Living Life in Crescendo

Which book comes to your mind most often? Something you quote or use ideas from regularly?

For me, a top contender would be Stephen R. Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. (“Begin with the end in mind… Choose the important over the urgent… Sharpen the saw…”) I can hardly believe it came out in 1989.

So, I was intrigued to read his more recent Life Life in Crescendo. It was published posthumously by Covey’s eldest daughter Cynthia, and in some ways felt like reconnecting with an old friend or putting on a familiar, well-fitting jacket.

The main message of the book is this: “Your most important work is always ahead of you.”

Do you believe that?

As Chris Helder would say, it matters less whether the belief is true than whether it is useful to you. And I suspect this is a very useful belief indeed.

It’s always made me uncomfortable to talk to people in midlife who talk about their teens or time in university as their glory days — as if they’ve been coasting or declining ever since.

Wouldn’t you rather hold the mindset that your most important work is ahead of you than believing you’ve already peaked? No one wants to feel washed up, and it doesn’t lead to a life well-lived in the present or the future.

If you find yourself teetering on the edge of that cliff, a pep talk from Stephen might be just what you need.

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