Dec 12, 2008

book review: the truth about you

Marcus Buckingham has become known in several circles at the "strengths" guy - someone who cites a passion for helping people figure out what they're good at. In his latest resource, "The Truth About You," he gives a bit of advice beyond his last round, including challenging some common misunderstandings about strengths and weaknesses.

Buckingham claims research that only 1-2 out of 10 people find themselves freely expressing their strengths in life. To change that statistic, he's aimed this book at young adults just starting out in life in order to better identify who they are, what they're good at, and what sorts of environments they can best thrive in professionally and personally. In accordance with that generation's learning style, this resource offers bite-sized reading. a DVD that effectively sets the stage, and a "ReMemo" pad to take notes on one's self.

As a snapshot review, this resource is all about helping you tune into what you're already drawn to. Only instead of stopping where you might naturally stop, it encourages you to go deeper and see it with greater texture and application. Along the way you just might find yourself more focused on how you are uniquely created to give glory to your Creator.

That is, if you read this book with a Bible. While there is acknowledgement of you having a greater purpose than surviving each day, there isn't a lot of clarity where that purpose comes from. Given that this book is published by a Christian publishing company, I expected a bit more.

The only other downside is that this resource sets you up to believe that you can experience a world that challenges you the way you want to be challenged. While perhaps some of that is possible, life is full of real hurdles you can't always control. To expect that you can merely operate in your strengths is deceptive, for the world will require you to improve in your weaknesses as well. Promising the next generation anything different is deceptive.

So I'll give this book high marks for creativity, but lower marks for content (because of lack of context). Still - if you're searching for purpose this may help... with those disclaimers in mind. While it can be hard for us to figure out what to do with our lives, this just may help with the sifting.

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