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Book Review: Now What?: 90 Days to a New Life Direction by Laura Berman Fortgang

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If you think the name Laura Berman Fortgang sounds familiar, you may have seen her on Oprah or read about her in Fast Company magazine. She’s the well-known author of Living Your Best Life and Take Yourself to The Top.

Here, in Now What?: 90 Days to a New Life Direction, she has fresh energy and a focus on your personal fulfillment. In this age of people striving for more, more, more, she suggests perhaps we’ve come to recognize that want we wanted all along from “more” was fulfillment: feeling satisfied and finding meaning.

So, to find what you love, she invites you to start with the opposite. Yes, what you hate gives a name to what you want. In brief, if you know what makes you dissatisfied, you stand a better chance at identifying what would make you happier.

With the recent recession, Berman Fortgang states: “People are experimenting with finding what is going to make them happy and in some instances, money has lost its hold on them.”

The earlier 1987 recession served up a few lessons in reality. Working for the man every night and day became old, and we all wanted to work for us and for our work to be filled with meaning.

Now What? contains plenty of exercises and motivation to work your way through to the heart of what you want. Naming what “It” is an important part of your discovery process.

“If you were to tell the truth, what would be an appealing vision of your life a year from now?”

Among the many areas yielding insight in Berman Fortgang’s book, she discusses an important obstacle to achieving happiness. Even when we think we know what we want, we may be unable to move toward it because of unresolved issues in the past. “Your path becomes clearer when there are fewer obstacles,” she says.

Berman Fortgang believes most limits are self-imposed, and she offers some of the best advice I’ve seen on dealing with identifying what you want, without conflicting desires and guilt, and interesting insights on how we lie to ourselves.

Finally, remember the advice in Now What? that the author calls “Act As If.” If you were acting as though your transition had already occurred, what would you be doing differently?

Now What? includes a helpful resource section, especially useful for those in a traditional job who want to move toward finding their “it,” as well as useful information on money management, critical if you’re reinventing yourself in a new direction.

Keep a highlighter handy as you work through this book. There is so much wisdom and passages you'll want to return to again and again. Moving past issues with loss, divorce, and financial problems, the author teaches us that moving on is taking the good along with you. And, here, in ninety days, you can do exactly that.

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