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Charting Your Course

Charting Your Course

A Life-Long Guide to Health and Compassion

Edited by Sally Coleman and David S. Anderson

Charting Your Course: A Life-Long Guide to Health and Compassion is designed primarily for young adults but will assist people of all ages in their efforts to live rewarding, fulfilling, and healthy lives. This book provides a framework for holistic health as well as understanding, diminishing, and hopefully eliminating the epidemic abuse of alcohol and other drugs on college campuses.

Traditionally, substance abuse education classes focused more on treating the symptoms of abuse rather than taking an in-depth look at whole health. The health principles upon which this book is based do not pertain directly to alcohol and drug abuse; rather they speak about the dynamic aspects of human meaning and purpose. It is the editors’ belief that if people learn to say yes to life they will naturally begin to say no to the misuse of alcohol and other drugs.

A major segment of the book is “legacy letters.” More than fifty people, including Joe Paterno, Elie Wiesel, Jane Alexander, John Bradshaw, Father Theodore Hesburgh, Matthew Fox, and Bruno Cortis, were given the following challenge: If you could only write one letter to young people before you die, what legacy would you leave them? Their engaging letters address such issues as substance abuse, values, sexual orientation, religion, quality of life, AIDS, child abuse, parenting, and the spirit of living.

Charting Your Course is based on seven life-health principles. These principles identify vital areas of life and are used to develop a healthy orientation toward them. The areas covered are: attitude, personal values, wellness, relationships, community, the natural world, and service to others. Each chapter includes a personal workbook section designed to aid one in assessing his or her own life, in considering alternatives for the future, and in developing the skills necessary for making decisions, and for carrying through effective plans of action. The final chapter encourages the reader to bring together these insights and skills to formulate a unified plan for the future. Resulting from this will be a life filled with compassion, balance, and greater meaning.

ISBN: 978-0-268-00827-7
432 pages
Publication Year: 1998

Sally Coleman was a staff counselor in the University of Notre Dame’s counseling center and the author of several books on current issues.

David S. Anderson is associate professor and director of the Center for the Advancement of Public Health, George Mason University.

“Charting Your Course is an invaluable resource for anyone working with college students or preparing professionals or paraprofessionals to work with college students. This book identifies key developmental issues and presents many valuable activities to help students address these issues. Its unique approach to values clarification is a strength of the text." —Angelo F. Gadaleto, Professor and Chair, Department of Counselor Education, West Chester University

“In this day and age where it seems the only clear messages we get from our ‘blameless’ society are those that assign fault with others and fail to acknowledge the need for personal responsibility in our everyday dealings, it is very refreshing to see a work of this nature that clearly reminds us that we are in charge of our own health, wellness and happiness. This is a valuable resource for college students and anyone who values self-exploration . . .” —Drew Hunter, Executive Director of the BACCHUS and GAMMA Peer Education Network

“This book is magical. I sat down to read it, and when I stood up, I felt twenty years younger and fifty pounds lighter. Charting Your Course guides, inspires, and envelopes the reader with energy and spirit. College students find themselves in a confusing and stressful environment, and this book offers a wonderful way for them to begin finding their paths toward health, confidence, and a personal peace.” —Wilkie A. Wilson, Professor of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology, Duke University

“A roadmap for body AND soul! We stand always at the crossroads needing answers to questions large and small. Charting Your Course provides insight and direction from those who have travelled the wilderness and found the way to live-through with purpose and joy.” —Dr. Sheppard B. Kominars, Lecturer and author of Accepting Ourselves and Accepting Ourselves and Others

“Our interest in and concern for our society of young adults, their potential growth, mental and physical, and their moral, emotional and spiritual development, should be our primary goal and gift to our progeny. How to package that gift in a comprehensive and meaningful way is the dilemma. Charting Your Course has provided us with a clear and concise framework to reach that goal by identifying seven life-health principles, with personal worksheets to establish individual milestones. Charting Your Course is more than a textbook for holistic health; it can be a game plan for a bright future.” —John C. Lawn, former Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration

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Charting Your Course

A Life-Long Guide to Health and Compassion


Edited by Sally Coleman and David S. Anderson

 Charting Your Course: A Life-Long Guide to Health and Compassion
Paper Edition

Charting Your Course: A Life-Long Guide to Health and Compassion is designed primarily for young adults but will assist people of all ages in their efforts to live rewarding, fulfilling, and healthy lives. This book provides a framework for holistic health as well as understanding, diminishing, and hopefully eliminating the epidemic abuse of alcohol and other drugs on college campuses.

Traditionally, substance abuse education classes focused more on treating the symptoms of abuse rather than taking an in-depth look at whole health. The health principles upon which this book is based do not pertain directly to alcohol and drug abuse; rather they speak about the dynamic aspects of human meaning and purpose. It is the editors’ belief that if people learn to say yes to life they will naturally begin to say no to the misuse of alcohol and other drugs.

A major segment of the book is “legacy letters.” More than fifty people, including Joe Paterno, Elie Wiesel, Jane Alexander, John Bradshaw, Father Theodore Hesburgh, Matthew Fox, and Bruno Cortis, were given the following challenge: If you could only write one letter to young people before you die, what legacy would you leave them? Their engaging letters address such issues as substance abuse, values, sexual orientation, religion, quality of life, AIDS, child abuse, parenting, and the spirit of living.

Charting Your Course is based on seven life-health principles. These principles identify vital areas of life and are used to develop a healthy orientation toward them. The areas covered are: attitude, personal values, wellness, relationships, community, the natural world, and service to others. Each chapter includes a personal workbook section designed to aid one in assessing his or her own life, in considering alternatives for the future, and in developing the skills necessary for making decisions, and for carrying through effective plans of action. The final chapter encourages the reader to bring together these insights and skills to formulate a unified plan for the future. Resulting from this will be a life filled with compassion, balance, and greater meaning.

ISBN: 978-0-268-00827-7

432 pages

“Charting Your Course is an invaluable resource for anyone working with college students or preparing professionals or paraprofessionals to work with college students. This book identifies key developmental issues and presents many valuable activities to help students address these issues. Its unique approach to values clarification is a strength of the text." —Angelo F. Gadaleto, Professor and Chair, Department of Counselor Education, West Chester University

“In this day and age where it seems the only clear messages we get from our ‘blameless’ society are those that assign fault with others and fail to acknowledge the need for personal responsibility in our everyday dealings, it is very refreshing to see a work of this nature that clearly reminds us that we are in charge of our own health, wellness and happiness. This is a valuable resource for college students and anyone who values self-exploration . . .” —Drew Hunter, Executive Director of the BACCHUS and GAMMA Peer Education Network

“This book is magical. I sat down to read it, and when I stood up, I felt twenty years younger and fifty pounds lighter. Charting Your Course guides, inspires, and envelopes the reader with energy and spirit. College students find themselves in a confusing and stressful environment, and this book offers a wonderful way for them to begin finding their paths toward health, confidence, and a personal peace.” —Wilkie A. Wilson, Professor of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology, Duke University

“A roadmap for body AND soul! We stand always at the crossroads needing answers to questions large and small. Charting Your Course provides insight and direction from those who have travelled the wilderness and found the way to live-through with purpose and joy.” —Dr. Sheppard B. Kominars, Lecturer and author of Accepting Ourselves and Accepting Ourselves and Others

“Our interest in and concern for our society of young adults, their potential growth, mental and physical, and their moral, emotional and spiritual development, should be our primary goal and gift to our progeny. How to package that gift in a comprehensive and meaningful way is the dilemma. Charting Your Course has provided us with a clear and concise framework to reach that goal by identifying seven life-health principles, with personal worksheets to establish individual milestones. Charting Your Course is more than a textbook for holistic health; it can be a game plan for a bright future.” —John C. Lawn, former Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration