Book Review: Behind That Shiny Resume by Jasmine Yow

Posted by Kris | Sunday, September 18, 2011 | | 1 comments »

I picked up the book when I was in Popular Bookstore and there was a 20% discount on this book. So this book just cost me RM14.40. Actually pretty cheap considering it was an English language book ( I always think that English books are overpriced compared to Chinese language books).

So the title of the book is  "Behind That Shiny Resume, Jottings Of  A Troubled College Student" tells a diary style story about Jasmine Yow. She has a very very impressive academic and intellectual competition achievements during her secondary school life. But with great achievement comes great expectation, she started to fall into depression during her junior college days in Singapore for her A - Level education. 

I personally think that her problems is not that abnormal among super high academic achievers which tends to be very perfectionist view on how a person's purpose in life is centered only on the achievements and expectation of others. Just that she is brave enough to tell her story about her struggles is cyclothmia ( I had to google the definition which means sudden rapid mood swings) and bipolar-ism & weight gain. And once a high achiever is a the top of the mountain, it can be very lonely as people may distanced themselves away from you due to alot of reasons. Perhaps the issues that she faced during the junior college days is the huge peer pressure to perform in a highly competitive environment where your classmates are the cream of the crop from various nations. And even a larger burden, is the need to always stay ahead of the pack and maintain her top results in the class. (I feel that she is trying to convey this in some of the writings. Singapore mah, famous for "kiasu-ness" environment.) 

Perfectionism which is a strength can be a fatal weakness to high achievers if the emotional side of losing cannot be taken in gently mentally.

I think the Chinese proverb that is aptly suitable for all of us, especially when you think that you are at the top of your career, academic achievement is " yi shan gao , hai yu yi shan gao). Sorry if my hanyu piyin sucks. Here is the "English" translation.

One mountain is higher than another mountain
This may sometimes be viewed as a discouraging saying – you think you are good, but there’s always somebody else who’s better.  Also it may be that one should be humble enough to realise that even though you may be good, you can never assume that you are the best – there’s bound to be another person who can out-do you!

And to top it up, today's sermon by my parish priest gave me a very meaningful and resounding jolt as I was finishing up reading the book. (yes it is a very short book, i can quickly finished it in 1 hour)
Don't compare yourself with other people. Compare yourself from the past and the present. And you will notice the blessing that is granted by GOD.

Very true, as we always compared ourselves with persons that is more richer, smarter, handsomer, prettier than you are. And doing this, you will always not be happy and tend to blame GOD for the shortcomings. You are bascially SHORT selling yourself. You ever wonder why most people don't compare yourself with people less fortunate; the reason is that once you are filled with envy, you cannot comprehend and appreciate the blessing that you had received.

The moral of the story: Always live life to the fullest and never under the shadow of expectations of others. Academic achievement or even financial wealth achievements (I bet alot of people reading my finance blogs dream or want to become a millionaire , including myself. No point of being jealous of other people's wealth as there is always someone richer than you.) don't really will mean a happy, joyful & meaningful life. 

Rating: 3/5 .


  1. ChampDog // 7:59 PM  

    When you go out to work, you start to compare salary. Oh boy, the comparison seems like never ends. :)