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25 Great Quotes from Halftime: Moving From Success to Significance  by Bob Buford

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A few friends and I have continued the Friday morning book club we started the last few years of our career at a Fortune 50 organization. The first book we read was Bob Buford’s Halftime: Moving From Success to Significance, which had been recommended by an executive who also took early retirement.

One of our group members, a former teacher who had spent his final years of his career in the learning function, suggested that we have a final review of the book going over our lessons learned from the book. From that exercise, I pulled 25 of my favorite quotes from the book that I would like to share with you:

  1. I truly believe that God uses people in their areas of strength and is unlikely to send us into areas in which we are likely to be amateurs and incompetents.
  2. Don’t allow the second half of your life to be characterized by decline, boredom, and increasing ineffectiveness for the kingdom.
  3. For Christians, halftime is basically a time to answer the question, “What will I do about what I believe?”
  4. The purpose of halftime is to take stock, to listen, and to learn.
  5. The key to a successful second half is finding your “one thing” and, in the process, finding what the Bible calls a state of joy, or blessedness.
  6. Your one thing is the most essential part of you, your transcendent dimension. It is discovering what’s true about yourself, rather than overlaying someone else’s truth on you or injecting someone else’s goals into your personality.
  7. We also begin to understand that we will live only so long. When all is said and done, our success will be pretty empty unless it has included a corresponding degree of significance
  8. Success often involves carrying your box with you as you head for the top but never knowing what’s in it. Significance begins by stopping wherever you are in the journey to see what’s in the box and then reordering your life around its contents.
  9. I don’t believe that God creates us with specialized abilities and temperaments and then asks us to do things for him that require completely different abilities and temperaments.
  10. God has a wonderful plan for the second half of your life: to allow you to serve him by doing what you like to do and what you are good at.
  11. The key to a successful second half is not a change of jobs; it is a change of heart, a change in the way you view the world and order your life.
  12. You see, when it comes to having a better second half than the first, it doesn’t matter whether you’re a millionaire CEO, a highly paid lawyer, or a teacher. What’s important is that you start off by discovering the way God built you so that you can use your uniquely developed talents for him.
  13. It is important to learn how to enjoy and benefit from the success you worked so hard to attain without becoming addicted to it, without going past the inflection point in the curve when it turns sour.
  14. I know too many people who heard the still, small voice telling them to move on to something better, only to hold the prompting at arm’s length. They realized, of course, that the voice was true, but they also knew that to follow it would lead into unfamiliar, uncharted territory.
  15. Peter Drucker told me that retirees have not proved to be the fertile source of volunteer effort we once thought they would be. They cut their engines off and lose their edge.
  16. You will not get very far in your second half without knowing your life mission.
  17. The two most important questions in helping you discover the unique role God has prepared beforehand for you to walk in. The questions are: What have you achieved? (competence) What do you care deeply about? (passion)
  18. Unless a person takes charge of them, both work and free time are likely to be disappointing.
  19. If you are learning with no particular goal in mind — whether stated or loosely understood — you will eventually come to view learning as a pastime. I recommend focusing on those things that will help you accomplish your mission but keeping a creative and liberal view of just what that could include.
  20. Have you ever considered that maybe it isn’t work that’s getting to you, but the work you’re doing?”
  21. What we become in the second half has already been invested during the first; it is not going to come from out of the blue.
  22. God does not waste what he has built. I am the same me as I was in the first half, only applied to a different venue. The same is true of you.
  23. God’s desire is for you to serve him just by being who you are, by using what he gave you to work with.
  24. Halftime is actually the opposite of retirement, an alternative to the boredom most retirees experience.
  25. Halftime is more about time and talent than it is about treasure. It starts with the question, “What do I believe?” and moves to “What do I do with what I believe?” It is about taking your God-given talents and all that you have learned in your first-half career and finding ways to use those for the greater good.

Author: Bill Pence

I’m Bill Pence ~ married to my best friend for more than 40 years and a St. Louis Cardinals fan. Before retiring I served as a manager at a Fortune 50 company; I'm a graduate of Covenant Theological Seminary and in leadership at my local church. I enjoy speaking about calling, vocation and work. I am a life-long learner and have a passion to help people develop to their fullest potential and to utilize their strengths more fully. I am an INTJ on Myers-Briggs, 3 on the Enneagram, my top five Strengthsfinders themes are: Belief, Responsibility, Learner, Harmony and Achiever, and my two StandOut strengths roles are Creator and Equalizer. My favorite book is the Bible, with Romans my favorite book and 2 Corinthians 5:21 my favorite verse. Some of my other favorite books are Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper, The Holiness of God by R.C. Sproul, The Prodigal Son (originally titled A Tale of Two Sons) by John MacArthur and Crazy Love by Francis Chan. I enjoy Christian hip-hop/rap music, with Lecrae, Trip Lee and Andy Mineo being some of favorite artists.

One thought on “25 Great Quotes from Halftime: Moving From Success to Significance  by Bob Buford

  1. Really appreciate the 25 quotes. I believe I’m in the last quarter, but I am finding my passion, what I think God prepared me for. Thanks, Bill. Pat

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