3 out of 4 stars
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Identity 3.0: Cutting Edge Personal Development for America’s Baby Boomers focuses on how to uncover one’s true self by exploring personal development theories and participating in growth practices. Raymond Reed Hardy has 30 years of college teaching experience devoted to personal development, and gives the reader access to his research in this 165-page book (Kindle edition).
The book is actually two books rolled into one. The first book is dedicated to a review of the historical headliners in the field of psychology. Referencing the works of Freud, Jung, Skinner, and Rogers, among others, and highlighting various practices and research, Hardy explains the theories that constitute the way a person is molded into adulthood. Based on certain social and moral constructs, growth reaches a point, then ceases, often times remaining on an “as is” basis for the duration of life. In order to continue the process of self-actualization, one needs to embark on a journey of discovery, choosing to acknowledge the shadow facets of their character. Hardy provides advice for getting started on the journey and offers tips for gathering resources and staying on track.
The second book aims to provide “growth-catalyzing exercises.” Hardy starts by examining the “Id” and “superego” more closely so that the reader may understand the tug of war inside their brain and begin to find a balance. From there, he delves into practices that require an earnest effort of self-control and self-discovery. These techniques are primarily designed to be performed in a group setting with a facilitator, and can assist in promoting a sense of awareness for the participants. Some techniques strategically diminish the defense mechanism while others get to the source of long-standing self-judgements that begin at a young age and go unchallenged into adulthood.
I most enjoyed that Hardy uses a variety of principles to approach the process whereby one can achieve personal growth. Rather than just relying on his favorite contributor to the world of psychology, he incorporates many theories. As I read, I noted a practicality to the exercises and gained an understanding of the relevance of exploring one’s full identity. I also liked that the methods are tried and true, with years of experience corroborating Hardy's insights. Especially interesting is his intended audience: the baby boomer generation, who are sure to find this book helpful as they transition into retirement.
I would only recommend this book to a reader determined to explore another dimension of themselves. It is a book based on participation and would be especially illuminating in a group of individuals sharing the common goal of self-discovery. Without the practices, the book can only offer insight into the historical observations of psychology as they relate to personal growth and identity. I have rated the book 3 out of 4 stars, as I noted more than ten errors in grammar and punctuation.
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