A Plan for Living was developed by Michael Weinberger a software engineer who put his own life back on track using these strategies and decided to create a website application to make A Plan for Living available to everyone.

Michael was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at age 17 and for many years lived with instability, out of control emotions and upheaval as a result of his condition. “I either self-medicated or didn’t take my prescribed medication,” he says, “I gained and lost and gained 150 pounds. I was expelled from college, arrested, married, divorced, started a business and lost clients. My life was filled with ups and downs and erratic behavior.”

At a low point at age 32 in the wake of a divorce, a failed business, relocation and another big weight gain, he took an intentional overdose of medication, which landed him in the hospital and on suicide watch.

His recovery was slow, but this time he found treatments that produced lasting change and provided him with strategies for managing his emotions. “I joined a 12-step program – Overeaters Anonymous–where I met my current wife. I found a support group, and a therapist and psychiatrist who really helped me.”

His therapist used an approach that combined Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to change negative thought patterns and 12-step strategies. “She helped me learn to pause before acting on my emotions. It really helped me rewire my thoughts and learn to stop defaulting into aggression.  And she taught me the power of gratitude. I used to live in a world of envy, always wondering why things didn’t go my way until I learned to appreciate what I did have.”

“I also gained a sense of spirituality. By that I mean I realize there will always be things I can’t understand or control. Someone once told me, ‘Religion is for people who don’t want to go to hell. Spirituality is for people who’ve been through hell.’”

A Plan for Living gives others the tools to practice what Michael calls the big three: gratitude, spirituality and mindfulness.

“Any one of these can make you feel better but all three of them together really open your eyes to how phenomenal life really can be.”



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