[[ASIN:B002SABLMQ Find Your Strongest Life: What the Happiest and Most Successful Women Do Differently (Hardcover)]]
I was a little hesitant about reading this book because self-help books are not always realistic as far as I’m concerned and this was a book for women written by a man. I was not familiar with Marcus Buckingham’s affiliation with Oprah until I started reading the book so when I realized that I really didn’t want to proceed with the rest of the book because as a christian woman I don’t buy into Oprah’s ideas. However, in reading the book he pointed out several things women can do to pinpoint the things in their life that give them passion and encourages them to use this passion to create a strong life in their career and at home. In the book he gives life examples of several women and how their choices controlled their success or stress in their lives. There is a lot of pop- psychology in this book I’m sorry to say. Half-way through the book he tells you to go to his website www.tmbc.com to take the strong woman test which measures you against nine life roles and reveals which role is your lead role and your supporting role. Some of these are advisor, caretaker, creator, motivator and on to nine of them. I’m sure you can see the gist of where he leads you. At the end of the chapters on roles he says this, “Moving forward, this will be how you’ll make your choices in life–pay attention to your emotions, you’ll embrace the Lead and Supporting Roles you play, you’ll search for the vivid moments that make these roles unique to you, and then you’ll piece together your decisions.” Sounds good but is it possible in real life? I found a lot of this information as maybe something women who were already fairly successful to use in expanding their careers but for me it just reinforced a lot of the wrong decisions that I “knew” I had made in life but life circumstances had dictated them.
I did not appreciate a comment he made about how the most successful women usually think more like men and they channel their strengths toward outstanding performance. While I have nothing against successful women and strived for it myself when in a fast paced working environment, I think the women’s liberation movement has contributed to the fact that women have to think like men to succeed. I don’t think God created women to think like men. This kind of thinking can create many other problems for women as far as I’m concerned. In the book he goes on to explain that imbalance is better than balance (?) with more pop psychology. He seems to think we need to strive for happiness and that it is there if we do x,y,and z. While I think there is nothing wrong in knowing your strengths, weaknesses, and passions as I said before I’m not sure this type of thinking is always realistic. I do believe that as children we usually know what our God-given passions are before age 10 and it’s very good for parents to pick up on these and encourage their children to celebrate and use these passions but I also know from life that sometimes the roads we take do not enable us to use these passions. There are some things in this book that I think maybe some younger women could use perhaps when choosing their careers but other than that as I said it is just another self-help book.