The book is a relationship book to help you choose the right people in your life to surround yourself with whether that is work life or personal life. This book was lengthy (fifteen chapters) and a third of it unnecessary to be honest. A problem I noticed in his literary style is that he almost says 'look for friends with integrity - they are the best' and then in the next chapter there are the negatives of what he said previously i.e. 'avoid friends that don't have integrity'. Cut those things out and you have a really well written short book full of insight. The book in general is worth your time to read or at least the 'Relational Reminders' he included at the end of every chapter and the process of going through your answers to the list of questions he also wrote in.
Ok - to be honest I am not one that has the best relationships. I am a suspicious person. I am introverted. I over think. The words 'that person does not deserve my time' has come out of my mouth. I do think I give everyone a fair chance and there is not one type of person I enjoy talking to but I do hold grudges in the name of 'justice'. I consider few people close friends.
Keep in mine that I read this book from that perspective and some things affirmed my behavior. Such as:
A friend won't allow you to become complacent. They hold you accountable to your dreams.
A friend (to have in your life) will have an unwavering commitment to truth. An absolute refusal to compromise on values. A complete dedication to pure motives. A passionate and consistent pursuit of excellence.
Stay away from mediocre people who are satisfied with where they are, who they are and what they are doing.
A friend refuses to allow you to settle for mediocrity.
If someone mentions to me a dream that they have (go back to school, get a different job, get back into the gym, eat a vegetable once in a while) I am always quick to encourage. I am not satisfied with the people in my life if they are continually making excuses for why they haven't done something that they want to do. I want people in my life that absolutely refuse to give in to their bullshit excuses. Why? Because it allows me to be complacent and I am complacent enough already. Honestly when a close friend makes excuses for behavior it directly affects me. Besides, it is motivating to see someone achieve the desires of their heart, isn't it?
The list above are a few things that things affirmed my behavior and other things caused me to think. Throughout the last few weeks when someone mentioned to me a strained relationship they were having I would mention to them this book and a few of the things I was reading about. Such as: you can't be friends with everyone; you receive the most from the relationships in which you invest the most in; leadership rises and falls on loyalty and relationships. Many good things and good thoughts are in this book.
Back to my problems.
I am not perfect and this one self-help book won't change my thinking patterns. It made me nod my head and agree stubbornly "damn right - I'm not hanging out with people who don't have dreams!". But I am not oblivious to my loneliness sometimes. Maybe I can let some non-dreamers in to my life and I can be the person to encourage them.
Whatever God has planned for you, it is great work in His eyes, and the place where He is taking you will require faith & boldness. You will need people to inspire faith in you with their faithfulness. People that will give you courage with their bravery.
I am grateful for the people and friends in my life, yes. But are there enough people in my life who are challenging me? Demanding my excellence? Encouraging me to produce great work? Questioning my motives or excuses? I could use a few more of those people and I would value them as great and treasured friends.
*Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers http://booklookbloggers.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”