Is There a Key to Why Some Succeed? {Book Review and Giveaway}

life unstuck intro

My first reaction when I heard about the increasingly popular app called Periscope was, “Oh great. Another web tool I have to learn how to use.”

I’ve since grown to like the app and enjoy being able to interact with an audience of readers and fellow bloggers on a more personal level. But if I’d listened to my initial reaction, I never would have tried it.

Our world is making advances in technology at an intense speed, and sometimes it’s difficult to keep up, isn’t it? What determined success decades ago does not necessarily mean success today.

According to Matt Keller’s new book, The Key to Everything, there is one element which dictates success in life. And it isn’t wealth, having the right connections, or a even hard work. Yes, all of these elements will help, but according to Keller they aren’t the key.

The key to moving forward in today’s world is teachability.

And like Keller, my computer just highlighted that word as though it’s not in the dictionary. But the author insists it’s an actual word so I’m not going to argue.

Now, you may be asking what a review on a book about teachability is doing in the middle of a 31-Day series about becoming unstuck. Let me assure you, I did consider this when creating my editorial calendar. There is a connection.

Here’s the thing. When we aren’t teachable, we become stuck in life and in our walk with Christ. Throughout the book, the author not only defines what teachability is, but identifies potential pitfalls, highlights characteristics of teachable people, and shows the reader how to redefine success.

The Key to Everything divided into three sections: The Roadblocks to Teachability, The Characteristics of Teachability, and Developing a Teachable Lifestyle. In the Roadblocks section, Keller digs into the life of King Saul from the Old Testament, who had all of the markings of a potential leader but fell into traps like fear, pride, and insecurity.

Even though King Saul had all the potential for a successful leader, he lacked teachability, and the absence of this trait contributed to his downfall.

Keller contrasts King Saul of the Old Testament with the Saul of the New Testament, who later became the Apostle Paul. Although he lacked teachability during the years following the death of Christ, his encounter on the road to Damascus changed him, and he went on to become one of the most teachable and influential Christians in history. Keller says, “One of the greatest threats to our teachability is success,” but Paul remained humble and understood the danger of becoming prideful and arrogant.

key to everything graphic

What I love about Keller’s book is it shows me not only what teachability is, but how to attain it. This characteristic is not some pie-in-the-sky myth but a behavior I can learn and apply to my life.

According to the author, anyone can become teachable. It simply takes desire and willingness to do so.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to move forward in all areas of life. Keller’s sense of humor and fun style make The Key to Everything a joy to read, and the short chapters make it easy to get through them in one sitting.

If you’re looking for a change in your life but not sure how to get there, pick up a copy of this book. I promise you will not be disappointed.

key to everything book cover


To celebrate the launch of this thought provoking and truly life-changing book, I’m giving away a copy to one reader. To enter the drawing, submit a comment below. You can be entered a second time by sharing on Facebook, Twitter or Google+. If you shared this post, please let me know in your comment. I will announce the winner on Friday, October 9th.

*Two copies of this book were provided to me by The Blythe Daniel Agency in exchange for this review. I was not required to give a positive review.

*Linking up with Holley Gerth

*This post is part of the #Write31Days challenge. You can find all posts for this series here.

11 thoughts on “Is There a Key to Why Some Succeed? {Book Review and Giveaway}

  1. LOVE this! Oh my goodness, I can’t wait to read it. I wonder if it would be appropriate for teens too? Teachability is a trait I’ve talked to my teen about. Maybe this is a book we could read through together. What do you think, Abby?


    • Yes, I think it would be a great book to read with your teen, Kristine. Matt’s writing has a lot of humor and is very conversational, which makes it appealable to a wide range of age groups. Thanks for visiting!


  2. Abby, I was drawn over here by your tweet about Periscope (which I’ll be RT’ing, btw 🙂 … because I feel the same – There’s always so much to learn. Thanks for the reminder that “Teachability” is, indeed, a word and a GOOD thing 🙂 The book sounds intriguing.


  3. (Deep sigh) Abby, thank you for writing this review. Seriously ~ thank you! I’ve asked myself the same question about Periscope. Was just pondering it this morning, as a matter of fact. Gosh, I feel as though I throttle straight to the negative, “not gonna do it” attitude. Your review truly makes me stop and consider teachability. And it’s connection to faith. This book will be going on the “to read” list. xo


  4. Such meaningful thoughts, Abby. Thank you. I can see where teachability would play a role in becoming unstuck in life and in our walk with Christ. I love the Biblical examples, too, especially the comparison of Saul vs. Paul and the change in his teachability.


  5. Abby,
    Matt Keller’s book sounds like a must read…especially for writers. I am learning that if we let pride set in we are doomed for failure. Praying for a teachable spirit is probably one of the best prayers we can pray every day before we read His word and then pick up a pen or crack open our laptop. Thought provoking…


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