Mark’s Story


  • P. 75 – Used school as a buffer against his parents’ divorce.
  • P. 77 – Mark made progress by letting go of external forces pushing him toward a stronger internal voice.
  • As mark begins finding and controlling his internal voice, he finds a path towards self-identity.
  • Internal foundation is developed from an understanding of how external forces impact your life choices and views.
  • P. 82 – Building on his life philosophy, aiding in the development of his identity.


  • P. 76 – “. . . when you get there it doesn’t bring you the kind of satisfaction you thought it would. Or the satisfaction it does bring you is ultimately pretty empty.”
  • P. 77 – “I never dreamed that I would be unhappy working on the law journey.”
  • “That kind of careerist perspective can get you in a place in ten years where you really don’t want to be because you didn’t listen to your internal feelings. . . inside I’m miserable. . . “
  • On Tony Robbins: P. 78 – “. . . you can choose and you can install certain beliefs in your belief system and become more productive for it.”
  • “I certainly belief that’s possible and I think it’s really important that people believe they can do that.”
  • Developing internal voice takes time.
  • P. 80 – “I believe I am the author of my own life.”
  • P. 81 – “It’s a radical responsibility in a way — authoring your own life. In another way it is a radical freedom.”
  • Stop thinking – P. 82 – “Turning your mind off.” (Taoism)


Dawn’s Story


  • P-12: Took responsibility for her future
  • P-42: “. . . gaining confidence in one’s internal voice is the key element in developing self-authorship.”
  • P-42: Feeling safe
  • Listen to, cultivate, trust one’s inner voice, self-discovery
  • P-50: Tune out external forces in order to hear her inner voice.
  • Knowledge about the self = greater resilience


  • P-45: “Exploring different parts of yourself, learning about how many different types of people you are within yourself. . . “
  • P-46: “I think there is a lot of learning that goes on continually.”
  • P-46: “You’re always progressing; you’re always moving forward, learning new things about yourself. . .”
  • P-47: “The more you discover about yourself, the more you can become secure with it. . . leads to greater self-confidence because you become comfortable with who you really are.”
  • P-48: Not caring what others thought-listening to your internal voice, even if it is “out of the mainstream”
  • P-48-49: “I don’t have to be a duck in a row, following what everyone else is doing. . . It is a release, where you are willing to let go of clutter that people throw at you.”
  • Figuring out what is important and what is not-evaluation of the self
  • P-51: “If you respect yourself, if you have confidence in your ability, that changes your whole perspective.”


Letting Go in Order to Recieve

While beginning my research I’ve had the impulse to think that I have to find something important and meaningful in Authoring Your Life. Something that meets my expectations and the expectations of my research. I’ve now realized that in doing so I have prevented myself from encountering unexpected and new information. Also, that any outside research should help support claims in the book and not the other way around.  After letting this mindset go I am re-reading parts of Authoring Your Life that I’m using in my research in hopes of discovering something that I’ve missed.

Research Topic 2

Further focusing on the Navajo reservation, are at-risk teens able to take advantage of the lessons and points made in self-help books like that of Authoring Your Life by Marcia Baxter Magolda? Will encouraging them to find a strong sense of self at an earlier age increase their chances of living a fuller, successful life? These are the types of question I will be approaching if I were to pursue this topic. This topic will focus on the possible effects Authoring Your Life will have on at-risk teens living on the Navajo reservation.

Research Topic 1

As a psychology major I am intrigued at how external forces influence the thoughts and actions of a person, especially those who are military veterans and even more Navajo veterans. With this project I will be utilizing the maps Marcia Baxter Magolda used to allow her audience to visualize her interviewees pursued path toward self-authorship. I will create such a map for one subject to aid in telling the journey he embarked upon. A journey to establish a strong sense of self, acceptance of support, and as Magolda mentioned in her interview, a way of navigating through internal and external conflicts with minimal pain.