“View from the Top” Book Review

View From the Top by Aaron WalkerI loved this book, and I wolfed it within a few hours.
By the way, one of the things I found very refreshing was that Aaron Walker didn’t beat the word count as most traditionally published authors do. They do that because their publishers demand that. They have to somehow justify their inflated prices, and they do that by publishing thick volumes. Most of the time, it bites them right back in the butt, because readers are bored by long-windedness.

Well, it’s not the case with View from the Top by Aaron Walker. The author didn’t put a single unnecessary story into it. He said what he had to say without elaborate word figures and beating a dead horse.

I loved the book mostly because it was raw and authentic. No beating around the bush. No veiled hints about this or that. When Aaron decided to reveal something about himself or his story, he did it to the fullest. By no means is he an author who can paint the picture with a painstakingly collected set of beautiful words, but his stories were captivating nonetheless. When he told about the accident on a highway or described how he was tempted to shoot the man down, I was right there with him and could feel his emotions.

I found only a couple of minor problems with the book, and both of them were just a matter of my perspective.

I read View from the Top on Kindle, and it wasn’t properly formatted to fit that format. I got an impression that the publisher tried to convey the feeling of the print layout, and it wasn’t a very successful attempt. The image quotes that I’m sure look great on printed pages were disturbing my reading experience.
I held one or three minor doctrinal differences with Aaron Walker, and some things simply didn’t ring right in my ears.

Religious Background

Aaron Walker is a man of faith, and it shines through the pages of View from the Top.” Readers who are Christians will get the most out of this book.
It doesn’t mean that people of other religions will not benefit from reading it. This book is one man’s life story and life lessons, not a sermon. Yes, you will find the word “Christ” many times, but it’s just who Aaron Walker is. You don’t also expect to read the autobiography of Dalai Lama that avoids the subject of Buddhism altogether, do you?

View from the Top is not a good fit for one “religious category” of people – for fighting atheists. They would be offended by the obvious deep faith of the author, or they would be too busy proving in their minds what an idiot Aaron is to believe in fairytales to actually ponder his message and apply it in their lives.

The Message(s)

And that would be a real shame, because View from the Top contains so many nuggets of wisdom hard-won by the author in decades of business and marriage.

How pervasive honesty and integrity are to success. How masterminds can help you not only in your business, but in your life. How most people succumb to an instant gratification mindset, and how powerful delayed gratification is. Why you should pay more attention to your relationships than to your job or business.

Another reflection here: research done by some university concluded that the only reliable predictor of one’s happiness is one’s relationships. They tried to correlate many different factors with happiness, especially the ones we feel in our guts are connoted to happiness – material status, respect in the society, health, etc. They found only a feeble correlation between any of them and happiness. But in 90% of cases when you have deep nurturing relationships, you are also happy.

Aaron Walker came to the same conclusions through his life experiences, not by conducting research. I appreciate his common sense and wisdom that is grounded in practice, not theory.

A Few Words about the Author

As I began the review, the book is raw and authentic. It is so because its author is raw and authentic as well.
I’ve been following him for some time and heard his interviews on numerous podcasts, but I still discovered pieces of his story I hadn’t known previously.

Aaron has had a rich life, and he generously shares his experience with readers. I think the most valuable lessons are the ones he learned not in some dramatic circumstances, but the ones he gained by living and growing for many years.

Keep communication lines open in your marriage.
Integrity and honesty are crucial to long-term success.
Nobody likes a cocky fellow.

Those are the lessons he discovered, and he lives in accordance with them, which makes him a very impressive man.

Faith

As I said, View from the Top will be the most useful for Christians. Aaron’s faith is like a fabric that keeps together all other lessons of his book. When you put God in first place in your life, everything else will fall into their right places.

It’s hard to open up to a bunch of strangers in the mastermind when you have no faith. It’s hard – without faith – to be 100% integral when you see others using smoke and mirrors and getting by.

It’s hard to find any meaning and significance in your life if you don’t believe in the all-loving God who planned the good life of service for you.

It’s close to impossible to not be self-centered without faith.

And most importantly, with no faith the unexpected turns of life will squeeze you, chew you over, and leave you beaten.

You cannot predict how your life will unfold. But if you trust God, you can steadily move forward, even if you have just enough light to see only a few steps ahead. It’s a much better way of living your life than standing in place and being paralyzed because of the darkness that looms those few steps ahead.
Having God on your side you can live Aaron’s motto:

Fear missing opportunities more than you fear failure.

Great Book

I’m a reader. I read thousands of books including at least 100 that are life stories told from the first perspective.
I had a weird method of separating good books from great ones: if the book moves me to tears, it’s a great one. View from the Top is a great book.

At one point I had to put it down and hold my tears. I’ve stood on a train platform waiting for a train from work to home. It took me a couple minutes to put myself together.

If you let this book’s message pierce your heart, it may change you and change your life. If you are a man, you can do that with the help of Aaron. He shares his contact information at the end, and he is really approachable. I tested that personally.
If you are a woman, you will know where to send your man ๐Ÿ˜‰

Significance

The big takeaway from Aaron Walker’s life and his book is that significance does not come from success. You may be successful and miserable. You may have a lot of money or awards, but your health or your family may be in shambles exactly because you pursued money or awards.

But if you are significant, success will follow.

It’s in line with my own limited experience. When I decided to be an author and coach, I was focused on significance. I wanted to help my readers and clients. While I was focused on serving others, success followed. Whenever I wandered around chasing money or some ego metrics, my results dwindled.

For the last six months, I took a step back from my business and focused on my family. And you know what? My business exploded.

Read View from the Top and learn how to become not only successful, but significant as well.

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