Book Recommendation: Rory Vaden’s Take the Stairs

I try to read at least one book a month that teaches me something or inspires me to grow spiritually, professionally or personally.  Rory Vaden’s Take the Stairs – 7 Steps to Achieving True Success is one of those rare books that can impact your entire life- faith, work, finances, home management and relationships.

Take the Stairs Book Review | Rory Vaden

Why I loved Take the Stairs and highly recommend it

The basic premise of Take the Stairs is that we live in a world of people who want to take the easy way, who want to avoid any pain or struggle, who want what they want, when they want it, and they don’t want to have to work very hard for it.  Rory Vaden calls this a taking the escalator mind-set.  However, people of excellence, people who succeed in life, who make an impact and leave a legacy don’t ride the escalator thru life – they “take the stairs”.

Take the Stairs is a challenge to do just that – to think through what you want to achieve in all areas of your life (not just work) and pursue that with diligence, purpose and excellence.  It’s not another self-help book full of fluffy, useless platitudes that reads like a Pinterest inspirational quotes board.

The Backstory

Vaden is a popular speaker at business and personal development conferences and the co-founder of Southwestern Consulting and Brand Builders Group.  His Ted Talk on How to Multiply Your Time has been viewed over 2.8 million times!

Take the Stairs is based on Vaden’s own personal journey from irresponsible kid to successful speaker, entrepreneur and businessman with an incredible work ethic, as well as a tremendous amount of research and coaching experience in business leadership and development.

His writing style is warm, friendly, easy-to-read, and even funny.  Vaden tells it like it is.   However, he is also unfailingly encouraging without being schmarmy.  I hate psychobabble and corporate-speak, and thankfully, he doesn’t go there.

Here are a few quotes to give you a flavor of the book:

Ten Quotes from Take the Stairs

1.  “The short-term easy leads to the long-term difficult, while the short-term difficult leads to the long-term easy.” p. 38

2. “…sacrifice isn’t really a sacrifice at all; it’s just a short-term down payment on a rich future blessing.” p. 45

3. “Success is the aggregate sum total of small, seemingly insignificant choices that when compounded over time create the trajectory of our lives.” p 39

4. “Success isn’t a matter of circumstance. It’s a matter of choice. Finding new circumstances won’t make you successful, but making new choices will.” p. 69

5. “Instead of asking, ‘how much can I get done today?’ we should be asking, ‘what is the most effective thing I can be doing right now with the time I have available?’” p. 128

6. “Get relentless about putting your self esteem into your work habits, not your results.” p. 149

7. “You are not doing yourself any favors by meandering. You are allowing your dreams to fall victim to your inaction.  You are trading what you want most for what you want right now.  Most of all, you’re denying yourself the rich rewards of hard-won success.” p. 164

8. “A Take the Stairs mind-set means that you don’t just recognize your inadequacies; you resolve them. You don’t just identify changes you need to make; you make them. Being a successful person requires that you take action.” pp 175-6

9. “Why do so many of us succumb to fear? Because it’s more convenient to let our dreams disappear than to muster up the discipline and work ethic to go out and transform them into reality.  The payoff of fear is that we don’t have to try, we don’t have to work, and we don’t have to challenge ourselves to test our limits…Action is the cure for fear.” p. 183

Take the Stairs is an encouraging and insightful read, one I would recommend to anyone.  In addition, I just finished Rory’s follow-up to Take the Stairs, the intriguingly titled and equally excellent, Procrastinate on Purpose.  Thoughts on that in a later post…

For more info on Rory check out his website.

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