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Living Forward: A Proven Plan to Stop Drifting and Get the Life You Want Hardcover – March 1, 2016
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From the Inside Flap
But all the drama and demands we face seem to get in the way of our dreams, don't they? We're unsure about how to take our lives from where we are now to where we want to be in the next five, ten, or even fifty years.
We know we were meant for more, but it seems like the days are slipping by and we can't do anything about it. It shouldn't be like this. And it doesn't have to be.
New York Times bestselling author Michael Hyatt and executive coach Daniel Harkavy have both lived the very same story but they rewrote the ending. And their new book Living Forward will help you do the same thing.
In this step-by-step guide, Hyatt and Harkavy share simple but proven principles to help you stop drifting, design a Life Plan with the end in mind, and chart a path that will take you there. And you can work the process in just one day.
Imagine trading just twenty-four hours for the life you really want. It's possible, and Living Forward shows you how.|Michael Hyatt is the founder and CEO of Michael Hyatt & Company, a leadership development firm specializing in transformative live events, workshops, and digital and physical planning tools. Formerly chairman and CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers, Michael is also a New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author of several books, including Living Forward, Your Best Year Ever, and Platform. His work has been featured by the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Inc., Fast Company, Businessweek, Entrepreneur, and other publications. Michael has been married to his wife, Gail, for 40 years. They have five daughters, three sons-in-law, and eight grandchildren. They live just outside Nashville, Tennessee. Learn more at MichaelHyatt.com.
From the Back Cover
"The people who have achieved greatness are not just lucky. They created and executed a plan. . . . In Living Forward, Michael Hyatt and Daniel Harkavy show you how to develop and utilize a clear and compelling Life Plan to create the life you want."--Tony Robbins, New York Times bestselling author; CEO, Anthony Robbins Companies
"Here is an extremely practical and undeniably necessary guide for any adult who has drifted from how they thought life should be lived. I have benefited from this approach in my own life, but I need to be reminded again and again and again."--Patrick Lencioni, president, The Table Group; author, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team and The Advantage
"A must-read full of reminders and revelation that will open up your mind and organize your time."--Dave Ramsey, New York Times bestselling author, The Total Money Makeover
"In this one-of-a-kind book, Michael Hyatt and Daniel Harkavy explain exactly how to create a Life Plan. It will equip you to live your life on purpose, achieving what matters most in every aspect of your life."--John C. Maxwell, New York Times bestselling author; founder, The John Maxwell Company
"Living Forward is a brilliant and motivating resource that will equip you to stop sleepwalking through life and intentionally pursue the plan God has for you."--Lysa TerKeurst, New York Times bestselling author, The Best Yes
"An intelligent and articulate manual. . . . Applying even a portion of its simple and practical recommendations will improve anyone's condition in life."--David Allen, New York Times bestselling author, Getting Things Done
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Living Forward reads like a series of Chicken Soup for the Soul, feel-good short stories, all supporting two ideas: 1, write your own eulogy describing how people will remember you, and 2, take a day to create SMART goals that will make this eulogy possible.
(SMART = Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound)
This book seems to speak about high-achievers who achieved massive success early in life, and the benefit they later found by discovering life balance. The concepts are so simple, I find it difficult to believe any high-achiever has not already been exposed to them.
There are a few sections on “drifting” and how this is an undesirable state. But even escaping this drifting, the purpose for which this book was supposedly written, is referenced as, “Perhaps you are caught up in your career and find it more interesting than spending time with your family.” Or similar statements about health, vacation time, and friendships. Then, SMART goals, based on your eulogy of your wife remembering how much you loved her, should be enough to spur you into taking more enlightened action.
It would have been nice to include direction for, say, people who have been “drifting” from job to job, unable to really find their niche. Or for those who work hard, have not yet had their breakthrough moment, and wish to know what they should & should not be doing that they aren’t aware of. Unfortunately, this book only speaks to people who have already achieved huge career success, have omniscient vision and complete mastery of themselves, and are ready for the life-changing realization that work is not everything.
These concepts come complete with stories, diagrams, and the skeleton of a process: schedule the hours of your week, project manage your SMART goals every quarter, and mark your current status in all areas of life on a four quadrant grid. Don’t forget to take action! If you are a corporate leader, consider buying Living Forward books for your team, and putting on a Living Forward workshop for your company. Yes, the book does suggest doing these things.
Personally, I was hoping for insight around overcoming unforeseen and recurring obstacles, how to get early warning GPS-like feedback when a short-term course of action really is not supporting long-term objectives after all, and being able to recognize and develop relationships with the kinds of people who can help a person realize their dreams. You know, stuff that those who desire to be self-made actually have to deal with.
I am giving Living Forward two stars out of respect for the authors’ own stories, and because the book covers all the check marks for a commercially published book. There are conversation-piece lists of three. “How they say it” is good. “What they are saying” is as empty of nutrition as styrofoam.
On the whole, Living Forward is a great example of why self-help has a reputation for repackaging fluff. There is little depth, and there are no original ideas. SMART goals are taught to office workers at virtually every company in existence. Taking an evening to write down life goals is described in virtually any autobiography. These two concepts, are all this book has to offer? Seriously?
The lemmings-like wave of 5 star reviews appear to be from legions of followers, unwilling to point out the emperor has no clothes.
The basic message of the book is, write your goals, get your priorities straight, schedule time for what's important and be consistent in saying no to stuff that isn't important. It seemed to me that the book was an attempt to condense or replicate co-author David Harkavy's workshops on life planning. The book starts out with a call to write your own eulogy, with an emphasis on identifying how you want to be remembered. If having a good eulogy--or any eulogy--is important to you, this might be a helpful exercise, but otherwise, it's a big clue about how little the book offers to the rest of us.
Each author tells several stories about his ups and downs in life. I can recall only one of those stories, so they didn't resonate with me. At the end of the book is a huge pitch for Harkavy's workshop. I honestly believe this workshop could be effective in person, but as a DIY activity rolled into book, it didn't speak to me at all. I bought an overpriced, too-lengthy audio series by Tony Robbins a few years ago, and every day I'm still struggling to implement all that Tony suggests, but he was very inspiring and gave some nitty-gritty advice on how to stop drifting. I couldn't find either in the Hyatt/Harkavy book.
I've finally learned to be skeptical of the 5-start reviews for books written by popular bloggers. The first flood of 5-star reviews always seem to come from the blogger's tribe. Their tribe can't get enough of what they have to say. (Which is why I bought this book, because I'm a Hyatt fan!) But that doesn't mean other readers will resonate with the book's message. The 5-start review used to represent the general readership, but now, it's just a reflection of the author's tribe supporting him.
And in many places, the plagiarism is obvious. Instead of identifying "roles", you define "life accounts." Instead of your Mission Statement being a Compass (Covey), you have a Life Plan that acts as a GPS (Harkavy and Hyatt). Where Covey said, "Begin with the End In Mind" (Habit 2), Harkavy and Hyatt say, "Begin at the End." Just as with Covey's concept of the "emotional bank account," Harkavy and Hyatt use the metaphor of deposits and withdrawals based upon attention and neglect. Just like Covey's second habit, you are literally asked to envision your own funeral and develop a mission statement based on the legacy you want to leave.
I could probably go on, but if you've read Covey's work, you get the idea. If you haven't read Covey's work, you should do so, and skip this.
This work isn't even an incremental improvement upon the stolen work on which it's based, the way Toyota and Honda improved the auto industry in the 1970's. Instead, it's a cheap, hollow, adequate but unsatisfying imitation; it is the RC Cola of success literature.
Top international reviews
Other people at the end of the book.
I have found it extremely helpful and highly recommend it.