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The Principle of the Path: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

The Principle of the Path by Andy Stanley

This book is not simply another superficial self help book on how to achieve your worldly dreams of financial prosperity, successful career or satisfying marriage. Stanley offers practical and memorable advice on living one's life based God's moral principles rather tha...
This book is not simply another superficial self help book on how to achieve your worldly dreams of financial prosperity, successful career or satisfying marriage. Stanley offers practical and memorable advice on living one's life based God's moral principles rather than selfish or emotional desires. The message delivered in this book is broad enough to appeal to Christians and non-Christians alike. Nevertheless, Stanley does not shrink from the task of delivering the saving message of the gospel. Biblical truths are not watered down.
According to Stanley, "The principal of the path trumps all things (page 15) .it is universal" (page 44) and regardless of your age, education, gender or economic status, the principle works the same way. Summed up, the principle explains that the direction a person takes, rather than intentions lead to the outcome in life. The biblical verse, "The heart is more deceitful than anything else", in Jeremiah 17:9 sums up the tragic results when we depend on emotion and worldly wants rather than on a God- directed path. Furthermore, to make poor choices that violate morals, will eventually result in one's downfall. As the book of proverbs advises we must run from danger, rather than succumb to it. If you simply depend on intention and short term wants, then emotions will lead you to become sidetracked to the wrong path. There is a cause and effect relationship at work, and these principles can be leveraged to our advantage when navigating through life's options. It is in our power to choose right or wrong, but at times we must step back, and evaluate our choices in light of God's wisdom. The simple abstract diagram on the cover cleverly sums up the principle of connecting the dots and staying on the God- directed course.
A big strength for this book is the acknowledgement that at times we do suffer through no fault of our own. Or sometimes, we simply cannot reverse the damage or undue the consequences caused by a lifetime of poor choices. Because Stanley advocates a God directed path above all else, he acknowledges that we can still find peace even in adversity and turmoil. As a member of the Thomas Nelson Review Blogger program http://brb.thomasnelson.com/ , I recommend this book for anyone who seeks some objective worthwhile advice.

posted by PJtheEMT on May 21, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

The direction not intention determines your destination

Synopsis:
Andy Stanley's book caught my attention. He writes that the principle of the path governs the way that our lives progress, whether we're aware of it or not. Our paths that will take us to the path's destination, regardless of what we'd intended or had hop...
Synopsis:
Andy Stanley's book caught my attention. He writes that the principle of the path governs the way that our lives progress, whether we're aware of it or not. Our paths that will take us to the path's destination, regardless of what we'd intended or had hoped to go. Certain actions always have the same results. In the simplest terms, the principle of the path is like the principle of the harvest, we reap what we sow. Or as he puts it, "Today's decisions create tomorrow's experiences."

It is easy enough to identify when someone else seems to be on the wrong path - one of disappointment or regret. It is not as easy to spot in our own lives. We can see the paths that we took in hindsight, but we need to take special care to see where our paths are pointing us right now. The book provides us with questions for self-examination to help with this.

As we identify areas which we need to address, Stanley stresses that it is direction not intention that sets our destination. He writes that by acknowledging and acting on this cause and effect principle, we can avoid the regret that might come on many levels, "What seems like a sacrifice now will feel like an investment later on." The key is identifying when we're on the wrong path. The principle of the path does not try to provide a solution or fix, but instead proffers a guide to better self awareness.

Review and reaction:
I received this book through the Thomas Nelson Book Review Blogger Program. It's my first exposure to their books and found the book interesting and a bit discomfiting. The writing is anecdotal and clear. While the main point is straightforward, I thought the discussion was helpful because it forced me to think through my own actions and the areas in my life that need some work. It was the review of my own life that was a bit discomfiting.

I particularly liked his description of the ways that we rationalize decisions. We delay making changes. "We listen to our hearts, and then we assign our heads the responsibility of building a case to support our hearts' decisions. But again, the reasons follow the decisions - they aren't the real reasons behind the decisions."

I found the book interesting and helpful and would recommend it to others who are interested in examining their own lives and whether they're taking the right steps to reach their long term goals, whether financial, relational, or on any other level.

Publisher: Thomas Nelson Publishing, Inc. (March 31, 2009), 204 pages.
Courtesy of Thomas Nelson Book Review Bloggers program.

posted by gl on June 9, 2009

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  • Posted June 9, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    The direction not intention determines your destination

    Synopsis:
    Andy Stanley's book caught my attention. He writes that the principle of the path governs the way that our lives progress, whether we're aware of it or not. Our paths that will take us to the path's destination, regardless of what we'd intended or had hoped to go. Certain actions always have the same results. In the simplest terms, the principle of the path is like the principle of the harvest, we reap what we sow. Or as he puts it, "Today's decisions create tomorrow's experiences."

    It is easy enough to identify when someone else seems to be on the wrong path - one of disappointment or regret. It is not as easy to spot in our own lives. We can see the paths that we took in hindsight, but we need to take special care to see where our paths are pointing us right now. The book provides us with questions for self-examination to help with this.

    As we identify areas which we need to address, Stanley stresses that it is direction not intention that sets our destination. He writes that by acknowledging and acting on this cause and effect principle, we can avoid the regret that might come on many levels, "What seems like a sacrifice now will feel like an investment later on." The key is identifying when we're on the wrong path. The principle of the path does not try to provide a solution or fix, but instead proffers a guide to better self awareness.

    Review and reaction:
    I received this book through the Thomas Nelson Book Review Blogger Program. It's my first exposure to their books and found the book interesting and a bit discomfiting. The writing is anecdotal and clear. While the main point is straightforward, I thought the discussion was helpful because it forced me to think through my own actions and the areas in my life that need some work. It was the review of my own life that was a bit discomfiting.

    I particularly liked his description of the ways that we rationalize decisions. We delay making changes. "We listen to our hearts, and then we assign our heads the responsibility of building a case to support our hearts' decisions. But again, the reasons follow the decisions - they aren't the real reasons behind the decisions."

    I found the book interesting and helpful and would recommend it to others who are interested in examining their own lives and whether they're taking the right steps to reach their long term goals, whether financial, relational, or on any other level.

    Publisher: Thomas Nelson Publishing, Inc. (March 31, 2009), 204 pages.
    Courtesy of Thomas Nelson Book Review Bloggers program.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2013

    Good read

    Good read

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  • Posted August 26, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Good Life Advice

    The Principle of the Path

    Overview

    I grew up believing in fate - that whatever happened, it was meant to be. The Principle of the Path by Andy Stanley presents an interesting argument that each decision we make places us on a path for the rest of our lives. It puts us in the driver seat of our own lives and allows us to feel some sense of control over our successes and failures.

    This book is an excellent as Andy intertwines many of his own personal stories with the key messages of his book. His language is easy to read and his stories bring his theories to life. The book includes the following topics

    Why bad things happen to smart people
    Should have seen that coming
    The heart of the matter
    Getting help from your friends
    Attention retention
    Road Closed

    Greatest Lesson

    The greatest lesson I learned from this book is that we must have the foresight to consider the long-term impacts of our decisions. Each decision is not an isolated event, but rather one additional step on our life plan. The book offers some wonderful advice about how to select and stay on the right path throughout life. For example, Andy suggests that you should become friends with individuals who are further down the path you want to be on and seek advice from them on how they got there. This is much more effective than surrounding yourself with friends who are at the same stage as you and may not have the wisdom and experience to help you move forward in your path.

    "You will never reach your full potential without tapping in to the wisdom of others" (page 133)

    Recommendation

    I recommend The Principle of the Path for anyone (young or old) who is looking to understand why they have ended up on the path they are on. This book will inspire you to adjust your path to achieve greater success and happiness in life.


    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze 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 "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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  • Posted March 9, 2011

    Adapted from A Teaching Series.

    Andy Stanley has written some great books. So when he puts out a somewhat average one, it is hard to be excited about it. His best books are those which are not based on a teaching series - like Communicating for a Change, and 7 Practices of Effective Ministry. Usually when a book is based on one of his teachings series, it lacks the kind of insight and practical guidance that his 'straight to text' books do.

    This is true of The Principle of the Path, and unfortunately, it was pretty much what I expected when I received my review copy.

    It is not that this is a bad book or in anyway contains falsehood or bad doctrine. For what it is, The Principle of the Path is adequate and even excels in its category. I guess that it just isn't the kind of book I would pick up and after reading a page or two say, "I need this book!"

    Stanley's thesis is a good one: you get where you are heading. In other words, we don't make mistakes because they fall out of the sky. We don't get where we are heading or think we are heading because we're not going toward it. So, if you can discover the right path and follow it, you will succeed.

    This is a well known fact - the part about getting where you're heading anyway. I'm not sure that we could necessarily say that the journey always takes us to success, but then again it depends how we define success.

    I'm going to be honest. I'm not expecting Andy Stanley to be the world's greatest exegete or to blow me away with some kind of revolutionary paradigm shift (I've already blogged on why I think those are manufactured anyway). I do expect a little more than a self-help principle with some Scripture attached.

    Is this book essentially correct? Yes. Could it have been a whole lot better? Yes. Was it necessarily written for people like me? I don't think so, and therein is probably the issue. This is a book for people who are looking for advice and direction, and Andy does his best to point them toward Scriptural principles. Kudos. It's just that this kind of book is not my cup of tea.

    I received a free copy of this book from the publisher, without any requirement for the nature of the review.

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  • Posted August 31, 2009

    The Principle of the Path: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be

    "(T)he road I'm on always determines where I end up. Direction-not intention-determines our destination." ~ Andy Stanley

    "The Principle of the Path" is not a new approach to reaching goals but a reminder of what works.What Stanley gives us is a very common sense approach to reaching our destination. Just as any athlete will tell you, it always comes down to knowing the basics and doing them well. When we forget the basics we get into trouble. As Stanley explains, we may have great intentions, but our intentions do not determine our destination. The road that we are traveling on determines where we will end up. Using the wisdom of Proverbs, Stanley has us look at the road we are on to determine if our goals will be realized. I recommend this book to anyone starting out on a journey or for anyone who feels they have lost their way. It is never too late to change direction.

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  • Posted May 3, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A refreshing reminder for any generation to live wisely and without regrets.

    I have to admit when I first picked up this book I was skeptical. The first couple of chapters made it seem as though I were about to read page after page of Horatio Alger meets Christian Existentialism meets 21st century self-help. And while it certainly fits well into the self-help genre, the personable and sincere quality of the writing made for an enjoyable reminder to live wisely. In a time where consumerism and fleeting whims are at the core of our culture, this book reminds us to think deeper and longer about the way we choose to live in it. Whatever the rut you are stuck in, be it relational, financial, even health related, this book guides you through thinking carefully through moving beyond it. But, more importantly, it motivates you to think carefully before getting into that rut in the first place. Andy Stanley is the furthest thing from condescending or dogmatic, making his words fresh and inviting for any generation of readers and the message is general enough to engage many kinds of issues. So if you must read a self-help book, this one should definitely be among the top of your list.

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