BOOK REVIEW: EXPONENTIAL LIVING
By Teryl Warren
Each year, thousands of people spend thousands in an earnest and diligent pursuit of success. Some will spend their thousands on college tuition. Some will spend their thousands in sweat equity. And most will spend their thousands away from the hobbies, interests and people they claim are their true priorities. In her new book Exponential Living, Empowerment speaker, Life strategist and former LaFace Records executive Sheri Riley challenges readers to reevaluate the very definition of success. Peace, she explains, is the new success.
“Stop spending 100% of your time on 10% of who you are.” This is Riley’s mandate for high achievers who find themselves constantly striving to achieve one career goal after another while sacrificing their personal lives and personal happiness in the process. And the roster of achievement-driven interviewees Riley spoke with on her journey toward Exponential Living includes the likes of superstar rapper and actor Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, award-winning film producer Will Packer (Straight Outta Compton, Think Like a Man), Hollywood power couple Nicole Ari Parker and Boris Kodjoe and many more. In conversation after conversation, each of them candidly shares poignant, personal stories of moments where they struggled to find peace amid the trappings of fame and wealth, as well as the “A Ha!” moments that assured them they were finally “getting it right.”
So what exactly is “Exponential Living?” “Exponential Living is pursuing peace, choosing clarity, and living courageously…Exponential Living is not something to understand intellectually; it is something to be lived – it is a lifestyle.” Through the 9 Principles of Exponential Living, Riley empowers readers to operate in confidence, to live in their power and to adopt a healthy lifestyle. In one Principle, for instance, she illustrates a necessary paradigm shift that must begin in the mind where the things and people we say we value the most are treated as such. “We must give to our family from our ‘over-flow,’ not from our fumes,” she writes. In this Principle, Riley urges readers to expand the definitions of success and health to include “rich, loving relationships,” and she reminds us that, “Relationships are the food of the soul. No amount of wealth or achievement means anything without them.”
The path toward Exponential Living also includes a healthy dose of discernment in recognizing the difference between an opportunity versus a distraction, as well as practical advice on how to “stop working, and start maximizing.”
Throughout the book, Riley uses tried and true examples from her own life that authenticate the power of Exponential Living . She is, after all, her first client; and her transition from executive to entrepreneur to Exponential Living, while sometimes rocky, has taken her to that place of personal and professional success that each of us craves. But possibly the most powerful aspect of Exponential Living is Riley’s assessment of the notion of power, itself – and the pain that drives us to pursue it.
“We pursue money, titles, degrees, access to influential people, and other outer goals in order to wrap ourselves in a package that says to the world we’re successful…High achievers (and many others as well) have trouble making the choice to live in the power of who they are. It is easier for them to get distracted by what they do, especially when they’re really good at doing that thing…True power has nothing to do with the goals you achieve. True power comes from who you really, authentically are.”
In the book’s Foreword, personal friend and multi-talented artist Usher relates his personal experience with Sheri Riley and how her guidance and advice helped change his life. He shares how Sheri urged him to take up Exponential Living as his life’s strategy. “Practice these principles, and you’ll find peace in every area of your life. You’ll stop striving frantically to make your life happen and start allowing it to unfold, fully and naturally. That’s what Exponential Living is.”
Exponential Living is a must-read for anyone who knows, in their heart, that there’s much more to life than work, but needs a guiding light to help show them the way.
Exponential Living goes on sale 2/7/2017 at Barnes and Noble and other online retail outlets. To find a retailer in your area and to learn more about Sheri Riley, please visit: SheriRiley.com.