Excerpt: 'Steering by Starlight'

So have you given up on your New Year's resolution again this year? Life coach Martha Beck says that doesn't make you lazy, it just means you're just not picking the right resolutions.

Beck's new book, "Steering by Starlight: Find Your Right Life, No Matter What," is all about finding your true goals in life and acheiving them.

Three simple steps to start with:
Stay quiet for 15 minutes each day.
Tell yourself the absolute truth.

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Always do what brings you the most joy.

Read an excerpt of "Steering by Starlight" below.

You can visit Martha Beck's Web site at www.marthabeck.com.

Introduction

I know a man — let's call him Gus — whose nose is continuously attempting to turn itself into an ear. Gus's original nose was crushed in a car accident, and plastic surgeons rebuilt it by taking cartilage from one of his ears, sculpting it into the shape they needed, and grafting it to his nasal bridge. Their skill was amazing; you'd never notice anything unusual about Gus's remodeled schnozz.

However, that little bit of cartilage never forgot what it started out to be. Ever since the surgery, it's been trying to re-create the ear from which it was harvested. Gradually, as the years go by, it morphs into a delicate aural whorl, and Gus's doctors have to go back in and whittle it down again. But the cartilage is not discouraged. Before the procedure is over, it's already continuing its humble, inexorable ambition to regenerate its original form.

I can empathize with Gus's nose. I suspect you can, too. The fact that you're reading these words suggests that you're looking to find and follow the life you were meant to have: your highest and happiest possible destiny. This wouldn't be an issue if you already felt fully "on purpose" or if you lacked any sense of destiny at all.

I'm betting you're like many clients I've coached, people who feel that they aren't quite themselves, who continuously sense that they are trying to regain their true form but who have only the faintest inkling of what that might be. My goal in writing this book is to help you find your deepest sense of purpose — to give you back to yourself, since you are the ultimate arbiter of your own fate. You don't need a book to do this. Whether or not you're consciously following your destiny, your destiny is always following you. But this book may well make the process quicker, cleaner, and easier.

Why This Book May Help You Fulfill Your Destiny

Let me explain a little about why I venture to offer you advice about your life, which you know far better than I ever can. I'm a "life coach," part of a profession that popped up like a mushroom in the last few years of the 20th century. There's no standardization or regulation for life coaching. I have no idea what most people who go by that title actually do. I think of myself as the behavioral equivalent of a personal trainer. A therapist, like a physician, works with unwell people to restore them to health. I work with healthy people to help them achieve maximum "fitness" — that is, well-being and quality of life.

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