Monday, October 20, 2014

Book Review: Yes or No by Jeff Shinabarger

About the Author:
Jeff Shinabarger is a social entrepreneur and author of two books: More or Less and Yes or No. Jeff has a vision to make Atlanta a center for social innovation and has personally engaged in over 100 start-ups solving problems through the community he leads called Plywood People. His work has been featured by CNN, USA Weekend, Atlanta Journal Constitution, Huffington Post, Christianity Today, Coca-Cola, Relevant Magazine and Chicago Sun Times. He is the co-founder of Q and creatively led Catalyst for 8 years. Jeff and his wife, Andre, live in East Atlanta Village and have two children.

My Review:
Every day we have to make choices. We know that there are consequences to our choices. Some decisions are easy to make because there are no serious, long-term consequences. But other decisions are huge, life-altering, and world-impacting. A young adult/adult's life presents many opportunities for decision-making on significant issues such as choosing a college, major, career, spouse, house, etc. We desire to make wise choices but sometimes it can be quite difficult and challenging. We don't know what to do. Too afraid? Too overwhelmed? Too indecisive? The author helps us readers explore our natural decision-making styles, identify our philosophy of choice, and employ key strategies in order to make good/right choices. He groups decisions into 3 categories: daily decisions, moments of tension, and transition times. This book focuses mainly on the last two. 

Each chapter starts with an insightful quote and ends with a "Take Action" section (how to put ideas into action) and thought-provoking questions for groups to ponder and discuss. The author shows us crucial factors to consider when making a decision and guides us through six steps in the decision-making process so that we can improve our decision-making skills, become discerning & confident decision makers and capable & courageous problem solvers. Decision-making is very important because it usually affects not only our own lives but also other people's lives. The author asks wonderful questions about our motives: "Am I loving people, or am I loving the idea of doing good? Do I desire the best for each person I come in contact with, or do I desire to feel the best about myself for the good I am doing?...Is this for the good of others, or is it making me look and feel good?" (p. 65) I think most of us (if not all) have struggled with these from time to time. The fear factor is also addressed.

The author shares his tested wisdom learned from his own experiences and offers us practical advice from a Christian perspective. I'm glad I made the right choice to review this book. When I first received this book, my 21 year old daughter needed to make an important decision so she borrowed the book and finished it in one day. Even though she still didn't feel ready to make her decision at that time, she found the book helpful. Yes or No is a great informative read for anyone, especially those in leadership. We can make a difference in this world with our decisions. We all are given the gift of choice. May we use it wisely, conscientiously, and for God's glory! 

"I believe that the words yes and no are the most powerful words in the dictionary. They define what we love, what we will be known for, and what we will do with our lives...These are definitive words: words that significantly change the trajectory of life." (p. 20)
"The difference between our lives and a page-turning book is that we can't go back and start over... Our choices determine our future." (p. 29)
"At each stage, life is meant to be lived. Wherever you are in your journey, fully embrace the experiences you live in right now, because these experiences prepare for tomorrow." (p. 34)
"As we move forward on the path God has for each of us, I can't state strongly enough that true wisdom comes with seeking God, not self." (p. 85)
"Once we begin to find God's wisdom, discern the significance of our own experiences, and gather knowledge from others, we have the tools to curate life in a meaningful way." (p. 91)
"Much of the joy of life can be found when we realize what a great privilege it is to live intentionally making choices, remembering all that God has given." (p. 154)

*If you would like to take the free decision-making style assessment, visit .

~ I received a free copy of this book via Icon Media Group in exchange for my 
honest review. All opinions are my own.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the great review -- sounds like an interesting book! May we always make the right choices by yielding to the Holy Spirit.

    Thanks also for visiting & commenting on Saved by Grace! Your blog is a blessing and I am now following it, and I hope you'll consider following back at:
    God bless,