Monday, October 5, 2009

Find Your Strongest Life, by Marcus Buckingham (Book Review)

There are a lot of self help books available telling you how you can do more in less time, how to be all things to all people, and how to turn your weaknesses into strengths.

Find Your Strongest Life does none of these.

Instead, it emphasizes figuring out what you are happiest doing, and trying to orient your life in that direction.
It makes sense. After all, those other things aren't working. In the drive to do more, many of us are missing out on life's joys. In being all things to all people, we frequently have to ignore our own wants and needs. Finally, while it's never a bad idea to try to improve yourself, you're always likely to go further by following your strengths than your weaknesses.

I have to admit that I initially got off to a slow start with this book.

The first third of the book relates many statistics about women's perceptions of happiness, or lack thereof. It also follows case studies with several women, which I found interesting, but somewhat removed from my life as a stay at home mom. In fact, if there was anything in the book that I didn't love, it was that there seemed to be an underlying message that in order to be happy, one must have a paying career. As a (happy) stay at home mom by choice, I disagree with that premise.

Ultimately though, I found the rest of the book to be very interesting. I easily recognized myself in several of the "Life Roles" discussed in the book. It was interesting to think about how those roles have influenced my past choices, and continue to motivate me.

The discussion about focusing on your own and other people's strengths instead of weaknesses was very thought provoking, particularly as it relates to your spouse and children.

The last chapters of the books are questions and answers on a variety of topics, sort of like having a session with a life coach. Although not all of them apply to every situation, they were interesting nonetheless. I particularly thought the section called Tactics for a Stronger Career were informative and relevant, especially now, when so many people are trying to hold on to the job they have, or find a new one.

I was provided a review copy of this book from Thomas Nelson Publishing. You can find out more about their Book Review Blogger program at

1 comment:

  1. The inspiration:

    “Cheese is the soul of the soil. It is the purest and most romantic link between humans and the earth.” Pierre Androuet.

    The challenge:

    GK Chesterton: “The poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese.”


    This book is a poetic view of 30 of the best loved French cheeses with an additional two odes to cheese. Recipes, wine pairing, three short stories and an educational section complete the book.

    A unique and amusing Christmas present for all food lovers