In The Principle of 18, Eyal N. Danon creates a formula for maximizing happiness and success by dividing life into in five, 18-year stages, and detailing what’s most important in each stage.
Danon is a certified life coach and founder of a consulting company that works with Fortune 500 firms. Of his formula, he writes: “This system anchors us by telling us what is profoundly important at any of the five life stages, how best to prepare for the next transition, and how to leverage the help of those who have walked the path before us.”
The stages are: Dreamer (birth to 18, where you identify and visualize compelling dreams, interview role models, find mentors, and avoid dream killers); Explorer (18 to 36, where you take risks and avoid obsessing over money); Builder (36 to 54, where you double efforts in your career, find the person who believes in you, play to personal strengths, and have an exit strategy so that, although you may continue to work for income, you can transition to mentoring); Mentor (54-72, where you share your gifts and push others beyond their comfort zones); Giver (72-90, where you dedicate yourself to a cause and connect with Dreamers and Explorers).
Dannon provides excellent examples from his life and others, and his insights are sound. He notes that Dreamers’ dreams are often “blurry” and “low-definition.” “Your focus should be on fleshing out your dreams, creating detailed maps that lead to realizing them,” he writes. He suggests readers at the pivotal age of 33 create a master plan for the next, 18-year, Builder stage. While this may seem overwhelming, he breaks this down into manageable steps.
Since much of the foundation for later success is set in the early stages, that seems to limit the book’s effectiveness for older readers. But those just beginning to think of their lives as a broad canvas, waiting to be painted, should find Danon’s strategies compelling.
Also available as a paperback.