Audible Audio Edition
Listening Length: 5 hours and 37 minutes
Program Type: Audiobook
Audible.com Release Date: December 5, 2008
Whispersync for Voice: Ready
Best Sellers Rank: #37 in Books > Christian Books & Bibles > Christian Living > Business & Professional Growth #138 in Books > Audible Audiobooks > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity #196 in Books > Christian Books & Bibles > Christian Living > Personal Growth
Buford's concept of "Halftime," an arbitrary time in one's life when he or she moves from thinking about success to thinking about significance, describes an important process for people to regular go through. He advocates thinking about what is really important and then making adjustments to pursue that one thing and to subordinate all other things in life to that item. The short version of this idea is what the character Curly (Jack Parlance I think) in the movie City Slickers suggests to Billy Crystal's character. Remember him holding up his finger and saying "This one thing." Buford uses that as an example of what he is promoting in his book. He then elaborates with suggestions resembling most motivational and success-oriented types of books.The flaws in this book include the fact that Buford is continuously and overwhelmingly self congratulatory about his accomplishments, success, wealth, status, who he knows, talents, offerings, etc. Rarely does a page go by on which he does not remind us of how successful he is. I think all of his anecdotes include his success or this or that CEO friend. This undermines the message of the book, because it is off-putting and distracting, even though the author has clearly adjusted his life to help people; the emphasis on altruism is a major theme of the book. He just pats himself on the back quite often.The focus on wealth and success in the "first half" of life makes the idea of a second half seem like something only for the rich and comfortable who can make changes without making sacrifices. It also conveys a false assumption that one must pursue and gain success and wealth before shifting toward selflessness. Why not forego the first half self-centeredness and play the second half gameplan from the begining?
This is another in the series of books that I've been reading recently about retiring. It was recommended by a friend who thought I'd like it, with the caveat that he knows "I'm not as religious as he is so try to get past that as you read it." The book is quite different from the others I've reviewed ... it assumes readers have the financial resources they need to retire so they can start shifting to more part-time work or to delegating daily tasks to others. Buford continues to address that objection that one can move to the second half without being wealthy, but it is an assumption many readers may find difficult to get past.The structure of the book is interesting in that it addresses issues related to the first half (of one's life) in the first part, to halftime when the person decides to make a change in part two, and to the second half in part three. Each of the chapters within those parts is relatively short and looks at those stages almost in an essay format. Buford mentioned that he struggled to complete the book. I got the feeling that he may have worked on each of those essays individually over time and then compiled them into the finished format as the book was completed.To my friend's concern, I was a little put off by the project he had decided to dedicate his second half to--helping churches to do more good works beyond their congregations in their communities. But not so much for what his purpose had become but because of how much he continued to reference it. As I attempted to think through how this book would help me, his constant reference to his project made it more difficult to consider my own decision. As others have noted, it makes the author come across as too self-centered.
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