The Survivors Club: the secrets and science that could save your life, by Ben Sherwood: a review
I found this book fascinating to read, as it was a real page-turner! The author presents many true-life stories, but he also prepares himself for writing the book by doing military training, attending a plane-crash school and interviewing an assortment of people, from scientists, psychologists, to former concentration camp inmates. His aim was to gain an understanding of the physical and psychological makeup of survivors by looking into things like faith, religion, genes, scientific theories, mystery, luck, circumstances and human nature. It was an insightful book, which appeals to both the brain and the heart!
The book is based primarily on conversations with survivors, but also experts from a variety of fields around the world. Far from being dispiriting, reading the stories of all those survivors has been very inspiring and humbling, as they have accomplished extraordinary feats. Some of them included a man who fell off a boat and was alone in the water until a ship found him many hours later; a girl was who was raped, beaten and left for dead in Central Park; a woman who was hit by acid while driving her car and many others.
I think the book is more than a survivor’s manual; it is an aid for dealing with everyday life and the problems that are bound to come along. The first part of the book deals with what it takes to survive, while the second asks whether one is a survivor and presents the Survivor Profiler Test for one to take online. To guaranty confidentiality, one must first obtain a unique access code at one address: www.survivorprofiler.org/getcode and after having the code, one must then go to: www.survivorprofiler.org for the test itself.
Dr Courtney McCashland, the founder and CEO of TalentMine, helps some of the world’s largest companies to identify and develop the strength of their employees. Her specialty is to discover what people are good at doing and teaching them to nurture and build those strengths so they can become more successful, productive and happy. So the author got together with McCashland and TalentMine to create a new test called the Survivor Profiler, which reveals what a person has inside to handle life’s toughest challenges. The Internet test produces a meaningful portrait of a person’s nuanced and sometimes contradictory psychology.
After taking the test one ends up with a Survivor Profile report, which is divided into two sections:
Survivor Type paints the big picture of the survivor personality:
Survivor Tools presents a common set of psychological strengths:
The Profiler calculates a person’s top three tools from the twelve listed and they are the ones that are most dominant, but not necessarily the only ones a person possesses.
The author also invites people to visit the Survivors Club www.thesurvivorsclub.org, which is a new website to help people in crisis live longer and better lives. It is an online meeting place and information centre for anyone interested in survival stories, or beating the odds.