Book Review – Going for the Max

“What is it we do after we recover from whatever it is that has set us back? I think we sink our roots deeper into our own soul and find out more of who we are and what God wants us to be.” –Max Cleland

The key to reaching any goal is the ability to overcome the obstacles that challenge us along the way. Former U.S. Senator Max Cleland is the literal embodiment of what it means to move beyond our limitation to reach our goals.

In his book, “Going for the Max,” Cleland discusses the fundamental lessons that enabled him to live life to the fullest after he suffered the loss of both legs and one arm during the Vietnam War.  His book is a well-articulated and succinct list of lessons supported by quotes and stories from the lives of a myriad of authors and public figures. Cleland says those stories and quotes have had a lasting impact on his life and his is hope that others would find them as inspirational as he has.

His influences vary drastically. For example, Cleland says he was inspired by Helen Keller’s assertion to “never lose your vision,” even though she had lost her sight. He was also encouraged by Kevin Costner’s character in the movie, Tin Cup, to never be so defined by the desperation of the situation that you resolve to fail.  Cleland wrote, “I have to challenge myself constantly not to lose my vision about what I can become.”

The book goes on to list a total of 12 different principles that enable the reader to search their souls and seek God in an effort to reach their full potential.  The principles are not unique. From thinking positively to persevering, the uniqueness of the book is not in the actual principles but in his colorful illustrations and memorable anecdotes.

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