There is nothing rigid in life. You are always moving forward; when you’re not, you’re not standing still – you’re going backward.

Stedman Graham is the CEO of his own management, marketing and consulting firm.  He is the author of ten books, including two New York Times bestsellers including You Can Make It Happen – A Nine-Step Plan For Success.  “The nine-step plan is a life management system that teaches you how to organize your personal and professional life around your identity.”  Yet, with all of his accomplishments, Graham may be best known for being Oprah Winfrey’s life partner.

The core premise of this book is “Your happiness and success in life flow from becoming clear about who you are and establishing your authentic identity – first inside yourself and then externally with the world…building your identity is about knowing what your calling is, learning how to do it well and creating value in the world.” Graham states that he feels “extraordinary people are simply ordinary people doing extraordinary things that matter to them. They relentless align all the elements of their life to support their pursuit of what has deep meaning to them.”

You can find my full book review titled “Chicken Soup for Your Identity” at this link on Amazon.

Here are two of my favorite excerpts from the book:

“Traditional learning works the opposite of how you actually should learn. You’ve basically learned to be a worker. The world wants workers. So the educational system teaches you how to be a worker, how to get a job, and how to prepare yourself so you can go out and do the work. You’re programmed to basically do the same thing over and over every day. If you buy into this, you get trapped because you get comfortable with the status quo. Without intervention or without some consciousness telling you that you need to do more than you’re doing, you’re not going to do it. It’s impossible…You need intervention. You need to wake up. You’ve been sleeping. The majority of people just loll along and act as if they’ve been hypnotized. They don’t have any goals; they don’t have a vision. They may have a daily goal that they want to achieve today, but it’s the same goal they had yesterday. Same thing, same thing, same thing. There’s no process for continuous improvement. There’s no journey. Where are you going to be in five years? What are you going to create in your life…This is about talent and skills. This is about performance. It’s about creating value. And that’s way beyond the entitlement mentality of, ‘What is the world going to do for me?’ The structure I’m talking about is, ‘How can I go out there and create value?’”

~ Stedman Graham

“I think the quest for identity never really stops. You have to accept this from the outset, because identity is always changing, always developing…the most important work is to identify the values that are strongest for you. And you have to be very, very honest. Consider whether you are taking on that value because it’s a good thing to do or because it awakens a passion within you…so identify the values that bring out the best in you and live by them…this is the most important thing, because no matter what happens, when everything else has disappeared and gone, then you will know your values are strong enough…What I thought I would be doing five years ago is very different from what I think I should be doing now. There is nothing rigid in the human life. You are always moving forward; when you’re not, you’re not even standing still – you’re really going backward. This is what being alive is all about.”

~ Mariane Pearl, journalist, author and wife of Daniel Pearl who was the Wall Street Journal bureau chief who was kidnapped and beheaded by Al-Qaeda.


  1. Love love this…will reblogged 😉


  2. Reblogged this on Jenny's Serendipity and commented:
    I used to think find happiness externally before happiness within and it should really be, the opposite. Great post!


  3. lkanigan says:

    Really liked the first excerpt because it is so true. As I have grown older through personal experiences, reading & learning we are raised through our educational system to be memorizers, copiers, there’s only one way to be or do. Instead of just becoming workers or followers…Imagine how we would be if we were challenged to do more, think more and become more.
    Also thanks for another book on the list.


  4. These quotes are great! I’m going to re-blog them on my blog as well. Like you, I don’t necessarily endorse the book (or the author for that matter), but I love what these quotes have to say.

    – Jason


  5. Let us never be rigid: let us bend and wave and recover to wave another day, like the palms beside the ocean!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: