The Great Eight: How to Be Happy (Even When You Have Every Reason to be Miserable) by Scott Hamilton is a how-to guide on dealing with life. Scott is the Olympic Gold Medal Figure Skater and was producer and performer of Stars on Ice. He has also suffered through many health struggles from childhood into adulthood including cancer.
As a child, he had difficulty digesting food and was fed through a tube in his nose. He was very small for his age, but his parents did all they could to give him a normal life. He began skating and found that he was able to succeed at it and enjoyed it. His parents allowed him to train and even leave home at a young age to pursue his goal of becoming an Olympic skater.
When he began his formal training, he was able to eat normally, felt content and knew that this was his career goal. He gained national and world-wide attention through the Olympics due to much sacrifice on his part.
As an adult he was diagnosed with testicular cancer. Later on he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. He writes about these difficult times but explains that his Christian faith, his strong friendships, his upbringing and his desire to live kept him going. Heres one of my favorite quotes:
Life wouldnt be worth living unless it was difficult. Whats the point of doing anything if its easy? Its so much more valuable when a challenge has to be overcome.
The subject of the book isnt only about health problems, but about every day life, especially being a good friend, a good spouse, a good parent and a good employee. He writes with a great sense of humor, especially about himself. You feel as if you are a friend talking with him throughout the book.
The term, the great eights are his suggestions for life (and the chapter names) and they look back on his ability to do perfect figure eights:
1. Fall, Get Up, and Land Your First Jumps
2. Trust Your Almighty Coach
3. Make Your Losses Your Wins
4. Keep The Ice Clear
5. Think Positive, Laugh, and Smile Like Kristi Yamaguchi
6. Win By Going Last
7. Learn A New Routine
8. Stand In The Spotlight
Learn about living through difficult times and how to be an encouragement to others.
Review courtesy of Thomas Nelson.