4 out of 4 stars
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Are you living the life you love? If you answered no, maybe you have one (or more) of these four common problems noted by speaker, author, and direct sales trainer Cathy Christen: 1) you don’t know what you can really do, 2) you think you have plenty of time, 3) you’re angry and bitter at the world, or 4) you lack confidence.
In Life as a Masterpiece, Christen seeks to address these problems and equip readers with tools to “design and live a life [they] love today.” First, Christen grounds readers in the what and why of their actions. At the core, it’s all about knowing yourself — your abilities, talents, goals, and dreams. Christen reinforces the “power of writing things down,” sharing a design exercise that was as fun as it was insightful. Christen then proceeds to guide readers in crafting concrete steps toward their goals, making a very compelling point about the value of “scaring the crap out of yourself.” Finally, Christen delves into the elements of success, with particular emphasis on a positive environment, self-care, social support, and resilience in the face of obstacles.
Christen’s incisive observations set a brisk, purposeful tone for this self-help book. The discussions are well organized, and the author’s train of thought is remarkably clear. Christen has a way of cutting to the heart of the matter, with none of the superfluous information that tends to bloat other books of this nature. She tells real-life stories; she consolidates and simplifies what she learned from other sources; she instructs and guides. The conversational tone she adopts makes the writing very accessible. The book is also professionally edited and formatted, with only a number of barely noticeable typos.
After over a decade of coaching experience, it comes as no surprise how confidently Christen handles her subject matter. “I know these tools will work for you,” she says, “because they’ve worked for me and thousands of others.” I heartily agree. Reading the book is like getting a personal life coaching session. At the end of it, I felt uplifted, energized, and enlightened. It’s short enough to be perused in one sitting, but I’d recommend setting aside a day or two to fully immerse yourself in the exercises that the book offers.
Life as a Masterpiece seems specifically targeted toward the types of clients that Christen has worked with in the past — young entrepreneurs and people who are transitioning to the “real world.” I can see it as an excellent resource material for career counseling and guidance, especially for graduating high school students. Adults struggling with changes or crises in middle age (e.g., resigning from a job, re-entering the workforce) may also find solace and clarity in Christen’s words. The tools she provides will help them reevaluate the direction they’re taking and hopefully get them back on track. Filled with practical tips and actionable steps, I rate Life as a Masterpiece 4 out of 4 stars.
Life as a Masterpiece
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