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Book Review: Chris Gardner Start Where You Are

About a year ago I received an email from SUCCESS magazine that featured an interview with author and entrepreneur Chris Gardner, the man that served as the inspiration for the 2006 acclaimed movie The Pursuit of HappynessThe interview was to promote his latest book, Start Where You Are: Life Lessons in Getting from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be (Amistad, 2009).  After glancing over some of the key points of the book and reading the reviews, I decided to purchase a copy for myself—and I am so glad that I did.

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Start Where You Are was released during the time when the 2008 recession was in full swing, and people who had been employed in the same industry and with the same company for years found themselves suddenly jobless virtually overnight.  However, unlike other filler-type books that are “cranked out” just to profit from current events, Chris Garner’s book reads like the favorite wise uncle at the family reunion that all of the youngsters gather around, wishing they had pen and paper handy to take notes.

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In the book Mr. Gardner shares stories of inspiration from across the country, from letters that were written to him from people young and old; professional and just starting out.  People who had experienced a drastic life shift and had ideas of doing something different, but were unsure of how or where to begin.  He gives his advice, and also shares his own personal experiences as analogies for key “lessons” delivered throughout the book. His sincerity and honesty truly shine through with every sentence.

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What I love most about the book is that he does not sugarcoat anything—he makes sure to emphasize that there will indeed be challenges and obstacles to pursuing your dreams; and continuously stresses that there are no “golden roads” or “fast tracks” to true, long-lasting success.  Yet, he also offers reassurance that with belief in yourself, confidence in your abilities and hard work, you can achieve any goal or dream that you have for yourself—if you simply take things one day at a time.  It certainly helped me to see some things in my life in a different way.

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After reading this book, I decided to keep it in my “quick reference area” versus putting it away on my bookshelf–not only because of the invaluable life lessons, but also for the encouragement and positive reinforcement that he gives within the pages.  For me, the uplifting words are like that uncle at the reunion giving you a much-needed hug. 🙂

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To find out more about Start Where You Are, click Here.

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Makeba Giles is a Digital Content Producer and Founder of Faith Health and Home, a digital space with information and resources for physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being to help families live an inspired lifestyle.

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