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August 8, 2013

Jack Covert Selects: Jack Covert Selects - The In-Between

By: 800-CEO-READ @ 10:21 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

The In-Between: Embracing the Tension Between Now and the Next Big Thing by Jeff Goins, Moody Publishers, 176 pages, $13.99, July 2013, ISBN 9780802407245

We believe in the power of business books to help managers solve a particular business quandary, inspire an individual to take greater control over their professional lives, to work smarter, be more creative, start something new, or improve an already existing organization. That said, business books are not a panacea, and one can overdose on their advice to live larger, strike out on our own, to change the world. Once we’ve ended up with “the life” we’ve longed for, the job we planned for, or the start-up we fought for, we often find that we are still not quite “living the dream” we imagined, not “crushing it” like we expected. Or, as Jeff Goins puts it:

What we were hoping for, what we dreamed would be a larger-than-life experience, ends up looking a lot like morning breath and spreadsheets.

And that is because those big, life- and world-changing moments in business and life we read about in books are ephemeral, and most of our lives are lived in-between those moments. That is why books like Jeff Goins’ In-Between are an important part of our literary diet.

The In-Between is not a business book. It is a book of Goins’ personal stories about travelling the world, courting his wife, becoming a father, and attending his grandfather’s final moments on Earth—among many others. It comes from a young man wise beyond his years, and from a Christian publisher (something you wouldn’t know it by the text alone, as it doesn’t proselytize in the least—though it doesn’t shy away from his faith when it’s an integral part of the story), and it reminds us of simple truths so many of us forget as we strive toward big goals. Most importantly:

When it comes to waiting, we have a choice. We can bypass the delays to get immediate gratification. Or we can embrace the “long game” of life and invest in those days, months, and years in the slow but intentional growth that leads to lasting change. […] We can sit by and watch life pass us, or we can choose to participate in it, even the slow parts—especially, the slow parts.

John Lennon wrote, in his 1980 song “Beautiful Boy,” that “life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” That was long before there was a personal computer in every home and a smartphone buzzing in every pocket, presenting us with an even more thoroughly modern struggle to stay present. This brilliant little book is an antidote to the sentiment in Lennon’s song, a reminder to live life more deliberately. Because, in the end, “All we have are these moments, and what we choose to do with them is what we choose to do with our lives.”