Book Review: Living your Dreams with Chicken Soup
Title: Chicken Soup for the Soul Living Your Dreams
Author: Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen
What's it about?
Everyone knows the phenomenon that is Chicken Soup for the Soul, but this may not be quite what you expect...or at least it wasn't what I expected. We start off with, what I would describe as a mini self-help book! Yes. You heard that! Mr. Canfield and Mr. Hansen take us through their top ten tips to finding success, tips that anyone can follow to reach their dreams in any sect of their lives.
After that, we dive into the Chicken Soup for the Soul format that we know well. We are taken through a number of stories, told from distinctive voices drawn together from a long line of Chicken Soup books, each sharing an experience in which their dreams came true as they, in some way, followed one of the steps laid out for us in the first part of the book.
Stories: I'm going to take a path that may be considered a cop out. I don't have a favorite story. I know...that sounds like I'm just avoiding work, but the truth is, I've been thinking about this since I finished the last story and...I can't pick one. They've been battling for first place in my mind. The truth is, there were so many that just resignated with me! I felt like every time I thought I found a favorite, I would read another story and think, "Nope! This is my favorite!"
Least favorite Stories: I'm sure you won't be surprised to hear that I don't think there was a least favorite. At worst, there were stories that I was like, "Okay. That wasn't my favorite but I liked it." And, to be honest, I'm not even sure I could tell you which ones those were right now, either!
Favorite Quotes: Before I go through this list, I have another confession for you. I literally had more then five pages of quotes and/or notes that I took from this book as I read it. So, needless to say, I have a longer list then will reasonably fit in this review so I'm just going to choose a few...but it will be hard!
"What it takes is the courage to follow those whispers of wisdom that guide us from inside. When I listen to that, I expect nothing less than a miracle." - Marilyn Johnson Kondwani (pg. 229) I think why I loved this so much, was because I'm a huge believer in instinct. I've gotten to the point where I will truly just look at my husband and say something like, " jI will fight for this. This is the right thing to do. I can't tell you why, but I know that I feel it and it's what we need to do right now."
"Things are a lot easier when people know you're human." -Gerald Moore (pg. 312) This was part of a conversation between a mother and son in the book and it almost brought me to tears. There is something so powerful about being able to admit that you are only human, but there is a freedom that comes from those around you realizing that you are just human and you have limitations. It was a reminder that I think we all need sometimes.
"Anybody can grow older. That doesn't take any talent or ability. The idea is to grow up by always finding the opportunity in change." Credited to Ms. Rose Written by Dan Clark
This was a quote that I had to reread a number of times. I just couldn't figure out how to interpret this at first. Then, I saw beauty in it. We will get older. Our lives will continue to go forward second to second, minute to minute, year to year. What matters is what we do with it. What matters is the success and lessons we learn from the journey to get there.
Any other thoughts?
This was a surprise to me. I started off expected to be buried in inspirational stories, one after another. Instead, what I found was an inspirational seminar followed by those who have lived it sharing pieces of their stories. These are people following their dreams to be rich, to own their own successful businesses, to graduate and to build a family. This isn't a "You should want these things. You should kill yourself to get them." This is a recognition that we all have our own dreams. Some are bigger then others. Some are different then expected, but we have our dreams. We also have our own lives and stories and those also feed into who we are, how we dream and the path to guide us to achieving those dreams.
Truthfully, this may be my absolute favorite Chicken Soup book I've read so far (and I've read a number of them). I was inspired. I was moved. I was empowered. As cheesy as it sounds, it awakened something in my that just made me want to move forward to achieve my goals and reach my dreams.
With all of that being said, I don't know that this is a book I see myself going back to again and again to re-read, but it did leave an impression on me and it has found it's way to the top of my "Top 10 Favorite Chicken Soup for The Soul Books".
What do I rate this book?
I rate this a
5 Happy Tears
But that's just what I thought, what did you think? What was your favorite story? Was there one you didn't like? Did you not enjoy the change in format for this Chicken Soup book?