The winner is exhorted to remember these 8 qualities:
♦ Keep Your Vision in Front of You
♦ Run Your Race
♦ Expect Good Things
♦ Have a Positive Mind Set
♦ Commit to Excellence
♦ Keep Growing
♦ Serve Others
♦ Stay Passionate
YOU CAN, YOU WILL is full of encouraging anecdotes and actual stories from friends of the author. They often relate to having a positive attitude, and not becoming discouraged. This positive mindset is a recurring theme through the book--face problems with a can-do attitude and avoid victim-hood thinking at all costs. A winner should not give in to negative thoughts, and even not associate with those who are negative influences. Avoid those negative anchors, because they are likely impeding your drive to achieving great things.
The classical puritan work ethic is also a theme of this book, although not called out by name. The Christian winner should do MORE than is necessary--MORE than required by their employer: "When you're a person of excellence, you do more than necessary. You don't just meet the minimum requirements." The "Spirit of Excellent" can manifest itself in many ways, the author states. In a great example, Pastor Joel makes it a point to keep the church grounds clean. He explains his thinking: Don't send the wrong message about the Christian church; believers "represent God, and He is not sloppy. God is not run-down. God is not second class." I found this particular example to be an endearing one. Here we have a world-famous pastor and writer picking up trash to honor God's house--what a good example!
YOU CAN, YOU WILL is bound to be a subject of controversy. The theme of the book focuses mostly on what a Christian can do to achieve in this world--that is, what wonderful things we can accomplish. The idea of exactly what type of "Success" God wants for believers is assumed by the author--it's not really open for debate. And therein lies the controversy. In YOU CAN, YOU WILL, success in the Christian world is presented as the same type of success that everyone wants--job, money, family, position, etc. That position is sure to ignite lots of debate.
I'm afraid the more controversial portions of this book may mask the many good ideas that believers should follow. For example, Pastor Joel encourages the reader to practice supreme stewardship--using one's abilities to the maximum, being diligent and hardworking, and not blaming others. Wow--nicely stated! Every Christian can agree that these are solid Biblical principles, with roots in the Protestant Reformation.
In summary, YOU CAN, YOU WILL is an inspirational book aimed at believers who want to see God's favor explode in their life. This book is a fun, uplifting read, with lots of good, practical suggestions. Christian readers who are looking for specific actions to take will find lots of material here. YOU CAN, YOU WILL will definitely light that fire.
Finally, even if you don't like, or agree with some sections of the book, there are a TON of excellent ideas that are well-grounded in scripture. I keep on thinking of the author's humbling himself to pick-up trash, and Pastor Joel's admonition to be a good steward. These are practices that all Christians can agree on and practice.
If you liked this book, you will likely also like the inspirational bestseller by T.D. Jakes, Instinct: The Power to Unleash Your Inborn Drive
For a contrasting perspective on the Christian life and Success, see Charles Stanley's excellent work, Success God's Way: Achieving True Contentment And Purpose
. Dr. Stanley is a much more experienced pastor, and his perspective should not be overlooked. Dr. Stanley spends more time discussing just what "success" means to a Christian.
And just in case you were asleep for the past decade and missed it, don't forget the classic book by Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For? ( Expanded Edition)
For a non-religious book on achieving your potential, I found this book by Dr. Candice Best to be excellent: Your Genius Mind: Why You Don't Need To Be A College Graduate But You Do Need To Think Like One