Monday, March 18, 2013

Ten Years Later by Hoda Kotb

I've been struggling to find some non-fiction that peaks my interest.  Nothing sounds good to me!  But last night, I was working and picked up this book.  I have seen it countless times at my bookstore, even handed it to people when it first came out and there was a lot of press for it.  But my belief that certain books find their way into my life when the time is right was confirmed when I decided last night I needed to read it.

Wow.  People can be so amazing.  People from so many walks of life, who somehow pull a strength, force of life, willingness to fail--whatever you want to call it--out from the depths of darkness and make their lives incredible journeys.  Hoda Kotb gives us the stories of six people who fought through adversity and not only overcame it, but thrived in the struggle.  She visits them ten years after their battles and discusses how their lives have changed.  These amazing people range from an overweight abused woman who is trapped in a horrible relationship; a man who succumbs to drug addiction at the height of his professional success, a young college graduate who finds herself in a battle for her life with cancer; and a few other extraordinary people.  It is a testament to how strongly we have the will to keep getting up and not quitting; it is a testament to not being afraid to fail.  In failing, we always learn so much more than if we had easy successes.  

This book is definitely one that will cause you to reflect on your own life.  All of the people in this book have full and amazing lives because they refused to give up.  It reminds us that we can all do better, and should try.  Fear is not something that should stop us from every trying anything new, asking a question, or exploring "what if?".

Hoda ends her book with a wonderful piece of advice:

"May you be inspired to embrace the what-ifs in your life, to trade your fears for faith.  Take a chance, push through indecision, celebrate the unknown, and always believe in a bright future.  It's possible, no matter how impossible it may seem at any given moment."

I'm glad I found this book at this time.  Its profound message will resonate with me for a long time, and remind me to keep trying.  This is a great book to gift anyone who needs a lift, someone who's trying something new in life, or even high school kids who maybe need a reminder that things aren't always perfect and easy.  It's also a great book to give someone who has experienced loss, as many of these six people did during their journey to overcome adversity.  

Rating:  9/10 for sheer inspiration and an uplifting message.

Available in hardcover, e-book, and audio.

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