Monday, March 16, 2009

Book Review: The Great Eight by Scott Hamilton

The Great Eight
Scott Hamilton with Ken Baker
Thomas Nelson Publishers
224 pages

I was very excited to receive a copy of The Great Eight to review from Thomas Nelson. I have been a fan of Scott Hamilton's figure skating for a long time. I was intrigued by the subtitle: The Great Eight: How to Be Happy (even when you have every reason to be miserable). He has certainly had reasons to be miserable.

From the back cover:

From Gold Medalist to cancer and brain tumor survivor, Scott Hamilton has experienced the heights of accomplishment to the depths of disease. But through his successes, struggles, and setbacks, Hamilton has never lost his trademark humor and honesty. But more important, he has never lost his faith and optimism. Hoe does he keep smiling?

In The Great Eight, Scott uses stories from his international career and personal life to describe the eight secrets that - through commitment and repetition - have helped him "clear the ice," get back up, and "smile like Kristi Yamaguchi".

Most of Scott's eight secrets are common sense, but very few people try to do all eight of these things. We know that when we fall (or fail), that we need to get up and keep going. Reading about Scott's approach to each of these secrets makes it a little easier to see how to apply them to my own life.

Number four on the list, keeping the ice clear, is a difficult one for me. He says that trying to please others all the time is a recipe for unhappiness. He had to learn how to have open and honest communication about what he felt and needed. Many times in my life I have felt unhappy because I didn't communicate what I needed and was left out.

Another good one is learn a new routine. Don't fight the changes that life brings. Use change as an opportunity to grow.

This book is filled with stories from Scott's life that illustrate the point that he is trying to make. The only thing that bothered me was that the life stories kept going back and forth and some were repeated several times. But then again this is not an autobiography.

It is a good book to remind us of options that we have to live happier lives.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

1 comment:

Lenore said...

I also enjoyed watching him perform.