What is my criteria for a book to be considered truly inspirational? Obviously, it mustn't fall into the dreaded categories listed in my title, but aside from that? It must not only inspire (touch) me, but it must leave a mark. I consider books to be truly inspirational if they so move the reader to the point that the reader will no longer be the same as they were prior to having picked up the book. New ideas, new concepts, new outlooks, new perceptions, new ATTITUDES. Truly inspirational material should also be categorized as motivational. If they inspire you only for a moment and then the memory of what you read fades in a fleeting heartbeat, what true substance was really communicated through them in the first place?
I haven't read Nick's first book, so I was unfamiliar with his story, but, as you can see on the cover, he hasn't let being born without arms or legs stop him from pursuing what he calls "a ridiculously good life." Throughout the chapters, Nick delves into what his "faith in action" strategy looks like in various stressful or even tragic life situations such as: financial hardships, job insecurity, depression, self-harm and suicidal thoughts, physical/mental disabilities (from birth defects to those developing later in life), relationship concerns, bullying, intolerance, cruelty and more. Stories of those who have crossed his path or written to him are interwoven into the text, so you feel like you haven't just read "Nick's story" or "Nick's advice", but that of a whole slew of individuals who have brought wisdom through their unique life experiences.
He writes in a conversational style; humor and candid self-disclosure keep the book both entertaining and easy to relate to. Although Nick is an evangelist, sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ according to the Scriptures when he travels to speak, you don't have to be "religious" or "spiritual" (etc.) to appreciate the nuggets of guidance or the stirring testimonies (not stirring as in making one cry- I didn't tear up once in this book and I am a young woman with children and a very soft heart) in this book. Nick didn't write this as an evangelistic book, so fear not, the book isn't a you-must-convert-to-Christianity pamphlet in disguise. Don't believe me? Read the first chapter of "Unstoppable" by Nick Vujicic here.
When cautioning against pride and stating that even he has had many times where he was hesitant (okay, reluctant, okay, resistant) to asking for help, here is a quote which will give you a good idea of how Nick addresses readers with his suggestions, "Is it more important for you to feel superior and self-sufficient than to accomplish your dreams within a community of supporters?" His writing has a way of leading us to make our own decisions about a situation, while provoking thought from an angle we may not have been aware of previously. Another such example was when Nick tackled head-on the question of whether or not "Accepting professional medical care is consistent with having faith," by using the following anecdote, "If you are thirsty, you might like to have it quenched supernaturally, but you surely would accept a cup of water handed to you by a caring person, wouldn't you?"
I recommend this book for everyone, even if you aren't disabled, depressed, or in any type of person crisis, even if you don't have much (or any) faith. This.book.inspires.
In the interest of full disclosure, I received a copy of this book free from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group for the purpose of review. I wasn't required to give a positive review- opinions are mine.