In 2004, I read an article in Newsweek that rang so true and moved me so much that I tore it out and kept that piece of slick paper in a file folder for five years. Written by a young woman my age, I Can Do Anything, So How Do I Choose? hit home. When the author said, “[W]e are now discovering the difficulty of deciding just what makes us happy in a world of innumerable options,” I knew exactly what she meant.
After all, I’m the girl who changed her major four times in four years. And in the less than 10 years since I graduated, I haven’t just had several different jobs, I’ve had several different this-is-it-I’ve-found-my-true-calling-and-I-will-do-this-forever career paths.
So when Thomas Nelson Publishing offered the chance to read Marcus Buckingham’s latest book, called Find Your Strongest Life: What the Happiest and Most Successful Women Do Differently, I jumped on it.
Especially when I found out the book – and Buckingham’s philosophy – involved a personality test. I do love answering multiple choice quizzes to find out how
weird awesome I am.
Before I tell you what I learned in this book, go take the quiz. Go on. I’ll wait. Take the Strong Life Test.
So, what are your roles? I’m an Influencer and a Motivator. I’m still waiting for the definitive answer of what exactly that means, what I should be when I grow up, what will finally make me feel strong, successful, fulfilled.
But even though it didn’t give me the exact answer I’m looking for, reading Find Your Strongest Life has given me a few more tools for getting to that answer.
Buckingham worked for Gallup Organization and has years of experience figuring out what makes people tick. And one trend he noticed in that time is that women, as a whole, are not happy and successful. He says that we’re paralyzed by too many choices.
Not that he’s implying women should have fewer options. Instead, he believes women need to learn how to better go about making our choices, how to deal with all the options we have. He suggests thinking back – over the last week, into your childhood, whatever it takes – to find the moments when you feel your strongest. And those are the moments we should, he says, catch and cradle. And then use in our primary and secondary roles (from the Strong Life Test) to create a full an fulfilling life.
No juggling. No talk of balance. Can you believe that?
It sounds a little crazy, not what we’re used to hearing. But you know what? I think he might be on to something. (And, for the record, dozens of women who participated in an Oprah workshop with Buckingham seem to agree.)
I haven’t quite sorted through all the things that I read in this book. But it’s making me think. A lot.
As for the book itself, I loved that Buckingham used lots of real-life examples of women who have made choices and found their strong lives. I could have done without all the background and build-up in the first half of the book, but I’ve written enough research papers to understand why he structured it that way.
If you want to live a strong life and aren’t quite there yet, check out Find Your Strongest Life: What the Happiest and Most Successful Women Do Differently.
Are you living a strong life? Yes or no, I’d love to hear about it!
I'm obedient. I linked right over and took the test. I'm a Creator/Advisor. Hmmm…
Not sure what I think about a book like this focused just on women. I've loved all of Buckingham's other books on playing to your strengths, though.
And he's SO easy on the eyes.
And have you ever heard him speak? An accent that'll make you weak in the knees…
Gosh, you guys all got more than one choice. I got a straight up advisor. Does this mean the test picked up on my bossiness????
I'm not sure about being an advisor. I'm more of a creative, I think. Somehow, the test missed that!
I'm a creative/influencer. I can totally see that. I may have to pick up the book it sounds like just what I need right now.
You definitely have me interested in the book. I tested as an Influencer/Weaver. I notice that one other commenter and you are "Influencers", too, no wonder we've decided to blog about what we think for other people to see:)
OK, I'm a Advisor/ Motivator. I think it nailed my characteristics dead on in a seventeen magazine quiz sort of way. But, I was impressed because I felt like I could have answered most of the questions several ways and still have been honest. Very interesting!!
I got Teacher/Advisor.
I think I'll be buying this book this weekend w/my new Barnes & Noble gift card. Wah-HOO!! :)
My test was fun & said that I'm a Creator/Motivator: TRUE.TRUE.TRUE.
LCGreen @ sparkedlife.blogspot.com
Whoops! To answer your post's question "Am I living a strong life?"
I'd have to say…yes. And it could stand to get stronger. Now that hubby & I have started our church together, I am able to use my core strengths & abilities. I finally feel fulfilled. But I could be using more of me. So I'm gonna check out this book as well as "What Color is Your Parachute" this weekend. Fun times ahead!
LCGreen @ sparkedlife.blogspot.com
i am an equalizer/advisor. although some of the questions were hard to answer. a lot of them revolved around a career woman. and i haven't worked in the real world since i was 20! and i've learned a lot and changed a lot since then. i agree on the equalizer part but not so much the advisor!
anyway… very interesting!