Just as bedside manner is so important in the medical profession, delivery and tone can be equally crucial for authors of self-help books providing tips on how to improve our lives.
Imagine my anticipation when I saw this testimonial from bestselling author Eric Weiner before starting to read Sandy Rodriguez’s Choose to Prevail (BookBaby): “Reading this book is like having coffee with a kind, insightful and endlessly patient friend.” One lump of sugar and a little cream later, I was ready to jump in.
GROWING THROUGH ADVERSITY
Rodriguez’s own experiences have been chock full of highs and lows, making her acutely aware that the delicate nature of life’s fortunes can turn at any moment. While realizing the beauty of life and building a successful career with some U-turns along the way, she says, “I have experienced self-doubt, annoyances and tragedy … I’ve had to overcome bullying, panic attacks, social anxiety, and feelings of sorrow.” But adversity has helped her understand how to put the minor irritations and bigger issues in perspective.
In Choose to Prevail, the author makes spot-on observations about people’s behavior; at times, you can’t help but think she is describing you:
- Can be overly critical of yourself.
- Have secrets, and you lie now and then.
- Know that you can be worthy of admiration.
- Value consistency but crave variety.
“In reality, hiding things is exhausting and, more often than not, unnecessary.” She advises us to care less about what others think and urges us to not be afraid to be ourselves.
THE BIG PICTURE AND THE SMALL THINGS
The book takes readers through an understanding of the Bigger Picture but also focuses on some of life’s “particulars” such as time management, the way you present yourself, keeping your mind active, taking stock of the way we treat and speak with others, dealing with difficult people, learning why no one should be envied, and much more. These subjects are addressed through what the author has experienced firsthand and observed in others, followed by sound advice to adjust or rectify the situation.
Rodriguez even tackles the meaning of life, noting that people feel more fulfilled if they make a contribution to the world. But little things can be just as important, she says, such as a simple kind word or gesture to someone in need.
“You will find that by reframing challenges, taking action, or a combination of both, you will be able to feel more at peace.”
It’s all about learning to cope, for which people might have a plan — until life gets in the way. Rodriguez quotes the boxer and philosopher Mike Tyson: “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”
Let Choose to Prevail help pick you up off the canvas.
Choose to Prevail is available for purchase.
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