The Present: The Gift that Makes You Happy and Successful at Work and in Life

Overview

A Timely Gift From the Author of Who Moved My Cheese?
Spencer Johnson, M.D.

Dr. Spencer Johnson’s stories of timeless, simple truths have changed the work and lives of millions of readers around the world. Now comes an insightful new tale...

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Overview

A Timely Gift From the Author of Who Moved My Cheese?
Spencer Johnson, M.D.

Dr. Spencer Johnson’s stories of timeless, simple truths have changed the work and lives of millions of readers around the world. Now comes an insightful new tale of inspiration and practical guidance for these turbulent times.

The Present

The Present is the best gift you can receive because it makes you happy and successful!
Whether it means …
• Having peace of mind and feeling more alive; or
• Being more productive and more prosperous; or
• Finding whatever is important to you and to those you work and live with.

The Present

The Gift that Makes You Happy and Successful at Work and in Life

For over two decades, Spencer Johnson has been inspiring and entertaining millions with his simple yet insightful stories of work and life that speak directly to the heart and soul.

The Present is an engaging story of a young man’s journey to adulthood, and his search for The Present, a mysterious and elusive gift he first hears about from a great old man. This Present, according to the old man, is “the best present a person can receive.”

Later, when the young boy becomes a young man, disillusioned with his work and his life, he returns to ask the old man, once again, to help him find The Present. The old man responds, “Only you have the power to find The Present for yourself.” So the young man embarks on a tireless search for this magical gift that holds the secret to his personal happiness and business success. It is only after the young man has searched high and low and given up his relentless pursuit that he relaxes and discovers The Present—and all of the promises it offers.

The Present will help you focus on what will make you happy and successful in your work and in your personal life. Like the young man, you may find that it is the best gift you can ever give yourself.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
In Who Moved My Cheese? and The One-Minute Manager, Spencer Johnson, M.D., shared deceptively simple business parables that millions of readers took to heart. In The Present, he presents a little gem of a tale about a young man's search for a mysterious gift that a wise old man calls The Present. Opening The Present is half the gift.
From the Publisher
“Many of the people I have observed could have been even happier and more successful, in their careers and their lives, had they been given the gift of The Present.”

Norman Augustine, Fmr. Chairman and CEO, Lockheed Martin Corp.,
Fmr. Chairman, American Red Cross, Fmr. Lecturer, Princeton University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780739310564
  • Publisher: Random House Audio Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 9/23/2003
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Unabridged, 1 hr.
  • Sales rank: 431,874
  • Product dimensions: 5.08 (w) x 5.91 (h) x 0.57 (d)

Meet the Author

Spencer Johnson, M.D., is one of the most respected and beloved authors in the world. He has helped millions of readers discover how to use simple, profound truths that lead to less stress and more success at work and at home.
Inspiring and entertaining people with his insightful stories that speak directly to the heart and soul, he is often referred to as the best there is at taking complex subjects and presenting simple solutions that work.

Dr. Johnson is the author or co-author of many New York Times bestsellers, including three #1 titles: Who Moved My Cheese?: An A-Mazing Way to Deal with Change In Your Work and Life; The One Minute Manager®, the world’s most popular management method, co-authored with Kenneth Blanchard; and The Present: The Gift That Makes Your Work And Life Better Each Day!

After graduating with a B.A. in psychology from the University of Southern California, Dr. Johnson received his M.D. degree from the Royal College of Surgeons, and completed medical clerkships at the Mayo Clinic and the Harvard Medical School.

He served as Director of Communications for Medtronic, the inventors of cardiac pacemakers; Research Physician at The Institute for Inter-Disciplinary Studies; Consultant to The Center for Study of the Person; and most recently Leadership Fellow at the Harvard Business School.

His work has captured the attention of major media, including the BBC, CNN, Fortune,
New York Times, Reader’s Digest, Today show, Time magazine, and USA Today.

Over thirty million copies of Dr. Johnson’s books are available in more than forty languages.

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Read an Excerpt

Before the Story

Late one afternoon, Bill Green received an urgent phone call from Liz Michaels, who he used to work with.

She had heard Bill was experiencing great success, and she got right to the point, "Could I meet with you soon?" she asked. He thought he heard strain in her voice.

Bill said yes and rearranged his schedule so they could meet for lunch the next day. When Liz entered the restaurant, he noticed how tired she looked.

After some small talk and ordering their meals, Liz told him, "I have Harrison's job now."

"Congratulations," Bill said. "I'm not surprised you've been promoted."

"Thanks, but the problems are mounting," she admitted.

"A lot has changed since you were with us. We have fewer people, but more work. There never seems to be enough time to get everything done - at work or at home.

"And I'm just not enjoying life as much as I'd like to.

"By the way, Bill," she added, changing the subject, "you look good."

"I am good," he said. "I'm enjoying my work and life more. It's a nice change for me!"

"Oh?" she said. "Did your job change?"

Bill laughed. "No, but if feels like it. It all came together about a year ago."

"What happened?" Liz wanted to know.

Bill began, "Remember how hard I used to push myself and others to get good results? And how much time and effort it took us to get things done?"

Liz laughed. "I remember all too well."

Bill smiled, as though amused by his old behavior. "Well I've learned a few things. And so have many other people in my department. We're getting better results, faster and with less stress.

"And to top it off, I'm enjoying life more."

"What's happened?" Liz asked.

"If I told you, you probably wouldn't believe it."

"Try me," she replied.

He paused and then said, "I heard a story from a good friend of mine. It turned out to be a real gift. In fact, the story is called The Present."

"What is it about?" Liz inquired.

"It's a story about a young man who discovers a way to live and work that makes him happier and more successful.

"After I heard it, I thought a lot about the story and how I could benefit from using it. I started using what I learned, first at work and then later in my personal life. It had a big impact on me, and others began to notice.

"Like the young man in the story, I'm happier now, and I'm doing better."

"How?" Liz asked. "In what way?"

"Well, I now concentrate better on what I am doing. I learn more from what happens, and I'm able to plan better. I can focus now on getting the more important things done, without taking so long to do them."

"You got all that out of one story?" Liz seemed amazed.

"Well that's what I got out of the story. Different people get different things from The Present, depending on where they are in their work or life when they hear it. Of course, some people just don't get it at all.

"The story is a practical parable," Bill continued. "So it's not just what's in the story. It's what you take out of it that gives it value."

Liz asked, "Can you tell it to me?"

Bill sipped his glass of water and then said slowly, "Liz I hesitate because you've always seemed to be so skeptical. And this is the type of story you might dismiss too easily."

At that point, Liz let her guard down. She confessed that she was under a great deal of stress, in her job and personal life, and had come to lunch hoping to get some help.

Bill remembered when he felt that way.

Liz said, "I really want to hear the story."

Bill had always liked and respected Liz. So he said, "I'd be happy to tell it to you, if you agree that what you get and use from the story is up to you.

"And," he added, "If you find it useful, that you will share it with others."

Liz agreed and Bill continued. "When I first heard it, I realized at some point in the story that there was a great deal more to it than I had anticipated.

"I found myself taking notes throughout the story to help me remember the insights I might want to use later."

Liz wondered what she might fine useful for herself. She took out a small notepad and said, "I'm ready to listen."

Then Bill began to tell the story of The Present.

From the Hardcover edition.

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First Chapter

Before the Story

Late one afternoon, Bill Green received an urgent phone call from Liz Michaels, who he used to work with.

She had heard Bill was experiencing great success, and she got right to the point, "Could I meet with you soon?" she asked. He thought he heard strain in her voice.

Bill said yes and rearranged his schedule so they could meet for lunch the next day. When Liz entered the restaurant, he noticed how tired she looked.

After some small talk and ordering their meals, Liz told him, "I have Harrison's job now."

"Congratulations," Bill said. "I'm not surprised you've been promoted."

"Thanks, but the problems are mounting," she admitted.

"A lot has changed since you were with us. We have fewer people, but more work. There never seems to be enough time to get everything done - at work or at home.

"And I'm just not enjoying life as much as I'd like to.

"By the way, Bill," she added, changing the subject, "you look good."

"I am good," he said. "I'm enjoying my work and life more. It's a nice change for me!"

"Oh?" she said. "Did your job change?"

Bill laughed. "No, but if feels like it. It all came together about a year ago."

"What happened?" Liz wanted to know.

Bill began, "Remember how hard I used to push myself and others to get good results? And how much time and effort it took us to get things done?"

Liz laughed. "I remember all too well."

Bill smiled, as though amused by his old behavior. "Well I've learned a few things. And so have many other people in my department. We're getting better results, faster and with lessstress.

"And to top it off, I'm enjoying life more."

"What's happened?" Liz asked.

"If I told you, you probably wouldn't believe it."

"Try me," she replied.

He paused and then said, "I heard a story from a good friend of mine. It turned out to be a real gift. In fact, the story is called The Present."

"What is it about?" Liz inquired.

"It's a story about a young man who discovers a way to live and work that makes him happier and more successful.

"After I heard it, I thought a lot about the story and how I could benefit from using it. I started using what I learned, first at work and then later in my personal life. It had a big impact on me, and others began to notice.

"Like the young man in the story, I'm happier now, and I'm doing better."

"How?" Liz asked. "In what way?"

"Well, I now concentrate better on what I am doing. I learn more from what happens, and I'm able to plan better. I can focus now on getting the more important things done, without taking so long to do them."

"You got all that out of one story?" Liz seemed amazed.

"Well that's what I got out of the story. Different people get different things from The Present, depending on where they are in their work or life when they hear it. Of course, some people just don't get it at all.

"The story is a practical parable," Bill continued. "So it's not just what's in the story. It's what you take out of it that gives it value."

Liz asked, "Can you tell it to me?"

Bill sipped his glass of water and then said slowly, "Liz I hesitate because you've always seemed to be so skeptical. And this is the type of story you might dismiss too easily."

At that point, Liz let her guard down. She confessed that she was under a great deal of stress, in her job and personal life, and had come to lunch hoping to get some help.

Bill remembered when he felt that way.

Liz said, "I really want to hear the story."

Bill had always liked and respected Liz. So he said, "I'd be happy to tell it to you, if you agree that what you get and use from the story is up to you.

"And," he added, "If you find it useful, that you will share it with others."

Liz agreed and Bill continued. "When I first heard it, I realized at some point in the story that there was a great deal more to it than I had anticipated.

"I found myself taking notes throughout the story to help me remember the insights I might want to use later."

Liz wondered what she might fine useful for herself. She took out a small notepad and said, "I'm ready to listen."

Then Bill began to tell the story of The Present.


From the Hardcover edition.

Copyright© 2003 by Spencer Johnson
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2008

    A reviewer

    The Present is an incredible book that can change your lifestyle in an instant. I have never finished a book without stopping a few times in beteween. However, I could not stop reading despite the fact that it was 1 O'clock in the morning. This book leads you to a successful life and help you understand 'happiness.' It teaches you so many things. How to be happy, how to be successful, and it'll make you much wiser than you were before you read the book. It helps you learn why 'purpose' is so important. I reccomend this book for everyone who dreams of a happy, successful life, or a person who just wants to help others. After reading the book, I carry it around with me everywhere. Whenever I need tips, I look through this book and get my answers. This book, The Present, gave me the most valuable present in the world.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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