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Templeton Press has built a website,, that is a launching point for surveys, quizzes, advice from the author, and questions from Generation WTFer’s just like you! Come and join the discussion!

We all know what “WTF” usually stands for: it’s an exclamation of frustration and anger, and it’s an understandable reaction to the tough new economic realities that have hit young adults harder than any other group. WTF happened to promises of a bright future? What happened to the jobs? And what do we do now that the rules have changed?

Recent college grads were raised in a time of affluence and entitlement, lulled into thinking that a golden future would just happen. With few role models to teach values like thrift, perseverance, and self-control, young adults are ill-equipped to cope with sacrifice and failure, and their dismal employment prospects are merely the most visible symptom of greater challenges.

Fortunately, it’s not too late to change course. This optimistic, introspective, and technologically savvy generation already possesses many of the tools they need to thrive—if only they learn to harness the necessary skills for success.

In Generation WTF, Christine Whelan does just that. Dr. Whelan, one of the foremost authorities on the history of the self-help genre, worked with more than one hundred young people to test and tweak the very best old-school advice and personalize it for the modern twenty-something. After a decade of researching the industry—and years advising “WTFers” as they struggle to make their way in the “real world”—Dr. Whelan knows firsthand what advice works and what Generation WTF has to offer.

Rather than focusing on the frustration that “WTF” usually stands for, Dr. Whelan leads the charge to reclaim the acronym as a battle cry for a positive future: Generation WTF will be a wise, tenacious, and fearless generation, strengthened by purpose and hope. This practical new guide will show these WTFers the way to success and instill lasting habits that will serve them well in both good times and bad.

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Requesting an Exam Copy

Exam copies are sent to professors who would like to review the book before deciding whether to use it in a class. To request an exam copy, you must fill out the form below. It will automatically be sent to a staff member.

In our efforts to stay green, reduce expenses, and maintain scholarly accessibility, we are sending examination copies as electronic downloads in the Adobe Digital Edition format for a 90-day review period. If you have any trouble accessing the book in this format, please contact us and we will send a traditional copy of the book instead.

If you chose to review the electronic version of the book and adopt the book for one of your courses, upon notification by you or your bookstore, a traditional bound book will be sent to you free of charge.

Requesting a Desk Copy

Desk copies are complimentary books sent to professors who have already adopted the book for a course. To request a desk copy, please fill out the form below. It will automatically be sent to a staff member.

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Introduction / 1

What Happened? And Where Did All the Jobs Go? / 3
The Experiment That Could Change Your Life / 5
How to Read This Book / 9

Part I: Get Wise

Chapter 1: Who Are You? Why Understanding Your Values Is the First Step to Success / 13

What Are Values? / 16
How to Live Your Values / 17
Is Your Internal GPS Leading You in the Right Direction? / 20
Finding Your Purpose / 21
Putting It All Together: Your Personal Mission Statement / 28

Chapter 2: Get Honest with Yourself: The WTF Guide to Journaling / 35

WTF Is Honesty? / 36
Top Honesty Advice: Grab a Journal / 39
WTF Did I Just Learn? / 51

Part II: Get Tenacious

Chapter 3: Got Goal? The SMARTER Way to Achieve / 55

Why Do I Need Goals? / 55
The SMARTER Plan for Success / 58
Create Lasting Change the SMARTER Way / 59
The SMARTER Plan in Action / 60

Chapter 4: Self-Control: Your Key to Self-Improvement / 77

Is the Way You’re Working … Working? / 78
Want a Marshmallow? The Mischel Experiments / 80
What Is Self-Control? / 82
Seven Steps to Amp Up Control of Your Life … Starting Now / 85
Dieting: A Case Study in the Challenges—and Possibilities—of Self-Control / 102
Putting It All Together / 106

Chapter 5: Procrastination and Stress: The Dysfunctional Relationship That’s Holding You Back / 109

Do You Procrastinate? / 110
Meet Mr. Procrastination and Ms. Stress / 111
Why Am I So Stressed Out? / 112
What Is Procrastination? / 113
The Epic Battle of Procrastination vs. Self-Control / 118
Frazzled and Stressed? Be Nice to Yourself to Boost Self-Control / 122
Urgent vs. Important: Stephen Covey on Overcoming Procrastination / 124
Breaking the Procrastination and Stress Cycle / 129
WTF Did I Just Learn? / 131

Part III: Get Fearless

Chapter 6: Thrift: Old Word, New Secret to Success / 135

Money and You / 136
Materialistic Much? / 137
First, a Little Background / 138
Step 1: Learn What Thrift Really Means / 140
Step 2: Understand Your Money Psychology / 143
Step 3: Generation WTF Solutions for Thrifty Living / 149
WTF Does My Money Go? / 157

Chapter 7: Become a Fearless You: The Five Life Skills You Need to Know / 183

Life Skill 1: Smile (Seriously) / 184
Life Skill 2: Admit It When You’re Wrong / 186
Life Skill 3: Avoid Arguments by Thinking Win/Win / 188
Life Skill 4: Interview like a Pro / 195
Life Skill 5: The Importance of an Honest Day’s Work / 199

Chapter 8: Make Meaning: Thinking Outside the “You” Box / 207

Create More Meaningful Friendships / 211
Create More Meaningful Relationships / 221
Create More Meaningful Communities / 234
Don’t Know How to Start Giving Back? Try This / 235
WTF Did I Just Learn? / 243

Conclusion: Generation WTF: 5 Things to Do Before You Put This Book Away / 245

So What Next? / 248
Finalize Your Personal Mission Statement / 248
Join the Generation WTF Movement / 249
Remember Your Core Values / 249
Set a Goal—and Accomplish It—This Week / 251
Spread the News / 251

Acknowledgments / 255

Appendix: A WTF Advanced Calendar Strategy to Keep You on Track / 257

Victory: More Helpful Tips / 263

Notes / 265

Resources / 275

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