It’s been a while since I read a book by John Maxwell, and now I remember why that is.
Maxwell’s most recent publication, Put Your Dream to the Test should be a must-read for anyone wanting to see their hopes and ambitions become reality. But it isn’t.
For starters, I’m not really sure who actually wrote the book – John Maxwell, his staff of quote researchers, or the hundred+ people whose quotes and anecdotes he strings together to try to make a cohesive statement.
Don’t get me wrong. At times, PYDTTT soars and is inspiring. At other times, it plods. Maxwell’s uncritical use of quotes and their context is like reading a Chicken Soup for the Soul book (He tells the story of the chicken soup books in this book).
He does help you evaluate your dream/goal with diagnostic questions which form the basis for each chapter’s content. The 10 questions are:
1. The Ownership Question: Is my dream really my dream? (I would love for him to ask, “Is my book really my book?”)
2. The Clarity Question: Do I clearly see my dream?
3. The Reality Question: Am I depending on factors within my control to achieve my dream?
4. The Passion Question: Does my dream compel me to follow it?
5. The Pathway Question: Do I have a strategy to reach my dream?
6. The People Question: Have I included the people I need to realize my dream?
7. The Cost Question: Am I willing to pay the price for my dream?
8. The Tenacity Question: Am I moving closer to my dream?
9. The Fulfillment Question: Does working toward my dream bring satisfaction?
10. The Significance Question: Does my dream benefit others?
The chapter on the cost of your dream was, for me, the best one in the book. I found myself underlining more there, at least.
Each chapter begins with an inspirational story of someone who has achieved a great dream. These stories alone make the book better. It’s when Maxwell attempts to derive steps and propositional bullet points from their experiences that the book becomes stale and linear.
Andy Stanley’s Visioneering remains one of the best books out on the subject of vision/dream pursuit. Maxwell’s book, Put Your Dream to the Test is inspiring, but its content seems to be more cut and paste than cohesive.