I love to read self-improvement books. As I watered the garden yesterday, listening to Rick Warren's The Purpose-Driven* Life, I realized that I should have been reviewing them here and keeping a page with a ranked list. Oh well. One more thing to do.
I like Pastor Warren's book. I think he's got a lot of good things to say and I agree with much of it. I don't think I'd recommend it over some others, though. For example, Zig Ziglar's Better Than Good has a nearly identical message and I think it's much better. Unlike some of his other Audible titles, Zig reads this one instead of performing it live in front of an audience, so you miss out on his greatest charm, his wild enthusiasm, but the content is still excellent.
I've long pondered starting a Catholic podcast and/or writing a book. I recently changed the tagline for this blog to "Love. Forgive. Party." which summarizes the theme I would use. I've tried a bunch of Catholic podcasts and, like Rick Warren's book, they are too serious, too ponderous. Jesus came to teach shepherds and fishermen. Have you ever hung out with farm workers or deck hands? They are too smart for clever philosophy. They know that the important things in life are pretty simple, hence Christ's teachings are simple. Love. Forgive. Party.
Rick has all the right ideas. Without a purpose, you drift. Without God and the Bible, you struggle to derive a purpose from first principles. He then takes you through the process of finding your purpose, illuminating the steps with passages from the Bible.
I'd prefer passages from Van Halen songs.
For the love of Pete, where is it written that the Bible needs to be the beginning and the end of our learning? This is one of the reasons Zig Ziglar is so much more effective. Zig acknowledges the Bible as the ultimate root of our purpose, but he quotes from it sparingly. Instead, he illustrates his points with stories of ordinary people doing extraordinary things. It's accessible and full of enthusiasm. Like any good Protestant, Rick Warren knows his Bible, but he doesn't recognize its limitations. Read the thing, absorb the message and get on with living life directed by it. Emphasis on living life. Stop beating me to death with it!
There. That's all I've got for today. I need to get back to some web development work now. I hope you have a wonderful Sunday or whatever day it is you read this.
Update: Looking for a video to use as the insert on this blog post, I came across this one. It's excellent. Enjoy!
* - The actual title of Rick's book is The Purpose Driven Life without the hyphen. That is grammatically incorrect and we don't do that kind of thing here.