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The Seed: Finding Purpose and Happiness in Life and Work Hardcover – May 31 2011
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From the Inside Flap
New from the international and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of The Energy Bus, The Seed takes you on an enlightening and life-changing quest to find passion, purpose, and happiness in your life and work.
Meet Josh, an up and comer in his company who has lost his passion at work. Challenged by his boss to take two weeks and decide if he really wants to work there, Josh takes off for the country, where he meets a wise farmer who gives him a seed and a promise: find the right place to plant the seed, and his purpose will be revealed.
As Josh travels the country to decide where to plant his seed, you'll find surprising new sources of wisdom and encouragement in your own work and life.
If you are searching for your purpose and are ready to leave your mark on the world, then plant this seed of inspiration in your life!
From the Back Cover
A story for anyone searching for more passion, purpose, and happiness
Bestselling author Jon Gordon has inspired countless people in business, education, professional sports, and ministries to work with more passion and purpose, and in his new inspiring fable he shares powerful insights and proven truths to find purpose and happiness in your life and work.See all Product Description
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Great questions! Jon Gordon's new book, The Seed, helps readers discover the answer. Through a wonderful story about a man given a two week leave of absence by his employer to, essentially, contemplate and renew his commitment to his job, we learn a method to explore our own satisfaction and find our purpose. The keys are, first, being open to discovery and, second, being open to the possibility that we may already be living our purpose but are missing the realization of, and passion for, that.
The story is a simple and engaging read. If you have previously read Gordon's The Energy Bus, you will recognize the appearance of George, and the positive lessons he brings to a discussion about purpose. As with other Gordon books, there are quotable quotes about life, work, and attitude and a simple to understand process to take away and implement.
The four stages of finding one's purpose are taught through the main character's life experiences, his dog, and a mysterious farmer. As Gordon repeatedly does so well in all of his writing, he takes a significant life challenge and presents it in an easy to relate to story, with important lessons presented in such a manner that the reader doesn't realize the reflection and learning that is inspired. As with his other books, there will also be a discussion guide and action plan available on the website soon.
I must admit, I am a Jon Gordon fan. I own all of the books he has written, I have led a transformative, positively energizing book club at work for The Energy Bus, and I rank him among my favorite authors. I love the fable style story, especially when the story applies to live in general, not just work life. When I heard that Gordon was writing a new book, I immediately advance-ordered twelve copies for my next book club. I applied to be one of Gordon's "seed planters" and was honored to be accepted.
Whether you are a fan like I am and have read all of Gordon's books, or if you've never read a Gordon book, order The Seed and read it. You won't regret a moment. And, you just might learn something about your purpose.
Note: As a seed planter, I was given advance access to an online copy of the book. In no other way, however, was this review influenced by the author, publisher, or any other party associated with The Seed.
The Seed: Finding Purpose and Happiness in Life and Work by Jon Gordon was just published this year. This little nutshell of a book--a mere 143 pages--reminded me of Henry David Thoreau's book Faith in a Seed, where he writes, "I have great faith in a seed. Convince me you have a seed there and I am prepared to expect wonders." Though Gordon is not a philosopher or Transcendentalist like Thoreau, rather an author of bestselling business self-help books, he may have found an original twist on this old, well known adage: the be happy in work or in life, you must know your purpose and be aligned with it.
Gordon's book follows the story of Josh, a midlevel employee of a respected company who finds he has lost his passion for work. Josh's boss is aware of his burnout, confronts him, and offers him time off to decide whether his job is worth keeping. So off Josh goes to find his purpose. On his journey, he meets several people who guide him along the way, introducing him to the concept of the seed.
There are four stages of the seed: first preparation, second planting, third growth, and finally the forth stage, the harvest. In the preparation stage, Josh learns that anything one has ever done, all of one's gifts, talents, lessons learned, lead up to finding one's purpose. Josh meets a farmer at this stage who tells him that one can't find purpose without adversity and challenges. "Adversity, for many, features a time of drought. Drought might include a time when ideas, money, good fortune, contacts, and success dry up. It might include a job loss or the death of a loved one or a personal illness...During such times, you feel like you are in a desert, isolated from the prosperity, health and success of the world...However when you progress to the other stages of purpose and look back at the preparation stage of your life, you'll realize it was the drought that made you the person you are today."
In the planting stage, Josh learns not to go looking around for his purpose, but to plant himself where he is, and give his all in service to others. In turn, his purpose will find him. I found this to be a novel and refreshing concept. Usually, the hero journeys out, sometimes to far away lands, as in Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat, Pray, Love. Staying put is almost counterintuitive, yet appealing. Following planting is the growth phase where most give up, as it has the greatest resistance. Josh is warned that right before one reaps his or her harvest, one faces the greatest challenges. The closer one gets to his or her goal, the stronger the resistance.
At the end of his journey, Josh makes it through all four stages, and finds his own purpose. He discovers the might of passion and purpose, and seeks to teach others. One of the most touching parts at the end is when Josh shares the story of a loan officer of a mortgage company who told him that her job was to save people's marriages, because in helping people keep their homes she would be helping to keep families together.
In the end, I found The Seed to be a charming little green book, worth the read for its innovative take on an age-old adage. However, be warned that the writing is simplistic, written for the level of an elementary school student, and ridden with cliché expressions. In my experience, sometimes these kinds of books are not the best written and oversimplified. Still, the concepts of The Seed and its ideas are well organized, well thought out, and stirring enough for a satisfying and thought provoking read.
Thank you Jon, for inspiring me to rewrite my goals as `purpose driven goals', and for giving me a life charge!
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