I cannot remember where I read/heard it, but I have been thinking for a long time about a quote. “People that are successful don’t just work harder than you, they work a lot harder than you.” (My paraphrase from something that I don’t quite remember).
This is the point of Malcolm Gladwell‘s 10,000 hour rule (you need to do something for 10,000 hours before you really are good at it.) Greg Darley wants to help people take the passion that they have a move past stage where they have an idea and a passion, to the point where people have a passion and they are doing something about it.
This is not a 10 steps to accomplishing your passion book, but rather the four things that you need to have if you are going to move forward. The four parts are Calling, Character, Doctrine and Commitment. Calling is about finding what you have a passion about. Character is about being the person that people trust to accomplish your passion. Doctrine is about knowing what you need to know to accomplish your passion. And Commitment is about sticking around for the long haul, way past when things first get hard.
This is an inspiring book filled with lots of stories about people that are accomplishing great things. And after reading it in an afternoon I thought about the people I wanted to share it with. I had a number of people flash through my brain (and I will probably give copies to a couple people). But that leads me to the weakness of the book. I am not really sure who it is written for. It is inspirational, so I want to give it to people that are accomplishing things to encourage them. But it might be better for people that are just getting started or are still in school preparing for life. Because the four areas, while a good reminder, are not really new (and if you are already accomplishing things, you probably are doing these four things already). But it is very well written and I think it is a message that many should hear (especially those that are short termers that want to bounce in and out of ministry areas but do not actually stay long enough to accomplish anything or those those that are just starting out, but think things will be fairly easy if you follow God’s will.)
One other negative, that may be more about culture than about the book, I think that he focuses too much on the big things. I think some will not try because they think their passion is too small. It is my main complaint with Seth Godin, he writes in a way that he thinks everyone should be best in the world at something. That is just not possible. Most of us will support people that change the world, but not actually change it ourselves. Darley hints at that when he says that everything really is done by a team and that the small things can have a large impact. But I would like him to be more explicit. My pastor said, “Do for the one, what you wish you could for all.” His point is that too often we say, “Well we can’t save everyone, so why even bother to try.” I would like Darley to be explicit and say doing what God tells you is important even if it is small. On the other hand, Andy Crouch has a very good section about how even very powerful people cannot really change many things. So maybe it is even more important that we de-emphasize changing the world.
Overall, I think it is worth the read, especially if you have a vision and are still working on how to accomplish that vision.
This is the first kindle book I have finished that has lending enabled since the lending feature was release at the end of 2010. If you want to borrow it, email me and I will lend it to you.