Despite the fact this book lists 53 endorsements from names as famous as Tony Robbins, Seth Godin, and Pat Flynn, there is very little here that hasn’t already been published dozens of times. Living Forward reads like a series of Chicken Soup for the Soul,...
Despite the fact this book lists 53 endorsements from names as famous as Tony Robbins, Seth Godin, and Pat Flynn, there is very little here that hasn’t already been published dozens of times.
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.