Reader Feedback

“I say the most important thing to me is to be a good parent. But when I take a thorough look at what I say, how I act, what I do, who I spend time with, it is far from what I want my children to be like. It isn’t easy to come to the conclusion that you don’t like the person you have become. For me, life will not change until I take the time to learn about beliefs, and then figure out what I want to believe. And then more time to make the changes in how I think, where I go, who I choose to be with or call a friend, and what I say and do with my children. They know I have been an impostor. What I said I wanted them to be like is not who I was. The investment in time to learn about beliefs and to seriously define your own and then live them out could not be better spent.”   – Blake, father and business leader, Ann Arbor

“Do as I say not as I do. How often do we yell this at our kids at home or in school? As a parent and a teacher, I frankly was getting tired of saying this when someone called me out on something I did that they thought made me a hypocrite in their eyes. I truly want to be a role model and example for others. The first step is to call yourself out and admit that you want to become more than you are now. Beliefs and values are the very substance of who we are and who we can become. And hopefully then we are people that our children and teens really should look up to.”   – Ellen, mother and teacher

“Boundaries, feelings, beliefs and values. It can be easy to be glib and say I know all I need to know about these things. But when you try to have a conversation with yourself or someone else you care about, you may find that you know very little about such important matters. No one ‘teaches’ you these things. I think most of us try to subconsciously put together something of a puzzle about them. The bottom line is we cannot be our unique selves without knowing our beliefs and what we stand for. And choosing and having healthy relationships with anyone—in your family, at work, at college—won’t happen unless you grasp what makes a relationship healthy and that means controlling emotions and having good boundaries. It takes hard work to learn about ourselves, but is it a requirement for being the kind of persons we want to become.”   – Mark, mentor and college student

“We have choices. We don’t have to keep being the person that we are today. That is the message that I found most encouraging. Don’t like the grumpy and irritable person that I am everyday? I can figure out why I got this way and choose to make a change. Feeling guilty about how I spend my free time? Realizing I don’t want to be like the friends that I hang out with? Recognizing I’m on some autopilot with my life every day, every week, every month? [The book] is like a map. You can face who you have become and then make some choices about how you want to change. You have some strategies and if you take the time, you can change what you think about yourself and then what you do with your life.”   – Brian, mentor, college student, president of a fraternity

“The first lesson is to recognize the story one is stuck in and then want to re-write it. In the real-life examples you use to illustrate the concepts you’re trying to convey, you describe with almost poetic precision any particular dilemma and the positive lessons that can be drawn from it. It was a revelation to me, after having heard about this book for a while, that it was directed not just at high school or college students who are just embarking on their journey. The book can help no matter how far along we are on our life’s journey, particularly if you’re broken down on the metaphorical side of the road without a jack.”   – Anne, retired attorney, San Diego

“What do you believe? I used to spit out the Golden Rule. A workshop leader pressed me with, ‘how does that play out in how you treat strangers, friends, family members, kids, teachers, bosses?’ I thought she had a lot of nerve to ask me that. But when I started to talk, I realized that I was a pretty judgmental, selfish, and callous person. I have learned some of what happened in my life to bring me to this point. And I know the people I aspired to be like that actually taught me to be pretty self-centered so I could achieve and climb the corporate ladder, etc. [This book] is like a personal manual. You spend time with it and you will start the process to change and become someone that embodies the golden rule of treating others as you’d like to be treated.”   – Max, mentor, university professor

“When we moved to this country, I thought my children and my husband would keep our faith, our beliefs, our traditions and our values. Slowly but surely, everything we stood for was challenged. Our children wanted to ‘fit in’ with their friends at school. I was grateful for the [guidance] and the time I spent with others to figure out what our family beliefs are and how I can teach them and live them out for my children. I recognize our family traditions are key not just for our spending time with one another, but to teach and pass on our values. When we parents do not know and cling to our beliefs and traditions, our children will grow up without them. They will be lost. We must have personal and family boundaries to protect our values.”   – Victoria, mother and recent immigrant

“Committing to paper my beliefs and values has given me real insight into those areas that maybe don’t ‘line up.’ The portion on boundaries has really helped me — at 63 years of age! I can look back and see where setting boundaries has been a perpetual problem for me. Most helpful!”   – Susie L., Ypsilanti

“I had been on an achievement merry-go-round most of my life. I didn’t realize it until I became a mentor and went to workshops about beliefs, boundaries, passions, feelings, and life goals. What I am coming to see is that I am my own unique person. I must carve out time and get some help from others to figure out what makes me unique. As a pleaser, I pretty much went along the path that my dad, my counselor, and my coach put out for me. I did not exercise good boundaries. I took on the roles they wanted of me. Even choosing my college major wasn’t really my choice. I think every teen and college student needs something like this, to have the luxury of time and guidance to figure out who we are individually and who we can become. Then we can live our own lives.”   – Marcia, mentor and college student

“Everyone can easily just become a robot. We get up every morning and go about the tasks and the maze set before us. Then we try to eat some decent dinner, go to bed, and get up and do it all over again. When I became a mentor, I immediately saw that I was grooming my mentee to be like me. Just do what is expected of you, excel, and that is your life. I had become a composite of the many influential adults who had been in my life in middle and high school. I was stuck from the first session when we were to try to help our kids think about their beliefs, their passions, and what character traits they valued the most in themselves and others. Reading [the book] and then re-reading and thinking about it is important. You can’t make huge changes right away. You have to keep taking steps in the direction of the person you want to be and packing up in a box the robot you had become.”   – Alex, mentor and college student

“Lots of teachers and coaches talk about character and leadership. Like their job and our being in their class or on their team will help us develop character. This never made any real sense to me. But when I started learning about beliefs and values and trying to choose what mine really are, the word ‘character’ started to make sense to me. I want certain character traits. I want to be known for these character traits. I wrote down what I want them to be. And now I look at them and see if I am really doing them.”   – Jason, Ypsilanti

“The book does affirm the lessons I’ve learned from various places (therapy, self-help books, 12-step meetings) into a neat and powerful package. What seems most relevant to me right now is that it supports genuine spirituality. I know I spent many years ‘trying to be good’ and seeking approval in the eyes of others or attaining holiness by my own efforts. My experience with this vain pursuit left me frustrated and lonely. What I need to work on is to be loving and accept other people who might still be approval-based, and validate them as human beings (instead of specific feats or behaviors). I won't get this 100% right; it seems very tricky, so I will lean on God for guidance. My role as a supervisor of four women might be a great opportunity to influence the growth of others in this way. I’ll pray that your book is found by people that can benefit from it (practically everyone).”   – Susan D., Ann Arbor

“When I lost my job, I was devastated. I fell into despair. I groped for what to do next. Everyone said I had to go back to school and get some training. The push was in health care fields. I was so stressed out because I never liked science and math and I never wanted anything to do with those kinds of jobs. I’'m close to being broke and I didn’t want to take out more student loans. I came across Passport 2 Purpose on the internet. I printed out the free excerpts. This book is really helping me to step back and breathe and use this time to figure out who I am, what I believe about myself and my life, and to be patient before jumping into something.”   – James, Chicago

“Beliefs or opinions. When I started honestly learning about beliefs and values, I saw that what I called a belief was actually a fleeting opinion. My opinions shifted and changed all the time mostly because of who I had been with or what I read or saw on TV. I was constantly changing my mind about all kinds of important topics. Because we have so much media influence and people we know with such strong opinions, we really need this to get us to stop and realize we will never know what we really believe and want to stand up for unless we take time to figure out our core beliefs.”   – Veronica, Toledo