Back to back Rory! Now I have read the famed “Take the Stairs” written by Rory Vaden. This time, Rory means business! Of course, not that he didn’t in “Procrastinate on Purpose”.
Before we launch into “Take the Stairs”, I will give you a little run down of why I picked it up and what my expectations were. Then I will share with you a bit of what I picked up out of the book and I hope that it is of some benefit to you as well!
Ok, you’re thinking to yourself one of two or three things:
- Rory had such an impact on you that you had to read his next book!
- You found a box of Rory’s books and decided the first one went down so smooth so why not try the next?
- Rory did have such an impact not only on you but a large number of people and companies, so much so that you decided to sign up with the company that he cofounded for some sales coaching and this book was the recommended reading material for your current module.
It’s a little bit of all of the above. To be honest I wouldn’t be reading these books without Rory co-founding the company and having the coaching offering.
However, since I am taking the coaching and I am reading his books, I am indeed being inspired.
Inspired to do what exactly? Rory has an interesting background, one in which he tested for (and I am assuming received/passed) his black belt in Shao-Lin Kung Fu when he was 10 years old. If you are not familiar with martial arts, this is quite a feat (at least to me!), as it requires quite a bit of focus, dedication as well as some serious discipline. A bit later Rory goes on to work for Southwestern Sales Company and meets up with some of his current teammates along the way, whereupon he sprinkles bits and pieces of that story throughout the book. All of it inspirational in one way or another. There is a section later in the book that is slightly “butterfly effect”, however, makes sense in the context and the points are taken. There were some recurring themes and chunks of the story in both books, which to me is ok as they have their places in both books.
This book focuses on the discipline aspect and has seven solid strategies with some real gems. For me, I feel some type of kinship with Rory as he tells his story, at least where he discusses Toastmasters & being raised by a poor single mother. He loads the beginning of this book like a solid steel coil. The same type of solid steel coil you would ride on as a three year old in the park, or see wrapped around some big ole monster truck.. you could have a lot of fun with either, but you could also get a bloody nose if not handled properly.
How does he accomplish this? With the following excerpt:
“Self-discipline is the simplest and fastest way to make life as easy as possible. It is the key to everything you’ve ever dreamed of. Discipline creates freedom – the freedom to do anything! It is what took me from being a poor Hispanic boy raised by a single mother in a trailer park to speaking in front of thousands of people in just a few short years.
Are you ready to start this journey?
Your time is now.”
Um, yeah, sign me up! Oh wait, I am already signed up! Keep it rolling!
Fun steel springs.
The seven principles that Rory gives us are (even by his own words) ones that most of us are already well aware of, but most of us fail to act on or implement for reasons he cites quite easily in his book and I found most to be true to me.
Bloody nose steel springs.
- Sacrifice: The Paradox Principle
- Commitment: The Buy in Principle
- Focus: The Magnification Principle
- Integrity: The Creation Principle
- Schedule: The Harvest Principle
- Faith: The Perspective Principle
- Action: The Pendulum Principle
Of all of these the two that struck me the most were Focus & Faith.. and no, it’s not just because they both begin with the letter F.
First of all (sticking with F), in working with my coach Elyse Archer, and utilizing the CSF (Critical Success Factors), I have set aside one hour per day to focus on what really matters or what helps me to multiply my time (crossing book streams here probably a no no). The first couple of days that this was done was a little scary to be honest. Some will call it the fear of missing out. Not so sure what other’s would call it. The other fear was that someone may not
be receiving a response fast enough from me. And since this was all in my head, I was granted the power to turn those thoughts off as well as turning all emails, ringers or other sources of interruption off for one measly hour a day. This made me feel so empowered! Not only that, I actually accomplished some things.
Since all things relate to food to me, I imagined the most powerful visual to associate this with.. .. A hot knife cutting through butter.. behold my powah! Then I read the metaphors Rory gave:
“Focused sunlight through a magnifying glass, capable of burning paper” – OK, not to shabby Ror.
“Focused streams of water able to cut through steel” Yes, this is a is a tad bit more striking than my allegory of shredding butter with my heated butter knife, however, I do believe that we understand that if you truly focus and own your own time and mind, you are able to create and accomplish feats that would otherwise never manifest.
The other F, Faith, while I do not profess to have much faith in too many things, and as the chapter is subtitled “The Perspective Principle”, I gained a new perspective. My new perspective was granted primarily through this excerpt –
“If we have enough faith to believe that there is a future coming…”
There is more that follows the excerpt, but it was that excerpt that moved me most and made me believe, that I do have faith in something other than myself, or family, for while we create what is around us on a daily basis, we do not pull tomorrow into existence ourselves, I sure am glad that it’s coming though!
I also enjoyed the imagery provided by his looking through the barrel of a pen to give perspective.
And finally, Rory provides some interaction via online videos as well as the “Focused 40 Quiz”.
Again I said to myself, yes Rory how did you know, I am 40 and I am focused!..
However, I could stand a little more, focus that is.
How does the book rate? I enjoyed it, I am moved by it and I will most likely use some of the book for my next Toastmasters speech! If you feel as though your life is in need of a little discipline, focus or faith, then pick this book up and take it for a whirl! If you are tired of taking the escalators, which I tend to avoid because I don’t want my shoe laces to get caught, then you owe it to yourself to “Take the Stairs”.
Rory, thank you for the books, podcasts and being a co-founder of your company!
If you have found this review to be helpful please share with the group! If you have read this book and have some insights you would like to relay, we would all be glad to read it!