I actually reviewed this book back in June on my own blog, here: Druid Journal » Blog Archive » Review of Life on Purpose
My review wasn't quite as glowing as Steve's -- I think there's a lot of valuable things in it, but:
- The exercises are hard. They're hard because they really admit of many, many different kinds of answers, but Swift is looking for just one, and he doesn't give you enough hints to figure it out. (For example: "What are the three components that make up the simplest unit of a person's life?") I think they're not really meant to be solved -- you're just supposed to think about them for a while, flexing your brain, and then read the "real" answer keep reading. But I can imagine someone going through the book and thinking, "Wow, I could never figure that out... Am I too dumb to figure out my life purpose??"
- Many of the exercises are vague. Oftentimes it's difficult to figure out what you're being asked to do.
- The life purposes he gives as examples in the book are kind of weird; they seem like grab-bag lists of things you want, rather than Life Purposes. For example: "A life of purposeful, passionate, and playful service, mindful abundance balanced with simplicity, and spiritual serenity." (Swift's own life purpose.) Compare that to Steve's "To grow, and to help others to grow", or my own "To experience and create beauty". Swift's purpose -- and the others he gives as examples in the book -- seem to lack focus.
Finally, after I read the book through once, I fully intended to go back and work through the exercises more carefully. I already have a life purpose, but there were a lot of exercises I thought might be interesting to work through in any case. But I found that I simply put the book aside and have not gone back to it. There was really nothing in it that inspired me enough to pick it up again. I've found my own personal growth to be helped much more through meditation.
So I agree with Steve that this is a great book, and will likely be very, very helpful for a lot of people. But I don't recommend it unreservedly. I'd say buy the book if:
1. You want to know your life’s purpose, and you have a good handle on introspection and connecting with your intuition. If you’re in this situation, the book will be just what you need: the exercises will challenge you with difficult questions, forcing you to grow in ways you may not have, and confronting the aspects of your life you might be trying to avoid. And your intuition will guide you to the right purpose for you, regardless of Swift’s weird life purpose examples. :-)
2. You know your life’s purpose, but you want to explore it further, and get some good ideas about how to implement it and live it in your everyday life.
3. You’re thinking about making use of Swift’s Institute and its coaching services. I strongly suspect that reading this book will give you a good idea of what to expect. ;-)