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Heroic Living: Discover Your Purpose and Change the World [Kindle Edition]

Chris Lowney
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Each of us has a special purpose in life—do you know what yours is? In Heroic Living, best-selling author and former investment banker Chris Lowney combines the proven practices of Ignatian spirituality with his business expertise to help each of us discover our mighty purpose in life and develop a personal life strategy to achieve it.

By merging Ignatian Spirituality with astute business knowledge, Lowney provides the tools and strategies needed to make practical, long-term life changes that move us away from our fractured, compartmentalized lives and toward the satisfaction and wholeness that each of us desires so deeply.

Editorial Reviews


"Clearly relevant and necessary in today's self-centered and directionless world. Read it not merely for the latest tips to be better than yourself or your neighbor. Read it to hear the still small voice that says that you and I are created for heroic living."
--Eagles Vantage Point

Book Description

A former Jesuit and successful investment banker uses spiritual and business principles to help readers discern their life purpose and achieve it.

You wake up one morning and realize that the life you’ve dreamed of has eluded you. You sense that something better—something bigger—is waiting out there for you, but you can’t quite put your finger on it. You know that fame and fortune aren’t the answers to true satisfaction in life . . . but, then, what is?  The answer lies in discovering and following your “mighty purpose” for life—a reason for living that is so much bigger than yourself that it transforms you, your relationships, and the world as a result.
In Heroic Living, best-selling author and former investment banker Chris Lowney combines his business expertise with proven practices of Ignatian spirituality to help each of us—regardless of calling, career, or current situation—discover our own mighty purpose and develop a personal life strategy that helps us achieve it. Although we may consider astute business knowledge and spiritual wisdom as mutually exclusive paths to our goals, Lowney articulates how the two actually complement each other, and how professional success and spiritual authenticity go hand in hand.
Heroic Living provides all the tools and strategies needed to make practical, long-term life changes that move people away from fractured, compartmentalized lives and toward the satisfaction and wholeness that every person desires so deeply.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1635 KB
  • Print Length: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Loyola Press (February 1, 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #158,595 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
While there have been many fads providing "quick fixes" on how to have a healthy, happy life, we rarely find these people in our life nor have we found a solution for ourselves. According to Award-winning author Chris Lowney, "We are not driving ourselves to fulfillment but rather, we are driving ourselves nuts."

In "Heroic Living," Lowney responds with a "radically new" approach - proven over five centuries. His is a "whole life" strategy that connects us with our deepest beliefs, and connects these beliefs with what we do every day to "make the world not only life-giving and sustaining but beautiful and interesting."

Applying the Spiritual Exercises of the sixteenth century Ignatius of Loyola, Lowney encourages us to forego today's market of quick fixes and apply The Exercises. These have been part of the Jesuit tradition since Loyola and remain as one of humanity's more powerful and proven instruments for confronting life's fundamental questions and figuring out one's path in response. Through them, Loyola invites us to see the world as God sees it, to work as God learn what nourishes and sustains life, and, what makes it more beautiful, fun, interesting, and entertaining.

"Heroic Living" encompasses three primary dimensions which are critical to a successful strategy: the transformative power of vision and purpose; the ability to make good choices in an ever-changing world; and the skill to live out those choices every day. The practices provide the tactics to execute on each of these three dimensions.

The book begins by encouraging us to reflect intensely on our human purpose - Who am I? What am I trying to accomplish in life? How should I behave and treat other people? What values are important and fundamental, in business and family life?
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book For Self Reflection August 31, 2009
As Lowney says, it is not a book that will tell you what to do. You have to take the book and work with it. I took his advice - I read the book, took notes, and reflected. It helped me to clarify my vision, mission, values and sense of purpose. This is truly a book where you get out of it what you give - it has made a difference in my life and I recommend it without reservation.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Simple, yet profound.

Deep, but not overly long.

Poetic, yet practical.

There are many remarkable aspects to this book. The breadth of sources is amazing. The author cites Martin Luther and a number of Popes. John Calvin and Buddhist monks. Harvard professors and "everyday" people.

But the core of book is Ignatius of Loyola; the founder of the Society of Jesus. The "Spiritual Exercises" were written by him hundreds of years ago, but the values and advice are useful to this day.

Many of the business insights which are claimed to be new are really elements of the "Spiritual Exercises." For example, control the controllables discussed at 117-121.

Charlie Munger is a big fan of Ben Franklin. Franklin, in turn, was an advocate of weighing pros and cons. Ignatius of Loyola sets out the same decision matrix in his "Spiritual Exercises" a good 200 years before Franklin. Id. at 138.

Chapter 10 is exceptionally good as the author's ability to synthesize and explain are on display.

Don't discount the book as only for Catholics or for those that went to Jesuit schools. There are many secular examples and also points from other religions. In this regard, this book is better than "Heroic Leadership" as the focus is less on the history of the Jesuits.

I also appreciated the author's optimistic tone.

The challenge for the reader is to practice daily the values of the book. The book's "warranty" only applies if the reader actually does what it recommends.

There can't be another American with the author's background as a Jesuit, investment banker and author. That's one of the great values for readers of this book in the America of 2009.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Heroism isn't about fame and fortune. It's about doing what most people fail to do. "Heroic Living: Discover Your Purpose and Change the World" is a guide to better living through finding what should be driving one's purpose in life. Drawing from Ignatian spirituality practices inspires readers to make long term changes, improve their lives, and find what drives their spirituality. "Heroic Living" is well worth the read for those who need a reason to push forward.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Refreshing and Inspiring Read! August 12, 2009
Well-written, concise and inspiring. Convinces a reader to step-off the treadmill of daily cares to take stock of one's fundamental values and priorities in order to live a better planned and meaningful future. A definite read for someone who wants a refreshed outlook in the midst of daily stress.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stories of Heroes: Form Following Function April 7, 2009
In the Introduction to this wonderful book, author Chris Lowney describes it as "a how-to book for the business of being human...." He rightfully chides other "how-to" efforts for chopping up life into disconnected segments: work-life, love-life, spiritual-life. In contrast, he promises to present a strategy for living life as an integrated whole, informed in its entirety by "a mighty purpose."

The genius of Lowney's book is that he has cast it in a form that perfectly fits the function, the "mighty purpose," to which the book itself is devoted. A book focused simply on the presentation of ideas and strategies would have betrayed Lowney's fundamental message that in order to live well, we need to live large, with a big-picture view of the world into which we have been born, and with a transcendent sense of purpose of bettering that world. It is, Lowney claims, only such a large-scale vision that allows us to make small-scale decisions in a way that gives our life coherence, imparts to us a sense of peace, and in the end, makes our lives truly human.

Strategies organized into bullet-points, the stock and trade of how-to books, would have been insufficient to convey the message that Lowney is trying to convey. To be sure, the book has enough bullet-points to satisfy the organizationally obsessed among us. But what it mostly has is stories, lovingly, reverently, occasionally even poetically told, about real-life, flesh-and-blood people whose lives exemplify the strategy for living to which Lowney is trying to lead us. The profound and simple humanity of the people Lowney introduces us to--janitors, high school teachers, nuns, parents, lawyers--makes the best case possible for his vision of heroic living. Reading about these people made me hunger to construct a life that is as humane as theirs. I'm willing to bet that it will have the same effect on you.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Great book
Published 4 months ago by Cynthia
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best books I've ever read
One of the best books I've ever read; if you are looking for a guide to personal growth, this is your book!
Published 7 months ago by Pau Aragay
5.0 out of 5 stars I was pleased with the quality of this product
I was pleased with the quality of this product. It is a very good value for the low price. Fast shipping.
Published 8 months ago by Martha C. Mendez
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
This was very, very helpful to me!!! It gave me invaluable guidance during a difficult time in my life.
Published 9 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Great! Specially when you are transiting difficult moments.
Very well written.

Excellent chapters pathway.

Very recommendable for all those people that are trying to find the deep sense for their own life.
Published 10 months ago by Francisco Llull
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional
This book is a guide for adjusting to the profound changes which have occurred locally and throughout the world during the past few decades. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Judy Campbell
5.0 out of 5 stars loved it
I loved this book. Well written, easy to understand. I lent it to my sister and then my brother. Most worthwhile to read.
Published 15 months ago by forget me not
5.0 out of 5 stars Your purpose
This book will help you to redirect your life! Never it is too late to beging again your new path.
Published 22 months ago by Alfonso Davila
5.0 out of 5 stars A great guide for living
I'm still reading it but still now it becomes a great guide for leaving, thinking i how God made us to be their sons in this world
Published 22 months ago by Javier Lucin
4.0 out of 5 stars Order, purchase and delivery experiences were all excellent
I would definitely consider using the vendor again. The entire process was easy and efficient. I would grade the experience "Top notch."
Published 23 months ago by Frederick Luthardt Jr.
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More About the Author

Chris Lowney chairs the board of Catholic Health Initiatives, one of the nation's largest healthcare/hospital systems. He formerly served as a Managing Director of J.P. Morgan & Co in New York, Tokyo, Singapore and London until leaving the firm in 2001. He has lectured in more than two-dozen countries on on leadership, business ethics, and other related topics.

He is the author of four books. "Heroic Leadership," a # 1 ranked bestseller of the CBPA, was named a finalist for a 2003 Book of the Year Award from ForeWord magazine and has been translated into eleven languages. He is also author of "Heroic Living," and "A Vanished World"-- Chris was featured in the PBS-aired documentary, "Cities of Light," which echoed many of that book's key themes. His latest work, Pope Francis: Why He Leads the Way He Leads, has been called, "an invaluable gift," and "a book for the ages."

He founded Pilgrimage for Our Children's Future, which funds education and healthcare projects in the developing world. He also served as volunteer founding president of Jesuit Commons, an innovative collaboration which offers online university education in refugee camps in Africa and elsewhere.

He is a one-time Jesuit seminarian, and a summa cum laude graduate of Fordham University, where he also received his M.A. He is holder of five honorary Doctoral degrees.


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