Thursday, January 08, 2015

You Can, You Will by Joel Osteen

First, let me make one thing clear. If you've ever seen or heard Joel Osteen on television, you'll hear his voice in your head as you read his new book, You Can, You Will: 8 Undeniable Qualities of a Winner. I actually found that amusing. I'm not a follower of his ministry. I was interested in the qualities he selected as being essential for a winner in life. Whether or not you believe in Osteen's faith, if his emphasis on religion doesn't bother you, his principles for winning in life are typical of self improvement books. For me, they were a helpful reminder.

Osteen says he created eight principles to help readers be everything they were "created" to be. People just need to be disciplined and follow these guidelines. They are points such as, "Keep your vision in front of you." "Expect good things," which means remember your successes, and don't dwell on the failures or negatives in your life. Make a commitment to excellence. But, of course, my favorite principle is "Stay passionate."

Osteen tells stories and uses passages from the Bible to make his points. There's actually nothing new in this book. However, Osteen puts his own spin on it by using his ministry and church as examples for some of the principles. Readers can dwell on the religious aspects of the book, or, like me, they can use the principles as refreshers, reminders of what to look for in life and work.

Looking for a self improvement book for the new year? Joel Osteen's You Can, You Will offers some pointers, guidelines to motivate readers. It's often refreshing to read someone's ideas as to how to live.

Joel Osteen's website is

You Can, You Will: 8 Undeniable Qualities of a Winner by Joel Osteen. FaithWords. 2014. ISBN 9781455575718 (hardcover), 169p.

FTC Full Disclosure - The publisher sent me a copy of the book, hoping I would review it.


Rosemary said...

Morning Lesa - this is interesting, sa just yesterday I was reading an interview with the wonderful Sue Perkins (I don't know if you get The Great British Bake-Off? - she is one of the presenters on that, and has done zillions of other things, she's primarily a stand-up comedian). So far as I know she is not religious, but she said before she goes to bed each night she writes down 3 good things that have happened in her day. I thought that was an excellent idea - though needless to say, last night I forgot to do it....

Lesa said...

As I said, Rosemary, I don't follow Joel Osteen, but I thought some of his points were interesting. That is an excellent idea! The first time you do it, one good thing is that you remembered! We just started getting The Great British Bake-Off, and I would watch it, but I have 2 other shows on at the same time! No good TV for 5 nights a week, and on Sundays, there are 3 shows at the same time!

Rosemary said...

We also have TV overload at the moment - all of the shows Madeleine & I enjoy are coming back for the new season: Last Tango in Halifax, Death in Paradise, Broadchurch, Call the Midwife & The Musketeers - we keep forgetting which day they're on and end up having to watch them on i-player - thank goodness she knows how to do that :)

Reine said...

Hi Lesa,

I'm so used to seeing your column reviews representing new mystery offerings I was surprised to see Joel O'Steen's book here. But why not!

I like that people read to find ways of improving their lives and in that sense being successful. As you say, often the points made are basically the same. This is true whether the book is religious, business, pop psychology or a blend of the above.

The principles are almost always useful. I occasionally find myself bothered by the appeal to success, because for so many people this means being more successful than others. And you do find that principle at work in most of these books—however implied it might be and not so often given to finding your comfortable place in the world.

I would like to see a book about how to be competitive without competing. How do we offer something of ourselves to the world without concern for how successful we'll be. How do we live with what we do and not worry. I think that's done with your favorite principle "Stay passionate."

If you follow your passion you won't be dependent on a set of rules that can easily get in your way. The others can be very useful, but they can also be ruthless guidelines for a formula that should be open to change. If you are passionate about what you do, then that will come first and you can adjust to the changes brought on by discovery as you live your passion. Your moral principles that guide you through everything you do in life will also guide your passion.

Secret: I once wanted to write a pop psychology book. Fortunately I discovered other passions along the way. :-)

Lesa said...

Rosemary, I'm sure your i-player is similar to our DVR. And, I'm still learning features of mine!

Lesa said...

I don't know, Reine. I like your philosophy. Maybe you should still write that pop psychology book. Your right. Osteen calls them principles. I'd rather see them as guidelines, other than the one about staying passionate. Rules aren't right for everyone, or every situation.

And, I'm finishing a mystery, so that will be my next review on Saturday!

Reine said...

You're very kind, Lesa. I think I could never write another psychology or theology. I've distilled my own to the basic workable tenets, and they're very short. Too much time studying and working in the academy and except for offtime mini essay voyages into practical theology and psych, I am a fiction convert and hope to stay that way. :-)

Lesa said...

OK, Reine. I'm not going to push. I'm glad you have your own tenets. And, I'm glad you're reading fiction!

Reine said...

I believe that the contextuality of understanding in fiction makes it easier to accept or reject any message. It's also easier to write. No guilt about sledgehammering from the dais or pulpit! For these reasons I submit Louise Penny's books as a good example of what I read for pleasure and the sort I aspire to as a writer.

PS: I know I should never say never. Maybe after I've had some fiction published… ? Push me later after you can call me an author. xo

Lesa said...

Reine, I'll accept Louise Penny as a good example for anyone. Good luck!

Reine said...

Argh! I didn't mean fiction is easy to write. I just meant you don't have certain academic restrictions to worry about.

No… fiction is harder to write. It definitely is. Or I would've finished this book long ago!

Thanks for your kind words. xo

Lesa said...

I didn't take it that way, Reine. I still wish you good luck!