Sunday, February 5, 2017

Jump by Steve Harvey (Book Review)

Jump: Take the Leap of Faith to Achieve Your Life of Abundance

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Name of the book: Jump

Author: Steve Harvey with Leah Lakins

Publisher: Amistad – An imprint of HarperCollins Publishers

ISBN 978-0-06-222035-6; e-book available

Price: USA $25.99/ Canada 431.99

Number of pages: 196
‘Take the leap of faith to achieve your life of abundance’ is written on the book’s jacket. Steve stands in his signature suit with his bald head, flashing one of his widest smiles. ‘Jump’ – the text is not screaming at the reader but there is something that makes the reader want to flip the pages.

As I was in the process of reading it, a family friend visited. On seeing the book, she asked me, “Isn’t he the same guy who goofed up on stage while announcing the name of the Miss Universe, sometime back?” It was then that it struck me too. I had totally forgotten that incident. I then started reading the book with renewed interest, wondering if he had to say anything about that incident in this book. We’ll come to that a little later.

Steve, in this inspirational book, urges the reader to jump from a spot that seems to stunt his growth, makes him unhappy and leads to a general sense of discontent within him. He does this by baring his own story in front of the reader. He speaks about the lows and highs of his life and how he jumped out of all his lows, guided by a hope that better things surely await. Right from practically living in his car to leading life paycheck to paycheck, to the riches he found on the way, he inspires the reader to take that ‘jump’. Now this jump does not necessarily have to be quitting a job abruptly, because it does not make one happy. It could be as simple as deciding that you will do something about it and then working towards it. Sometimes, not giving up hope when facing adversity is the best thing one can do to move ahead. However, he warns how just hoping about something and not doing anything about it would not help make things any better.

Coming from a person who knows well how it’s like to face seemingly overwhelming odds – failing in college, being fired from his job, being homeless and in debt – that can send any human being into a shell he is afraid of coming out from, Steve explains how it is all okay and how it is not the end but merely a place from where one needs to jump with the hope that he will be in a better place. Of course, it might not necessarily be better the moment one lands in a different place because one needs time to dress the scrapes, nurse the wounds and then look ahead and gear up for the journey ahead with a new vigour.

The concept of Jump was first introduced by him at the close of a taping of his syndicated hit show Family Feud. Talking to the studio audience as only he can, the Emmy Award- winning host spontaneously delivered passionate advice on the secret of his success. The video immediately went viral with 58 million viewers (and counting) worldwide. In this book, he builds on that invaluable advice.

Steve also speaks about juggling things and yes, he does elaborately explain how the major Miss Universe goof-up happened. When he takes the reader along his journey, the reader gets to know about the other side of the story – Steve’s side, the behind-the scenes mishap. He humanises the story and it makes sense why he admitted the mistake, took full responsibility and did not deprive the real Miss Universe her rightful moments of crowning glory.

He credits his wife Marjorie for being a driving force for him and how he is lucky that he found someone who could jump with him. We need people who can jump with us – no questions asked. And finding them, as per him, is what makes one truly blessed.

He encourages and teaches the reader to take a jump by laying out his core principles which include identifying the lessons and blessings in life; utilising the practice of stillness; putting past mistakes in the rear-view mirror for that’s where they belong and they should not hamper one’s journey ahead; trusting in God; and taking full responsibility, especially in difficult situations.

According to Steve, with every jump, we are elevating our lives and reaching closer to the great life that God has planned for us. There were instances where I felt there were repetitions which might have been used to emphasise what he wanted to tell the reader. Also, I wondered if it was his attempt to clear the air – a certain PR exercise? Be that as it may, I still consider it to be a confidence-building; morale-boosting book for those who believe and would appreciate the fact that something better is in store for them, no matter how gloomy or great life looks at the moment. Also, coming from a man who has seen a certain type of hell, lived and overcome it – it definitely remains a good read. For those who believe in taking risks and keep steering away from ‘playing it safe’, it will be a pat on the back and would further enlighten them about the paths they have decided to walk upon. To surge into your unique destiny by overriding your fears, Steve’s Jump will have your back.
This review can also be found at :

-Divya Nambiar

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