(Book review) Seize Today: How Asking the Right Questions Will Change Your Life


Reviewed by: Dr. Dennis E. Hensley, professor of communication at Taylor University.

 


Introduction

Title: Seize Today: How Asking the Right Questions Will Change Your Life4-25 A Passionate Hope

Author: John Mason

Publisher: Revell

Publication Date: 2018

Format: Paperback book

Length: 160 pages

OVERVIEW

The premise of this book was terrific.  The idea was for the author to present a series of 40 thought-provoking questions for the reader to use to assess and critique his or her life and career. And, indeed, the questions were insightful, challenging, and revelatory.  Where the book failed in a major way was in how the author pulled his punch in the expository part of each chapter.  It seems as though a parrot wrote the book because it is nothing but one borrowed quotation after another. Mason gives quotations from Zig Ziglar, Henry Ford, Thomas Carlyle, Herbert Spencer, Henry Ward Beecher, King David…ad infinitum.  Seriously, it is like buying one of those full-year calendars that has a pithy quotation on each page and deciding to plop in a chair and read the whole calendar in one sitting.  The impact and effect get lost very quickly.  Even when not quoting others, Mason lapses into cliché’s, bromides, catchphrases, and tired one-liners.

Where this book really comes to life is when Mason offers a real-life illustration or anecdote. For example, he shares a vignette about how his dad set him up at age 11 in a summer job (with business cards) to mow lawns for office complexes and how that taught him to be responsible, dependable, and hardworking.  Excellent story!  He also tells a dramatic incident about how he and his wife nearly drown when their car was swept away in a flood and how making decisions saved their lives. Excellent story!  He also tells of being mentored by a man who gave him lessons in public speaking and how that led him to a career in consulting and motivational speaking. Again, just marvelous.  Unfortunately, those stories make up about 15% of the book, and the rest is a continuous series of sound bites from philosophers, politicians, poets, pastors, and psychologists.

My hope is that one day Mason will do a second edition of this book and that he will remove all the excess references and, instead, will concentrate on sharing lessons from his incredible range of experiences as a consultant, business executive, mentor, husband, dad, and  brother in Christ.  Now, that book would be original and valuable.

ASSESSMENT

Rating (1 to 5)

3 stars

Suggested Audience

Those who might like a way of performing a self-examination regarding progress in life and career.

Christian Impact

Each unit offers one quotation from the Bible, but the book does not go heavily into Christian theology or dogma.  The biblical references are given no more special attention than the hundreds of other quotations found in the book.

 


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The Evangelical Church Library Association, founded in 1970, is a fellowship of Christian churches, schools, and individuals.

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