Start Where You Are: Life Lessons in getting from where you are to where you want to be
By Chris Gardner (author of The Pursuit of Happyness)
This book is ok. Sort of like in a cumulative generalized way the stories and overall effect of this book makes it valuable (sort of like the movie “The Pursuit of Happyness” has an overall good effect similarly).
Since very little “jumps out” like “aha!” like some of the other stuff I’ve been posting in this forum, I’ll just keep this sort of bare bones and advise reading the whole book on “general principles.”
(There’s an outline/breakdown of the main points in the book on pages 287 – 298, so I’ll just go back and forth from that outline to the pages the outline refers to)
One / Start Where You Are
- There is nothing you most need for starting than resources that are already yours – asking to be acknowledged and put to use immediately for any pursuit you can name.
- Start by letting go of excuses that block your road, and begin to recognize your safety net of capacities and your trust fund of assets that are distinctly yours.
- Seize the gift of where you are to start your pursuit of happyness - that’s why they call it the present.
Lesson #5 – Baby Steps Count, Too, as Long as You Go Forward
Lesson #9 – Even Lewis and Clark Had a Map
- Research and Development
p 62 – 63
The essence of this lesson is that for every pursuit you can dream up, there is a very high probability that somewhere in the world or in history, someone has been there and done that, or at least has tried – and can provide you with a very helpful overview of their struggles and discoveries, as well as their downfalls and triumphs. Contrary to those who believe that you must ignore all predecessors and forge your own path into the woods where no one has ever gone before, my experience has been that, when starting out, it’s smart to ask for directions before heading off into the wilderness….
Ain’t no shame in starting with someone else’s map, blueprint, or guidelines. If you ask me, it’s crazy not to! In any case, I’ve learned that whenever I have chosen to trek out on my own, using the maps to success that others have created, by adapting those maps along the way, eventually I’ve learned enough to come up with my own methods to share with those who’ll soon be coming up behind me. I’ve always referred to this approach as asking questions and then testing out the answers for practical usage now and later.
The best two questions for R&D are “what do you do?” and “how do you do that?”
Lesson #23 – Are You Bold Enough to Go Back to Basics?
Wherever you are, if you’re bold enough and resilient enough to go back to basics, you’re probably ready to venture out where you’ve never gone before. If you are considering veering off on that road less traveled for yourself, my further advice is that doing it your way, on your terms, requires the recognition that your ass is on the line. Not so much your money, but your energy, passion, joy, dreams, and desires. Are you ready to do that while taking the long view, understanding that success will come and go, that you’ll be down and up, flush and strapped? With the ebbing and flowing, are you prepared to be constant with your own oceanic persistence – being your tide that rises and falls, comes and goes, moving forward, backing away only to come forward, again, again, and again?
Are you that bold?
Lesson #26 – Learn the Ropes First, Then Conquer Rome
-Talent is dazzling, but without discipline and character, the ride is destined to be short-lived.
- Learn the ropes of becoming a world-class human being, then conquer Rome.
Lesson #32 – Opportunities, Like Pancakes, Are Best Served Hot, but Sometimes You Gotta Set the Table Before You Can Eat
Yet I also believe no matter what your endeavor, when you’re open to possibilities that can and do show up on your doorstep, all the elements of timing can click for you, too….that’s your cue to be on the lookout for those wonderful meetings, pieces of advice, and offers of interest that could pop up anytime. Or, if you’ve been in too much of a rush, and haven’t enlisted your own karma patrol for helping you deliberate more thoughtfully when you should, that will tell you to employ timing by letting the game play itself out before you jump in.
Whenever I’m accused of being lucky, I dispute that notion. But what I have mastered is timing. And so can you.
Lesson #33 – Stay Open, but Don’t Wing it
- Adaptation/Survival of the Fittest
The quest to reclaim lost mojo is not as funny as it sounds. It’s actually critical for survival of the fittest and is dependent on your power of adaptation. That may mean you’ll have to retool your best-laid plans or throw out some stale ideas. You don’t have to scale back your dreams, however. In fact, rather than downsize the scope of what you’re doing, I have learned, it’s your time to broaden your horizon and grow. The operative means of doing that is essentially this lesson – Stay open, but don’t wing it.
If you want your molecules rearranged, maybe all that you need is to listen to some different tunes for a change. Sometimes, being open is as simple as that and is just the ticket for getting your mojo back.
In the pursuit of mastery, I also think of this lesson as a reminder that when road conditions demand, we may need to switch gears without switching course.
You’ll see someone who is open, curious, questioning, and available to new input all the time. Yet they’re grounded at the same time. They’re not winging their way from one peak to the next, but rather they’re anchored and secure in who they are and why they are. Their mojo isn’t pushed over the top, but it’s infectious and disarming nonetheless. That’s survival of the fittest.
Five/Spiritual Genetics – Spiritual Lessons for Connecting to Your Higher Power
Lesson #38-Embrace the Best of Your Spiritual Genetics
Six/The Good Old Everyday – Ordinary Lessons for Happyness
- The everyday world lets our hearts teach us how to savor what we’ve pursued all along
- Let the everyday surprise you with a lesson you didn’t even pursue
Lesson #43 – Don’t Postpone Joy
- Do something today for yourself that you’ve been putting off.
You can miss all of now by constantly having to check to see where you have to go next. That is why I am so thankful for having learned to appreciate, be, enjoy, and experience the now and the where of the present.
Lesson #44 – Claim Ownership of Your Dreams
That said, as we established from the very beginning, the most powerful way to claim ownership of your dream, right up front, is to ask the questions that belong to you. The answers can produce a wealth of guidance, but ownership of your dreams, I believe, starts with your questions. Most of them begin with familiar words: what, where, why, how, who and what for, and definitely when.