book review by Jennifer Hartman

"Failure is not a negative; failure is part of the learning process, and helps to drive improvement."

Is there a blueprint to finding greatness in oneself? It is believed that to be great one only need to be positive and look in the mirror, as greatness is held within. Griffin shows how basic principles of science and art lead to learning and finding a balance using repetition, practice, and refinement. Some individuals have learned the art of finding greatness within themselves, and others need a road map to guide them along the way. Countdown to Greatness encourages readers to reduce negativity and replace it with peace, self-worth, and positivity. By looking within one's own mind, they can learn self-esteem and a feeling of purpose. This leads to achieving greatness. Readers are encouraged to continuously improve and reinvent their creativity, thus leading to a better understanding of oneself.

Chapters are presented in reverse and intended as a countdown to assist the reader with a step-by-step guide to becoming a better person within. Written for those with short attention spans, the large print chapters are quick and to the point, offering simple instructions to find and ignite greatness. The writing style is playful and purposeful, guiding the reader to see life as a work in progress and strive to continue working on greatness. The author uses silly anecdotes to engage the reader to look deeper and ignite a desire for performance and a drive that leads to self-realization. The general takeaway is to follow your dreams, which will ultimately lead to the greatness that already lives inside you.

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Not upside down, but transposed a bit and laid out backwards, yes this is how author Michael Carter Griffin organizes his chapters in Countdown To Greatness – C2G Greatness Lives Within You Find It Ignite It. Starting with the last chapter and finishing with his first, Griffin uses every variation of typesetting, font, various flowcharts and graphic tools at his disposal to imprint his truisms upon the reader in a unique style. This wordsmithing hedges on poetry, although the content is inherently within the self- help genre. Claiming to be a victim of having a short attention span, the whimsical and somewhat humorous depictions of the content is different from any other book I have read. It is fun, informative and definitely different.

He talks about the goals of humility when used with wisdom to be a very persuasive personal forte. The typical success pyramid is highlighted with more detail, and his book reads as if it were a PowerPoint presentation. He dedicates his book to himself – why? Because he feels you have never seen an author dedicate a book to himself – again, being out-of-the-box original in thoughts. I particularly enjoyed his thoughts on the subject of learning. He combines science and art as being the two important character traits to bestow knowledge upon oneself. He is “right-on” in my opinion, and it’s effortless to read his charts and summations on this subject in his unusual way.

An author who emerges from a rather straightforward lifestyle, he uses his printed platform to bust out of the constraints of normality and challenges the status quo. This book would be best received as a printed version, as paging it will be half the fun of reading it, always being surprised by what lies ahead (or behind in his case). This is a great gift for young adults as well, as the rebellious formatting will encourage a new generation of authors to stray over the lines – and, not staying between the lines. It is original, fun and inspiring, and something I can simply say, “You have never seen anything like this.” This is an ideal gift for a high-school graduating class as it will be as much fun ink on paper can possess. I highly recommend Countdown To Greatness to all those aspiring to be great in their own lives. An excellent book on how to live your life the best way you can. It will help guide you on determining what things really matter and your purpose in this journey called life.

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