I don’t tend to put up too many of my book reviews on my blog, but I felt that this one was so well written and personal that I would share it. It is written by Ben Zipper, from the Australian Women and Leadership Forum – you can visit their website here – CLICK or read it here.
Book review: The Me Myth
Book author: Andrew Griffiths
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Like many of his peers in the professional development sphere, Andrew Griffiths has written a slew of books on everything from building your business to having a life in the doing.
Two things, however, set Andrew apart. First, his childhood origins are remarkable for the tragedy that he experienced. As an orphan growing up in Western Australia, Andrew survived neglect and abuse.
Second, this upbringing has clearly played a role in the kind of inspiring and motivating consultant that Andrew has become.
He is regularly described as contagiously positive, funny and endlessly enthusiastic. He has taken what life has thrown at him and grown from it rather than letting it overwhelm him.
It’s an outlook that is borne out in his latest book. In The Me Myth, he argues that we are brought down by the overarching attitude that ‘it’s all about me’.
Instead of being self-centred and self-focused in our search for answers, Andrew believes that we need to start looking outwards to find the greatest lessons in life.
Andrew argues his case both passionately and succinctly. He shares stories of his life with frankness as a launching point to provoke us to consider some of his more difficult challenges.
He takes us on the journey of being abandoned by his mother at the age of six months, and shows us the cathartic release he found when, as an adult, he was able to empathise with her difficult decision.
In the context of his tales of teenage delinquency, crime and drug abuse, we are called on to reflect on our own moral code.
Like the author’s life, The Me Myth is a remarkable book. On reading the short chapter on getting back to doing the things that you love, I had to put the book down and write my own list of passionate activities. With a small list that included doing jigsaws and hiking, I quickly realised that I was deeply fortunate to have read this book.
If anything, the book’s title does the contents a disservice. Absent in the title is the subtle paradox that by turning our attention away from our immediate, self-focused pleasures and desires, we can actually focus more on developing our larger, more significant selves.
Nonetheless, if sales of Andrew Griffith’s previous books are any indication, The Me Myth will likely find a wide audience.
In a milieu in which advertising and the media bombard us with constant pressures to tend to our own selves, The Me Myth ought to find a counterpoint to the hegemonic forces that surround us.
Our rating: 10/10