Drawing upon years of investigations, Edgar Krau provides an in-depth analysis of the formation and fulfillment of life aspirations. In adolescence, life aspirations take shape by imagining a desired end-state. But aspects of this image are often uncoordinated or even contradictory, and very often the person seems unaware of these contradictions. In choosing a career, people attempt to match this image with public perceptions of a specific occupation. But both notions may not correspond to existing realities, and the actual motives behind career choice may deviate from those declared. Utilizing numerous case studies and models drawn from these and other studies, Krau shows the normative characteristics that lead to vocational success, but also those causing failure, maladjustment, and frustration, and he illustrates how career counseling can become successful counseling for self-realization. Krau provides a needed tool for personality and vocational psychologists as well as anyone involved in career development and vocational guidance.