Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Great Eight by Scott Hamilton

Hamilton, Scott. The Great Eight. Thomas Nelson: 2008

Nuggets, nuggets, nuggets. Reading The Great Eight is like panning for gold and getting fourteen karat nugget after nugget. Each page has a piece of gold to carry away and enlist as a life lesson.

Scott Hamilton, the world famous figure skater, shares his life stories as evidence of the importance of leading a positive life. He’s battled cancer not once but twice and still believes in the value of living with a positive attitude.

The Great Eight are Hamilton’s eight principles for leading a happy life, when you have every reason to be miserable. He talks about the importance of falling and getting back up, trusting God in every situation, turning negative situations into positive ones, communicating with others and making your feelings known, thinking positive, laughing, and smiling, putting others first before yourself, not being afraid of the unknown and learning a new routine, and finally learning to stand in the spotlight.

These eight have a lot of similarities to Cury's Think and Make It Happen. The difference is that Hamilton has lived the life and doesn't feel the need to convince you that he knows what he is talking about. Anyone who has seen the man perform or even interviewed can see he lives what he is writing about. That being said, it was so refreshing when in the last chapter Hamilton admitted that he too finds it difficult to live a happy life and focus on the positive. As he shared his own disappointment, I felt renewed in my own quest to live a happy and positive life.

Hamilton is honest, open, and inspiring. His Great Eight are within grasp of any person who sets their sights on living a happy life, even when they have every reason to be miserable.

Here are just a few of the nuggets that I tucked away in my jewel box:

Happiness is unique to you. You have to find what that is--and then know that you will definitely start falling down. (p.16)

Happiness is a fundamental, spiritual commitment to dedicating yourself to the things in life that bring you the most joy. (p.18)

When you start looking at everything that happens in your life as a God scheduled opportunity, it is amazing how it not only brightens your outlook, but how it infuses you with a greater sense of purpose, direction, and confidence. (p. 24)

I looked at what I believed to be curses as blessings, and now I realize that the ability to do so makes one a champion more than landing a perfect lutz does. (p.56)

It wasn't the circumstances that defined me, but my response to them. (p.56)

In life, when we knock the proverbial snow off our butts (getting rid of the evidence) and move forward with a smile, we have already succeeded. A smile not only tells everyone else you're fine, but also convinces you that you aren't going to dwell on the mistake. (p.98)

True happiness doesn't happen until you accept your flaws. (p.114)

We are always in the season of change, and with each change of season comes a new level of awareness and maturity and perspective. (p.149)

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