Off the Fence!
by Rhoda Makoff, Ph.D. & Jeffrey Makoff,
by Merri Rosenberg
books are not my favorite genre, and I’ll admit to casting
a somewhat unfavorable eye when they come across my desk.
make an exception for this volume, which I think would be a
valuable addition to the resource library of any school psychologist,
guidance counselor or other professional whose responsibilities
include giving advice to those uncertain of what to do next
in their lives.
the topics included here are more adult than those usually
encountered in schools (getting married, changing jobs, moving,
making end-of-life decisions for an ill parent), the steps
that the authors suggest for reaching those decisions would
be invaluableand applicable for almost any age, and any situation.
authors are expert at breaking down the steps that contribute
to how one should reach a decision: separating emotional needs
and wants from practical concerns; recognizing a so-called “decoy” decision
that can distract from the one that actually needs to be made;
confronting the worst-case scenarios that too often lead to
paralysis, and understanding the assumptions that influence
they write, “Nobody actually makes decisions in a perfect world.
We all make our decisions in the flawed, scary, imperfect world
in which people sometimes seek revenge, act irrationally, stalk,
punish, abuse, torment and attack. Fears of all kinds may be
very rational and well founded. You should not, however, allow
fear to obscure the decision before you. Only when you identify
the real decision can you develop a strategy that moves you
toward the choice that
can change your life.”
authors also caution
that just as people may become blinded by what they call the “parade of horribles”,
just as many have the mistaken belief that success—whether defined by job promotions,
career success, financial comfort, or even getting married—will automatically
make life perfect.
write, “Be realistic about the benefits that success will bring.
There is no perfect life. Success is one part of your life
that may breed challenges, and even failures, in another. Miscalculating
the benefits of a decision can be as dangerous as misapprehending
book offers a very useful blueprint to help navigate and negotiate
the tricky shoals of life—and one well worth keeping close
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