. Faster and faster - the rate of change is accelerating.
Nobody reading this review needs to be told your life is out of balance. With a moment of reflection we all realize that. That we don't have a spare moment to reflect is the crux of the problem.
Instead of us just trying harder, or working smarter, or just `getting it together', he provides a series of prescriptions on how to gain equilibrium in life.
We desperately need to regain some work-life balance. He catalogs 29 reasons why we are out of balance: global economy, technology, complexity, interruptions, work hours, overtime, task switching, working from home, job churn, job insecurity, worker loyalty, commutes, sleep deprivation, changing demographics, changing family profile, children, aging parents, speed, stress, burnout, employer drivenness, the female factor, expectations, vacation, boundaries, intensity, violence, absenteeism, workers compensation. No wonder everybody is on overload at work.
Some prescriptions and how to cope?
* Rx 1 - own the problem
* Rx 2 - decline with gratitude
* Rx 3 - defend boundaries
* Rx 4 - have several gears
* Rx 5 - obey the speed limit
* Rx 6 - seek periodic technological solitude
* Rx 7 - maximize our time at work
* Rx 8 - maximize energy
* Rx 9 - get adequate sleep, nutrition, and exercise
* Rx 10 - beware workaholism
* Rx 11 - investigate flextime
* Rx 12 - be productive with margin
* Rx 13 - lower expectations
* Rx 14 - delegate
* Rx 15 - protect time off
* Rx 16 - stay off the high wire
* Rx 17 - cherish the home
He also has a series of prescriptions on how to resist the pattern of the escalation in some area of our life becoming the new norm that has to be sustained, doing the math that we are just overloaded and need to admit it, and meeting a decent minimum in every area of our life.
I have several specific prescriptions I'm working on. You can find some prescriptions that will help you regain some balance.