Your Life Isn’t For You: A Selfish Person’s Guide To Being Selfless
written by Seth Adam Smith
published by Berrett-Koehler Publishers
Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Did I enjoy this book: It was alright. It was a quick read with a good message.
However, I don’t think I am the target audience. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m by no means a completely selfless person. But I understand that my life isn’t all mine. I’m a mom, a wife, a daughter, etc. And I’m not in my late teens or early twenties. That is the age range for this message. I think those who are just becoming adults and going out on their own would benefit from this book.
At first–and this sounds awful–but I couldn’t feel that bad for Mr. Smith. (I know, that sounds horrible.) It just felt like he was a kid who was very blessed but just wasn’t happy. Kind of a woe-is-me tale. However, once I learned more about his depression and what he was going through, I started to feel more compassion toward his situation. Once we got into his story about coming back to “life,” it really took a turn for the better. I found it uplifting and promising. I enjoyed hearing his stories about his times in Russia, both before and after his suicide attempt. These stories depicted the selfless aspect of Mr. Smith’s message. And I really appreciated the story of “The Selfish Giant” by Oscar Wilde being woven throughout Mr. Smith’s tale. It worked. On the other hand, I wish the story about Prometheus (being a light) wasn’t included in this book. It didn’t seem to fit with the the theme for me. I thought it would be better suited for a different subject.
Would I recommend it: I think so.
About the book – from Goodreads: In this book, Seth Adam Smith expands on the philosophy behind his extraordinarily popular blog post “Marriage Isn’t for You”—which received over 30 million hits and has been translated into over twenty languages—and shares how living for others can enrich every aspect of your life, just as it has his. With a mix of humor, candor, and compassion, he reveals how, years before his marriage, his self-obsession led to a downward spiral of addiction and depression, culminating in a suicide attempt at the age of twenty. Reflecting on the love and support he experienced in the aftermath, as well as on the lessons he learned from a difficult missionary stint in Russia, his time as a youth leader in the Arizona desert, his marriage, and even a story his father read to him as a child, he shares his deep conviction that the only way you can find your life is to give it away to others.
About the author: Seth Adam Smith is an internationally acclaimed, Alaskan-born writer whose blog posts have been shared worldwide and translated into over twenty languages. He frequently writes about relationships and self-improvement on Huffington Post and his website, SethAdamSmith.com