Book Notes: Find Your Strongest Life by Marcus Buckingham

I have been a Marcus Buckingham devotee for years. As you may recall, he is the one who started the “strengths revolution” with the New York Times bestseller, Now Discover Your Strengths. This month we will publish Find Your Strongest Life: What the Happiest and Most Successful Women Do Differently. In a moment, I will tell you how to get a copy FREE if you are a blogger.

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I have worked hard to incorporate Marcus’ principles into my own personal development and leadership philosophy. In fact, we have built it into our performance reviews at my company, Thomas Nelson.

In all of Marcus’ work, his basic premise is this:

Most of us were taught by our parents and teachers that the secret to success is improving our weaknesses. As it turns out, this is completely wrong-headed. You can focus on your weaknesses all you want, but you will likely only make marginal improvements. However, if you will focus on your strengths—those things that you are naturally good at and come easily to you—you can make huge strides. In fact, when you do so, you will be more happy and fulfilled. Not only that, you will make your greatest contribution to the world.

In Find Your Strongest Life, Marcus applies this basic message to women. As a man, why would this interest me?

  • I am married.
  • I have five daughters.
  • I have 200+ female employees.
  • My company owns Women of Faith, a conference ministry that has 300,000+ attendees per year.

The bottom line is that I want to help all these women discover their strengths, become more fulfilled in life, and make an even bigger impact on the world.

But here’s the crazy thing. Based on what you watch on TV and read in magazines, you would think that modern women already have it figured out. Since the feminist movement was launched four decades ago, women have secured better job prospects, greater acknowledgement for achievement, wider influence, more free time, and higher salaries. (Marcus documents all of this in his book.)

And yet, several recent studies reveal that women have gradually become less happy than they were 40 years ago—and less happy than men. And while the research indicates that men get happier as they age, women, by contrast, grow sadder as they get older. Does this mean that women should return to a world of fewer choices and opportunities?

“No,” says, Marcus, but they must discover the unique role they were designed to play and stop trying to conform to everyone else’s expectations. In the book, Marcus reveals:

  • Ten common myths about women
  • The paradox of declining female happiness—at work and at home
  • Why the “juggler” metaphor is inadequate and disempowering
  • The characteristics of a strong life and the quest for strong moments
  • An online diagnostic tool to determine the role you were born to play
  • Specific strategies for understanding and maximizing each of the nine roles
  • How to intentionally imbalance your life and move toward your strengths
  • Tactics for producing a stronger career, stronger relationships, stronger kids, and a stronger future

I found the book thoroughly compelling. Gail and I were traveling home yesterday, so I had hours of uninterrupted time to read. I finished the book by the time we touched down in Nashville. Throughout the day, I kept saying to her, “You are going to love this book.” Or, “You are going to want to give this book to the girls” (our daughters). Or, “Oh my gosh, you will definitely want to give this book to _______” (one of her friends).

The bottom line is that if you are a woman, I think you will find this book life-changing. I know that’s a big claim, so as the publisher, I am prepared to offer you a money-back guarantee. If you buy this book and don’t think it was everything I have described, you can mail me a copy of your receipt, and I will promptly refund your money. No questions asked.

If you are a blogger, you can also get a free copy of the actual book. If you are not already signed up as one of our Book Review Bloggers, you need to do that first. Then you can request a copy of the book. We are making 300 copies of the book available to bloggers. However, these will go quickly. Guaranteed.

Questions: If you are a woman, do you think you are more happy or less happy than you were 10 or 20 years ago? If you are a man, do you think your wife is more happy or less happy than you were 10 or 20 years ago? Be honest. (Also, be anonymous if necessary.)
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