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Halftime: Moving from Success to Significance Hardcover – December 28, 2008
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According to Bob Burford, broaching midlife doesn't have to be a crisis. In fact, in Half Time, Burford insists that it is actually an opportunity to begin the better half of life. The first half is busy with "getting and gaining, earning and learning," doing what you can to survive, while clawing your way up the ladder of success. The second half of life should be about regaining control, calling your own shots, and enjoying "God's desire ... for you to serve him just by being who you are, by using what he gave you to work with." What lies between the two is "halftime." Buford argues that whether you are a millionaire, a manager, or a teacher, you will one day have to transition from the struggle for success to the quest for significance. Halftime, then, is a quiet time of deliberate decision-making, restructuring, and passionate contemplation of your heart's deepest desires. Buford's writing is grounded in the real-life experience of success and failure, and most poignantly, the death of his son. While he has led a very successful life in the eyes of the world, Buford's personal stories reveal that his faith in Christ is his central priority. Instead of a transition to be feared, Buford makes midlife an introspective journey of abundance that will unleash God's best for you. --Jill Heatherly --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"According to Bob Buford, the first half of life is a quest for success, the second is a quest for significance. Bob should know; he has achieved the first and is showing us the latter. You'll find this book to be unique, inspiring, and practical. Read it and finish strong!" -- Max Lucado, Author of When God Whispers Your Name
"Bob Buford is one of those rare individuals who has made the transition from focusing on success to focusing on significance. This book will show you how to make the rest of your life the best of your life. I want every man in my congregation to read this inspiring story!" -- Dr. Rick Warren, Pastor, Saddleback Valley Community Church, Author of The Purpose-Driven Church --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Among the points covered in the book include:
1. Do not allow the second half of life to be characterized by boredom, decline, and decreasing effectiveness for God's kingdom.
2. A challenge to think about what you believe and to find the one most important thing in your life and build on that.
3. How to continue to learn in the second half of life.
4. The more you submit to Christ, the freer you become.
5. Practical ways on how to regain more control over your life.
6. Questions to ask and answer as you "go in to the locker" and prepare for the second half of your life.
7. Find something that fits within the following 2 questions: What have you achieved? What do you care deeply about?
Read and be encouraged to believe that the second half of your life need not be a time of waste or past memories!
While I enjoyed the book, I believe his other book "Gameplan" is better in that it describes more practical ways how to have a productive second half.
The flaws in this book include the fact that Buford is continuously and overwhelmingly self congratulatory about his accomplishments, success, wealth, status, who he knows, talents, offerings, etc. Rarely does a page go by on which he does not remind us of how successful he is. I think all of his anecdotes include his success or this or that CEO friend. This undermines the message of the book, because it is off-putting and distracting, even though the author has clearly adjusted his life to help people; the emphasis on altruism is a major theme of the book. He just pats himself on the back quite often.
The focus on wealth and success in the "first half" of life makes the idea of a second half seem like something only for the rich and comfortable who can make changes without making sacrifices. It also conveys a false assumption that one must pursue and gain success and wealth before shifting toward selflessness. Why not forego the first half self-centeredness and play the second half gameplan from the begining?
Another flaw is the mix of self-help, psychology and theology into one. Buford is a Christian, and writes this book from a Christian perspective. Buford however is not a theologian but writes as if he is one, even calling a conflicting idea "heresy." His "theology" reflects the flawed Western approach to Christianity that equates it with the dream of success and wealth and being all one can be using God-given talents and rugged individualism. This is an approach that would make no sense to Christians in most of the rest of the world and does not find resonance in the early church. Buford too often applies worldly success and wisdom to Christianity in the pages of this book and not vice versa. I don't doubt his sincerity, but the core of Christianity is not our power, strength and wisdom; it is as Paul said "Christ crucified, the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men and the weakness of God is stronger than men." I question whether seeking significance itself is supported by Scripture which rather promotes sacrifice and service at the risk of obscurity. This theology leads to advice that I think contradicts Scriptural lessons.
The epilogue to the book also confuses the issue when he imagines being asked two questions as a final exam when approaching God after death. One is what did you do about Jesus and the other is "What did you do with what I gave you to work with?" Like most of the theology in the book, this last question is taking a couple of texts out of context and building a doctrine upon them. It promotes judgement or pride, condemnation or self-righteousness. The Bible rather teaches that because Jesus died for my sins I will be welcomed into Heaven with great rejoicing--that is the message of grace not performance. But the author's message of this book is clearly that he is quite pleased with what he has done about Jesus and what he has done with his life. But according to what standard? Rather than present my works, strengths and productivity to God, I'll relax and rest in Christ's righteousness.
I think the idea behind Halftime is important but the delivery is poor. I think the activities prescribed of self-evaluation and life adjustments are things we need to continually do no matter our stage or age of life. In that sense, this book is helpful but because of the flaws it might do more harm than good, except for those people that closely resemble the author in several important characteristics such as beliefs, age, career, aspirations and resources.
Craig Stephans, author of
Shakespeare On Spirituality: Life-Changing Wisdom from Shakespeare's Plays
Notwithstanding a glowing review I do have one issue with the book…the subtitle. “Moving from Success to Significance” suggests the reader’s first half, was not significant, a notion I personally disagree with. This may be my own interpretation and bias, so don’t let that hinder you from reading, and benefitting, from a marvelous book. For those seeking, Buford’s nuggets will be savored, drawn out over weeks and months, processing life’s changes and how to maximize the future for ourselves and those around us.
Any book at its core expresses the perspectives of one individual, even when shaped by the influence of mentors, teams and life experiences surrounding them. Buford’s Christianity is foundational to his perspective, but he does not indulge in proselytizing the reader. He simply presents his ideas couched in the paradigm of his life’s beliefs and values, and refreshingly so.
Buford's business and financial success is neither flaunted nor hidden. The book is refreshingly well written and harbors no agenda. I found myself reading unhindered with Buford as a fellow traveler.
I highly recommend this book to anyone in the enviable position of making it to 40 years old and asking themselves what they want to do when they grow up.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Buford has some great ideas about how to make a difference and leave a legacy.