self improvement

The Good Among the Great

Author: Donald Van de Mark
Publisher: Columbia Island Press
Genre: Self-help
ISBN: 978-0-98460-612-2
Pages: 280
Price: $15.95

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Donald Van de Mark has spent more than twenty years interviewing and getting to know celebrities and news makers. But not all those featured in the spotlight live the kinds of lives we would want to emulate. There are few who embody the nineteen traits Van de Mark deems necessary to enjoy an admirable, creative and joyous life.

Within its own designated chapter, each of these nineteen traits is explored in detail. Then Van de Mark shows us someone or several people who have developed this trait and are living a life that shows how it works. Finally, he explores Abraham Maslow’s ideas on this trait, and gives us takeaway bullet points to focus on in our own lives. The nineteen traits may seem at times to contradict each other, but the fully developed personality could integrate all parts of the whole. In fact, Van de Mark has determined that one person actually demonstrates all of these traits.

The Good Among the Great is a thought-provoking look at the traits that lead to a quality life, but I would have preferred to see less of Maslow’s thoughts and more about the individuals profiled in each section. A more personal and less psychological approach would have deepened the connection for me, making these traits feel more real and achievable. Overall, though, this book provides some good ideas if you want to change your life for the better.

Reviewer: Alice Berger