Monday, October 5, 2009

Do You Need to Refocus?

Sometimes our lives are not fulfilling or satisfying because we are focusing our attention on the wrong things.
That is the foundation on which Marcus Buckingham built his teaching.
When I first picked up his book, “ Find your Strongest Life” , I had two thoughts… one – what does a man know about how a woman works? And two … maybe I’m at the wrong end of my life to get anything out of this book.
By the time I finished the book I was ready to concede that maybe my initial reserve was perhaps - at least somewhat - premature.

While Buckingham does slant his book toward women, the principles he expounds are not gender specific except in the examples he uses. And while it is not a ‘Christian’ book I found it easy to parallel many of his thoughts and arguments on biblical principles.

He starts off his book by debunking 10 myths about women.
A couple of them really caught my attention.
How often do we hear that women are great at multitasking while men do one thing at a time. Buckingham says that it is simply not true. He says neither women nor men can multitask and still maintain a high level of productivity. Multitasking is working on the level you would if you had gone without a night’s sleep. Plain and simple – multitasking is ‘divided attention’ and not only that, scientific research has proven that when we attempt to give our attention to several things at the same time the part of our brain that controls memory and learning actually shuts down.
Another myth was that women are happier with more choices available to them. With growing equality in the work force and increasing options available in balancing home and career, women expected to finally be ‘happy’. But what research has shown is that women are much more unhappy today than they were in the 60’s. What is wrong?
Buckingham contends that with so many choices open to women they simply shut down, or continually question the choices they have made.

The fact that women are unhappy is what inspired Buckingham to write his book advising how we can find that illusive ‘satisfaction’ missing from our lives.

He contends that our default is to attempt to fix what is wrong, but he points the reader in the opposite direction . Find out what is RIGHT and build on that. Find the ‘strengths’ that you have, discern the ‘moments’ that give you a sense of joy and then find ways of taking every area of your life and making your decisions based on what is uniquely YOUR strength.

A couple of criticisms. The book started off slow and took too long to grab my full attention. Then , secondly, the book leans toward the ‘driven’ woman, especially in the personal life examples given. This could leave you feeling the book is not for you. However, if you separate the principles from the author's application, it is a worthwhile read that gives you something to grow on, principles that can lead you to a ‘stronger life’ no matter where you find yourself today!


Karin said...

Thanks for this post. When it comes to multi-tasking I'm of the opinion that NO one can have too many irons in the fire and give his/her best to them. Full focus on one task at a time is needed for excellence and high productivity. If the task does not require full focus - putting a load in the washer - then one can already be thinking and planning the next task. I think employers are finding out that their staff can NOT multi-task and be efficient. Something just has to give!!

James Janzen said...