Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Put your dream to the test

“I have a dream…”

Those are four very famous words that showed the power of a passionately held vision. What I liked about John Maxwell’s Put your Dream to the Test is its thoughtful, analytical approach to how people can turn such dreams into reality.

The book is structured around ten questions that help determine whether our dreams are right for us (as opposed to, for instance, what our parents wanted for us) and whether we’re willing to do all that it takes to achieve them. It never gets too methodical, though, and there are plenty of stories of people who did achieve what they hoped for, as well as inspiring quotes and humorous anecdotes.

The book stays positive throughout, though it still acknowledges that many dreams cannot and will not be fulfilled quickly or easily – i.e. no instant gratification. That’s a characteristic of so many great achievements, though. And the author places as much emphasis on pragmatism and hard work as on the value of dreams. A head-in-the-clouds style would never have appealed to me, but this is like the anti-“Death of a Salesman”.

I try to balance my reviews and point out whatever didn’t work (as well as what I liked), but I can’t do that here. I enjoyed this book too much.


Anonymous said...

I usually have two problems with self-help/motivational books:

1. they're often filled with advice that anyone with any drop of common sense already have

2. they're filled with stories of instant gratification. "I did a positivity mantra and the very next day got hired by my dream firm!" Not that that can't happen. But, if you have a book filled with stories of instant good luck, readers who don't experience the same thing can become even more discouraged than before.

It's nice if you found this book to be postive and encouraging, as well as pragmatic.

I'm an optimist and believe dreams definitely can come true. But, a lot of times, you have to prove how much you want it by lots of hard work and perseverance.

Marian Perera said...

Hey Tasha,

Yes, a lot of self-help books are like that. I tend to go through them like popcorn as a result.

But I was pleasantly surprised at how this book managed to keep its feet on the ground as well as having its head in the clouds, so to speak. The author acknowledges that some people will never realize their dreams, while others may take decades to come to fruition. That was an interesting breath of realism.

I'm pretty sure that in one year of blogging, this is the first time I haven't been able to point out any problems in a book or film. It's a weird feeling. :)