By:  M. Lisa Shasteen, Contributor to CEO Effectiveness

51j35J8y3oL._SX351_BO1,204,203,200_Ascend, by Dr. William D. Anton, Ph.D., is like no other book. It is an allegory that captivates the reader, and then shows them how to engage the positive life altering journey they have been looking for. Through the experiences of the book’s characters, the reader becomes aware of how their own limiting mental models tacitly impede their quest for personal mastery and success.  In other words, they see how they are getting in their own way.  As the characters take important steps to discover and liberate their truer selves, readers face the same key decision: Am I willing to engage in a life-altering journey to grow cognitively, behaviorally, emotionally, and spiritually? The answer promises to be transformational and profound. Here is a passage from the compelling story:

That night, Zoe and Adisa pitched a tent close to The Vista, planning to go back to the formation in the early morning to see the sun rise. They had been warned against traversing it at night. A local myth said the formation became a “Sky Bridge” at night, a place where the real world and the spirit world intersected. 

“That may be true,” their previous host had said. “Some of my friends believe it, having had strange experiences there. But we strongly discourage visitors from attempting The Vista at night. The winds rage and footing becomes devilishly dangerous. Too many visitors have never returned after attempting it, having been lured in by the legends of Wind Wraiths.”

Adisa, who had never heard of a Wind Wraith but vividly recalled almost falling to his death after encountering a Dopple during his Solo Climb as a boy, took their host’s warning to heart. He had no desire to risk his or his wife’s life exploring some windy outcropping in the dark on a fool’s errand. Their host made it clear that the so-called Wind Wraiths were not known for their hospitality or mercy. So he and Zoe agreed they would stay well away from The Vista after sunset.

That night, as Adisa slept soundly, Zoe again suffered insomnia. Afraid of waking her husband with her restlessness, she quietly crept out of the tent. She remembered how, during her childhood, her father had taught her how to quiet her mind by contemplating the starry sky, so Zoe approached a nearby ledge and sat down to meditate. As she gazed at the stars, however, a fog rolled in, impeding her view of not only the stars but also everything around her.

Zoe was not the type to panic. She knew she could back slowly away from the cliff to greater safety if necessary, so she continued to sit quietly, trying to attain a calmer attitude. It was difficult. Her thoughts were in a jumble. She found herself worrying about many things. Was her research worthwhile? Should she be on this trek with Adisa? Should they start a family together? Was it dangerous to continue to climb when there were no more Lifts ahead of them? 

The weather around her seemed to reflect the turmoil of her mind. Sleet poured down and the winds whipped chaotically, as if from many directions at once. Just when she thought she should try to find her way back to the tent, she heard a voice. At first, it was so low she could barely discern it, but it grew in volume and sounded eerily familiar, as if calling her name.

“Zoe,” it cried out. “Help us. We’re trapped here and freezing. We’ll never make it till dawn.”

Ascend is available on Amazon.  The books are selling rapidly but are replenished quickly.  If real change is what you seek for the new year, I highly recommend it.