An inspiring work that offers direction and wise counsel for increasing awareness of self, one's motivations, and the importance of each person's unique contribution to society.
First published in 1926 as The Science of Living, Alfred Adler's Understanding Life provides a straightforward and common-sense system for learning more about ourselves, the reasons for our behavior, and ways to change for the better. Adler provides guidelines for discovering how our beliefs--our "private logic"--hold us back, as well as useful tools for breaking free of this negative thinking.
Stressing individual uniqueness and creative ability as well as the importance of common sense, Adler shows us how to work toward our goals without worrying about the outcome. "Self-worth depends not on ultimate success," he writes, "but on doing one's best. What's important is not the abilities and advantages we have, but what we do with what we are given."
Acknowledging that service to others is a key component in individual healing and growth, Adler further emphasizes our responsibility to contribute to the common good. Understanding Life offers both an ideal vision for humankind's future and the guidelines for personal growth and social responsibility that will help us contribute to that future's realization. "We are all goal-directed," he writes, "attracted by a future which we ourselves create."
About the author: A contemporary of Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud, Alfred Adler was born in a Vienna suburb to a Jewish grain merchant. After becoming a medical doctor, Adler went on to found individual psychology and write more than 300 books and papers on child psychology, marriage, education, and the principles of individual psychology. Adler died in 1937 and is recognized along with Freud and Jung as one of the three great fathers of modern psychotherapy.
About the editor: Colin Brett is an accredited Adlerian counselor and former Training Officer of the Adlerian Society of Great Britain. He currently works as a freelance management consultant and Adlerian Counselor Trainer. He translated Adler's Understanding Human Nature and edited What Life Could Mean to You.
The Adler Collection is also available to you which includes Understanding Life as well as the following two publications: Understanding Human Nature which is as relevant today as when written, this timely reprint of a classic in individual psychology shows the way to increased understanding of ourselves and our role in society; and What Life Could Mean To You where he examines a wide range of themes common to all our lives, including family and school influences; adolescent development; feelings of superiority and inferiority; the importance of cooperation; the "problems of work, friendship, and love and marriage; and the individual and society.