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19 December 2016

"The Lemming Conspiracy..." by McDonald & Hutcheson review



The Lemming Conspiracy: How to Redirect Your Life From Stress to Balance what is this all about?  What is the Lemming conspiracy? According to the introduction, a small arctic mammal know as lemmings gather together in vast herds and throw themselves over cliffs. The authors use this as a metaphor that too many people live a life of herd mentality. Alan Arkin, The Lemming Condition, states "Fearful of what lay ahead, but even more afraid of complete isolation, [the Lemming] threw himself into the crowd. It was defeat, and [he] knew it, but it was mixed with great relief. All decisions were gone. So was concern for the future, so was the fear of conflicting with his own kind."

In chapter one, the authors ask for answers to questions such as, why do we settle for stressful, unfulfilling lives or why do we ignore people who are important to us? The authors continue to answer by saying that we grow up learning to see limited options from family, school and work. We become out of balance with ourselves and that leads to stress.

The next five chapters talk about our foundation, personal vision using our abilities, skills, interests and personality. Chapters eight, nine and ten help the reader to create a personal vision. Your personal vision is your guide to your life and career and beyond. This book offer suggestions for people of all ages even age 80+.

What does this have to do with family history? Glad you asked, read chapter seven "Beating the Lemming Conspiracy with Your FAMILY of ORIGIN." The following quote is from page 159, "There is no more powerful influence on our lives than the family in which we were born and grew up. We form our personalities here....While we may have no recollection of exactly what we learned, the lessons become part of our emotional and social DNA." Pages 170-173 offer family interview techniques and questions with the suggestion to record and keep for your children. Continued on page 159, "Figuring out what positive things you learned in your family, finding out what makes you unique.... asking how your parents made life decisions.... moves you into new territory...."

Are you ready to discover new territory in your life? Do you want to learn what is important to you and how to prioritize your life? Family history can be one more tool in your tool box to understanding yourself and your goals.