Take a true, compelling narrative, dissect it to discover the miraculous power in play and share the lessons gained with others.
That was the central goal behind "The 7: Seven Wonders that will Change Your Life," authored by radio and television host Glenn Beck and Dr. Keith Ablow.
The book, not political in any way, chronicles how Beck overcame a major personal crisis in his life. A series of decisions led him to lose his family, money and honor. Beck felt his life was over. Then, he made a series of changes that led him to a new family and professional success.
Ablow analyzes Beck's experience and teaches readers the seven key principles — courage, faith, truth, compassion, friendship, family and common sense — Beck learned in dealing with adversity. The chapters alternate between Beck's memoirs and Albow's self-help expertise. It's a recipe, Ablow believes, that can change lives.
"I hope this book gives people courage and faith," Ablow said in a phone interview. "I hope it gives them the confidence that there is a path meant for them that will make them happy and powerful; and that it's worth taking the chance to start down that path."
The psychiatrist met the radio/TV host when he was a guest on Beck's former CNN show, and they talked about the value of sharing one's life story. Beck openly shared experiences from his life. His honesty and manner of dealing with his problems impressed Ablow, who uses similar healing methods with his patients. When the duo ended up working at Fox News, writing a book seemed like the right thing to do.
"One of us said we need to crystallize this (information) in a book," said Ablow, a Fox News expert on psychiatry.
Their combined experience with life's struggles generated "tremendous synergy," Ablow said.
"He had more spiritual knowledge, and I had more psychological knowledge, and the combination was powerful," Ablow said. "His view of the Atonement, for instance, is something that has been very helpful to the people I work with in understanding that at the end, they may still need to place themselves in the hands of a higher power in order to absolve themselves of their own feelings of guilt."
When asked which of the seven is most important, Beck wrote on his website, "I can't rank them. They are interconnected and build on one another. That's part of their power. It isn't about which one I think is the most important. It's about which one you think is the most important key to changing your life for the better."
One challenge in writing and publishing the book, Ablow said, was honoring what he considered a rare opportunity to combine their voices and visions into one and effectively reaching out to people through Beck's notoriety. What the psychiatrist didn't expect was political backlash. An article in Boston Magazine said "Dr. Ablow is getting ready to alienate most of Massachusetts."
"I didn't predict that some people would feel like it's a hurdle for them to access this information because they may not see eye-to-eye with Glenn politically," he said. "It's not a political book."
For much more on "The 7," Beck and Ablow, visit www.glennbeck.com/the7.
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