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Ryan DeJonghe - The Avid Reader

I didn't always read, but that changed in June of 2013. I dropped the unnecessary stuff and picked up the awesome stuff--like reading! I started posting my reviews on Amazon and within a few months rose to the top 0.1% of reviewers. My reviews then went to Goodreads, and now my blog (http://ryandejonghe.wordpress.com) and Twitter (@Ryan_Reads). If you are reading this, why not leave a comment or send me a note? I love talking to other folks about books and my reviews. Publishers and authors, feel free to drop me a note if you want me to review your book. I usually stick to mainstream publishing, but I'll consider anything. If I review your book, I’ll give you a fair and thorough review and let you know when the review goes live. You can reach me at dejonghes@gmail.com. Happy Reading!
Big Dreams Take Small Sacrifices - Sourena Vasseghi

This book is so special that I asked for the author Sourena Vasseghi to write a personalized message for my review. Below is that message:


“Every time I wanted to publish my autobiography, there was a nagging voice saying, “Who would want to read an autobiography about a guy in a wheelchair?” One of my unique gifts is being able to articulate what I’ve learned as a disabled man and relate it to business, sports, love, spirituality and success.


“One day I came up with the saying, “Big dreams takes big sacrifices. “ It was so good that I decided that I had to write a book. I started that book in 2010. In the middle of writing that book, I decided that I needed a sabbatical so I put it away. Even though I was on sabbatical, I started writing the second version of my autobiography. One day I was at the gym and it hit me, “Big Dreams” had to be written. I was scheduled to board a plane to Dallas to go to a sponsorship conference. At the conference, someone asked me what my new book was about. I said, “dreams.” Then I said to myself, “Yep, I’m doing this!” I got home and started writing and writing and writing. I decided that instead of “Big Sacrifices” it should be “Small Sacrifices.” The reason being is that I believe in doing the small stuff every single day in order for big dreams to come true.”


Thank you, Sourena.


Now for the review…


At first, I was conflicted with the premise of this book. Lately I’ve been trying to see the purpose of the moment, the value of the journey. I’ve been reading/studying Thích Nhất Hạnh, Jon Kabat-Zinn, and Echkhart Tolle. But even those great mentors still allow for the practical goal setting of life; all of the business success books I’ve read seem to point to that common denominator. You want to build clients? Set a goal. You want to lose weight? Set a goal. Sourena’s book is more than “it’s a pain”, and more of “let’s do this!” Those are my quotes, but from this book, “Dreams are all about hard work and headaches, but ultimately they’re about building something extraordinary.”


The idea here is that without striving, we can be caught in mediocrity, pawning off responsibilities, caught in distractions and excuses. Looking at the author’s life, which there is plenty to sample from in this book, he had ample opportunity to wallow or hold back. Instead, he took the moment-by-moment processes to affect change. As he writes, “moments lead to habits, and habits lead to living the life you have.”


Another part of this book I like are the Reflections pages. I see this practiced more in religious-themed readings versus secular (though I think more secular books need to add this paused-time to reflect). These pages have spaces and lines to write responses to author-offered guided reflections. By the time you finish this book, you will see what you consider a sacrifice as a tool well worth the end, life-lasting result.


In summary, this book may not follow my recent philosophies of living at peace with every moment, but I see the value of Sourena’s offering. Having him write this book made it more hero-like and relatable.


Thanks to those that reached out to me and sent me this book to review.