Excuses Excuses: Which One is Yours?

Peter Lopez, Jr.

Publisher: Xulon Press Pages: 132 Price: (hardcover) $21.99 ISBN: 9781498401869 Reviewed: October, 2014 Author Website: Visit »

Although Peter Lopez is a consultant for Xulon Press who often urges authors to fulfill their dreams of publishing a book, he put off writing his own book for 20 years. His delay serves as the springboard for the theme of this Christian-oriented self-help book about eliminating sources of procrastination in order to reach life goals. “Stop making excuses for why you’re not doing what is in your heart,” he commands. “Stop blaming others and start looking at yourself.”

Initial chapters discuss various excuses people use that get in the way of them achieving their goals. These are followed by strategies on how to overcome these roadblocks, such as learning to say no, overcoming fears, etc. He also advocates hiring a life coach and setting up a weekly planner, among other suggestions. Several pertinent examples from lives of Bible characters are included throughout.

A former pastor, Lopez’s narrative takes on the tenor of a sermon. It is enthusiastic and exhortative, written in a conversational style that is chock full of anecdotes. Unfortunately, it is greatly hampered by a loose writing style that often loses focus. While a skilled orator can take detours during a sermon and still keep an audience engaged, written text requires more stringent adherence to organization and focus. Here, the narrative is so winding and transitions so weak that readers will often find themselves wondering: “Now what was he talking about again?”

Chapter 8, for example, begins by examining how fear and doubt lead us to avoid making change, then segues into a definition of “doubt,” then into thoughts on “potential,” then into a loosely related discussion of a man born without arms and legs, before returning to the original theme.

Readers will find a fatherly, caring voice in this book, and some useful nuggets of advice. One can’t help thinking, though, that the author’s delivery style might work better in church than it does in this prose with its many detours and asides.

Also available in paperback.

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