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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 September 5, 2009

    How to get from where you are to where you want to be?

    Beginning with a personal story, the author starts explaining about direction, destination and determination. He clearly states that it is direction not determination that decides our destination. The book encourages the readers to turn back to the past and see their current state and position.

    We all have certain desires and ambitions in life. Even though we are determined to obtain them, our current state is far away from what we desired for. The author explains the reasons behind the failure. Taking the examples of various biblical characters, the author proves the point.

    Through his book, the author stresses on the actions to be taken to reach our destination, a destination which we deeply desire for

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2012

    Very Much Worth !t

    After reading the first 2 chapters you can infer the simplicity of the message Andy Stanley is portraying. All of the principles in the book are basic, however, imparatively necessary.

    We all took a path to get where we are. Stanley makes a point that we were all being shown signs, such as ones you would see while taking a road trip; & these signs are warnings that tell us where we're going, even if its not where we intend to be. Using Biblical principles to staple his point, this book is a great read that emphasizes what God knows is best for us.

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  • Posted August 29, 2011

    Today's decisions create tomorrow's experiences

    Andy Stanley states, "The principle you employ every time you look at a map or fire up your GPS (i.e., roads lead to the same place every time) applies to other arenas of your life as well. But what's perfectly obvious in the realm of geography is not so obvious in those other arenas. And. what's true geographically is equally true relationally, financially, physically, and academically. There is a parallel principle that affects parenting, dating, marriage, our emotions, our health, and a host of other areas as well. Just as there are physical paths that lead to predictable physical locations, there are other kinds of paths that are equally predictable." Stanley calls this the principle of the path. Through the retelling of life experiences, both personal and gained through his years of being a pastor; and stories from the Bible, Stanley demonstrates how direction-not intention- determines destination. Although the information given is not new it is presented in such a way that made me stop and think about some of my own past decisions and about where I want to be and what I need to do to get there. I used this book in my daily devotions for several weeks and am sure that many of Stanley's points will be forever engrained in my mind: -You don't have problems to fix; you have directions that need to change. -Today's decisions create tomorrow's experiences. -What gets our attention determines our direction and, ultimately, our destination. -Knowing doesn't make a difference. Doing does. The Principle of the Path is a good book, whether you are where you want to be or still trying to reach your destination. The book can be a quick, easy read; or used as devotional material (there is a study guide in the back of the book) over a longer period of time. It's your choice. As Stanley states at the end of the book, "The decisions you make will determine the direction and the destination of your life. Choose wisely." -------------------------- Thomas Nelson Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for review through BookSneeze®. I am not required to give a positive opinion but I am required to give my honest opinion.

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  • Posted June 15, 2011

    Very helpful and insightful!

    I love and appreciate books and sermons by Pastor Andy Stanley and in "The Principle of the Path" he is definitely in top form.

    The book is subtitled "How to get from where you are to where you want to be" and deals with the, seemingly well-known, premise, that direction - not intention - determines our destination. Hence, in order to arrive at the desirable place, we need to make every effort to get on the right path. The one that leads to where we're heading.

    It's not exactly a book on rocket science, no.

    But, with a number of well-placed examples and personal stories of failure (don't we all love to learn from examples of others ;)), Pastor Andy shows the clear way forward. And leaves it to our determination finding (and following) the right path. How do you respond to the warning signs you see? How do you handle independence when it is so tempting to neglect the voices of reason in our life? If you arrived to where the current path of your life leads you to, would you be satisfied with the destination?

    There is plenty to do while we still can make a difference in this world and I find "The Principle of the Path" to be very helpful on this quest. Especially that it comes with a study guide to help us turn our wishful thinking into direction shift. Most of us need it more than we know.

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  • Posted March 4, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Change your path!

    Have you ever wondered why everyone else seems to be getting where they want in life and you are left struggling to achieve dreams? In Andy Stanley's book, he speaks out about how to change that. With examples taken from real life, Stanley shows us how all of the choices that we make are not simply one-time decisions that are soon lost in yesterday. Each choice we make is another step on the path we are taking.

    The simplicity of his message would make it seem unremarkable, but many of us often overlook the answers that are right in front of us! By outlining some basic life principles and showing the steps we can take, tasks in front of us don't appear quite as daunting.

    Stanley gives us his message in an easy read, minus other's sometimes off-putting, clinical language. Most people could benefit from reading this book and taking part in the study guide located in the back.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2011

    The Principle of the Path

    Living in Atlanta, I am very familiar with Andy Stanley. When I saw his book was available on BookSneeze, I immediately requested it. Overall, I enjoyed reading the book. Though there were some parts that were not applicable to my own Christian life, for the most part the book really corresponded with my daily life.

    The book offered practical advice and sound doctrine that was easily applicable to situations I face on a daily basis. I would recommend Andy Stanley's book to others. I look forward to reading Stanley's other books in the future.

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  • Posted February 21, 2010

    good, simple truths

    The challenge is in the application of those good, simple truths.

    Good book, I recommend it.

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  • Posted September 14, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    It is direction and not intention that determines destination.

    It is direction and not intention that determines destination.

    If I had read this book when I was 18 years old, I would definitely have made very different decisions. We can have the best intentions in life, but our end point can only be determined by the decisions we make. Andy Stanley aptly covers how we make decisions and the outcome of those decisions.

    While this book doesn't really say anything new, it brings the importance of our decision making to the forefront. It is very easy reading as it is well written and the subject expertly communicated. I didn't expect much from the book, possibly because I had never read any of Mr Stanley's books, but was pleasantly surprised at how much of an impact it had on me. It challenged me on a very deep level and caused me to change much of my decision making. I would recommend this book to anyone making small everyday decisions to someone making life decisions such as marriage or career choices. I give this book 4.5 out of 5.

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  • Posted May 18, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Get where you want to go

    This book is a good one to give as a gift, especially to a student off to college. It comes with practical advice and anecdotes that are easy to understand. Basically, if you employ foresight and choose advisers who have already arrived at where you want to be, you will succeed. Choose wisely.

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  • Posted May 11, 2009

    The Principle of the Path

    I was hooked from the first page to the last page. This common sense, written in plain English book will be helpful for individuals contemplating career moves, dealing with relationship issues, and anyone who feels stuck. It will force individuals to take a look at the decisions he and/or she has made and the resulting consequences. Mr. Stanley uses personal stories to illustrate points --- the personal touch is extremely appealing considering most of us don't want to feel as though we are the only ones to mess up, foul out, or miss the mark. Most of us can identify with the desire for excellent results while only expending minimal to zero effort. Mr. Stanley purports that "IQ, education, goals in life, net worth, looks, nor church attendance" is the reason one fails or succeeds; he suggests that the path one chooses to embark upon is the over-riding reason for success or failure. I was especially drawn to Mr. Stanley's ability to mix the humorous with a good dose of reality. He did not give pat, pie in the sky, in the bye and bye answers. Although, the author's God-stance certainly shines through this book is palatable even for those not religiously inclined. This book will make for an excellence graduation, birthday, "just because I want what's best for you" gift.

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  • Posted May 8, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    "The Principle Of The Path" by Andy Stanley

    As Pastor of North Point Ministries, Andy Stanley has encountered countless numbers of people who have engaged in this journey of life, and describes the more common situations in "The Principle of the Path." There is a certain sense of simplicity that finds itself wrapping around the profound as he describes both the Principle itself and the challenges we in the human race bump into along the way.

    Describing the principle, Stanley says it all- "Direction-not intention-determines our destination." He spends the better portion of the book tracing practical examples of how this works out for people as well as highlighting how it does not work, for all of the wrong reasons. Challenges that we all face are given meaning, even purpose, as the author tracks through issues that for some get them wondering how things got so far from where they thought they would end up in the first place. Life happens, and for all of its distractibility, Stanley does show forth to everyone their own personal accountability in the choice of direction that they choose for their lives.

    Not meant to be a self help book, "The Principle of the Path" guides the reader into the understanding why bad choices lead to bad results. At the same time, rather than giving lists of things that will somehow magically make everything nice, Stanley leaves the reader a bit unsettled, for only in the actual daily embrace of the Principle will one find any true direction, and learning how to avoid the distractions and wrong paths in life will be the never-ending challenge.

    One of the greatest strengths contained within the book is the Life-Application Study guide that would allow for discussion in any small group setting. Lots of time these guides are rather sappy, but Stanley uses scriptural references wisely to challenge, challenge, challenge our sense of direction. The reader would do him or herself well spending as much time working through the life application guide as they did the book itself. It is huge!

    This is a dangerous, troubling book. Dangerous because it can provoke your soul into honestly assessing your life at any point to realize again, you have ended up someplace, because that's the direction you chose to be heading. Troubling because your preconceptions will fall. Your ability to blame others for the mistakes in your own life will disappear. You will come in contact with a principal that lays it right on the line, with no place to hide but the truth. Yet who was it that said, "the Truth shall set you free?" This book might not necessary answer your questions, but it most certainly challenge to start asking a whole new set of questions. You simply have to read this book!

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