A Good Read: The Survivors Club

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On my travels over the past few weeks, I listened to The Survivors Club by Ben Sherwood.  My huz laughs at me because I am into books that have shocking tidbits of information in them.  In the same vein as Outliers or The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell, The Survivors Club has compelling information that can be thought-provoking or shocking.  This book weaves fascinating science and statistics with true life survivor stories.  I had a hard time not wanting to be in the car until I finally finished the last disk on Tuesday.  I wanted to hear what Sherwood had to say next.

The main point that I took away from this book is that we are all survivors, and we all have the assets within us to face adversity, get through it, and move on.  Consider for a minute what has happened in your life in the past five years.  It would be unusual if you have not experienced something somewhat traumatic – the death of a friend or family member, the loss of a job, extended illness, the loss of a house, the need to move, the loss of a friendship…and I am sure that you could come up with your own list.  The point is that, if you are reading this, you are still here!  You are a survivor!

I learned a couple of fun things that I would never have thought about without reading this book.  The first is that a casino is the place to have a heart attack if survival is preferred. Why?  Because the response time and preparedness of casino employees is the greatest of any other.  This is due to the high levels of security (they are watching everyone every minute) and the fact that the employees are trained to deal with heart attacks well. They also have the de-fib machines close by because heart attacks happen so often in casinos.  The other think that I ran across that was fun is that regular church attendance increases your life span.  Get thee to church!

The last part of the book allows readers (listener in my case!) hear about the factors that we each have that allow us to be survivors.  We have assets – intrinsic as well as extrinsic – that we summon up when needed in order to get through the rough stuff that life sends our way.  This was seriously fascinating stuff!

The book discusses 5 leading survivor personality types and 12 common tools (patterns of thought, feeling, and behavior) that tend to be what is seen in those who survive adversity.

What are the types?  Connector, Realist, Thinker, Fighter, and Believer

What are the survivor strengths?  Intelligence, Love, Adaptability, Instinct, Tenacity, Empathy, Hope, Flow (I do not have flow!), Purpose, Faith, Ingenuity, and Resilience

The really cool thing is that there is a survivor profile test online. Anyone can take it!  I think you should read the book, but even just taking this test is fun. It took me about 20 minutes to finish up the test, and I was able to find out my survivor type and my top three tools that I use in order to get through the rough stuff that makes up life.

I love my profile!  I am a fighter. Some of the phrases from the description are so awesome: You push yourself to be the best. You’re motivated by a sense of purpose or a calling greater than yourself. You’re here on earth for a reason that’s worth real sacrifice. You’re resilient, tenacious and often feel stronger because you’ve endured hardship in the past.

And I love my three strengths: resilience, faith, and empathy.  I actually think that the test is accurate.  When I asked my huz which type he thought I would be, he though connector.  Even though that is a strong point, I think that the fighter describes me better because I connect with people from that empathy side of me, but deep down – I am getting out of the battle.  I will win.  I will also fight on behalf of others.

You should have seen me in court on Tuesday!

One last thing: Ben Sherwood has set up a website for exchanging survival stories and for encourage each other.  Everyone should check it out!

So – what kind of survivor are you?  Maybe are you interested in taking the profiler?  Do it!  I think we all should.  I also think that this is a great book to read.  It is not only educational, but it is also fun.  We are all buoyed by the great stories of others’ survival.  And we should share our stories with each other…

Who might need to hear your story today?

I want to leave you with a Facebook status from my rocking teenage daughter:

It is better to walk instead of run and it is better to keep on going instead of hiding. Living each day to the fullest, not worrying about tomorrow for tomorrow can worry about itself nor worrying about yesterday for yesterday is gone. Live walking. Live on.

When I asked her where this came from, she replied, “My head.”

Love that she is resilient too!

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