Book Review: The Checklist Manifesto

THE main point – Humans make mistakes and we live in a complex world. So humans need checklists to ensure consistency, quality, and efficiency. Checklists save lives.

The author uses examples from his medical experience, where people used informal checklists to save lives and begin to use checklists cut down on health issues. Checklists are used in aviation, construction, and as previously mentioned, health care. He pointed out to keep checklists concise, simple, and have an opportunity to have feedback with the team- a time to discuss before you begin the process. It is an easy read and has some great stories.

I found spiritual meaning in the book as well (this will be a very different post from most).

If I had to summarize what I feel the gospel of Jesus Christ is about, it is to become a new person, to be born again, to be changed. That is an individual and complex process –  a lifelong one at that. However, there are daily, weekly, monthly, etc. checklists to adhere to. There is a correct way to live the gospel or at least there are guideposts that help a person be efficient in changing.

I know what you must be thinking, “…efficiency in the gospel? This is not a secular mater! You can’t process design this.” I would agree with you. This isn’t about making it secular or taking the spiritual side out of it. This is not a A, B, C kind of deal. You don’t check the boxes and move on and suddenly you aren’t the carnal man that you were before. Not suggesting that here. What I am suggesting is that Christ is the way, the truth, and he has provided the best way to return to him. The only way to return to him. We should not be a letter of the law kind of a person. We cannot look past the mark. Obedience is essential to the gospel, but the why behind the obedience is more important than the duty of following.

We can go to self help books all we want. We can try to re-invent what he taught. Eventually, we will see that his is the only way. But he has taken the guess work out of it for us. For example:

Commandments/Covenants = Checklists
Discussion = Prayer, Sunday School, Classes, Family Home Evening, PPIs, etc.
Aids = Prophets/Technology
Resources = Scriptures

I see no harm in doing a little evaluation of oneself. Have I read my scriptures today and prayer to God? Have I gone to the temple? This is an OK framework to have in mind. It’s not perfect, but I think if nothing else a checklist would better help me in my commitment to God.

Look, I am not expert on this. Far from it. But I think we can find spiritual nuggets out of the best books.

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