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  • Writer's pictureLiz W.

Review for "Take the Stairs" by Rory Vaden

Intro to the Review

We have all had that experience of enthusiastically starting a new book only to realize partway through that it's not what we were expecting. The purpose of the following review is not to judge whether the book is "good" or "bad." The goal is to help you decide whether or not it is a good book for you.

Start by asking yourself:

  • Does it seem like the content covered in this book aligns with what I was expecting to find?

  • Is the main problem addressed in this book similar to my own goal of what I would like to learn from it?

  • Is the style and format written in a way that will not hinder my ability to get the most value from this book?

  • Am I the intended audience for this book?

If after reading the review you can answer yes to all these questions, this book is the right fit for you. If not, well, there are plenty more books out there just waiting for you to read them.

Take the Stairs

7 Steps to Achieving True Success

Rory Vaden

219 pages - Ⓒ 2012 TarcherPerigee

“I’m not prepared to leave my life’s success up to chance. Are you?”

Author Background

Rory Vaden is an author and business motivational speaker who specializes in self-discipline strategy. He is a 2x World Champion of Public Speaking Finalist, has been called one of the top 100 speakers in the world by Inc Magazine and was inducted into the professional speakers Hall of Fame. His other book titled Procrastinate on Purpose (affiliate link) was published in 2015. His website has lots of resources and can be found here.

What Problem Does This Book Attempt To Address?

Our society has been brainwashed to believe that everything we want should be easy and quick to obtain. We have lost the foundational principle for creating success – self-discipline. The purpose of this book is to provide instructions on how to develop, improve and consistently demonstrate self-discipline through mindset and daily habits. As the subtitle suggests, there are 7 different strategies within the book on how to go about doing this.


· Concept explanation: Clear

· Related stories: Many

· Data references and studies: Few

· Charts and graphics: Few

· Practical application: Strong

The concepts in the book are outlined, defined, and then extrapolated on in a very easy-to-understand and practical way, while still keeping the reader’s interest. I appreciate that the information is accessible to everyone, regardless of education level or previous experience. It feels very inclusive in the way he explains and presents his points. There is one central theme – improving self-discipline - and then each chapter talks about a different aspect of building and maintaining it. The guidelines are simple and clear and easily translate into daily habits. There is a workbook section at the end of the book with reflection questions and action steps.

Writing Style & Presentation

· Tone: Conversational

· Organization: Excellent

· Flow: Excellent

Each chapter is dedicated to one of the 7 strategies laid out in the introduction. The organization is very effective and makes the material easy to digest and remember. The flow is excellent. Most stories are written in separate blocks. Some of the main ones, particularly ones regarding the Vaden’s own personal experience, are written in the main text. The flow is very logical and feels cohesive and well executed.

Bringing It all Together

One thing done really well: The explanation of the main concept in the introduction section does an excellent job preparing a foundation for the 7 steps to follow in the rest of the book. This makes it easy to tie all 7 chapters back to the main point as you read.

One thing that could be better: Nothing comes to mind that I would change.

One main thing I took away from this book was: Self-discipline isn’t a personality trait or an innate gift of willpower; it is a series of emotional, mental and physical habits that successful people have learned and that anyone can adopt.

Overall Recommendation

Who I would recommend this book for: Someone looking for motivation and tips on how to do the things they know they should be doing but aren’t.

Who I wouldn’t recommend this book for: Someone who feels they already have good self-discipline and productivity habits – this is more of an introductory book for people who do not have those skills yet.


Enhance Your Reading by Using a Workbook

If you have decided this book is a good fit for you, I have created a workbook to help you get the most value from reading it. Here is a small sample of the material contained in the workbook.

Your workbook will include:

  • Pre-reading questions

  • Chapter discussion questions with space for writing answers

  • Space to write your own summary for each chapter

  • Vocabulary words with space to write definitions and add words

  • Key terms with space to write definitions and add words

  • Chapter reflection questions

  • Final reflection questions

  • A condensed list of all discussion questions and vocabulary for reference

  • Reflection pages for writing thoughts and ideas

Discussion Question Preview

Below you will find a small sample of the discussion questions. In the workbook, questions are provided for every chapter of this book.

Key Terms Preview

  • 360-Degree Accountability

  • Attitude

  • Buy-In Principle of Commitment

Vocabulary Preview

Apathy: (n.) Lack of interest or concern

Assimilate: (v.) To incorporate, absorb

Coalesce: (v.) To unite into a whole

..... download the workbook to view the full lists!

Where to Find the Workbook

All available workbooks can be found on Amazon in hardcopy and ebook formats. They are free to access for Kindle Unlimited members.

You can find this particular workbook by clicking here.

Your Feedback is Appreciated!

Are you a student? A teacher? A manager? A parent? Why did you decide to use a workbook and did it help you get more from the book you were reading? Please share your experience so I can continue to make these workbooks a valuable resource to you and others.

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