"The book is quite remarkable for its inclusivity"– Kirkus Reviews
|Pub Date: July 17, 2013|
|Page count: 224pp|
A personal collection of observations about overcoming life’s harsh obstacles and finding positivity in the darkest of times.
In this series of short meditations, cancer survivor and motivational speaker Ward (Finding Your Positives, 2012) shares numerous insights gleaned from his own challenges, and universal strategies for fighting depression, seeking out new experiences, and finding balance and peace. He writes that leading a life of goodness is of paramount importance and emphasizes faith, forgiveness, humor and communication—tools that allow one to actively engage not only with friends, family and other people, but also with everyday trials. The book is quite remarkable for its inclusivity; even though the author is clearly religious, he embraces the varied spirituality of others, emphasizing the importance of faith no matter what belief structure lies behind it. Ward offers personal anecdotes only occasionally, with little ego, and usually as an impetus for readers to think critically about their own hardships. The book’s philosophy of active engagement extends to how readers interact with the text, which provides short questionnaires and numerous lists of suggestions on how to pursue goodness, with blanks provided for readers’ contributions and ideas. Ward’s “notes” offer insights into such topics as coping with unexpected grief or prolonged malaise; they also offer financial advice and guidance aimed specifically at parents, artists and caregivers. Other notes are more general, making the book a resource to revisit rather than a one-off read. Like most motivational writings, it employs rhetoric and metaphor excessively but not recklessly. For example, when it introduces a metaphor, such as a baseball allegory in “Life’s Note 48,” the prose sticks with it and never mixes it with another. Such simple competency lends greater credence to the overall text.
Atypical, engaging self-help fare that offers well-meaning advice for living.