When I first became aware of this book, I wasn’t highly motivated to read it.
Arrogantly enough, I thought I didn’t need such a book. I’ve read a lot of books on the topic of personal development. I even wrote a book with some of the very same ideas and points that are expressed in this book. So why would I need to read a book I could have written?
Because I didn’t write it, and surely, with an author like Crystal Paine, there is something in this book I can learn from or be inspired by. And I found that to be completely true. Crystal takes the concepts I’ve learned in many books over many years and presents them in one fantastic book. It’s easy to read and full of wisdom, encouragement, and grace. It includes assignments at the end of each chapter to help you put feet to what you’re learning. Crystal shares stories and examples from her personal life which not only serve to demonstrate her point but to help you see her as a real person; someone who struggles, gets tired, and doesn’t “do it all”.
In chapter one, Crystal shares about a time in her life that she had allowed her busy life to get out of control. When she reached the end of her rope, a conversation with her husband revealed to her that she had control and that she was the only one who could make things change. She says:
“…I didn’t have to say yes to every commitment and opportunity that came my way… I could stop the madness. I could eliminate the chaos. I could start setting Boundaries. I could start saying no.” … “Yes. I was the problem. But I was also the solution.” (page 7)
And she tells of the relief that washed over her when she realized that she could start saying no.
Later in the chapter she says:
“I’d rather do a few things well, have my priorities in order, and enjoy life than try to do two hundred things poorly and have a stressed-out, exhausted passionless existence.” (page 10)
My first thought was “But Crystal, you do way more than a few things!” But she saw that coming. Further in the chapter she offers such grace when she gives a detailed list of things she doesn’t do. These are ordinary things that many of us are probably doing; like paying the bills, tending to pets, and ironing. The list is longer than that. And it gave me a more accurate view of the person who sometimes seems to be Wonder Woman. Nobody does it all. Even Crystal Paine!
And that’s just chapter one!
She goes on to talk about;
- defining your priorities for the season you’re in,
- creating margin
- setting and reaching goals
- discipline, and how cultivating it can serve you, and
- dealing with failure as well as that feeling that you’re not enough.
Each topic is well developed; with examples and stories from her own life, quotes from well-known, successful people, and very practical, “doable” action steps.
Chapter 8; “Yes, You Can Make A Difference” was particularly encouraging to me. Again, Crystal shares from her own experiences and goes on to encourage the reader, with lots of examples and ideas, that anyone can be a giver. I found the following quote to be inspiring, and it reminded me that money alone does not motivate me to work harder. But the opportunity to help someone with the money I earn, now that will get me out of bed. She says on page 179
“All of a sudden, sticking with a budget wasn’t just about us; it was about others. Through this humbling experience we found the heartbeat for our finances–living simply so we can give generously.”
And finally, she is careful to point out that you need to take care of yourself. She offers wisdom on important ways to do that and ideas on how to make those things actually happen.
If you’ve followed Crystal for any length of time, you know she is an avid reader. By reading this book, you get the benefit of all of the wisdom she’s gained from all those books as well as from her personal experiences. If you want one resource that will help you get control and find the peace, satisfaction, and vibrance you’re looking for, this is it.
*I’ve heard some of the people who read her blog consistently say that everything in this book is on her blog. If you’re a consistent reader, you may find that to be true. I still think there is value in having it all together in one place. Being able to underline, highlight, and easily refer back may also be something that makes it worth it to you to have the actual book.
Thanks for checking out my review. I’d love to know if you want more book reviews. You can check out my Pinterest board to see what types of books I read and plan on reading this year. If any of them sound interesting to you and you’d like a review, please let me know in the comments.
*I received a free copy of this book from BookLook bloggers in exchange for an honest review.
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