Are you satisfied where your life is headed? Do you know you’re giving your very best to God and others? Have you reached a fork in the road, and aren’t sure which way to turn?
Michael Hyatt & Daniel Harkavy’s new book Living Forward can help. It fills a gap in productivity and self-help books. Where most books deal with the nuts and bolts of time management, delegation, increased sales, and organizational tips, Living Forward starts with a more fundamental question – Where’s your life headed?
The day-to-day choices we make start with deeper values. But how often do we pause to take account of what’s important, and to make sure we haven’t drifted off course? Living Forward explains how to chart a course for the future by identifying your values, goals, and dreams, and will make sure your daily routine is in sync with your long-term goals. The book is divided into three sections.
I. Understand Your Need. Part One reveals our natural tendency to drift. We are introduced to the idea of mission and see the benefits of creating our own. If there was one section of the book that seemed to drag a little, it was this first section. I came into the book eager to learn about a life plan, and didn’t need 54 pages to convince me of its importance.
II. Create Your Plan. Part Two is the heart of the book. In these four chapters, we learn how to design a legacy, define priorities, chart a course of action, and set aside one day to turn this from a nice idea into a reality. These chapters alone are more than worth the price of the book.
III. Make It Happen. Part Three shows you how to implement and review your life plan, and how to facilitate one in the lives of others — particularly your business. I could see the benefit of an entire organization doing this as a personal development or team-building activity.
The strength of the book lies in its simplicity and practicality. What other productivity books often assume, or nod in passing, these authors devote an entire book to. It’s the culmination of hundreds of life-coaching seminars and conversations. Steps are clearly laid out, with lots of examples, questions, checklists, and worksheets. I’m already implementing some of the tools into my own life, and sharing them with others.
My main advice for the reader is this: Don’t use it alone. Living Forward will convince you of the benefit of a life plan and help you craft and review your own. But how do you decide on the right goals in the first place? Where do you find the right vision and mission for your life or organization?
I would suggest that visualizing “the life that you want” and writing your own eulogy is not enough. Ultimately, it is faithfulness to God that should be our highest concern. We should all want to hear those words from our heavenly Judge, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
Now, I realize this book targets a much wider audience than just Christian readers, and that it’s beyond the scope of the book to go into such detail, but that’s my point exactly. Read it — just don’t read it alone. Use it as a springboard. Use it as a productivity tool. As the dust jacket suggests, Living Forward can even be a compass to point you in the right direction and keep you on track. But a compass only works if it is properly calibrated to true north. And for that, you’ll need a guidebook written by God himself.