Saturday, October 25, 2014

Yes or No by Jeff Shinabarger (book review)

I have a problem.

I can't say "no."

"Hey do you want to pack more into your already packed schedule?"

"Sure!" (overwhelmed breathing beginning!)

"Want to add one more thing to your to-do list?"

"Yes!" (insert foot into mouth or add muzzle)

There is constantly too much on my plate. And then when something comes along I reaaaaaaalllly want to do, I can't because I am just too overwhelmed/busy. I hate that. When I had the opportunity to review "Yes or No" by Jeff Shinabarger, I was excited per the subtitle: "How your everyday decisions will forever shape your life." Plus it included a decision-making style assessment.

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I know the decisions we make will shape our lives and I thought a little more wisdom about this would be good. Shinabarger started the book by really challenging the readers to become decision makers and making our priority decisions go toward our calling or goal. A lot of this could be boiled down to something John C. Maxwell told Shinabarger: "Learn to say no to the good so you can say yes to the best." Basically evaluating our actions in life and the decisions (yes or no) that takes us toward the best or away from.

The second part of the book really focused on finding "your philosophy of choice." Finding out what you love, really love, helps be the catalyst for decisions. Figuring out the wisdom you own and what you will be known for. The last part of this section was the decision-making assessment (found online) and more about the styles themselves: gut reaction, list checking, story living, data driven, spiritually guided, collective reasoning, and passive undecided.

I naturally fall into the list-checking category and passive undecided. I make pro and con lists for pretty much everything. I also have a hard time saying "no" (this must be a top category for women in general?). I think my husband is data driven. I'd also like to think we are spiritually guided because we do pray for most decisions (should be all) but I know sometimes we let our lists and data drive harder than our faith. This assessment was really interesting and I liked how Shinabarger really emphasized that while we naturally may fall under one or two categories, we should try to incorporate other styles into our decision-making styles to help us make better decisions. Sometimes the data really needs to be the informant while sometimes we need to work with our gut reaction.

The last part of the book was really interesting in taking the reader through the decision-making process. I felt kind of left out of it because, at the time, I wasn't making a big decision. I don't have a big idea that will change the world. It really felt like Shinabarger was reaching out to young entrepreneurs more than to every day decision-makers. Which is fine; it's just not really for me. I wish it was after reading this; Shinabarger really gets you hyped up on the idea that a little idea can really make a big difference. I know that to be true, I just don't know that God has implanted any big ideas like that into me (yet?).

Find out more about Jeff Shinabarger and "Yes or No" at

Disclaimer: I received this book in order to write an honest review. All opinions are my own and do not reflect the opinions of others.  

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