“In this remarkable work, Scott Miller mines the depths of human possibility. With clear and precise instructions, he brings the tried and true as well as state of the art understanding of how to transform our lives. With story, grace and wit, the author helps us turn the page on our humanity and walk and live boldly with new ways of being.”
— Jean Houston, Ph.D
A founder of the Human Potential Movement, Author of over 25 books including The Mythic Life and Jump Time, Researcher and Scholar.
2012 International Book Awards Winner
“Best New Self-Help Book”
2012 Next Generation Indie Book Awards Winner
“Motivational Book of the Year”
Every human being is born with an extraordinary set of inner resources, including intelligence, attention, mind, imagination, consciousness, willpower, love and emotion. Strangely, most people pass through young-adulthood and 13+ years of schooling without ever formally learning about any one of these innate capacities. As a result, a vast majority of folks spend their days harnessing only a small fraction of the great potential that is freely available within them.
The User’s Guide To Being Human is the first owner’s manual to comprehensively examine the inner tools with which people shape their lives. Merging art with science, this book illuminates 16 core capacities that enable people to bring out the best in themselves, their activities and relationships. It offers step-by-step coaching for all who wish to master the ongoing art of personal development. A companion workbook provides additional support for the exercises.
By exploring The User’s Guide To Being Human, readers will:
- Learn to make full use of the natural capacities innately available within them
- Find the power and mastery to positively transform their lives and relationships
- Reawaken and revitalize parts of themselves that were buried or damaged in years past
- Learn to solve their own problems and avoid being overly dependent upon others
- Have fun reading a variety of stories about other people and their everyday mishaps
- Be nourished page after page by a positive, inspirational view of life
The User’s Guide to Being Human: The Art and Science of Self is published through SelectBooks, New York, and is now available through our official store, Amazon, Barnes and Noble. It is available in paperback, Kindle, Nook, and other electronic forms.
Praise for The User’s Guide to Being Human…
“The User’s Guide to Being Human is a remarkable gem of a book that guides the reader toward being a more effective, content, enriched and authentic person. Scott Miller eloquently provides sensible, practical, and insightful assistance toward developing our innate capabilities by harnessing and focusing our energy, awakening and nourishing our intelligence, increasing our awareness and achieving self-actualization. The result is embarking on a journey to becoming a more complete person as well a better friend, colleague, spouse, and parent. It is a book that will enrich any reader with its clear wisdom, interesting insights, and everyday usefulness. I hope every reader will find it as thoroughly enjoyable and immensely beneficial as I did.”
— Dr. Raymond Adelman
Graduate of Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, former Professor of Pediatrics at University of California at Davis, and former Professor and Chairman of Pediatrics at Eastern Virginia Medical School. He has authored over 100 scholarly papers and wrote a column on children’s health for the Arizona Republic.
“In this accessible, encouraging, and inspiring book, Scott Miller shares fresh insights with those who wish to use more of the innate abilities freely available to them. The User’s Guide to Being Human blends a new conceptualization of human capacities with engaging stories and easy-to-understand exercises designed to empower readers and expand their abilities. Students and teachers, youth and parents, those early in their human development journey and those well on their way will each find abundant value in this book. In fact, I hope seekers far and wide will engage with the ideas inside, because this book has the potential to trigger a positive, collective tipping point of tremendous proportions. Follow the exercises here to a whole new level of self-discovery, effectiveness, and human vitality!”
— Maria Schmeeckle, Ph.D
Associate Professor of Sociology, Illinois State University.
Preface to The User’s Guide
Life is an artistic process. Whether we are aware of it or not, we sculpt ourselves with every thought, every behavior, every action. Each of us holds extraordinary creative power within, yet many of us tend to harness only a fraction of this power. As a result, our art only partly achieves its great purpose, that of bringing out the potential magnificence in ourselves, our relationships and our world.
Imagine a husband and wife, both made of clay. Imagine that one day they scrape together some extra clay and begin to work at it. It is soft and malleable in their hands, and quickly takes on recognizable shapes. A little clay body forms, then little clay arms and legs, even a little clay penis and presto, it’s a little clay boy.
With great love and commitment, mom and dad mold in the boy their dreams of what he might become. Before long, little clay brothers, sisters and friends come along. They too work at the boy, playing with him, challenging him, pushing and pulling at his form. Teachers appear, and aunts and uncles and neighbors and grandparents. All take turns working at the boy, sculpting in him that which they feel best suits him.
From time to time, when the clay boy has a moment to himself, he wonders about what he is becoming. He enjoys the moments of quiet, free from the constant poking and prodding at his being. He lies in the grass and watches the clouds roll by, observing how mysteriously their forms shift as they cross the sky.
As the days and months pass, the boy finds himself subject to an increasing number of elements in the world around him—elements like peer pressure, grades, television, marketing campaigns, and scary questions like, “what are you going to be when you grow up?” Weathered by these and other forces, the clay boy begins to harden.
One day he finds himself feeling rather fixed and inflexible. Fearing that his formation is nearly complete, he looks to the clouds, asking, “is this what I’m supposed to be?” The clouds drift by, shifting their forms, seemingly indifferent to his concerns.
Not long after, he falls in love with a young woman. They marry, and soon create a little clay girl of their own. This soft little bundle of love fills his heart to the brim. Any worries about his own form are instantly put to rest. He silently promises to sculpt in his daughter all the things he wishes that someone might have sculpted in him.
Years pass, joyous years, during which the spontaneity and enthusiasm of youth come to itch at him once again. He eventually begins to wonder:
What if I am like the clouds?
What if I can change my form at any time?
How does one sculpt one’s self?
In a swell of inspiration, he goes to the store and buys a bunch of self-help books, each of which offers some useful tips. He finds a therapist who, by exploring the elements that caused his hardening, helps him to recover some of his softness of form, his youthful flexibility. Then, at forty years of age, he finds himself at the start of a new life.
Sadly, he notices that his sixteen-year-old daughter is now harder than he. There in her form he sees so many qualities of his old self, qualities that he had molded in her. He tries to share his new tools with her. He tries to share his therapist with her, but his daughter turns him away in resentment about all her years at the hands of other sculptors, and for the unacknowledged pain that this creative manipulation has brought on. In an impassioned grab at self-expression and individuation the girl begins to acquire a series of unusual body piercings.
One night beneath the stars, lying in the grass beside his wife, the clay man thinks to himself:
What if my child had held the tools of self-development when she was soft and young?
What if she had learned to masterfully sculpt her own being?
What self might she have created?
And would that self include so many piercings?
We are all born with the tools of our own sculpting innately hardwired within us. Yet we are raised in a society that teaches us to be overly dependent upon peers, parents, teachers, politicians, counselors, medications, media, a host of commercial products and other external factors. Many of us pass through the prime years of our development without ever really learning to use the intrinsic tools of personal development.
Whether you dance, draw, make music, make field goals, build houses, tune engines or sit around all day watching television, you are an artist. Your single greatest work is your self. As with any art form, the more you understand and develop your talents, the greater the ability with which you can create.
The Users Guide To Being Human is a self-help book that examines sixteen inherent aspects of our humanness, those underlying talents that drive our personal growth each day. Compiling thousands of years of human inquiry into the nature of learning and development, this work aims to help each of us understand and make use of the tools freely available within.
Imagine a coming of age ceremony where a teenage girl—the tools of her own creation dangling from her artist’s workbelt—takes over as head craftsman of her self, celebrating the end of a long apprenticeship, the end of childhood. Imagine a world where everyone consciously makes art of themselves each and every day, continuously crafting themselves into greater quality works. Imagine families and communities of artists openly sharing their tools and techniques with one another.
What might that world look like?