JoeyPinkney.com Book Review
Life Is What You Make It
by Carl Mathis
3 of 5 Stars
Carl Mathis sets the tone of Life is What You Make It in the acknowledgments. The dedication of this book to his deceased wife who passed before this book was written and published lends a resilient energy for what is to come. Part memoir, part self-help, all inspirational, Life is What You Make It will make you take an honest look at your own hardships and how you handle adversity through the eyes of a man who faced his own life-shattering ordeals.
When Mathis’ wife dies from complications of a spinal virus, it leaves him heart-broken and grief-stricken. A widower with three sons and growing debt, facing foreclosure, struggling with self-doubt, Carl Mathis’ life quickly crumbled around him and his family. Life Is What You Make It details Mathis’ use the Bible and his own focus to navigate through the emotional, physical and spiritual shambles that lay in the aftermath.
As a Christian, a father of three boys and a man of the military, Mathis took into account things that were out-of-order in his life and placed everything in proper context. Instead of falling a victim to his circumstances, peace of mind came from the strength bestowed to him by his faith in God, Jesus and the Holy Ghost. Mathis slowly found solace from within abilities. Life Is What You Make It details his journey and offer words of encouragement and strategies to help others get their life back in order. Relevant scriptures and stories from the Bible are infused throughout the book.
There are 7 chapters, and each one details a different aspect of life to access and control. In “Accept The Situation”, Mathis covers the need for you to not expect someone to come into your life and fix what’s wrong. Instead, he encourages you to look at unexpected events realistically to be able to handle them efficiently. In “Take Responsibility”, Mathis uses this chapter to encourage the reader to expand your thinking through the past, present and future in order to take the proper steps to rebuild your life with the sturdiest foundation possible. In “Condition Your Mind”, there are plenty of exercises that will help you decrease the effect of negative thoughts and realize your true calling through positive thinking which causes positive actions.
In “Make Right Decisions”, Mathis points of the chain reaction that your decisions have on everyone around you. From that standpoint, he encourages biblically sound measures to make decisions that emanate positive results. In “Build A Team”, the point is made that the people who surround you should serve a positive function in order for you to build and grow. In “Believe”, Mathis points our the necessity of following what’s right to the end, regardless of where it takes you. In “Define The New Normal”, Mathis shows you how to make the proper long-term decisions while calmly dealing with the short-term chaos those changes cause.
What did I like about the book? First off, I truly loved the book cover for Life Is What You Make It. What a beautiful work of art. This book cover is classic and engaging with a simple color scheme. The three glasses of water (empty, half-full and full) signify the paradigm shift Mathis wants the reader to be able to make. It makes you want to read it. The other aspect of this book that is very solid is the inspirational tone of the information provided by Mathis in this book. This book pushes you to redefine your self-imposed boundaries and really sparks self-empowerment.
What didn’t I like about this book? The information, at times, became a double-edged sword. Occasionally, the information was layered so thick that it because exhausting to read. Some of the concepts that Mathis relayed could have been worded in more simpler terms or conceptualized differently. There were a few times in the book that I felt that his point was stretched over the course of a few paragraphs yet could have ended much earlier. In addition, errors in grammar and editing faux pas made this book hard to read. There were too many back-to-back errors to overlook, and this made it very hard receive the intended message.
This book is recommended to anyone who is past wondering what to do and is at that stage where they are ready to do something. Mathis does not hold back in telling you to get in gear with the Lord and make your life as great as you want it to be. With some much-needed editing, Life Is What You Make It will be an easy read for self-motivated readers. This powerful document is sure to be a blessing to any reader who is willing to take heed and act on Carl Mathis’ experience.
A man after God’s own heart, Mathis continues his passion today of reaching out to people using his God-given abilities, particularly speaking and writing, and becoming a blessing to others in return.