2016 Book of the Year

At Horizon Point, we’ve been in the habit of providing end of the year book recommendations and reviews. You can check some previous ones out here:

The Best Books of 2015

10 Books Leaders Need to Be Reading

The Best Book to Give Every Person on Your Christmas Gift List

Book Review 2013

We like books so much, we even provide book favorites off schedule like this Top 10 List of Leadership Books.

But this year one book was so good that our 2016 recommendation is simply one:

When Breath Becomes Air

For us, a reoccurring theme seemed to emerge in 2016, and that is the importance of story.  Of an individual’s story, a company’s story and a community’s story.   As we worked to help individuals chart a career path or coach them to greater leadership success, as we sought to help companies guide talent management practices through values and innovative practices, and as we helped communities understand and grow their workforce, we realized that it all really begins with the story.

As we wrote about in a blog post back in May of this year, “When you know the answer to ‘who’ can then better design the ‘what’ and the ‘how’.”   Stories help us do this.

When Breath Becomes Air is a powerful story, a memoir, of a man who finds himself, at a point when he feels like his life and career is just beginning, diagnosed with a disease that is very uncommon in the young.  As he grapples with his illness, we find an unbelievably talented (more brilliant than most of us could ever dream of being) human being struggling to reconcile how to spend his finite time here on earth, given all the gifts and talents he’s been given and also cultivated through his own hard work.

And although the book may be too philosophical, or even depressing, for some, and whether we know we have a short amount of time to live like Paul does in this story or not, we all deal with his fundamental question, “What makes life meaningful?”

You will see in Paul the answer to this question really comes down to family and faith, and quite honestly, meaningful work.

As 2017 approaches, we hope that you are first and foremost, healthy, and that unlike Paul in the story you aren’t faced with having to daily grapple with your mortality.  However, we do hope that you spend some time discovering what makes life meaningful for you and then pursuing it wholeheartedly. And we hope that in 2017 you explore your story and ask others about theirs.  Maybe this in and of itself is really what makes life meaningful- pursuing your story and helping others pursue theirs.

What is your story?



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Mary Ila Ward