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on February 7, 2012
After reading "Take The Stairs" I can honestly say that my perspective has changed.

My perspective on how I approach business, my family, my friends, and life.

In business I apply Rory Vaden's principle of "The Law of the Pendulum" and am always reminding myself that if there is something I need to do... to just do it now! Pick up the phone, send the thank you card, read the book, etc.

In my family life I apply the "Rent Axiom". When it comes to being a good husband and father... I'm always reminding myself of Mr Vaden's idea that "success is never owned it's rented, and the rent is due everyday". And his joke is true... some days the rent is higher than others. :)

With my friends I'm always thinking about "Pain Paradox Principle". Knowing that if I don't make a decision everyday to be a good friend and make good decisions when spending time with my friends that the consequences of my small decisions that bring pleasure in the short term can have drastic effects in the long term.

In life I have truly found myself literally and figuratively taking the stairs. If there is something I don't want to do, I remind myself that "success means doing things that others won't".
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon February 7, 2012
I've stayed up til almost 5am to read this book. This book has given me a good kick in the rear, which I've needed.

As close as I can describe, this is not your ordinary 'self-help' book. I don't necessarily agree with everything Mr. Vaden says in this book but it truly is full of some incredible wisdom and true, memorable gems.

This is a book for those of us who have either gone soft and quietly taken our lot or possibly for those of us who have worked hard for success and happiness yet still feel we are missing the mark. There is a great deal to be absorbed here. Read the first chapter on the kindle page for free and see if it speaks to you- it definitely did to me. If it doesn't capture you then it may not be the book for you as it continues in a similar vein.

Complacency and half-a**ing it have become the status quo for many in our society. It would be nice to blame our leaders, our government, the banks, the price of tea, etc. but this isn't really about that. This book is about deciding what you want then to do what you can to achieve your greatest success through hard work, commitment and self-discipline.

The author has broken the book up into several sections-the intro, chapters based on his 7 steps, an epilogue of some very impassioned encouragement to make a commitment to yourself and those around you and then (yes, a little more self-helpish) an action guide for implementing the steps. Some of that I could do without but the overall message is important: we have become soft and we need to do something about it. The happiness/success fairy is not going to magically bestow the life to which many believe they are entitled upon them. Vaden

For me, the commitment aspect hit me hard- possibly because I am an equestrienne and horses taught me early on that if you are going to go over a jump or decide to go somewhere, you must commit- or you fail at best, get seriously hurt at worst. The book is a quick read and Vaden pulls in numerous examples he calls 'case studies'. While anecdotal, they do a great deal to help understand his steps and point of view.

The author applies numerous economic principles (short run vs. long run, opportunity cost) and applies them in a psychological/sociological way. I highly recommend. I do want to warn that the author self-promotes his personal coaching program and supplies web references at the end of many chapters that I have not had a chance to vet out yet. I'm not a big fan of the whole self-promotion thing but Vaden has lots of good things to say. I think someone with a discerning mind and an interest in changing life-either in small or big ways- who can sift their personal grain-from-the-chaff will enjoy this book.

Maybe a quotation from the author will sum it up best despite its self-helpy nature: "Create accountability in your life. Share your vision with someone who can encourage you, develop action plans with people who can help you, invest in your dream--and you'll be amazed at how quickly your fear, entitlement, and perfectionism begin to fade."
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on February 7, 2012
Rory Vaden's Take the Stairs isn't just a book. It isn't a system that you'll try and forget over time. It is truly a new way of thinking that becomes natural the more you practice it, so much so that you won't believe you hadn't been thinking that way all along. I have found myself to be more productive in work than ever before, more joyful in my time with family and friends, more rested in my down time, and all around more driven and satisfied with life. You may hesitate to read this because you're afraid of change - most people are - but face this new way of living, your own set of stairs, boldly. You'll be so glad you did!
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on March 12, 2012
I agree wholeheartedly with his point of view. Don't just take the easy way - take the way that has the best results long term. As the title suggests - take the stairs rather then the escalator or elevator (a habit I do 80% of the time if it is less then 4 flights (and often the other is because I do not know where the stairs are))

His seven steps:

1 - Sacrifice. I do not like the wording since it seems like a punishment. The gist of it is - do tough things now for the success it yields in the long term. Like one of my success mantras "Successful people do tough things".

2 - Commitment. It is our decision what we commit to. The greater the commitment, the great the chance of success.

3 - Focus. He really nailed this one. This is an area that I personally am not good at. I tend to want it all so focus on everything (and I don't think that is what he means by good focus)

4 - Integrity. Speaks for itself.

5 - Schedule. Create a schedule that meets all your needs. To some extent this also touches on success habits.

6 - Faith - Put faith into enjoyable results, not enjoyable processes. (goes a bit against the zen I try for which is enjoying the process. Although in the end, I would not be happy without the results)

7 - Action. You are much more likely to act your way into healthy thinking than think yourself into healthy action. In the end, it is the actions - not the thoughts that make things happen.

I loved the chapter on procrastination. Some quotes:

"When we have diluted focus, we get diluted results"
"In the absense of disciplined focus, we become strangely loyal to performing daily acts of trivia."
"We don't pay attention to things we don't first give our intention to."
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on March 22, 2012
I started off really enjoying this book, in fact i read the first 80 pages in 1 sitting. There are some interesting perspectives but as it goes on it becomes an uncomfortable sales pitch with religious undertones. Vaden consistently endorses the Souhtwestern family of companies. So much so that it felt like he was recruiting for them, and at the end of the book he has 2 pages devoted to explaining their organization. When you go to his website for the reader bonuses it asks if you have a teenager and you can even sign them up for Southwestern. He is constantly mentioning his consulting company (which is also called Southwest), and if you take the online quiz to assess yourself it is mandatory that you give your email and phone number and tell them what kind of coaching you would like. Then it takes a weird religious turn where he quotes the bible and some reverends/pastors, and touts the importance of faith. The content of this book is so light that it could have been an article of a few pages.
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on February 7, 2012
I find myself reading and then re-reading particular passages in this book. A disciplined life? It really makes you think. Many people have slipped into accepting the easier path and instant gratification (the escalator, if you will). The path to success is gained through hard work and living a disciplined life (taking the stairs). This book provides the map for our trip to the top in our business lives and our personal lives. We all need this book!
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on February 7, 2012
I can't put Rory's book down! His discussion is so poignant and just the message that we all need to hear. I have found myself underlining almost everything in the book for future reference because I don't want to forget these ideas and want to apply them to my life.

If you only read one book this year - read this one!
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on August 13, 2015
I've read quite a few business/success books, and this was above average. I first found this book after coming across the author's short video hypothesizing the following: "Success is never owned; it is only rented, and the rent is due every day."

I enjoyed this book. Its theme was predictable - "do the hard things others aren't willing to do" - but it had a handful of good soundbites I'll likely remember.

This would have been a solid 4 stars for me, but I found the numerous references to religion (including an entire chapter on faith) to be distracting and out of place in a book on professional success.
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on September 12, 2015
I heard the author speak on the Art of Manliness podcast and thought this book sounded great. It has valuable suggestions that have been culled from other sources. Ideas are repeated multiple times although not always defined. It was a thin book without a lot of content. The writing was sometimes sloppy and could have used a good editor to clean up the grammar in spots. The writer seems to be a better speaker than writer and he seems to have tried to coin phrases and repeat them ad naseum in order to market himself a la 7 Habits, Chicken Soup, etc.
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on January 22, 2013
Given the choice, do you take the stairs or the escalator? Well, Rory Vaden is going to convince you that depending on your choice, you will end up in two very different places. "Take the stairs" is a mind-set to make better decisions that will improve your self-discipline and your life. It will liberate your potential. Every decision, even those seemingly small and insignificant, will have a direct impact on your pursuit of success. I enjoyed the conversational writing style, and the book is easily read in an evening. Then you are left with a practical action guide to apply these principles to your daily life. You ha(tm)ve heard some of the advice in this book from others, but this author packages the advice in a very useful way. Principles addressed include: attitude adjustments, defining success for you, doing what is required for your vision, doing what most people don'(tm)t do, and follow through. His time management advice emphasizes effective time, not large quantities of time. The real life examples he uses are excellent. The key message is how to avoid quick fix traps in your life. Those are mirages of easy, short term success that are actually quagmires in the long run. Stick to his practical, self-discipline traits that will win in the end. Resolve every day anew to your specific vision of success, so that the commitment to what you want and how to get there stays fresh and exciting. You'(tm)ll finish this book motivated, and armed with a short to-do list for a quick start. The author all but dares you to try it. Should I try it . . . Yes! Or as the author coaches: I'(tm)m in, now how will I make this happen . . . "
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