Thursday, February 19, 2009

Book Review: The Great Eight

I enjoyed the book, The Great Eight. Scott Hamilton combines stories from his life, his Christian testimony, figure skating analogies, and several worthwhile life lessons with his unique sense of humor, honesty, and common sense to make many good points. The tone of the book was upbeat, positive, and mostly light-hearted, yet demanded I get out my highlighter to mark significant quotes and my pen for scribbling my own thoughts in the margins. I didn’t expect that, but was pleasantly surprised.

Though Hamilton has had tremendous success in the figure skating world, he has also overcome many life hardships: a mysterious childhood illness, loss of loved ones at an early age, cancer, a brain tumor, and going bald. (That was Art Linkletter’s joke, not mine.) Yet Hamilton has learned how to choose happiness through hard times. The subtitle says it well: “How to Be Happy (even when you have every reason to be miserable)". The eight chapters are eight principles to practice—and if you look closely within each chapter, you’ll find many more. My favorite thoughts were “When you fall, get back up” and “Smile like Kristi Yamaguchi.” His chapter on keeping the ice clear was absolutely profound. They are simple thoughts, simply said, but worth deep consideration in the pursuit of a happy life.