The Present: The Gift That Makes You Happy And Successful At Work And In Life (Anglais) Broché – 1 janvier 2007
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Late one afternoon, Bill Green received an urgent phone call from Liz Michaels, who he used to work with.
She had heard Bill was experiencing great success, and she got right to the point, "Could I meet with you soon?" she asked. He thought he heard strain in her voice.
Bill said yes and rearranged his schedule so they could meet for lunch the next day. When Liz entered the restaurant, he noticed how tired she looked.
After some small talk and ordering their meals, Liz told him, "I have Harrison's job now."
"Congratulations," Bill said. "I'm not surprised you've been promoted."
"Thanks, but the problems are mounting," she admitted.
"A lot has changed since you were with us. We have fewer people, but more work. There never seems to be enough time to get everything done - at work or at home.
"And I'm just not enjoying life as much as I'd like to.
"By the way, Bill," she added, changing the subject, "you look good."
"I am good," he said. "I'm enjoying my work and life more. It's a nice change for me!"
"Oh?" she said. "Did your job change?"
Bill laughed. "No, but if feels like it. It all came together about a year ago."
"What happened?" Liz wanted to know.
Bill began, "Remember how hard I used to push myself and others to get good results? And how much time and effort it took us to get things done?"
Liz laughed. "I remember all too well."
Bill smiled, as though amused by his old behavior. "Well I've learned a few things. And so have many other people in my department. We're getting better results, faster and with less stress.
"And to top it off, I'm enjoying life more."
"What's happened?" Liz asked.
"If I told you, you probably wouldn't believe it."
"Try me," she replied.
He paused and then said, "I heard a story from a good friend of mine. It turned out to be a real gift. In fact, the story is called The Present."
"What is it about?" Liz inquired.
"It's a story about a young man who discovers a way to live and work that makes him happier and more successful.
"After I heard it, I thought a lot about the story and how I could benefit from using it. I started using what I learned, first at work and then later in my personal life. It had a big impact on me, and others began to notice.
"Like the young man in the story, I'm happier now, and I'm doing better."
"How?" Liz asked. "In what way?"
"Well, I now concentrate better on what I am doing. I learn more from what happens, and I'm able to plan better. I can focus now on getting the more important things done, without taking so long to do them."
"You got all that out of one story?" Liz seemed amazed.
"Well that's what I got out of the story. Different people get different things from The Present, depending on where they are in their work or life when they hear it. Of course, some people just don't get it at all.
"The story is a practical parable," Bill continued. "So it's not just what's in the story. It's what you take out of it that gives it value."
Liz asked, "Can you tell it to me?"
Bill sipped his glass of water and then said slowly, "Liz I hesitate because you've always seemed to be so skeptical. And this is the type of story you might dismiss too easily."
At that point, Liz let her guard down. She confessed that she was under a great deal of stress, in her job and personal life, and had come to lunch hoping to get some help.
Bill remembered when he felt that way.
Liz said, "I really want to hear the story."
Bill had always liked and respected Liz. So he said, "I'd be happy to tell it to you, if you agree that what you get and use from the story is up to you.
"And," he added, "If you find it useful, that you will share it with others."
Liz agreed and Bill continued. "When I first heard it, I realized at some point in the story that there was a great deal more to it than I had anticipated.
"I found myself taking notes throughout the story to help me remember the insights I might want to use later."
Liz wondered what she might fine useful for herself. She took out a small notepad and said, "I'm ready to listen."
Then Bill began to tell the story of The Present.
From the Hardcover edition. --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Broché .
Revue de presse
"Many of the people I have observed could have been even happier and more successful, in their careers and their lives, had they been given the gift of The Present" (Norman Augustine, Fmr.Chairman, USA Red Cross)
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But it is a new book that continues and expands the fable of the boy and the old man. I frequently still give "The Precious Present" as a gift to friends and loved-ones. Now I plan on giving those same people this new book, which deepens the message of the original book. I suggest you do the same - if the recipient appreciated the first book they will love this sequel too. There is also a convenient card included in "The Present" that contains a summary of the principles.
Some people complain that the message of this book is too simple. Rather than a negative, I see the simplicity as a powerful positive. Knowing something and actually doing it are two very different things. Who among us could not benefit from a simple reminder of the power of living and focusing in the present? To reinforce the message so that I actually live it rather than just know it, I try to reread the original book once a month (it is very short and takes less than 10 minutes).
I highly recommend both books.
Johnson's megaselling WHO MOVED MY CHEESE? (though the book he
co-authored with Ken Blanchard, THE ONE MINUTE MANAGER, is
one of my all-time favorites).
Yet that said, I jumped at the opportunity to listen to Johnson's
latest effort, THE PRESENT . . . and I'm glad I did . . . it was
Though the subtitle (THE GIFT THAT MAKES YOU HAPPIER AND
MORE SUCCESSFUL AT WORK AND IN LIFE, TODAY!) is perhaps
just a tad ambitious, I really did feel better after listening . . . it
is short story, told in the parable fashion that Johnson likes
to employ, about a man who learns a valuable lesson about
living in the present from a wise old gent.
The key: In order to achieve bliss in life, it's important to pay
equal attention to the past (learn from mistakes), the present
(live in the moment) and the future (plan for it as best as possible,
but don't "lose yourself in worry or anxiety").
There were so many worthwhile ideas presented that I almost
ran out of paper writing them down; for example:
It is hard to let go of the past if you have not learned from the
past. As soon as you learn and let go, you improve the present.
The more you learn from the past, the fewer regrets you have.
Only two things can rob you from joy of the present: your
negative version of the past or your negative version of the future.
You can't change the past, but you can learn from it.
It is important to plan for the future if you want the future to be better
than the present.
The purpose of the book is to let the world know that focusing on the present moment, learning from the past and preparing for the future will improve your life tremendously. That is awesome message everyone should listen to! There is just one problem. The story which is set up to convey this message is overly simple and honestly boring. Having said that, this book can work for people. It is simple and a bit dull, but the most important thing about this book is not the story but the message.
The Present reminded me of that other book, FISH, that was popular a few years ago. It has the same boring, simple story but a powerful message.
I think this book can be useful to many people. Just don't buy it thinking you are going to read a great story.
The story itself is fluff about learning from the past, living in the present and preparing for the future...mixed in with a great deal of praise about the story.
It is a very interesting format...the book spends about half of its effort praising itself. It praises you for being so smart as to read and seek wisdom from this totally wise and pure author. This is an interesting format for creating a "feel good" story.
But I am a kurmudgeon who doesn't like marketing hype, and have a history of tossing wrenches in marketing schemes...two stars, and no recommend.
BTW: If you are a CEO planning a major re-engineering...you should consider giving a copy of "Who Stole My Cheese" to all the people you laid off, and a copy of "The Present" to the people you expect to work harder with your reduced workforce. It will make you feel wonderful about yourself. In fact, you might even want to increase your stock options.