The word either energizes you or strikes fear into your heart. Confronting the reason people do not change, this practical case-study filled book takes your hand and leads you down the path of lives that were drifting and then forced to shift. From the comfort zone of habit to often life-upsetting challenges, the contributors are a balanced set of experiences: you will find at least one with which you can identify. Written by Jody B. Miller, From Drift to Shift: How Change Can Bring True Meaning and Happiness to Your Work and Life is a book that refrains from moral coercion to real life examples of people forced to change or suffer. This is a book that can be conveniently read in single case studies without guilt over not finishing the entire book in one reading. While self-help is a genre, all its own, many books are either a rehash of old ideas or thinly disguised efforts to convert you to the writer’s way of thinking. From Drift to Shift does neither. Let’s take a peek at some of the people in her book; the wide variety of backgrounds and experiences will engage you, and that special one or two will likely resonate with your world. Faced with Forgotten
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In one interview, Serita graphically explores being shuffled between the foster care system and an equally detached home. Soon an at-risk delinquent, this young woman began drifting through her life. Thumbing her nose at society’s expectations, she began competing with herself in different areas just to ‘show them’ she was somebody. Serita’s shift occurred when a chance suggestion tested her self-perceptions and life’s drift. The results will amaze you and perhaps motivate you to be the one who offers a chance suggestion once in a while.Compartments Built by Crises
Emilee’s shift was dramatic and exceptionally lengthy. Metastasized cancer at four-years-old, a father with PTSD and Agent Orange debilitation who committed suicide, a mother forced to work three jobs to pay for treatments, and crippling loneliness accompanied her through her days until high school. Fast forward to college: cancers encore forced a partial hysterectomy. Marriage seemed to fix the loneliness and building a family was challenging. After extracting her ovum, doctors discovered that most were already decayed and unusable; only three were possible surrogate material. A divorce and third cancer event that required major surgery. Emilee’s story demands compassion and, when reading about her life, a very long shift will make you grateful for your own shorter ones.Pink Dolphins, Giant Ants, and Vomiting
When the next guest knew a life shift was necessary, she selected a Pachamama journey. Taking place in the Amazon jungle, eight women contacted the Pachamama Alliance and set out on a fascinating week-long experience that shook their drifts into shifts. Written like a suspense novel, this story is impossible to read in sections. You’ll encounter rare pink dolphins, startlingly beautiful toucan color explosions, tiny poisonous frogs, trees that move and bleed, and the Achuar tribe. You will vicariously participate in the shaman’s clarity ritual by throwing up every day. You will dream with the woman as she relays her dreams to the Achuar warrior leader. I read From Drift to Shift over several nights. The variations keep you engaged, and the discoveries make you feel as though you are on a treasure hunt. Although there is no apparent connection between the types of shifts showcased in the book, Miller thoughtfully provides a bulleted list of takeaways after each chapter. Upon comparison, then, each bullet point blends with the next to create an inventory for your unique drift to shift. The array of contributors – from CEOs to coaches – ensures you will find at least one story with which you can personally identify. Startling insights do not come from the author, however. Sharing personal anecdotal experiences provide some glimpses into Miller’s own drift to shift, and most of her guidance seems to originate from common sense and expanding wisdom. Certainly, this offering is useful for those who have no idea how to begin, when to stop drifting and start shifting. For those who expect and embrace changes in their lives, it serves as a reminder of possible shifts we’ve already taken or reinforcement of wisdom already hard won. The heightened value in From Drift to Shift lies in the numerous personal accounts of those who have taken action when they could have succumbed to apathy, hatred, and inertia. There are author easter eggs in the book for which I am appreciative; Ms. Miller’s “Now What Takeaways” provide sound life skills, self-talk points, other focused guidance, and success principles.
While it’s disingenuous to disagree with the contents of Miller’s book, there is one aspect, however, that causes me to question the wisdom of following ‘signs.’ Measuring the effort (or lack of) in planning and writing her book translated into signs that her work was worthwhile. Certainly, an eager readership identifies the niche is optimal, and the limited edits before publication reinforce Miller’s vision. The question arises when she states
The word ‘shift’ appeared in nearly every article I read.
A well documented human characteristic, ‘seeing’ your idea or new car or favorite new color wherever you go is more a change in focus rather than a sign of success. The core message for me in From Drift to Shift lives within the boundaries of accountability. I get one life and one span of years with which to create it. When I drift, I waste my time, effort, resources, and talents. When I have the right information and tools and see the need to change, I shift or suffer the inevitable consequences of such refusal. This is my responsibility and one for which I am entirely accountable. Using this book of actual examples, I am encouraged to know that my life is more comfortable than many and more challenging than a few. This book will undoubtedly ensure I watch for drifting in my life and not waste precious time shifting into change and action. I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars.
Well organized and written, the reader is not burdened with vague, meaningless words and ideas or searching about for a story worth reading. Useful lists, summaries, thought-provoking questions, resources, and an in-depth appendix make this book valuable today and tomorrow. Overall, From Drift to Shift is a thoughtful attempt to lift the reader from mundane and routine fails to exciting and new shifts toward a better life experience. Self-help readers will find value when using the principles in the book as they explore other learning avenues. Non-fiction readers will find the accounts fascinating and can delve deeper into those that interest them most. Spending hours with Miller will leave you feeling thoughtful and empowered to find your drift and create your shift.