The Power of Purpose Review
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Temes begins The Power of Purpose: Living Well by Doing Good by presenting three levels or models of thinking. At any given time we function on one of these levels: 1) how do I look to myself, 2) how do I look to others, and 3) how do others feel about themselves. Temes writes that once we begin turning our focus from level one to level three, once we begin to focus less on ourselves and more toward others, we will benefit “as much or more than the others you’re trying to help.”

To back up his premise of how the third level of thinking is more often than not the best choice for ourselves and others, Temes uses quotes from famous philosophers, tells his own personal stories, and shares examples of the highly successful. Take Michael Jordan for instance. Temes quotes Jordan as saying, “‘I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.’” Temes goes on to say that “the path to excellence requires getting past How do I look to others and focusing on your own determination to get where you need to go.”

Once Temes explains his three models of thinking, the rest of the book intertwines these mindset choices toward four key areas of our lives: ambition, insight, relationships, and positive impact. In a nutshell, Temes states that once we get out of ourselves and focus on others, we’ll live much richer, successful, and happier lives. “Being a little bit selfless,” says Temes, “brings more good feelings than the most selfish actions ever can.”

While Temes makes the point that by serving others we ultimately serve ourselves, I think each reader will decide for herself or himself whether or not this information is useful. To have a good family life, you can’t be selfish all the time. To have a successful career, you have to listen to your customer. If these are not new concepts, then I would pass on reading this book. On the other hand, if you want to discover how you can help others, The Power of Purpose may be just what you’re looking for.

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