Find Your Strongest Life by Marcus Buckingham

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Find Your Strongest Life by Marcus Buckingham

Written by best-selling author and researcher Marcus Buckingham, this book applies Mr. Buckingham’s research and consulting background to women, attempting to “prove women really can ‘have it all’”. In the author’s own words, “If ‘having it all’ means drawing enough strength from life to feel fulfilled, loved, successful, and in control, then that is something every single one of us should aim for and every single one of us can attain.”

To be completely honest, I thought I would strongly dislike this book before I ever read the first page. From the genre (I’d call it self-help), to the title/subtitle (Find Your Strongest Life: What the Happiest and Most Successful Women Do Differently), to the author (Marcus Buckingham, a man, writing this book all about how women can be happier and more successful), I was skeptical that I would find much value within.

As I read, I was surprised to find some passages that strongly resonated with me. I recognized myself in some of the women’s stories. I thought about a very rough period I went through last year and realized that some of his advice may have helped me break out of some unhealthy cycles I was in during that time. The Strong Life Test ( defined my Life Roles, and seemed to hit the nail right on the head – I’m primarily an Advisor, with Weaver as my secondary role. I was intrigued by his perspective of looking at strengths & weaknesses in respect to an activity’s effect on me, instead of simply in terms of my effectiveness or performance.

But, at the most fundamental level, I think this book gets some things very, very wrong. First of all, I do not think this book is coming from a biblical perspective at all. The author throws in a few uses of the word “God” in the most vague and generic way, but makes no attempt to align his message with biblical truth. Secondly, the inherent message of the book is extraordinarily self-centered, as are the methods proposed for finding happiness and success. I appreciate the author’s intent – to help women identify the things that make them feel happy and successful. But feeling happy and successful is not God’s primary goal for us. Third, the perspective is so heavily skewed toward working women that it seems to nearly disregard full-time motherhood. In fairness, the author never dismisses motherhood outright as a worthy full-time devotion. But this book simply is not written with full-time mothers in mind.

I found the book overall to be relevant in some surprising ways, but ultimately flawed in its philosophy.


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