- Hardcover: 272 pages
- Publisher: Harmony; First Edition edition (Jan. 10 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0767920880
- ISBN-13: 978-0767920889
- Product Dimensions: 14.7 x 2.6 x 21.7 cm
- Shipping Weight: 476 g
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #36,433 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Renaissance Soul: Life Design for People with Too Many Passions to Pick Just One Hardcover – Jan 10 2006
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From Publishers Weekly
Some people just can't seem to settle down: they jump from career to career, from interest to interest; they chafe at being pinned down to one job or self-definition. This need for variety and love of finding new challenges, says career and life coach Lobenstine, can be a positive trait. Lobenstine's aim is to help such people find ways to pursue their varied interests without feeling overwhelmed. Her "focal point" strategy suggests picking a small number—usually four—of interests to pursue for now, interests that might be exchanged for others at a later time. And the author proposes various ways to integrate one's career into these focal points: if you're passionate about your work, it might be one focal point; for others it might be a way to pay the bills while they pursue other interests. One inexperienced older woman with a longstanding desire for a career in the art world found a clerical job at a museum, where she had access to curators and an opportunity to volunteer her graphic skills. Lobenstine has identified a situation rarely addressed by self-help books, and her advice is sensible, concrete and do-able.
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"Here's one self-help book that is exactly as advertised, well thought out and offering sage advice..."
—Boston Sunday Globe
“Can’t decide which life or career path is right for you? Maybe you don’t have to! In The Renaissance Soul, Margaret Lobenstine offers inspiration, advice, and practical tips for people with more than one burning passion.”
—Laurence Boldt, author of Zen and the Art of Making a Living
“I’m so grateful this book has finally been written! I need, my clients need, the world needs this incredibly helpful, practical, life-changing guidebook for those of us with a multitude of passions and aptitudes. Please, get this book into the hands of every person you know who is a Renaissance Soul. You could change their lives!”
—Jennifer Louden, author of Comfort Secrets for Busy Women and other books in the bestselling Comfort Book series
“The Renaissance Soul will help highly innovative and creative people find ways to make their many dreams come true. I’ve already begun using its wonderful ideas and practices with clients.”
—M. J. Ryan, executive coach and author of The Happiness Makeover
“An intelligent and refreshingly innovative book that offers a multi-dimensional vision of vocation. It will help many on the road to creative career transformation.”
—E. H. Rick Jarow, author of Creating the Work You Love and Alchemy of Abundance
“Wow! Where was The Renaissance Soul when I needed it during my five career changes? This is a fabulous guide for people who find themselves constantly tap dancing from job to job. Benjamin Franklin would be proud!”
–Julie Jansen, author of I Don’t Know What I Want, But I Know It’s Not This
“Sure to speak to Boomers and older people who have done many things well yet feel sidelined by a culture that rewards consistency and focus. Margaret Lobenstine makes the world safer for the multi-gifted of any age who are well-served by her wit and wisdom. Bravo!”
–Marika and Howard Stone, co-authors of Too Young to Retire: 101 Ways to Start the Rest of Your Life
“The Renaissance Soul is welcome news for individuals who just can't make up their mind 'what they want to be when they grow up!' Career coach Margaret Lobenstine shows how you can have it all and create a structure for yourself that blends your many talents, abilities, and intelligences into one vital and satisfying lifestyle.”
–Thomas Armstrong, Ph.D. author of 7 Kinds of Smart: Identifying and Discovering Your Multiple Intelligences
“Finally the multi-gifted have a champion. But anyone feeling that they only need a little sunshine in order to blossom will find this book bursting with light—it has all the creative and practical ideas they need for getting life on towards its purpose.”
–Elaine Aron, author of The Highly Sensitive Person and The Highly Sensitive Child
“With this long-overdue book, Margaret finally reveals that the constantly evolving people among us are actually the ones most equipped to thrive in a world where adaptability, creativity and emotional awareness are the qualities that make all the difference in career/life success. It's about time we acknowledged that the career track has been replaced by the career trampoline. As a career counselor and coach and former director of a career office working with people ages 18 to 80, I know that Lobenstine's message will be welcomed both by Renaissance souls searching for 21st century career advice and the professionals hoping to provide it.”
–Dr. Barbara Reinhold, author of Free to Succeed: Designing the Life You Want in the New Free Agent Economy and former director, Smith College Office of Career Development
“For all the people who have a multiple of passions, this book’s for you. The life journey we take to answer to our own Self maybe different from the ‘norm.’ Margaret Lobenstine is a wise guide on that journey, offering help and inspiration as you develop fully into the Renaissance Soul that you are meant to be! This book will be a cherished traveling companion.”
–Marilyn Tam, Former President of Reebok Apparel & Accessories Group and international selling author of How to Use What You’ve Got to Get What You Want
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In the first half of the book, Lobenstine explores the concept of the renaissance soul and the struggles many of them face in both their professional and personal lives. She dives right into several activities for "thriving on many interests without feeling scattered", including her Five From Fifty exercise, a Many Circles activity, and the important Mine/Theirs lesson. This culminates in creating a focal point sampler, a curated selection of passion projects to keep you enthusiastic without being overwhelmed.
In the second half of the book, Lobenstine discusses career design, life design, and answering the infamous "what do you do?" question. She has the reader put their focal points through the PRISM test to judge sensibility and achievability. She also explains that "your identity must live in the Focal Points circle", you should "answer any ritual questions regarding what you 'do' in terms of one or more of your Focal Points, not your J-O-B", and you should avoid apologetic or defensive phrases surrounding your career status. Lobenstine also notes that "for Renaissance Souls, the intersection of passion and income is frequently in flux". She explains that it's okay not to thrive in the corporate, cubicle world that we're generally pushed to desire, and you can build a different life for yourself outside of that realm. But if it doesn't steal too much of your creative energy, it's also okay to allow a job in the corporate, cubicle world to pay your bills and provide for your passions.
Lobenstine is very clear about leaving work that you don't enjoy (paid or unpaid) out of your focal point sampler. This would include things like the job you keep to pay the bills, pesky household chores, caring for elderly relatives, or "the daily must-dos of parenting". For the purposes of the exercises in this book, this approach is effective and essential. For the purposes of actually living your life, however, The Renaissance Soul was a bit lacking in how to combine focal point activities with the responsibilities of being an adult and/or a parent. There weren't enough resources for parents who need to balance their need for individual fulfillment with the responsibilities that accompany the choice of parenthood (and how to determine which is which). You shouldn't risk your entire livelihood on a passion project when you're accountable for tiny human beings who need to be fed, housed, clothed, educated, and nurtured into valuable members of society. Nonetheless, Lobenstine's techniques for blocking out time were a good place to start, as was her advice to "recognize that during this particular stage of your life, family is your umbrella passion”.
The magic of The Renaissance Soul comes down to honestly assessing your values and priorities and then creating time in your life to embrace them. Readers of this book would be well-served to combine its teachings with minimalist life design techniques in an effort to create physical and mental space for their passions. The key to success as a renaissance soul is flipping a switch on how you think about priorities and responsibilities, and there's no doubt this book is a great start in that direction.