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Sample Excerpt

and vegetation happen
more in valleys than on mountaintops.
It is the same in our human experience; the
pleasing mountaintops are exhilarating and the view
is magnificent yet growth occurs in the painful valleys.

What discomfort must I endure now
so I can enjoy the mountaintop later?

(this excerpt is an example of the prompting thoughts on every page, and the accompanying question or statement for further thought or action by the reader)


Michael J. Fiore, PhD

With The First Thirty Seconds, Stephen Armstrong has crafted an insightful and inspirational collection of thoughts and reflections to stimulate the hearts and minds of his readers. The book can also serve as a therapeutic catalyst for personal growth. Stephen's reflections on life, love, personal development, ethics, and the life cycle capture the wisdom of his life experience and professional work as a psychotherapist. I highly recommend this book to anyone who craves the expansion of consciousness."

R.L.Wallace, President, Mobius Booksellers

Superb! Here is a book that covers nine aspects of the human condition, from character to spirit to feelings. Each category contains multiple examples with each example split between a thought and an accompanying reflection. Each thought is simple, containing at most three or four sentences yet the concepts these sentences explore can promote hours of reflection. As a signpost, the reflections point the reader in the direction of self-discovery. The whole trick of this book is that it explores the human condition in a simple and enjoyable way. The joy is in the effortless way the author leads you to self-discovery."


Roger Rogalin, Former President, Macmillan McGraw-Hill Publishers

Steve Armstrong is a professional with unusual insight. He has helped countless numbers of people with his ability to provoke thought in a clear and concise way. In minutes he can change a mind that will change a life forever. This author and this book deserve careful consideration."