Sunday, September 28, 2014

Book Review: What Counts Most Is How You Finish - Shelia Payton

In August, I interviewed Shelia Payton, the author of What Counts Most Is How You Finish, for this blog (interview and author spotlight here).  I enjoyed the interview and information on this book, and I am glad that iRead Book Tours also gave me the opportunity to review this book.  

What Counts Most is How You Finish by Shelia Payton is a motivational book about goals, achievement, and living a good life.  Although the audience for the book is young adults 16 - 25, it will also be of interest to adult readers.  I found it very motivating, especially with goal setting and pivoting (reevaluating goals).  I plan to sit down to assess some personal goals as a result of reading this book.

The book is divided into sections:
Being You
Taking Care of You
Dealing With People
Overcoming Challenges
Staying Focused
Achieving Success
Making a Difference

Each section is filled with short, positive chapters.   I think the structure of the book will be very appealing to young readers.

I took notes as I read the book, and found many memorable passages and ideas.   A few highlights included:

  • Make Time to Do Things You Enjoy -- emphasis on a network of friends with shared interests.
  • What Someone Does Is More True Than What They Say -- "If you see someone doing things that contradict what they say, believe what they do, rather than what they say" (p. 80).
  • Trust Your Instincts -- "Follow your first mind" (p. 81).
  • Complaining Is Just the First Step -- step by step tips on moving from complaining to action, with a plan.
  • Don't Let Fear and Doubt Take You Out -- the valuable reminder that if someone else has done it, you can too.
  • Pivot -- This was a chapter that I know I will reread again.  It is about reevaluating goals and seeing if things need to change in order for goals to be achieved.  Ms. Payton writes, "There's no rule that says you have to keep doing what you're doing -- especially if what you're doing isn't moving your life in the direction you were meant to go" (p. 128).  She suggests that readers can "plot a new course and reinvent your life" (p. 131).
  • Each New Day Is Filled With Opportunity -- This is another great motivating passage about moving out of the past and any regrets to focus on what we have now.
  • Life Teaches You Lessons -- I love Ms. Payton's reminder that "... how your life turns out is not so much determined by what happens to you, but how you deal with it" (p. 163).
  • Decisions Have Consequences -- Ms. Payton discusses the value of making a five year plan and breaking goals down into small steps.  I think this idea is invaluable for both young readers and adult readers as well.
  • Everything You're Looking for Is Not Straight Ahead Of You -- This is another very helpful chapter with motivation on changing plans, timeline, or goals as needed.  

Ms. Payton's writing style is engaging, with lots of personal anecdotes and examples involving famous people.  Her writing style is very readable, with short, direct chapters and clear, affirmative suggestions.

I very enthusiastically recommend this book for young readers, parents, teachers, and anyone who wants to find inspiration and motivation for making and achieving goals.

I received this book from iRead Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.


Shelia Payton said...

Trish, Thank you for such an in depth review of my book. By sharing quotes and insights you gleaned from the essays, you have given your readers a strong sense of the book. The quotes also help readers understand the basis for your comments and opinions. I share your view that people over 25 can find useful thoughts and ideas in the book. Because of the pace of life today it’s easy to fall into the habit of reacting to what’s happening now, and lose sight of what’s really important. My goal in writing What Counts Most is How You Finish is to help those who read the essays turn their attention away from life’s distractions and refocus on what really matters to them. Thank you, again, for sharing your love of books with others, and for selecting my book to share. I wish you continued success in your good work.—Shelia Payton

Birdhouse Books said...

Thank you for your kind words, Shelia. I really enjoyed reading your book and have recommended it to several people.