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Find Your Strongest Life Paperback – Sept. 4 2009
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Here’s what one woman had to say about Marcus Buckingham’s Find Your Strongest Life:
If I ever see Marcus Buckingham in person, I’m going to shake his hand and tell him thank you. Find Your Strongest Life has been one of the most eye-opening books I’ve read in a quite a while. Everyone always says that, don’t they? Why is this book any different? Well, for starters, if you’re a woman and you’ve ever had questions about your career (no matter your age, your marital status, or whether you’re in the workforce or at home), you should read this book. If you’ve ever wondered why “juggling” your job, your family, your friends, and your own sanity seems like an impossible ideal, you should read this book—you’ll find a new, revolutionary way to approach life so that you feel strong, successful, satisfied, and in control. If you are not sure what you really want to do or what you’re even good at doing, you should read this book. I believe it should be mandatory reading.
The advice, the truths, and the misconceptions about women that Marcus uses research to explore can be applied to every woman in any area of life. But most importantly, the way he presents his ideas provide readers with a new way of looking at themselves, their strengths, weaknesses, and desires and helps you find the hope and confidence to find your strongest life.
The subtitle was what really got my attention: “What the happiest and most successful women do differently.” I was prepared to read stories of the women whose lives we follow in the media—Oprah, Martha Stewart, Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama—high-profile women. Powerful women. But the stories weren’t about those women. The stories were about us. Me. You. Women who held several jobs until they found the one that suited them best. Single mothers who struggled to make ends meet while searching for a job that didn’t drain them. Women who finally realized what their strengths were and then formed careers that they truly enjoyed.
This book was especially relevant to me because I’m struggling with my career choices and the stress is overwhelming. Not a good sign. I did all the things I thought I was supposed to do to become successful. I went to college, took an internship, and started to make connections. I took on smaller jobs until I was offered a full-time position and I continued to advance in the company.
The hours were tough, the pressure was constant, and even though I was good at my job and loved what I did initially, after a few years, it became a chore to go to work. I got tired of deadlines and difficult clients and when I felt completely burned out, I looked for another job. My only requirements were no work on weekends and no constant deadlines. I didn’t really even care what industry it was in, I just wanted out of my current situation. And I got exactly what I asked for.
I took a job in a different industry. I don’t work weekends or long hours. I don’t have deadlines. I also don’t get to be creative or interact with clients. I make more money but realize it isn’t worth it. I feel drained, stuck, and dissatisfied. The stress from dreading my job affects other areas of my life. I don’t enjoy my free time. I don’t visit my family as much. I feel useless and lost. Sounds awful, doesn’t it?
I read Your Strength for Life in one sitting (which I never do). It couldn’t have come at a more perfect time. After completing the exercises and understanding what I need in my life to feel successful, I’m really looking forward to the future. This time, I will be intentional in what I pursue, confident in my strengths, and accepting of my weaknesses.
One of the great issues Marcus talks about is defining what “all” means to you, as in, “Can I have it all?” A satisfying career, healthy relationships, if you’re married, a strong marriage, if you’re a parent, strong kids. His point is that
About the Author
Marcus Buckingham’s bestselling books have sold more than four million copies. The world's foremost thought leader on strengths and performance, Marcus relentlessly seeks the fundamental truths that help people unleash their greatest potential. He began his career as a researcher at Gallup, spending two decades studying excellence in leaders and teams. In 2006, he launched the Marcus Buckingham Company, which delivers education, coaching, and HR technology to some of the world’s most prestigious firms. Marcus has been profiled in Harvard Business Review, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Fortune, and Fast Company and has worked with companies such as Facebook, Cisco, Deloitte, Hilton, Lululemon, and The Walt Disney Company.
- Publisher : Nelson Books; ITPE edition (Sept. 4 2009)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 288 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1400280788
- ISBN-13 : 978-1400280780
- Item weight : 326 g
- Dimensions : 13.9 x 2 x 21.3 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,165,381 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from Canada
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I ordered this book thinking that my wife and daughter would be thrilled to find out how to find their strongest lives. I left it hanging around where they tend to pick up books I want them to find and read. That didn't work. Then, I asked each of them if they would like to read it. My daughter turned up her nose and my wife said she's take a quick look. After six minutes my wife commented, "There's not much there."
Although this is a book-length self-help book, my advice to men would be not to buy it for women. They'll buy it for themselves if they want to read it.
Assuming that all men have stopped reading the review by now, let me address women. If you have read Marcus Buckingham's book, Find Your Strongest Life, you probably won't feel that this book adds very much other than some anecdotes. Take a peek at the library or while browsing at the bookstore before buying.
If you haven't read that book, let me ask you a question to help you decide if this book is for you: How happy are you with your life on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being as happy as you can imagine?
If you answer seven or higher, you are average or above in happiness and much of this advice won't help too much.
If you answer four or lower and loathe either your job or your family life, this is your book. Go for it.
The book is structured around an experience that the author had in counseling 30 women who had achieved so-called success in life, but were dissatisfied.
It begins with 10 myths, which I paraphrase to shorten and for clarity:
1. When women have more opportunities, they are happier.
2. Happiness for women increases with age.
3. Free time reduces stress for women.
4. Women raising children are happier.
5. Kids want to spend more time with their working moms.
6. Women accomplish more by doing lots of things at once.
7. Women like to work for women.
8. Women earn less for men in comparable work.
9. Women have lower level jobs at work than men.
10. Women do a great deal more housework than men.
Okay, so what's the problem with exploding such myths? Well, using averages to come to conclusions can be very misleading. All ten items could be true for you as a woman. If you don't agree that the opposite of this list is the case, you will be gritting your teeth as you read much of the book. Perhaps it's not such a good book for you.
Part One of the book mostly focuses on frustrations that women feel and addresses the ten myths. Unless you find the details fascinating, you could skip that part.
In Part Two, Mr. Buckingham describes what he's pointing women toward: a strong life.
Here the definition:
A woman has an emotional life that is
1. "Successful" (defined as feeling "effective and capable")
2. "Instinctively looking forward to tomorrow" (defined as feeling "hope, excitement, even joy")
3. "Growing and learning" ("getting better at something" and with "a sense of focus")
4. "Needs fulfilled" ("may be tired" but not "overwhelmed and empty")(has a purpose she likes, has relationships she enjoys, and gains recognition)
The rest of Part Two describes roles and tasks to help you understand what strengthens you emotionally and what drains you. Do more of the former and less of the latter.
Part Three of the book is a lot of questions and answers. If one of the questions is yours, it will be helpful. Otherwise, it will be more of a curiosity.
Could this book have been turned into a helpful short article? Yes.
Even though this is a short book, there's not a lot here . . . unless the message is one that resonates with you because parts of your life feel crummy and you don't know what to do about it.
I would dismiss this book as probably not being too valuable for capable women except that I know a woman who struggles with hating her job, even though she is very good at it. I realize from what she says about her work that she hasn't thought of looking for a different job that would help her feel better. This book might help her. I'll share my copy with her.
I suspect this book will be most valuable to women who hate their family lives and aren't quite sure how to get past the guilt to decide to change matters in constructive ways. I'm sorry if that's the case for you, but this book might really help you.
This is a secular book so there's no emphasis on being strong in your faith in the Lord as a way to gain a more satisfying life. I felt that the message of living a strong life was quite incomplete without that advice.
marcus buckingham's new book, finding your strongest life: what the happiest and most successful women do differently, was a happy kind of exception to that rule. while he does deal with these responsibilities, the principles that he lays out for living a strong life transcend external roles, and are as applicable in the boardroom as they are at starbucks with friends or in the family kitchen.
dealing with core issues that we face as humans, mr. buckingham's book takes his reader on a journey of self-discovery, including finding direction for your life from the myriad of choices there are available and being true to yourself, whoever you are.
being an unashamed test nerd, i loved the online strong life test ([...]), which quickly helps a woman determine the role she was born to play, advisor, caretaker, influencer, motivator, etc. the best part, however, was after taking the test, armed with what your lead and supporting roles, chapter seven explains them, providing examples of strongest moments and ways to expand that role in your life.
using examples of real women, find your strongest life is a good place to start for those looking to get out of the ruts we too easily find ourselves in. filled with useful information, mr. buckingham's book can be a catalyst to your strongest life.
Top reviews from other countries
Women and men are wired differently and it has been a pleasure to see a woman's life and possible troubling thoughts through the eyes of a man. Men do look differently at the world than we, women, do. It has brought me some nice eye-openers that I also use for my clients in coaching as to what makes you happy.
Read and judge for yourself, it is fun to look at things from another perspective!
I first read Find Your Strongest Life shortly after its publication in 2009 and have used it in my work ever since. I often have clients take the Strong Life Test when we first begin working together, and so far nearly all have said the results were spot-on. And, unlike many other assessments, the Strong Life Test (as well as StrengthsFinder and those found in Buckingham's other books) points people in the direction of their *strengths* - qualities that they can leverage and enhance, rather than labels that might limit or inhibit.
Find Your Strongest Life was also an excellent book choice for the professional women's success club that I facilitate. It provides ample discussion points, activities, and "I can relate to that!" stories that kept our group positive and moving forward. We highlighted some of the book's points in fun ways, too - such as bringing sets of juggling balls to the meeting where we discussed "Catch-And-Cradle." The book made it easy to incorporate these types of activities into the group - and made them memorable, too!
One of the greatest takeaways of this resource lies in the "SIGNs" of a strong life. If you feel successful, instinctively look forward to tomorrow, continually grow and learn, and fulfill your needs, chances are you live and work in favor of your strengths. By leaning towards optimism, growth, and the activities that light you up, you can enhance your productivity, increase your sense of purpose, use your time more wisely, and live and work with joyful success. Find Your Strongest Life helps readers do this with authenticity and confidence which, in the long run, serves us all!