Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Book Review: The Principle of the Path by Andy Stanley

Review of The Principle of the Path by Andy Stanley

Andy Stanley's book caught my attention.   He writes that the principle of the path governs the way that our lives progress, whether we're aware of it or not.   Our paths that will take us to the path's destination, regardless of what we'd intended or had hoped to go.   Certain actions always have the same results.  In the simplest terms, the principle of the path is like the principle of the harvest, we reap what we sow.    Or as he puts it, "Today's decisions create tomorrow's experiences."

It is easy enough to identify when someone else seems to be on the wrong path - one of disappointment or regret.  It is not as easy to spot in our own lives.  We can see the paths that we took in hindsight,  but we need to take special care to see where our paths are pointing us right now. The book provides us with questions for self-examination to help with this.

As we identify areas which we need to address, Stanley stresses that it is direction not intention that sets our destination.  He writes that by acknowledging and acting on this cause and effect principle, we can avoid the regret that might come on many levels,  "What seems like a sacrifice now will feel like an investment later on."  The key is identifying when we're on the wrong path.    The principle of the path does not try to provide a solution or fix, but instead proffers a guide to better self awareness.

Review and reaction:
I received this book through the Thomas Nelson Book Review Blogger Program.   It's my first exposure to their books and found the book interesting and a bit discomfiting.  The writing is anecdotal and clear.  While the main point is straightforward,  I thought the discussion was helpful because it forced me to think through my own actions and the areas in my life that need some work.  It was the review of my own life that was a bit discomfiting.

I particularly liked his description of the ways that we rationalize decisions.   We delay making changes.   "We listen to our hearts, and then we assign our heads the responsibility of building a case to support our hearts' decisions.  But again, the reasons follow the decisions - they aren't the real reasons behind the decisions." 

I found the book interesting and helpful and would recommend it to others who are interested in examining their own lives and whether they're taking the right steps to reach their long term goals, whether financial, relational, or on any other level.

Publisher: Thomas Nelson Publishing, Inc. (March 31, 2009), 204 pages.
Courtesy of Thomas Nelson Book Review Bloggers program.

Thank you, Thomas Nelson, Inc. for this opportunity.  If you're interested in joining their book review bloggers program, click here or visit http://brb.thomasnelson.com/.

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