Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Blog Tour/Review: Make Every Day Meaningful by Randal A. Wright

Tour Schedule

Make Every Day Meaningful: Realize, Record, and Remember Life's Grand Lessons, by Randal A. Wright
2014, 240p, Non-Fiction
My Rating=5 Stars
Source: Received copy from publisher for an honest review

Sometimes day-to-day life hardly feels journal-worthy. But Randal Wright demonstrates how you can use experiences from your life to make better decisions, feel increased gratitude, recognize your strengths and weaknesses, more easily prepare talks and lessons, create a personal history for your posterity, and find God in your daily life. Make the world around you—every minute of every day—your classroom. 

So, I'm quite sporadic in my journal keeping. I'll go through long periods of not keeping one and short periods of keeping one. I do enjoy going back and reading what I've written, and finding the lessons I've learned from certain experiences seems easier to identify in retrospect. I felt that a major point he made in his book is that when we know we're going to record what happened in our lives each day, we will be encouraged to make different, and hopefully better, choices.

At the end of Chapter 1 (pp. 12-13), he says that at the completion of this book, there are eleven patterns you will have, including:

* Recall the experiences from your life that have taught you meaningful lessons.
* Record a meaningful experience in ten seconds and in a way that you never forget it.
* Enjoy an endless supply of material for conversations, lessons, talks, books, or articles.
* Easily write a multi-volume history of your life to leave for posterity.
* Better understand why you feel the way you feel and act the way you act.
* Find more joy, happiness, and meaning in your daily life.

I thought that was quite a bit to promise and at the end I felt that he delivered! There are lots of great experiences and stories he shares from his own life and the lives of others. I like his explanation of three-word summaries and can see how they are useful once you have a plethora of stories recorded. If you think you've lost most of your memories, he shares approximately 600 memory cues to help you retrieve lost memories. Reading through some of those brought a lot of memories back to me and that list alone will take a while to work through. He issues challenges at the end of some of the chapters and working through this list is one of them (end of Chapter 12). 

I loved reading this book and felt uplifted as I finished each chapter. I've started a gratitude journal a few times over the years and I'm currently keeping one. I can even see the value in that as I went back and read what I had recorded in previous years and was able to remember some of what I was going through at the time. I thought he did a great job of taking the topic of journal keeping and explaining the importance of it so that we can, indeed, make each day meaningful. It does take some time and effort to record our experiences, but it's well worth it all in the end!

Randal Wright has been fascinated by the study of families for many years. Seeking ways to raise righteous children led to his receiving a B.S. and M.S. with emphasis in the family area and then a Ph.D. in Family Studies from Brigham Young University. He worked for many years as an Institute director for the Church Education System and taught at BYU in the religion department. He has written several books in the past on family topics including Families in Danger: Protecting Your Family in an X-rated World, Building Better Homes and Families and The Case for Chastity: Helping Youth Stay Morally Clean. He has spoken across the United States, Canada and England and has been a frequent speaker at BYU Campus Education Week and the Especially for Youth program for many years. Randal and his wife Wendy live in Austin, Texas and are the parents of five children and sixteen grandchildren.


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