Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A Million Miles in a Thousand Years - Book Review

A Million Miles in a Thousand Years details Donald Miller’s experience re-envisioning his life into what he calls “a better story”. His premise is that when you see your life as a story, you need to decide if it is a story worth reading/living. As he says in the book “We (often) don’t want to be characters in a story because characters have to move and breathe and face conflict with courage”. This book details his re-write of his story.

My reaction to this book was mixed. I liked its message that our stories, or our lives and accomplishments, aren’t set in stone. We can change the kind of story we are living by how we act – our ambitions and actions determine how our story goes. Miller makes a powerful statement on page 69 that perhaps the point isn’t the search for a better story, but the transformation that the search creates. In other words it is the living of our story, the changes that take place in us as we live, that make our story successful.

On the other hand, I did not care for the book itself. The chapters were short, choppy vignettes of his life that did not tie together well. Miller tried to show some before and after so that we understand how and why his story changed, but in the end he did not hold my interest.

I think the premise of the book, searching for a better self, is worth exploring. However, Miller did not succeed in using his own example as a compelling illustration.

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