Ted Peck hopes to bring the core of life’s success to teens by giving them the inspiration and the navigating tools necessary. Peck has simplified his advice and directed it specifically to and for teenagers in his new book Could It Really Be This Easy: The Eternal Equation of Success for Teens.
Peck’s new book provides the tools for making choices, understanding the reasons for those choices, and answer the questions teens have, but may be afraid to ask. The purpose of Peck’s book is to provide a compass of sorts for teens: a plan of action on how to have a successful life.
He outlines steps in concrete detail for building upon a foundation of belief in God and Jesus Christ. He shows youth that success and happiness are possible through keeping commandments and working toward whatever goal that individual teen desires.
Peck addresses the fundamental path to correct mistakes and presents them as part of the progress of working toward a successful life. By developing self-control and mastery of one’s body, mind, and emotional self, a person can have whatever he or she wants by allowing the spiritual self to assume control.
Published by CFI, an imprint of Cedar Fort, Inc., of Springville, UT, and priced just under $20.00, “Could It Really Be This Easy” doesn’t waffle or mince words. Peck’s background as a seminary teacher and bishop come through in a conversational — not preachy — style, which still manages to be straightforward, with direct advice.
Peck uses examples from his personal experiences along with scriptural references and other analogies to develop his ideas. He shows how gospel principles can be incorporated into life so that the average teen can relate.
His advice is accessible to both boys and girls
While Peck’s book comes from a decidedly male viewpoint, his advice is accessible to both boys and girls. A few more illustrative instances that girls might relate better with would have further balanced the perspective, but the book targets today’s LDS teenagers and hits the mark.
At the beginning of chapter five, Peck uses an example to show how men and women often have different viewpoints. He hits the mark right on! (Even though Shelby Mustang’s are pretty cars, I can see his wife’s point of view.) We all have agency in how we choose to see life around us, and how we see the future we want.
This book has the potential to empower LDS teens — especially boys because of the examples he uses based on his successes and failures while growing up.
Peck’s testimony of God’s Plan of Salvation and of the Savior’s Atonement enables him to explain to teens, the realities of learning to listen to and distinguish the differences between the voice of right, the voice of evil, and their own voice.
Chapters 1-3 comprise the ‘life is a university’ experience. He also introduces a puzzle concept that will tie many of the book’s elements together. Chapters 4-5 introduce choice and accountability into the picture.
Peck shows how asking the right questions can change a person’s mind and enable the person to choose his or her viewpoint in life. Chapters 6-8 develop this idea and are also where Peck’s past experiences begin to emerge.
The second half of the book utilizes what Peck dubs the “Power of Faith” and its four steps. And through chapters 12-17 Peck uses those principles to discuss how to tame our bodies, put the Spirit in control, and develop self-esteem.
Chapter 18’s discussion about loving ourselves and real beauty leads into Chapters 19-21’s focus on the facts about feelings and attraction. Also thoroughly discussed is how we are far better off if we choose God’s Plan by keeping His commandments, instead of Satan’s Plan that will lead to destruction.
The book winds up with a couple chapters on the How-to’s of Dating, a review of the process and steps to success and keeping faith throughout one’s life.
As a Mother of grown children who has gone through the upheaval and trials of taming and training teens, I appreciated Peck’s wholesome yet direct approach.
If a parent can find a way to get her teen to read the book, I suggest she do so. But the key is to get them to read it without directly saying they must read it. All parents of teenagers can recognize the futility of forcing anything upon the youth with their ever changing and inherently contrary nature! Here’s your chance, parents, to turn the tables positively.
The book’s cover graphics are simple and attractive, but I kept looking for a reference to mountain climbing in the book. It’s not there, but there are plenty of other references to enjoyable activities that teens enjoy. All in all, I found the book to be a tastefully and well-written book appropriate for teens.
The book has the potential to empower LDS teens
This book would be an excellent non-fiction resource to add to the family library along with other self-improvement books on advice for teens, with some suggestions below.
- Standing for Something and Way to Be-9 Ways to be Happy and Make Something of Your Life; both by President Gordon B. Hinkley and published by Simon & Schuster
- The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens and The 6 Most Decisions You’ll Ever Make: A Guide for Teens; both by Sean Covey, Fireside Books by Simon & Schuster
- Major Decisions; by Henry B, Eyring, Deseret Book
- John Bytheway’s books, published by Deseret Book
- Hank Smith’s audio books, published by Covenant Communications
General and Christian Based:
- The Power of A Positive Teen; by Karol Ladd with Grace and Joy Ladd, published by Howard Publishing Co., Inc.
- Instinct-for Graduates; by T.D. Jakes (T.D.J. Enterprises. LLP, Faith Words/Hachette Book Group
- What Color is Your Parchute? for Teens; by Carol Christen, published by 10 speed Press-Berkeley-Crown Publishing., Co.
- Life Strategies for Teens; by Jay McGraw (forward by Dr. Phil McGraw), Fireside Books by Simon & Schuster