Thursday, September 15, 2011

Finding the Upside

Every now and then I read a book that inspires, educates and gives practical tips I can use right away. Find the Upside of the Down Times by Dr. Rob Pennington is that kind of book.

Rob has faced extreme adversity in his life and prevailed. Even when the “down times” included getting shot in the chest by an assailant, fired from his job, audited by the IRS and taking care of a critically ill spouse. Instead of becoming cynical and discouraged, Rob used each of these challenges as an opportunity to learn and grow.

I admire that. His courage, optimism and perseverance serve as motivation and encouragement for me.

And Rob did two things that caused the book to be a compelling read:

Self-Disclosure. Rob makes himself vulnerable to the reader. He doesn’t pretend that he was strong or perfect in the middle of these circumstances. Instead, he allows us to see his emotions, doubts and struggles. He’s one of us so we can identify with him and realize that it’s possible to emerge successfully from even the gravest of situations.

Structure. Each chapter contains the same three parts:
1 - Personal story that captures your attention and describes his challenge
2 - “What to Remember” – the lesson learned from the experience
3 - “What to Do” – the specific actions you can take to apply the lesson in your own life

For example, in the chapter “Turn a Worry into a Goal,” Rob describes his serious concerns about paying the $36,000 hospital bill he received after getting shot. He didn’t have the money and didn’t know how he’d get it. He explains how he was able to hold a “positive possibility” in his mind and find the solution to this problem. The action steps provided at the end helped me work through a specific challenge I was facing at the time.

Like any book, if you just read Find the Upside of the Down Times, you’ll gain some insights you didn’t have before. But if you actually implement the clear, step-by-step suggestions included with each chapter, you’ll experience the true potential to change your attitude and your results.

In his preface, Rob recommends reading just one chapter at a time. Then take time to think about how you can put the concepts into practice in your life.

I agree. This is a book to be savored over time. Although it could be a quick read, you’ll get the greatest benefits by following his suggestion.

You’re going to face many difficulties in your life. Some of them will even bring you to your knees. Absorbing the wisdom in this book will prepare you for those times so you emerge stronger from the

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