Book Club: Life on the Wire — Taking Risks, Moving Up and Being Esteemed

Our life is full of tensions. These tensions can lead us to overwhelm, stress, and ultimately burnout if we ignore them or make poor choices that are not in alignment with who we are. But if we approach the tensions appropriately, it can lead us on purpose to a fulfilling life.


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In last week’s book review, we learned why we’re never really balanced and why we need to strive for a purposeful imbalance. Making adjustments as needed. Over our lifetime, many of these adjustments move back and forth in the different areas of tension. One area of tension is in making money versus making memories. A second tension area is in taking risks versus taking responsibility.

In this week’s review of Life on the Wire: Avoid Burnout and Succeed in Work and Life, we will be examining three additional tension areas.

Week 2 Summary (Tension points 3–5)

Taking Risks vs. Taking Responsibility

As we live our lives, there can be a point where we question if our job is providing what we truly want from life. To have that fulfilling life, we need the ability to make adjustments as opportunities and unforeseen circumstances present themselves. At times the adjustments could be major and risky. Todd Duncan describes how to build the skills needed to assess the opportunities. He also recommends getting council from trustworthy fellow friends and those impacted by the decision when the opportunity is a major change.

We need to operate with the mindset of abundance when trying to achieve a purposeful imbalance. Appreciate what you already have and it will help you ask the right questions as you assess where you are today and how you need to move forward. This does not happen naturally.

Moving Up vs. Moving On

When deciding whether to stay in a job and move up the current career ladder or move to a new opportunity, do not let fear guide the decision. Although a majority of people aren’t their dream job, be cautious about running to a new opportunity. We need to consider both progress and potential as we decide what to do. To make progress toward our potential follow these three steps:

  1. Determine what skills you possess that provide the biggest potential
  2. Find out how to leverage those skills to get the most income
  3. Lay out a plan to make it happen

Being Noticed vs. Being Esteemed

The things we do that get us respect aren’t always the things that get us noticed and rewarded on the job. However, long-term benefits that allow us to move our career where we want it to go are tied to the respect we earn. If we live a life of integrity and excellence, respect from others will follow.

Aha Moments

Things I need to work on, things I want to try, and new ideas come to me as I read great books. The following are some random thoughts that came to mind as I read this section of the book:

  • Taking an honest inventory of what I have is important not just for an abundant mindset, but also to have an attitude of gratitude. This inventory should be updated and reviewed on a daily basis.
  • We should not let a desire to get accolades and rewards get us to sacrifice living and working with integrity. Living with integrity is what will gain us respect with others. Respect is hard to gain but easy to lose. I need to stop working for instant gratification and focus on others to earn the respect needed to open up the best opportunities.


Now it’s your turn. Read tension points 3–5 of Life on the Wire: Avoid Burnout and Succeed in Work and Life.

What did you learn as you read these chapters? Is there something you don’t agree with? What will you be applying new in your life based on what your learned? Share your thoughts in the comment section by clicking here

Next Week

We will be discussing tension points 6–8 next week. Enjoy your reading! I look forward to hearing from you.

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