Live Life in Crescendo Book Summary - Live Life in Crescendo Book explained in key points
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Live Life in Crescendo summary

Stephen R. Covey and Cynthia Covey Haller

Your Most Important Work is Always Ahead of You

4.6 (195 ratings)
18 mins
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    Live Life in Crescendo
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    Do you ever think that life has passed you by? Maybe you feel like your dreams and aspirations are beyond your grasp, and you’ve given up trying to achieve anything. Often, this happens in the midlife years and so has become known as a midlife crisis. But you, and many others experiencing the same feelings, have likely accomplished much more than you think in areas that matter the most.

    Let’s consider George Bailey for a moment. OK, he’s a fictional character in the film It’s a Wonderful Life – but we can still learn a lot from George. He’s a small-town guy with a low-paying job. He once had big dreams, but he gave them up to manage his father’s company. Now, he finds himself facing financial ruin due to no fault of his own. Despairing, he considers throwing himself off a bridge.

    Enter Clarence – an angel who hasn’t yet earned his wings. To earn them, he’s tasked with stopping George from jumping. When George tells him he wishes he’d never been born, Clarence shows him how the town would look without him. It’s a dark place, miserable and full of bitter people. Clarence demonstrates how George has touched the lives of so many, and how his absence would leave a huge hole. Realizing he’s never fully appreciated what he’s had, George rushes home to the people he loves. Only now does he fully understand that he truly has a wonderful life.

    What George had forgotten was that success comes in many flavors. We don’t have to measure it in terms of our jobs, nor do we have to meet other people’s expectations. Life is a mission – not a career. What we really need is to be successful in the most important roles in our lives and to work toward being an influence for good in the world.

    To help you create your best possible future, write down what you’d like others to say about you at your funeral. Think about what people will know you for, and what your greatest accomplishments will be. When you look back at your life, what will have given you the most joy and satisfaction? What legacy will you leave behind? Does what you want match where you are now?

    By working through this exercise, you’ll be able to see what you need to do to create your future life. What goals do you need to set? What adjustments can you make to help you reach those goals?

    The answer lies in another book by Stephen R. Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. It’s the principle of first things first. That is, prioritize your goals around the people and things that matter to you most in life.

    This principle will also help you forget yourself for a while and instead think about how you can serve others. What can you do to encourage someone, make their lives easier, or raise their spirits?

    As you work through your plans, bear these tenets of a crescendo mentality in mind too: 

    First of all, think about what true success means to you. Don’t worry about what others may think, and skip any comparisons with them. What matters to you in your most important roles? 

    Second, make sure you can identify which changes you need to make in your life to attain the positive results you desire. Then, courageously work toward making these changes happen!

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    What is Live Life in Crescendo about?

    Live Life in Crescendo (2022) anecdotally provides the answers to many questions about life: How do you live your best life, no matter how old you are? How do you respond to life-changing challenges? What do you do if you have a midlife crisis? It shows how to live life in crescendo – continually growing in contribution, learning, and influence.

    Who should read Live Life in Crescendo?

    • People experiencing a midlife (or quarterlife) crisis
    • High achievers looking for a new challenge in life
    • Anyone who wants to learn inspiring life lessons

    About the Author

    Stephen R. Covey was an educator, author, speaker, and businessman who helped others live more effective, compassionate, and meaningful lives. His legendary book, the internationally best-selling The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, has sold over 50 million copies worldwide and has been published in over 40 languages. Toward the end of his life, Covey felt there was a final component needed to complete his work. Live Life in Crescendo is that final chapter.

    Cynthia Covey Haller cowrote this life-changing, life-affirming book with her father.

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