Terry A. Smith, author of the book Ten: How Would You Rate Your Life?, stopped by for a Q&A.
What makes Ten different from all the other self-help books already out there?
One of my primary goals in writing the book was to connect the incredible power of crating a better life to the exponential power of leadership. Regardless of who we are or what our natural inclination or talents might be, when we strive for a better life, we just lead others with us down the path to the best possible reality. Life is not only about us. It never has been. That's why the book focuses on "others-help" rather than "self-help".
Not being satisfied with what we have is often cited as the root cause of many of today's woes. Yet in Ten, you write that you believe the problem is that we don't want enough. Could you elaborate?
I couldn't agree less with the idea that most of our problems result from wanting too much. I think we should want more. Not more stuff, but more life. I believe a more fulfilling life - a life in all its fullness - is the future that we are created to have. I also believe that we have the ability to tap into this potential and crate that more and better life for ourselves and others.
In the book, you outline a seven-step plan for creating at TEN Life. What are those seven steps?
1. Awaken: Wake up to the preferred future that is within you.
2. Discover: Discover your specific area of destiny.
3. Imagine: Learn how the discipline of imagination makes the future real.
4. Grow: Develop the life infrastructure necessary to sustain success.
5. Act: Take action to create imagined reality.
6. Lead: Learn to lead yourself and others to the best possible future.
7. Go There: Accept the call to get started living the more and better life you were intended to live.
Of all the steps, the one requiring us to grow seems the most difficult. Why is personal growth so important?
The greater our inspired ambitions, the greater our need to develop the secure foundation necessary to sustain them. We must become bigger people if we desire to live a bigger life. We must be willing to expand as human beings in order to become the person that we are capable of becoming. And the more ambitious we are, the more we must be willing to fully develop ourselves in every aspect of our lives.
A large portion of your book is dedicated to developing leadership skills. Why is being a leader so important?
Who wants to enter a preferred future alone? If we are to live the best possible life, then we must be obligated to more than just ourselves. We must be obligated to the countless people we have direct or indirect, immediate or future influence over. Leadership is about accepting responsibility for others. A moral future is an inclusive one.
But what about those people who don't see themselves as leaders?
I believe everyone is a leader in some capacity. If you are a mother, then you are a leader. If you are a teacher, you are a leader. If you are gifted in the arts, you are a leader. Excellent athletes are leaders. Managers, politicians, pastors and CEOs are all obviously leaders. While most people may not be born with natural leadership skills, it is a skill that can be learned and developed. It can be studied. For our own survival and the survival and success of those around us, it is imperative that we learn effective leadership skills. Trust me, you can learn to lead if you have to, and I think you have to.
About the book:
Whether we’re in the depths of a crisis or riding the wave of success and blessing, we all desire a life that’s better than the one we’re living now. We all want more – more fulfillment, more joy, more satisfaction, more significance.
So on a scale of one to ten, how do you rate your life? A “six”? Maybe a “seven”? Not bad, but what if you could be living a TEN? Would you risk doing things differently, dare to look at your circumstances from a different perspective in order to achieve the life that awaits you? In TEN, Terry Smith offers you the pathway to living a TEN life.
TEN is not just another self-help book. On the contrary, this book shows you a clear and compelling path that takes you beyond “self-help” to experience the fulfillment of “others-help”. Smith shows you how to master the essential bond between getting better at your life and helping others get better at theirs.
TEN will challenge you to become the leader God created you to be. By creating your preferred future, you’ll be impacting not just your own life, but the lives of those around you, and even the lives of people you haven’t even met yet. Don’t settle. Whether you rate the life you’re living now as a two, a five, or a seven, now is the time to start living a TEN!
About the author:
Terry is a cofounder of the New York City Leadership Center and an instructor in its Leadership Fellows program. A gifted communicator, Terry speaks in a variety of venues nationally and internationally. He is passionate about challenging, developing, and encouraging leaders, whether they know they are leaders or not. He holds a bachelor of science in organizational management and a master of arts in organizational leadership. Terry has been married to his wife, Sharon, for twenty-eight years, and they have three adult children: Sumerr, Caleb, and Christian.