Monday, January 5, 2015

Madness, Miracles, Millions Book Review

I recently finished a great book about the life history of a family and their struggles to make a way, their sacrifices they had, and the ability to overcome obstacles to finally have amazing success.  I was asked to complete a book review and was thrilled to have the opportunity to enjoy learning from the authors of Madness, Miracles, Millions by Joseph Semprevivo and Larry Semprevivo.

Life is what you make it, no more, no less.  Every family has a story to tell; some are just more extraordinary than others. In the father/son authored memoir Madness, Miracles, Millions, Joseph and Larry Semprevivo tell their family's story and in doing so they demonstrate that with real sacrifice and hard work, anyone can realize their dreams. This book is the story of not only a million dollar diabetic cookies and foods company and its humble beginnings, but of the family who built the company and the many obstacles, both personal and professional, they overcame to accomplish their ultimate success. This is certainly not a tale of silver spoons and entitlement. The Semprevivo family’s account takes the Horatio Alger narrative to a new level by presenting a family that not only overcame poverty with hard work, but also overcame life-threatening illness and near fatal accidents.

Here are a few of my favorite quotes from the book...

Larry realized right at that moment that life and death could be measured in seconds and centimeters.

It occurred to him as the intern began to explain his interest in Larry’s situation that we are not put through obstacles to suffer; we are brought through obstacles to see something better on the other side.

We have a lot more control over our lives than we realize; not in the things that happen though, but in how we handle them. 

Every success has a genesis; some are rooted in luck, while others may come about from the very opposite.

What we have found during our many trials is this: life isn’t about luck, it’s about attitude. Luck you have no control over, but attitude is something that you always have a choice about. How you interpret and handle the situations you come across will dictate your life.

We all began to realize how important family was; that it was the backbone of our existence and that, as long as we had had one another, we could do anything.

To a normal teenage boy, it may seem strange to be so excited about a cookie, but to a kid with diabetes, eating a cookie was like walking on the moon. It was something I thought I would never do again for the rest of my life. This was huge for me.

As I chewed the first cookie that had touched my lips in seven years, tears pooled in the corners of my eyes and rolled down my face. I was walking on the moon. This was one small taste for me; one giant bite for all diabetics. 

It takes hard work, dedication, and an attitude that says, 
“I will not stop no matter what I am faced with.”

It takes strength that defies all circumstances and the ability to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and try harder. 

God sometimes puts gifts in strange packages, of that I am sure.

God’s strange gift wrapping struck again though because there we were, watching our healthy son not only live, but conquer the world.

With Joseph, everything was just a matter of time once he put his mind to it.

Sometimes doctors don’t take into account the will of the patient when they’re handing out a diagnosis.

Yes, my family has built a successful business that has opened doors in the world of diabetic eating, but most importantly my family has built an unbreakable bond that rests on the foundation of overcoming the odds by fighting harder, staying positive, and sticking together. 

None of us could help but be optimistic and dedicated after watching Joseph pour his heart and soul into what he did so completely. 

Life is full of good and bad no matter who you are; because of this, it isn’t our circumstances or what happens to us by chance that will make or break us, it is what we do in response to the situations that arise in life. 

“I’m only going to ask you one thing; I want you to dig deep and answer it honestly. Tonight when you go to bed, ask yourself, ‘did I give school, life, family, and work 100 percent today?’ If your answer is no, then wake up and give 100 percent tomorrow. If you gave it 100 percent and you got a C, that is all I care about, but if I know that you didn’t give 100 percent and you got a C, that’s a different story.” From that point on in my life, I ask that question every night, “Did you give it 100 percent today?”

To learn more about the authors visit Joseph Semprevivo and Larry Semprevivo...


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