Naked Idealism


Do you dream of a sustainable and just world, but also desire more happiness, direction, balance, or fulfillment? Perhaps you work or volunteer in an idealist field and feel like an overwhelmed martyr, or perhaps you earn a decent paycheck but want a more meaningful career. Maybe you're a current or aspiring progressive leader, a concerned citizen, or a student seeking more focus and impact. Maybe you long to bring forgotten ideals, dreams, or creative talents back into your ...
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Do you dream of a sustainable and just world, but also desire more happiness, direction, balance, or fulfillment? Perhaps you work or volunteer in an idealist field and feel like an overwhelmed martyr, or perhaps you earn a decent paycheck but want a more meaningful career. Maybe you're a current or aspiring progressive leader, a concerned citizen, or a student seeking more focus and impact. Maybe you long to bring forgotten ideals, dreams, or creative talents back into your work and play, or know someone who does.

Naked Idealism will entertain and refresh you with an approach to authentic living that supports both personal fulfillment and a sustainable, just world. You will learn how to expose your authentic core, clarify what's really important to you, integrate your personal and community-level visions, and relate to the world more genuinely and effectively. You will examine your intentions for doing good, perhaps even chuckling at yourself during some of the exercises. Wheitner shares valuable tools from positive psychology, career theory, persuasion, organizational dynamics, and more.

Candidly addressing challenging and often avoided topics, Naked Idealism also reminds you not to take life too seriously. Wheitner weaves in humor from his own circuitous trek toward authenticity: a cross-country adventure, a peculiar rainwater irrigation system, vegetarianism and veganism, real-life lesbian grandmothers from Mars, and a backyard abandoned coal mine spice up the journey. You are encouraged to remain fully clothed, but open to the life and world you envision!

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What People Are Saying

Jo Stepaniak
"...In this intriguing book, life coach Dave Wheitner guides readers on a fascinating and fun journey of self-realization so that our vision can be realized. Naked Idealism supplies all the essential tools to help us discern, define, and develop our strengths, identify key values, and devise an effective strategy for finally living what Wheitner calls an 'authentic life.' If you have ever longed for a life well lived, let Dave Wheitner and Naked Idealism show you how to achieve it and enjoy every step on your way there."--(-Jo Stepaniak, author or co-author of 16 books on compassionate and sustainable living)
Karen Litzinger
"Dave Wheitner has created a comprehensive and inspiring guide for socially conscious people in his book, Naked Idealism...Wheitner's unique background and training in public policy, counseling and coaching enable him to address this topic in such a comprehensive manner. As a career counselor for over 25 years who was turned on to the socially responsible careers concept by a Ralph Nader keynote address, I highly recommend this book to all idealists."--(Karen Litzinger, MA, LPC, Owner, Litzinger Career Consulting)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780981776422
  • Publisher: Wheitner Authentic Living
  • Publication date: 9/27/2008
  • Pages: 252
  • Product dimensions: 7.44 (w) x 9.69 (h) x 0.53 (d)

Read an Excerpt

This book is for you if you're a progressive-minded individual who wishes to make your personal life and the world more sustainable and authentic. This may seem challenging when powerful ideals and a deep concern for the world make it difficult for us to enjoy life - quite an irony if we desire to improve the quality of life for others.

This book is for you if any of the following also seem to fit:
• I'm a professional, student, leader or volunteer in an "idealist" career (health and human services, environmental issues, public policy, social justice, animal rights, creative arts, education, etc.) who often feels like a martyr.
• I love my paycheck, but my job or career isn't the "real me."
• In striving to live my ideals, I sometimes feel frustrated or isolated, like I'm on the wrong planet.
• I'm a concerned citizen or community leader who feels overwhelmed by the problems of the world.
• I'm ready for a major life transition but am not yet sure where I wish to go. I fear ending up midway between Fumble and Buck!
• Somewhere along the way I abandoned ideals, dreams or artistic talents that were important to me. I'd like to revisit them.
• I'd like to separate what I really want to do from what I feel I should do.
• I want to relate to others more authentically and effectively.
• I'd like to promote my ideals and achieve more impact in the world.
• I manage, own or work in an organization that provides socially or ecologically conscious products or services, or is moving toward this.

A sustainable life includes fun, fulfillment, balance, success andexpression of what's most important to us. Without these elements, it's difficult to maintain energy over the long term. A sustainable world includes elements that contribute to a healthy, harmonious, peaceful and life-supporting existence: environmentally friendly practices, social justice, creative expression, and a deep respect for all living things, to name a few. Authenticity, a vital component of both, is full and honest expression of who we really are, through the activities we engage in, the visions we pursue, and the way we interact with others.

Several key assumptions drive this book:
When we understand and honor our authentic selves, and proactively create what's important to us rather than reacting to problems, we're less likely to engage in socially and environmentally destructive consumption patterns. By clarifying and pursuing what we want more directly, we often reduce the need to seek materialistic replacements to "fill the void."
When we relate to ourselves and to the world honestly and authentically, we reduce prejudice, fear and unnecessary competition that often result in conflict and suffering.
When we're happy with our own lives, we're better able to share our energy and gifts with others. We're less likely to face burnout, and we can have greater positive impact in our career, hobbies, and volunteer activities.

If the previous thoughts strike a chord, we have a great deal to talk about, as I have struggled with many of these things myself - and still do! I share my thoughts with you not as an author who has completed a journey, but as a fellow learner in the continual process of striving to live more authentically myself. Writing this book has provided the courage to rekindle some long-delayed pursuits of childhood dreams, and to address some areas where I've been "standing in my own way." I hope that reading it has the same benefits for you.

I've bounced among many idealist settings trying to find my niche: researching environmental public health issues, managing a citywide data system on child and family well-being, counseling formerly incarcerated men, and examining the outcomes of families leaving public assistance rolls, to name a few. In those activities, I often felt overwhelmed by the state of the world, not sure that I was making enough of a difference. I've also learned through the struggles of a few extended job searches and career transitions, and hold a special place in my heart for people striving to "find their place."

I've been quite an overachiever as well, always taking myself very seriously and setting exceptionally high self-expectations. My childhood was consumed with maintaining an image of consistent competence and proving my value to the world. I spent more time being a perfect student and people-pleaser rather than doing what I enjoyed. Although I always knew that I wanted to escape my low-income upbringing, I wasn't really sure where I wanted to go. Or perhaps I always had a pretty good idea, but just wasn't willing to listen to myself yet. Because of this, I had no way of gauging if and when I was doing enough. This translated into a desire to be the perfect employee, and I worked very hard for the praise I often received. Alongside all of this, I often felt miserable, frustrated, lonely and unfulfilled.

Over the last several years I've begun to move toward reconnecting with many of my ideals and living more authentically. This has required stepping outside the box (or outside the barrel), and it sometimes places me at odds with "the real world." Some have questioned me for anti-status-quo behavior like riding a bicycle with metal studded snow tires on icy winter days, making America's longest-running annual "waffle party" entirely vegan, building a large rainwater irrigation system in our yard, or constructing odd looking sound baffles in our home to aid with music recording. However, it has all begun to increase my happiness. It is part of integrating and expressing the important pieces of my life in a more meaningful way. I hope that this book helps you to advance in a similar process!

Are you ready for an adventure?

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Table of Contents


1. Why Is This Book for Me?

2. What Will I Obtain from This Book?

3. Benefits of Living Authentically
-Benefits to others

4. Defining Idealist & Naked Idealist
-Broad definitions
-Real-life lesson: Streaking on crutches
-The Myers-Briggs/Keirsey definitions
-Just for fun: Which type of non-naked idealist are you?

5. Creating Space for Self-Development

6. Understanding Limitations of Problem Solving


7. Exposing Our Authentic Side: Purpose
-What purpose is
-Why purpose is so important
-Defining our life purpose
-Peak experiences & childhood dreams

8. Exposing Our Authentic Side: Values
-What values are
-Discerning between expressed values and needed values
-Why values are so important
-Real-life lesson: A foot between the bike wheel spokes
-Clarifying our top values
-Ranking the "top 10" things we value
-An idealist's dilemma: What if my values aren't altruistic?
-Money: A value of particular interest for idealists

9. Exposing Our Authentic Side: Strengths
-What strengths are
-Why strengths are so important
-Real-life lesson: An alligator, dog-bird & kimono
-Identifying our strengths
-Consider the transferability of strengths
-An additional step: Developing strengths

10. Accepting Self & Avoiding Perfectionism

11. Reviewing Our Authentic Side


12. Establishing Vision
-What vision is
-Why vision isso important
-Guidelines for creating powerful, naked visions
-Real-life lesson: Not your average 10-year-old

13. Setting Up a Creative Framework
-The power of tension
-Describing current reality
-Defining action steps: The strategy for getting there

14. Putting Our Visions to Work for Us
-Reviewing the creative tension framework daily
-Avoiding denial of current reality
-Keeping ego out of our desired results
-Celebrating & enjoying the journey
-Avoiding holes of negativity
-Thinking rationally in the face of adversity
-Real-life lesson: A boat-car between two trees
-Managing unattained visions

15. Pursuing Larger Visions
-Working in groups

16. Which Vision First? Determining Priorities
-Exercising choice
-Covey's time management matrix
-Assessing contentment & organizing visions via a life wheel
-Keeping a "naked idea list"

17. Linking Personal & Community Visions


18. Abundance Versus Scarcity Thinking

19. Giving

20. Asking & Receiving
-Giving to ourselves
-Real-life lesson: Bottles from Heaven

21. Transcending Our "PC Shoulds"
-What are "PC shoulds"?
-Why we need to understand our "PC shoulds"
-Real-life lesson: Surviving a race riot
-Confessions of imperfection
-Moving forward

22. Relating to Others Despite Differences
-Avoiding the "holier than thou" idealist label
-Political dialogue: Rising above the fray
-Meeting others where they are AND planting seeds of change

23. Attracting Resources to Achieve Results
-The Law of Attraction: A distraction?
-Communicating to others
-Understanding & leveraging social networks

24. Overcoming Fear of Success
-Defining fear
-Assumptions that drive fear of success
-Alleviating our fears

25. Enhancing Health, Wellness & Global Sustainability

26. Rethinking Burnout & Compassion Fatigue

27. Thoughts from Several Remarkable People


Express Yourself!

-About the Author and Strategic Life Coaching



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