Living Forward: A Proven Plan to Stop Drifting and Get the Life You Want


What is the book “Living Forward” about?

Most of us are convinced that we truly know how to plan our life. We’re planning our vacation, the education of our children, or imagining our lives in retirement. However, according to the authors, we aren’t able to plan our lives overall and not necessarily want to. But why’s that? What needs to be done to reduce our thoughtless existence to an absolute minimum? How to put our time to good use?

All we need is a clear vision of our future life; and we can have it, because we must develop our way in life both professional and private areas, as opposed to walking blindly, where the road will take you.

One of the book’s authors, Daniel Harkavy, tells how once he, an experienced surfer, went to catch waves with his friend Austin, who was a rookie surfer. At that time Harkavy was living on the coast of Oregon, where there sometimes were especially treacherous currents; they weren’t allowing approaching the shore, they dragged back everything that was in the water.

Soon after swimming Harkavy saw that Austin was trapped in a steady water flow; although he was physically active, the water didn’t allow him to escape. He lacked knowledge. Harkavy swam to Austin and tried to help him get to the shore. Instead of swimming towards it, they went almost right next to the flow, slightly rowing to the land. Half an hour later, they finally managed to overcome the resistance of water. They collapsed on the sand, thoroughly exhausted.

Harkavy draws parallels between that incident and our lives. Because of our laziness or general inexperience, we get sucked into the water flow and are quickly getting lost in it. We don’t notice it immediately, and when we do, we understand that we’ve already been dragged too far out into the sea. And then we can go two ways: to surrender to the waves and keep drifting or to row back to where we want. Someone’s marriage or a career got ruined that way. Someone has lost faith in himself; life seems meaningless, and it’s not bringing any satisfaction. Many of us, those who have drifted for long enough, don’t even notice how they’re going further and further from the place, they’ve once planned to go.

The authors feel that life is an innovative process. It’s a process of meaningful creation, making decisions that allow us to feel in control. If desired, we can find many methods, tools and ideas to live; instead of looking in a rearview mirror, we can boldly look forward.

Summary and 10 Ideas of “Living Forward”:

Idea №1 Acknowledge that you’re drifting, not swimming.

Idea №2 Identify your goal and make a plan on how to achieve it.

Idea №3 Evaluate the benefits of making a plan.

Idea №4 Think about what will remain after you’re gone.

Idea №5 Define your priorities.

Idea №6 Set up your way

Idea №7 Dedicate one whole day to making a plan

Idea №8 Once the plan is done, proceed with it

Idea №9  Keep your plan alive. Check it regularly and make necessary corrections.

Idea №10 Your life plan will help to overcome many global crises.

Review “Living Forward”

This book is pretty useful, concise and easy-to-understand. The authors don’t impose their methods; they only want to introduce them and to describe their benefits. Only readers will decide what they shall do with them. To drift among the sea of our existence or to for a more significant goal, the choice is ours.

Hyatt and Harkavy give a parable to support their stance. There was an old sage who lived in the Himalayas. Time to time, he would come down to the local village to entertain its inhabitants with his knowledge and his power of clairvoyance. By possessing special abilities, he could not only see what’s inside their bags and pockets, but he could also look directly into their hearts.

Once, a boy wanted to play a joke on him by making fun of his talents. He caught a small bird, hid it behind his back and went to the sage. If the old man would guess what he’s hiding, the boy would’ve asked was it a living bird or a dead one. If he would say “alive”, the boy would’ve killed it silently, and if the answer was “dead”, the boy would’ve shown a living bird, proving that the old man is cheating and has no special abilities.

When the old man came down to the village once again, the boy hid the bird behind his back and asked the sage what’s in his hands. “The bird, my son”, – said the sage. “Is it alive or dead?” – the boy asked. “It’s all on you”, – said the sage:  “You decide”.

Each reader will decide for himself, whether he should use this book as a guide to action.

Pros and Cons:

  • Valuable ideas, the simplicity of presentation, brevity, a simple structure.
  • The ideas of this book won’t be anything special for those who are familiar with the literature on self-development.

About Authors

Author of the book Living Forward: A Proven Plan to Stop Drifting and Get the Life You WantMichael S. Hyatt is the author, blogger, speaker and former chairman and CEO of the publisher Thomas Nelson. Career publisher Hyatt has begun in Word Publishing and a student of philosophy at Baylor University. He started his own publishing company Wolgemuth & Hyatt with Robert Wolgemuth in 1986. He was a literary agent from 1992 to 1998, after which he joined Thomas Nelson in 1998. Since then, he has worked in various roles both in the department and in corporate management. Hyatt now writes and speaks full time. He wrote seven books, including “The New York Times Best Sellers Platform”: “Noticed in a Noisy World” and “Wall Street Journal” Best Seller. Life Ahead: A Verified Plan to Stop Drift and Get the life you want

Author of the book Living Forward: A Proven Plan to Stop Drifting and Get the Life You WantDaniel Harkavy has more than 24 years of experience. He has trained thousands of business leaders to achieve peak levels of success, productivity, profitability, and fulfillment. In 1996, he used his passion for coaching teams and leaders and founded Building Champions Inc., where he is the general manager and executive coach.
Daniel holds individual training sessions, executive retreats, speaking in English and a field experience for business leaders and teams around the world, focusing on helping clients improve their results and results in business and life. His client list includes companies such as Nike, Daimler Trucks North America, etc


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