While much of Naked Idealism is relevant to anyone seeking to improve their happiness, direction, life balance, and positive impact, the book covers several topics that are particularly relevant to activists and volunteers, as well as public and private leaders.
- As we advance our causes, how can we avoid being manipulated by our own attitudes surrounding race, gender, sexuality, religion, and so on? In order to be effective during turbulent times, do we really know ourselves in these areas? Are we acting from a place of authenticity, or are unknowingly allowing ourselves to be pawns?
- As members of cause-related groups, how can we avoid falling victim to some of the issues and attitudes that can easily fragment (and destroy the effectiveness of) the most well-intentioned groups?
- How can we connect our individual-level values and goals to our societal-level visions, so that we’re more energized and don’t feel like we’re martyring ourselves?
- How can we use tools from the arenas of social networking and counseling psychology to connect with and engage others more effectively, and to communicate with those who appear to be very different from us?
- How can we live more proactively and “immunize” ourselves against some of the fear- and anxiety-based story lines that are a part of political campaigns, product advertisements, and other messages inundating us every day?
- How can we clarify and engage “foundational” elements of ourselves that will enable us to lead from a place of authenticity, create more powerful visions that energize ourselves and others, and articulate strategies for creating the results we desire?
I make efforts in the book to convey the dangers of getting too caught up in stereotypes such as political party labels, lest we be manipulated and led down a path that won’t make us happy. Regardless of which party/parties we identify with most closely, getting too energized via us-versus-them and good-versus-evil tactics can adversely impact both individual and collective well-being. I’d love to hear any thoughts or comments you have after reading it!