Title and Author: I Dare You! by William H. Danforth
Synopsis of Content:
In this mid 20th Century motivational classic the author, a successful businessman and crusader for youth programs in St. Louis, Missouri, William Danforth dares you and any other reader to do great things and to be great. Originally published in 1953 it has been republished by several sources in recent years.
Although the book is aimed at youth and young adults challenging them to become more than they might first believe possible it has motivational value for all ages. Danforth was a strong believer that we limit ourselves and that by seizing opportunity and believing in our virtually unlimited potential we could exceed all expectations, including our own, and dare to be great.
In addition to providing raw motivational material the book discusses seven primary areas, called “dares” where the author challenges the reader to go deeper and strive further in life. They include adventure, accomplishments, strength, creativity, magnetic personality, character, and the willingness to share what you have. These qualities will be recognized as common to most success books and materials published over the past two centuries. What distinguishes Danforth’s little book is his framing his challenge as a dare.
While the attributes which Danforth promotes are found in works by Marsden, Hill and others the daring approach used by this author is unique. It appealed to the young and youthful, whether it be the high school aged children who attended his summer camps or the young men entering the business world.
The Executive Books edition is only 144 pages. It is easy to read, having been aimed at young people. It may appear somewhat naïve and simplistic by today’s standards. However the motivational truths in this work are no less true today than they were over 60 years ago.
Notes on Author:
William Danforth was the founder and long time President of the Ralston Purina Company. He also served as President of the American Youth Foundation and was very active in the YMCA. During his summers he devoted his time to training and helping less fortunate young people at summer camps in Michigan and elsewhere. He died in 1956.
Three Great Ideas You Can Use:
1. “Wealth, notoriety, place, and power are no measure of success whatever. The only true measure of success is the ration between what we might have done and what we might have been on the one hand, and the thing we have made and the thing we have mad of ourselves on the other”.
2. Each of us has four hidden giants or resources which we must develop constantly to attain greatness. These include the physical, the mental, the social and the spiritual aspects. To attain a balanced and powerful life you must nourish each of these aspects fully.
3. Continuous learning and improvement are essential to achievement. The author recommends a program of reading not less than one book per month. It will pay you back many times.
I Dare You! by William H. Danforth. Copyright 2009 by Executive Books in the form presented in their publication. Published by Executive Books, Mechanicsburg, PA.
Over-all Rating for Book: Fair