4 out of 4 stars
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Jorge P. Newbery’s Burn Zones is a complete package that is ideal for everyone. It contains motivational and inspirational thoughts; stories and lessons about business, society, discrimination, and family.
It is an autobiographical work that covers essentially, episodes from Jorge Newbery’s first business venture, namely newspaper distribution, when he was just seven, through his dabble into professional cycling till his toughest burn zone, the Woodland Meadows. After besting so many challenges, Newbery is faced with not just another challenge waiting to be surmounted but one that carries the threat of bankruptcy and steeps him in debt. He starts out on a journey of self-development and fulfilment and evolves to become a transformer of lives but life is not a bed of roses.
According to Robert Schuller, “Tough times never last but tough people do.” Determination is one of the driving forces of Newbery, his desire to be the best of himself in whatever he engages in serves as one of his greatest strengths. However, one irony in life is that our greatest strength is sometimes our greatest weakness. So we see Newbery’s desire and determination – his greatest strength – keep him from quitting when he ought to. Still, no matter what he went through, even though at some point he might rue his initial decision to acquire Woodland Meadows, a fact that cannot be denied is that his involvement with the venture helped transformed lives through the TEACH program.
True to the quote by Nelson Mandela cited towards the ending of the book, "The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fail." Greatness lies in the ability to rise again from the cold ash after going out like a candle in the wind. The book is totally engrossing from the beginning to the end and every part of it has something new to teach. One important gem (out of many) to take away from the book is the ability to learn from every encounter.
What I particularly like about the book is the author’s objectiveness in accepting his mistakes such as when he quitted cycling after the unfortunate event at the Mexico Tour and also his failure to open up to his father during his trying period. Other very likeable things about Burn Zones include the good flow of narration which is not devoid of humour, the fast pace of the book and Newbery’s ability to point out the “burn zones” in his narrative as well as the lessons from each. Unlike other books that deal with similar themes as Burn Zones, this book is written from the first-person point of view and that makes it very easy to relate to. That is the message of the book rolls out like a story instead of regular nonfiction books. In other words, “Thou shall not is soon forgotten but once upon a time is not.”
I give this book a rating of 4 out of 4 stars because it carries a vital message for those who go through its pages with open minds. Also, Burn Zones shows good editing and I did not encounter any errors while reading. I recommend the book to everyone especially lovers of inspirational and motivational books.
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