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There are a lot of personality and intelligence tests out there designed to label you and put you in a particular box. But Dr. Caroline Leaf says there's much more to you than a personality profile can capture. In fact, you cannot be categorized!
In The Perfect You, she takes you through seven steps to rediscover and unlock your unique "you quotient" – the brilliantly original way each person thinks, feels, relates, and makes choices – freeing you from comparison, envy, and jealousy, which destroys brain tissue. You’ll learn to be aware of what's going on in your mind and body, to lean into your experience rather than trying to forcefully change it, and to redefine what success means to you. Released from the suffocating box of expectations, you'll embrace your true identity and develop a clear sense of divine purpose in your life.
Number of Pages: 208
Vendor: Baker Books
Publication Date: 2017
|Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)|
1. Tell us about the idea of the “Perfect You.” Why is it important to discover?
We are who we are, but unveiling our identity and activating it correctly is crucial to a life well-lived; it is the theme of countless books, both classical and modern, fiction and non-fiction. It shapes some of the greatest masterpieces in the world of art, and characterizes the world of education. It is a question that none of us can escape—a question that can only be measured by the individual as an individual: can I accept the way God has allowed me to be. In the Perfect You, I discuss this question of identity and the I-factor, and how each of us has a unique way of thinking, feeling and choosing. No two minds are alike—our ability to think, choose and feel is our particular blueprint for identity.
2. What is the relationship between the mind and the brain?
Each of us, think, feel, and choose with our minds. The brain is the substrate through which the mind works—it reflects the action of the mind.
3. Why does it matter that we’re wired for love?
When we operate in love, our brain responds in the way it is designed to respond. It brings health to our spirits, minds and bodies.
4. Where does the Holy Spirit come into play in developing a mindful awareness?
Opening up to the Holy Spirit will result in becoming the Perfect You—experiencing “life on life’s terms” with the grace and peace God lovingly and freely gives us every moment.
5. How does understanding our Perfect You help us make better choices?
God has designed each of us to see matter and create matter in our particular way. The nature of our consciousness, our Perfect You, is separate from the consciousness of God but is also from the consciousness of God. Yet there is uncertainty within this nature of the Perfect You that underscores the uniqueness of how we think differently as individuals. Your Perfect You is exclusively yours; only you know what you are truly thinking, feeling, or choosing at any given moment. If someone knows you well, they can hazard a guess of what you are thinking based on how you have acted in the past, but they will never be entirely certain until you say or do something. Indeed, not only can you not tell what a person is thinking but you also cannot tell what is going to happen next. So thinking, feeling, and choosing—your Perfect You—is a place in space-time where you decide to do what is right or what is wrong. Nothing determines your choices except you. That is not to say we always define the circumstances we find ourselves in, of course. A lot of things can influence our choices, since none of us live in a vacuum. Yet nothing determines your choices, or how you react to the circumstances of life, except you. You alone are responsible and can be held accountable for how you react to what happens in your life: your future is open, filled with an eternity of possible situations and choices.
6. Give us an overview of the UQ assessment. How is it different from personality tests people may have taken?
The UQ profile has a threefold purpose: to help you understand how you uniquely think, feel, and choose; to increase your ability to mindfully and deliberately self-regulate—thinking, feeling, and choosing to keep you in alignment with the Holy Spirit; and to help you understand how you think when you are operating in your Perfect You so that you can recognize when you are operating outside of it.
7. What are ways to make sure we’re operating within our Perfect You?
Control what goes into your mind through choice, constantly renew the mind with the help of the Holy Spirit.
8. Tell us about discomfort zones. What do we learn from them?
Discomfort zones are zones in our spirits, minds, and bodies that alert us to when we are stepping out of our Perfect You. They sound the “alarm” in our consciousness when we step out of the love zone and into the damaging fear zone.
9. How can someone begin discovering their own Perfect You?
The best way to start is to fill out the UQ profile in the book, learn about your uniqueness, and understand your body’s discomfort zones so you can stay in your Perfect You.
Who am I? Does anyone out there understand me? Am I merely the product of blind evolutionary forces or what Richard Dawkins calls a “stroke of dumb luck” in a material world?[i] Or do I have purpose and meaning, a unique part in a divine plan? Does anyone understand who I am, or who I am meant to be? Do I even understand me? Can I accept the way God has allowed me to be? Do I really accept the identity that God has given me?
God does understand you. He has placed significance in you—your “Perfect You”—your unique way of thinking. The blueprint of your identity is a brilliant design that unlocks something you alone can do. As neuroscience shows us, every thought you think matters because it changes your brain! You create your unique reality and shape your brain with your thoughts. In this book you can discover the science behind your Perfect You by learning what it is, filling in a profile called the Unique Qualitative (UQ) Assessment Tool to understand the structure of your thinking, and practice applying it to your life with a series of fun and enlightening exercises that will take you to a whole new level.
Understanding how the Perfect You is structured is just the beginning, but once you start the process, you launch out into a lifetime of lasting change! Development and growth is organic and ongoing. Your purpose is to live beyond yourself, but you can’t share your Perfect You, your blueprint for identity, if it’s locked up. You can’t live in your purpose if you don’t identify your blueprint and operate in your Perfect You.
God knew you before you were formed in your mother’s womb (see Jer. 1:5). You are wired for love, because God is love (1 John 4:8). You are addicted to love because you are made in his image (Gen. 1:27). When he calls you, he calls you by name to a life of love (Matt. 4:18–22). Philosopher Keith Ward puts it this way:
The real world is a world of finite spirits, beings of value-saturated experience and creative purpose, existing within one supreme spirit of unrestricted consciousness and value. Human life is not a pointless flicker of awareness in an indifferent and finally decaying machine. It is a developing awareness by finite spirits (but unfortunately not always developing) of the wider consciousness and purpose of the supreme spirit within which they exist, and with which it is their inherent goal to unite in that blissful state of completed desire that is termed love.[ii]
Many people long for and seek this blissful state in earthly things, yet it cannot exist apart from God, who is love. We have to see his image reflected in us if we truly want to understand our unique blueprint for identity. Science and Scripture both show you are uniquely designed to reflect his love into creation. But how can you reflect his glory if you cannot see it in you? Daniel and Abraham resolved to be the people God made them—both of these men operated in their Perfect You (Gen. 12–15; Daniel). Can you make the same resolution? Can you grow into your God-ordained self by unblocking your Perfect You?
Although you may not think you do, you actually know who you are! Your identity flows out of how you think, speak, and act, no matter how much you try to suppress it. Research shows that as you think, you influence your genetic expression and build your distinctive interpretation into physical thoughts—thoughts that are different from everyone else’s. You have been designed with a beautiful way of thinking, evident from infancy, that fits your remarkable and unequaled Perfect You. You have been given a divine piece of eternity (Eccl. 3:11). When you do try to suppress your identity, which happens when you react negatively to the circumstances of life, you step out of your Perfect You and create a toxic environment.
Yet you are not defined by where you are or where you have been but rather where you will be. Finding out who you are at your very core is a journey, and it can be an awe-inspiring one—depending on the attitude you adopt! The more you step into your Perfect You, the more wisdom you will develop, which will increase your capacity for accessing and living in God’s love and reflecting that love to a world filled with pain and suffering. Stepping into your Perfect You grows makes You humble and not proud! As New York Times columnist David Brooks notes, humility is low self-preoccupation, not low self-esteem.[iii] Whatever you think about the most will grow! If you, your talents, and your problems are all you think about, you become your own idol—this is not only toxic to your health but also a form of pride. The universe does not revolve around any one person. We are designed to serve and love others, like the Messiah. Indeed, one of the best ways of overcoming a problem is to go out and give to others!
The choice to unlock your Perfect You and live out your blueprint for identity is yours. The more you unlock your Perfect You:
- The more miracles you will activate in your life and the lives of the people around you.
- The more intelligent you will become, since your Perfect You is tied to your intellect.
- The more your gifts, skills, and abilities will develop.
- The more your relationships will improve.
- The more your mental health will improve.
- The more your physical health will improve.
- The more you will find joy in life.
- The more you will see others through the eyes of God.
- The more humble you will become, because you will see God’s magnificence in you.
- The more you will understand yourself and others.
- The more you will desire to understand and help your neighbor.
- The more you will celebrate others instead of envying them.
When people pursue an identity apart from God, it leads to confusion. The more you step into your Perfect You, the more you will understand the blueprint of your identity, your purpose, and your part in his kingdom. Socrates once said that the unexamined life is not worth living. This book will give you the tools to examine your thoughts and unlock your brilliant Perfect You. It will enable you to answer when Jesus calls you, by name, to participate in the great task of kingdom building. It will allow you to use and multiply the talents he has given you (Matt. 25:14–30), reflecting his glory, bearing his image, and bringing heaven to earth.
This, truly, is a life worth living!
[i] S. McDowell and Jonathan Morrow, Is God Just a Human Invention? And Seventeen Other Questions Raised by the New Atheists (Grand Rapids: Kregel, 2011), Kindle loc. 1525.
[ii] Keith Ward, The God Conclusion: God and the Western Philosophical Tradition (London: Darton, Longman and Todd, 2009), Kindle loc. 843.
[iii] David Brooks, The Road to Character (New York: Random House, 2015).
bookwomanjoanOak Harbor, WAAge: Over 65Gender: Female4 Stars Out Of 5Good combining of science and spiritualityAugust 7, 2017bookwomanjoanOak Harbor, WAAge: Over 65Gender: FemaleQuality: 4Value: 4Meets Expectations: 4I was impressed with this book. It is one thing to intellectually know that God has created each of us as an unique person, but it is quite another to understand, embrace, and live in that uniqueness. This book gives us the tools to understand who we are and move into God's design for us.
There are four parts to the book. Leaf helps us understand who we are in terms of thinking, feeling, and choosing. Then she has a section on the science behind each person's uniqueness. Next is a large section full of questions that is an assessment tool to help us understand our self. The last section has exercises to help us grow our unique self.
Two aspects of the book really impressed me. The first is the section on science. There have been many recent discoveries regarding the brain and behavior and Leaf explains them well. She also incorporates the discoveries into a model for spiritual transformation and renewing the mind.
The second aspect is the idea of discomfort zones. There are areas where we know we are not being who we really are, who God created us to be. That discomfort is a prompt from God. Leaf helps us identify them and then grow our God designed self.
Something else I liked was Leaf's little bit about mindfulness. I've read lots about it and finally understood it when she wrote about developing a mindful awareness which includes being in constant dialogue with the Holy Spirit. (93) The concept finally made sense to me.
The only thing that made this book less than perfect was Leaf writing, "You recognize that who you are is fundamentally good (Gen. 1:31)." (34) That verse represents creation before the sin of Adam and Eve and creation being tainted by sin. Man is born tainted by sin and is not fundamentally good. It is only through belief in Christ that the fundamental sin nature of man is changed.
There is much science in this book and that might intimidate some. I found the material understandable and practical. I like that this book is not a grand personality test, putting us in a certain personality style. Leaf encourages each of us to be our unique self designed by God.
I recommend this book to those who really want to understand who God created you to be, how you might have been pulled away from that being, and how you can grow into God's unique design.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.
Deuce SkunksSpringfield, MOAge: 25-34Gender: Female4 Stars Out Of 5A Thorough Scientific Exploration Of Our Unique Thought ProcessesAugust 4, 2017Deuce SkunksSpringfield, MOAge: 25-34Gender: FemaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5The Perfect You: A Blueprint For Identity by Dr. Caroline Leaf is a very unique personal assessment tool. Dr. Leaf has formulated a method by which to discover your own uniqueness as God's masterpiece and to help yourself become more in alignment with that uniqueness in everyday situations.
Not for those seeking easy answers, quick fixes, and simple "to do" lists, this book is a very thorough scientific exploration of what makes each of us unique in the way that we create and store knowledge to gain our own perspective and interpretation of life as we perceive it. Dr. Leaf reveals seven metacognitive modules which we use in order to constantly interpret information as it is presented to us throughout our day. These modules are Interpersonal, Kinesthetic, Linguistic, Logical / Mathematical, Spatial / Visual, Musical, and Intrapersonal.
The first two parts of the book are a detailed analysis of how the brain works in conjunction with our mental / emotional state, how we can discover and unlock our potential to control and boost our mental awareness, and an explanation of what is meant by "The Perfect You", as well as how to achieve it.
The third part of the book is "The Unique Qualitative (UQ) Assessment Tool", which is a series of 34-50 questions for each of the metacognitive modules discussed in parts 1 and 2. These are not "yes / no" or Likert scale (1-10) questions. Instead, these are all short answer questions, with 5+ lines provided for each answer. These are questions like "Do you enjoy learning and using new vocabulary? If yes, describe the what, how, when, and why. If no, describe the what, how, when, and why." The point isn't to get a final tally or pass some test, but rather, to be honest and open with yourself about who you are and how you process and interpret your surroundings in everyday mundane moments. This part of the book also includes a checklist and exercise to help you stay focused on changing your thought patterns in order to alter your current state.
Dr. Leaf states "Your UQ profile has a threefold purpose: to help you understand how you uniquely think, feel, and choose; to increase your ability to mindfully and deliberately self-regulate your thinking, feeling, and choosing to keep you in alignment with the Holy Spirit; and to help you understand how you think, feel, and choose when you are operating in your Perfect You so that you can recognize when you are operating outside of it."
Part four of The Perfect You has examples and tips to help you get through those times when you find yourself not following the assessment of your unique Perfect You.
Overall, I found this book to be a very interesting study of how we interpret and respond to our surroundings, and how we can adjust our thinking in order to change our world - both inside and out. However, as stated, this book is deeply scientific and could be very confusing and hard to read for a lot of people. Also, while the in-depth short answer questions are designed to probe your specific reasons behind your actions, I could see this as being a problem area for people that don't have an analytical mindset and have a hard time objectively assessing their own behaviors. For those of us that are more scientific and analytical, this book is a masterpiece and can connect the dots to raise your personal awareness of why you think, feel, and choose the things you do on a daily basis - as well as how to have better control in order to become more in alignment with God's design for your being. 4/5 stars.
*Disclaimer: I received a complimentary print copy of this book from Baker Books for the purpose of this honest review. All opinions are my own.*
Deb5 Stars Out Of 5The Perfect You: A Blueprint for IdentityJuly 31, 2017DebQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5The Perfect You is a journey. I have read self-help type books that promise life change in X number of steps. The Perfect You is nothing like that. It is a blueprint. The Perfect You encourages you to dig deep inside to your foundation and search your soul. The assessment tool probes the depths of each aspect of life to help you discover who you really are.
For me, The Perfect You has been like turning on a light in a dark room. Dr. Leaf has linked science with Bible truths, and I have been changed for the better.