The Hard Way is the Only Way: a book review

We have a growing entitlement problem in our culture. We expect life to be easy and work out well and we avoid pain and risk. We believe in our own specialness, fail to act responsibly and think the world owes us. We deny our impact on others. The Entitlement Cure: Finding Success in Doing Hard Things the Right Way points us toward a different way. Dr. John Townsend is one half of the duo which brought us the super hit Boundaries (Townsend and co-author Henry Cloud are the Hall & Oates of the Christian Psychology world). Here he draws on his experience as a counselor and leadership consultant to help us fight our sense of entitlement. Townsend advice boils down to this: Do it the Hard Way. By Hard Way he means, “the habit of doing what’s best, rather than what is comfortable, to achieve a worthwhile outcome” (26).

9780310330523_1Townsend doesn’t offer a formula or a magic bullet. You fight entitlement in yourself by doing the next hard thing (NHD), taking an honest stock of yourself (both the positives and negatives and your self perception), minimizing regret, not wasting time, taking meaningful risks, and keeping inconvenient commitments.  You fight entitlement in others by refusing to enable them, and encouraging friends to step out and take risks. This is all fairly common sense.

However, we are all guilty of entitlement to some extent (believing we deserve preferential treatment, expecting things to work well). As a pain-avoidant Enneagram 7 type person, I have sometimes failed to face the ugly stuff in myself and take risks I think are painful. On the whole,  Townsend has great advice and this book is a swift kick in the pants for those of us who look for an easy way out. I give this three-and-a-half stars.

Note: I received this book from the Booklook Bloggers review program in exchange for my honest review.

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I am a pastor, husband, father, instigator, pray-er, hoper, writer, trouble-maker, peacemaker, and friend. Who are you?

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