Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Book Review: Everyday Greatness

Insights and Commentary by Stephen R. Covey

Compiled by David K. Hatch

In his introduction, Stephen Covey states the outcomes he hoped to achieve with this book. First, he wanted the reader to relax and enjoy reading the book, that the information would be reassuring, comforting and uplifting. Second, he hoped the book would be inspiring to those who read it. Third, he hoped the collection of stories would arouse passion for being a transition person, someone who breaks the flow of negative traditions or practices from one generation to another.

To achieve these goals, this book offers stories, reflections, and quotations about everyday greatness. Everyday greatness is defined as being a person, who chooses to act rather than be acted upon, and chooses to act for meaningful and honorable purposes and acts in accordance with proven principles.

Does the book achieve these goals? The first goal of being an enjoyable read is easily achieved. The book is like a comfortable blanket to wrap up in when you have a moment, but it will wait for you when you have other things to do. Like the stories in Reader’s Digest, the entries complied are short, make a point, and don’t raise your blood pressure. It could be a reference book, one you read when you have a few moments and want to be inspired. The stories and quotations encourage you to be your best. Is the book inspirational? Absolutely. Not all the stories will be effective with all readers, but the variety of offerings means there should be a piece that speaks to each person. Finally, does the book arouse passion to break a negative cycle? Clearly, it does. The stories are of famous people, such as Walt Disney, Charles Dickens and Norman Rockwell to name just three, but also about everyday people like your neighbor, or like you, who make a difference by living the three characteristics of everyday greatness. As you read, you’ll realize you have what it takes to exhibit everyday greatness and what a powerful impact that can make.

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