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Wisdom and Support for Your Halftime Journey Since the publication fifteen years ago of Bob Buford’s award-winning and newly updated and expanded bestseller, Halftime, more than half a million men and women have made the halftime journey from success to significance. If you are contemplating that journey yourself or have already started, Beyond Halftime is for you. “This book is the result of fifteen years of answering questions about halftime,” writes Buford. “I’ve focused on the areas that seem to come up most from those who contact me, and I’ve answered them in much the same way I would answer you if we sat down together over coffee. So in a very real sense, this book allows me to be your companion as you negotiate the ups and downs of the whole halftime experience.” Beyond Halftime invites you to slow down and take time to listen—really listen—to the voice of your heart and the rhythms of your life. The discoveries you’re about to make during this vital phase of your life can’t be rushed. Enjoy this wise guidance on the things that matter most in moving from gaining success to leaving a legacy. Your most rewarding years lie ahead of you. Welcome to the journey.
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About the Author
Bob Buford is an entrepreneur that grew a successful cable television company in the first half of his life. In his second half, Buford founded Halftime, an organization designed to inspire business and professional leaders to embrace God's calling and move from success to significance. For outstanding resources, self-assessment tools, stories, events and experiences to help you on your Halftime journey from success to significance visit www.Halftime.org.
Read an Excerpt
Practical Wisdom for Your Second Half
By Bob Buford
Copyright © 2008
The Leadership Network, Inc.
All right reserved.
Chapter One Life as a State of Perpetual Disorder
Does it ever seem that life just won't fall into place the way you planned? I keep calendars, I make appointments, I have daily plans, weekly plans, plans for my whole life. I want to take charge of life - to be proactive. But much of the time, perhaps most of the time, my life and the lives of most of the people I know are much more spontaneous than our linear plans would describe.
Take this book, for instance. I have been trying to take my thoughts and musings about halftime and arrange them in an orderly, linear fashion, and it has been extremely frustrating. I'm not even sure it can be done. Management guru Peter Drucker once shocked me by saying, "People who plan are the unhappiest people in the world. Opportunity is unpredictable. Most of the time, opportunity comes in over the transom. And opportunity doesn't stay long. If you don't respond to an opportunity, it moves on." The same is true for problems. If you don't change plans and react, your problems just get worse. As Shakespeare said, "Readiness is all." Readiness and reaction are key.
So the nature of this book is spontaneous and reactive. Its content cannot really be put into a linear, step-by-step order. I tried it, and it didn't work, because my life - like yours I expect - just won't conform to my plans. It is messy, disorderly, one surprise after another.
My beautiful wife, Linda, has watched with bemused sympathy as I have twisted and turned in the breeze trying to solve this making-order-out-of-chaos issue. She came into my study at our farm one day to tell me that she was taking a course on the Psalms. She said, "Your musings don't have any order. They are more like psalms. They are reactions along the road of life. The Psalms are not theology. They are more how people relate to change." Then she read me the following poem from her friend Verdell Krisher:
Are they poems Are they conflicting Are they prayers Are they experiential Are they praises Are they majestic Are they songs Are they dark Are they laments Are they intense Are they personal Are they accusing Are they communal Are they comforting Yes.
The 150 psalms in the Bible are collected into five books with no seeming attempt given to order them by genre or history or author or anything else. Philip Yancey wrote, "The 150 psalms are as difficult, disordered, and messy as life itself."
If you are looking for chronological order in this book - or in your second-half journey - you will be disappointed with both. Life in the second half is disordered, surprising, and only occasionally as you plan it. And all of that contradiction is what makes it wonderful. I suspect when we are in our thirties, we just can't live with such disorderliness, which makes the transition feel so uncomfortable at times.
I have learned to embrace discomfort and to celebrate disorderliness. I have learned to trust the unknown that comes with abandoning the drive to succeed.
The psalmist understands our trepidation in leaving the known, the comfortable. When he entered a cave to flee King Saul he wrote:
Have mercy on me, my God, have mercy on me, for in you I take refuge. I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed. I cry out to God Most High, to God, who vindicates me. He sends from heaven and saves me, rebuking those who hotly pursue me - God sends forth his love and his faithfulness. I am in the midst of lions; I am forced to dwell among man-eating beasts, whose teeth are spears and arrows, whose tongues are sharp swords. Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; let your glory be over all the earth. Psalm 57:1-5 (TNIV)
My life was well-ordered pre-halftime. It had to be, for that is how we succeed. The inertia of orderliness still pulls heavily, but the unexpected interruptions soon become a refuge, allowing you to be who you were created to be. If you are feeling pressure right now to finish this chapter, write down your thoughts, set the book down, take a deep breath, and close your eyes. Then get back to the real work of your life.
This is the real world.
Questions have always played a big role in my halftime journey, so I will be posing a few at the end of each chapter. My recommendation is that you read through them and select two or three that best fit your situation and write out your thoughts about them in a journal.
1. What movie, novel, song, poem, or quote would you pick to say, "That's just my situation now"? Or if you were to write a psalm expressing your current state of mind, what would it say?
2. Look over your calendar of the past two weeks. Describe an unpredicted event or conversation - something that was not according to plan. Were you upset when it happened? Were you still upset after it happened?
3. What have all the time-saving and time-management devices and techniques added to your life? What have they taken from your life? Which do you want more - what these devices have added to your life or what they have taken from your life?
4. Management expert Peter Drucker said that people who plan are the unhappiest people in the world. Think of someone you know who is a planner and someone else you know who is more spontaneous. Which person seems happiest to you? What qualities do you admire in each person?
5. If you were given a "free day" tomorrow, what would you do?
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11
"Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Matthew 6:34
Humans have a thousand plans; Heaven has but one. Chinese proverb
Excerpted from Beyond Halftime by Bob Buford Copyright © 2008 by The Leadership Network, Inc.. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
1 Life as a State of Perpetual Disorder 13
2 How to Know When You're in Halftime 19
3 Defining Moments 24
4 The Metrics of Significance 30
5 Too Much of a Good Thing? 35
6 Discarding the Past, Moving On! 41
7 Dancing with the Gorilla 47
8 The Gift of Silence 52
9 A Balanced Life 59
10 The God Who's Already There 65
11 Giving for Results 70
12 Antidotes to Aging Badly 77
13 The Paradox of Power 88
14 Prayer as a State of Being 95
15 Born Again and Again - An Easter Reflection 102
16 Reviewing Grace 107
17 The More You Have, the Harder It Is to Give It Away 113
18 Do Less to Get More Done 120
19 Finishing Well vs. Leaving Well 125
20 What to Do When You've Made the Wrong Decision 130
21 Created for Our Own Happiness? 136
22 What Are the Odds You Will Be Alive in Ten Years? 141
23 The Unsurpassed Joy of a Shared Dream 146
24 Blindsided! 153
25 That Painting in the Bedroom 159
Recommended Resources 166