Her offbeat title notwithstanding, author Ellen Nyland presents an optimistic path to discovering an individual’s authentic self — what she calls the “I am Status” — in her book Life is Great, Even When it Sucks. A dairy farmer and certified professional “coactive” coach, Nyland uses her varied life experiences to teach others how “to spend every moment of our lives as we truly are.”
Nyland discusses how family and environment can negatively influence life choices. With a five-point system focusing on trust, conflict, accountability, commitment and results, she analyzes ways for readers to overcome negativity and develop their innate potential. Illustrations clarify Nyland’s points, along with a corresponding survey with responses from individuals.
With her own challenging life story as an example — running a multi-generational family farm, raising a child with epilepsy, major health issues, relocating to Canada from Europe — she details how she overcame her own fears and insecurities and learned to empower herself and others. An appendix of life stories also shows how others have recognized their own “I am Status” as they dealt with similar family and cultural challenges. Finally, Nyland provides a self-survey to help readers discover where their own insecurities are located — a way to connect to their authentic “I am Status.”
The book flows in a folksy, talkative manner. It tends to meander — frequently returning to Nyland’s own issues — and includes grammatical errors. And Nyland’s discussions of her own challenging experiences don’t always correlate with the encouraging advice she gives in her five points, which can undermine her authority.
Nonetheless, readers who focus on the author’s simple framework to help them assess their relationships and work toward making more positive life choices may find many of her suggestions useful.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.