One of my readers has e-mailed me to ask for “a succinct understanding” of why I wrote LEAP! before he decides whether to cork over $29 and change for the whole 243-page enchilada.

I thank him for his interest and his inquiry, but it ain’t going to happen. The “pithy” part, that is. Too much went into the aforethought phase of the book’s development and creation. So I ask my blog reader’s indulgence just this once, because I’m going to take more than a paragraph or two to reply.

First, let me stress that LEAP! isn’t one of those “positive thinking”-oriented motivational books. You know the kind—the you-can-do-it-too! variety. The kind that combines the carny barker’s spiel with more than a few touches of Elmer Gantry’s “love is the morning and evening star” ultra-upbeatness. And then adds plenty of what-to-do-next commands and admonishments and, most importantly, goose-bump-generating self-affirmations for the reader to use in awakening the self-esteem genie within.

Now, please understand that I have no objection at all to my LEAP! reader following in the self-compassionate footsteps of Al Franken’s character, Stuart Smalley (“I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me”). If and when you read LEAP!, I hope you experience many surges of enthusiasm and many thrills from having a bright, new idea (often about yourself!). If that qualifies as inspirational and motivational, and you find it so, then let’s let it be what it is.

But I didn’t write the book to try to persuade you to be something that you’re not or to ignore realities that are painful but need to be noticed simply to help you temporarily feel better. As one of our sister or fellow cojourners in the human experiment, I respect you too much for that. And besides, this current spell of tough times looks to be much too serious and concerning to trifle with in that way.

There will be those who end up believing that this is, at its core, a spiritual treatise though perhaps one disguised in the cloak of a psychological inquiry. And who’s to say exactly what is Caesar’s therapist’s or personal life coach’s domain and what belongs exclusively, or at least inclusively, to the divine? Certainly, not the humble scribe who gets the byline for this work. But I did not intend this book to be a heavy-metal generator of otherworldly vibes, and I don’t think that it is.

I’d argue that the work is nothing more or less than a best-foot-forward effort to help my reader deal with a sudden deluge of uncertainty and change. Make sense of it, ride it out and see it through—survive it intact and use it to the gain strength, not forfeit it; lend coherence to the whole, not weaken parts, and use the pluses that are there to accomplish outcomes of value and usefulness. In deciding what to include in this book, I asked myself this question again and again: “Is this immediately practical, doable, useful—in this world now?” If not, I deleted it. So, to that extent, “the otherworldly” is on its own.

And yet this is not a strongly prescriptive book. For one thing, it took me years to research and write it. To try to prescribe heavily detailed “solutions” for a particular person undergoing constant alteration—you!—and for a specific lineup of highly topical challenging circumstances—now!—would have been literary, commonsensical and marketing folly.

As we all know all too well, the times and the reasons they are tough have kept changing. The standard tenure of obsolescence is speeding up, not stalling out. In one way or another, it looks like there might be a lot of tough times ahead for a lot of people—perhaps nearly all of us. Challenging times, at least, are here to stay. And those who can’t change to accommodate such times, rough or otherwise, are probably in serious, possibly imminent, peril.

So in LEAP!, while I’m certainly NOT above “dishing out” advice, I’m much more interested in discussing the potential contexts likely ahead for you and your options for staying tough spirited and effective in rough times than in providing you with set formulas for doing so. As my friend, W Mitchell, the courageous former mayor of Crested Butte, Colorado, has said so many times, “It’s not what happens to you [or what the formulas for behaving expect to happen to you], it’s what you do about it [using your imagination and personal courage and choosing from your options to deal with what happens to you].”

This is a critically important assumption to my writing LEAP! and to what I’ve written in LEAP! for these three critically important reasons:

(1) What can’t go in the world much longer won’t, at least not as anything we’ll be able to easily recognize.

For many ordinary and more than a few not-so-ordinary people, big changes have already begun. You may, in fact, be one of those “canaries in the coalmine” who is serving as an early warning for the rest of us. It may be because you’ve lost your job and you are not sure that you’ll ever find another one that pays as well. Or because the career field you prepared for is swiftly moving offshore, perhaps never to return, or is simply disappearing entirely. Or because systems you have depended on, such as government or health care or schools or the airlines or the company you work for, have become so dysfunctional that they are more calamity to you than comfort. If so, then for you, the future arrived yesterday, the day before or some time ago.

(2) For all of us, a very different kind of future is incoming than the one that, even yet, we keep being encouraged to expect and prepare for. Moreover, what nearly everyone in authority and power in the world expects to happen probably isn’t going to, at least to the extent that they expect it!

Something else is much more likely. And if I can immediately help you understand why almost no one—not in the media, not those in authority in big business, big government or big religion, not in academia, not in politics, national, state or local—wants to say much if anything about what you really need to be doing to protect yourself and those you love and prepare for the times that are coming, then we believe your investment in this work will already have been a net plus.

(3) Potentially, the world stands on the brink of a gigantic outburst of new freedoms—freedoms that can assuredly bring massive changes to how the world works, to how your world works.

Importantly, I believe that the knowledge in this book can help make you a significant player in bringing about and guiding such epic breakthroughs for humanity, the planet, our life quality and the environmental sustainability for all species. And guidance there must be, because this unprecedented “run toward freedom” can just as easily swamp the Good Ship Homo Sapiens or many of its supporting vessels as liberate them.

If you accept that role and gear up to provide the example and the leadership of mind, soul and spirit that are going to be desirable and needed from you, then it will most likely be because you are numbered amidst a small, select but growing group that your authors have named the dolphinthinkers. And this is the bottom-line to why I wrote LEAP!: If you are not already, I want you to be one of those kinds of leapers.

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