Leadership consultant Blackburn provides an intimate engagement with his readers to positively change the way they experience the world each day.
Blackburn’s book is a participatory endeavor that is designed to shake you awake, “to take you deep into a way of life that consists of sustainable optimism, fulfillment, and happiness, while being able to manage the fears of the uncertain and unpredictable future that awaits you.” He does not scatter pearls of wisdom like so much self-help guru pigeon feed, but tenders a demanding call-and-response framework to involve readers in their growth. Although Blackburn is probing and challenging, his voice is easeful, at times almost incantatory as he slides questions across the page—“How are you contributing to your future by creating something that does not now exist?” or “As you review the characteristics that are unsettling for you, do you see any common theme?” But he doesn’t stop there; he provides many possible answers to mull over, or to serve as inspiration. Awareness is a big presence here, how not simply to react—a hot, urgent drive—but to give a soft, responsible reply to what is placed in your life. Cultivating that big-hearted, open-minded awareness involves the planting of seeds of intent, “small changes that are implemented over a period of time that eventually become the foundation for a more complex life transformation”—acceptance, awareness, clarity, faith and intuition, each of which is a nuanced way of being. Although the book sometimes feels overladen with pithy aphorisms—“the meaning of anything is the meaning you choose for it” or “how you be is who you are, not what you do”—and some editorial polishing is in order—“What is occupying your thinking throughout your days currently?”—but Blackburn is always nurturing. His interaction with readers is like a tutorial, a dynamic, encouraging relationship that offers guidance while asking you to do the serious digging—“doing new things, doing the same things differently, becoming more, and going where you have never gone before.”
Blackburn offers a bracingly honest pursuit of life as a learning experience, where he might be the mentor, but you write your book.