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Put Your Dream to the Test: 10 Questions to Help You See It and Seize It Paperback – April 18, 2011
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New York Times and Business Week best-selling author John C. Maxwell helps people answer ten powerful questions to reveal a future where their?dream is?fulfilled.Most people John Maxwell encounters have a dream. In fact, he's asked thousands about their greatest aspirations. Some describe their dream with great enthusiasm and detail. Others are reluctant, almost embarrassed, to talk about it. Regardless of their zeal or fear, the same question drives every person with a dream: Can I achieve it?Sadly, most people have no idea how viable their dream is. They hope to achieve it, yet hope is not a strategy. What people need is a way to test their dream.
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Working through the ten questions in this book is not easy, but it is helpful to have such a clear game plan to follow. It is also widely applicable, whether you want to start a new business or work toward being a better mother, or in my personal case, laying the foundation for a ministry. While I have grown tired of reading stories and quotes from other people in Maxwell's other books, the ones in this book were particularly helpful and time allotted for them was better balanced with the practical advice. This book is going to become the graduation gift that I give to all graduates, especially the ones with big dreams. I can't think of a more useful book to give!
I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.
To date, I haven't paid much attention to John Maxwell. I'm sure that I've been missing out because of it. My church did a class once on his workbook for "The 17 Indisputable Laws of Teamwork" and I took his "Developing The Leader Within You" book from the church library to read once. I have begun following John Maxwell's blog and his Twitter feed. In a very short time, I've come to wonder if I somehow handicapped my future by not acquiring more of John Maxwell's books earlier in life.
Do you have any dreams? I hope you do. Life is no fun drifting aimlessly from one crisis to another like a ping pong ball in a clothes dryer with no hope or plans for the future. If you have a dream, no matter how great or small, this is the book for you. This is a fairly simple and highly focused book, and for anybody else should be a fast read. It took me a couple of months to get through, but I was traveling, working loads of overtime, and helping to clean out my in-laws' house and get them settled in ours.
"Put Your Dream To the Test" has a very simple premise: testing your dream out. John Maxwell presents 10 questions for you to run your dream through. Each question gets a chapter. Each chapter includes a relevant story followed by instruction related to putting your dream through that question. Some of the stories I've heard before. Others were new. Some, such as the reference to William Wilberforce in Chapter 10 were a welcome refreshment and a reminder that true dreams do require great sacrifices. The 10 questions are as follows (I borrowed the bullet points from Thomas Nelson's product page, linked above):
The Ownership Question
The Clarity Question
The Reality Question
The Passion Question
The Pathway Question
The People Question
The Cost Question
The Tenacity Question
The Fulfillment Question
The Significance Question
I will not exposit each of these points in this book review. I will say that the book starts in the right place: is this even your dream? I was fairly fortunate in that my parents left me fairly free to pursue a career that fit me. I've known others who weren't so fortunate. Some of us were told what to do. Other times, we get our dreams from an external source. While I was involved in the "big-A" Multi-Level Marketing organization, my goal/dream was to achieve the status represented by a popular mineral often associated with jewelry. I realized later that it wasn't my dream. I wasn't even cut out for trying to sell people on an MLM.
Once you've established that the dream is, in fact, yours, you can run the gauntlet of questions provided by John Maxwell. Is your dream clear enough? Is it "realistic" enough? Are you passionate about it? Can you get there from here? Can you get people to help hold you accountable to your dream and support you in pursuit of it? Are you willing to pay the price? (Some dreams cost great sums, not only of money).
I found the final question to be at least as significant as the first question. Will your dream affect others than yourself? John Maxwell states that William Wilberforce has been dead for more than 175 years, but his influence lives on. (If you don't know who William Wilberforce is, you better look him up.) It's great to have dreams that involve only ourselves, but truly great dreams will live on long after we're gone.
I've said before that I tend to avoid this genre because it's not always easy to separate the wheat from the chaff. Some books are full of "rah-rah" motivation with little objective content. This book is highly objective, with about a proportionate amount of inspirational material placed throughout.
And with all dreams or goals, Maxwell greatly emphasizes that there are no shortcuts. The journey towards a dream simply takes plenty of sacrifice and contact with those who may assist on the road to where one wants to arrive; it is not a journey that is taken alone if one wants to succeed - everybody needs someone to share their dream with in any capacity. Importantly, the book is highly motivational with one anecdote after another from people who have ever had a dream in mind. The quotes, questions, and self-tests are very helpful for any who would like to determine if their dream is worth pursing.
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These questions help me clarify and think through my dreams.Read more