Surf the Seesaw

Unconventional Essays on Balance, Beauty, and Meaning in Life

Non-Fiction - Self Help
222 Pages
Reviewed on 04/03/2023
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Astrid Iustulin for Readers' Favorite

We all have areas in our life where we feel we have limitations and want to improve and some books make the process much easier for us. Surf the Seesaw by Scott A. Davis is one such book that has made the strongest impression on me. The book is divided into five sections that explore interesting themes: misconceptions about human nature, relationships, decision-making, parent-child relationships, and the meaning of life. In each of these sections, readers will find stories from the author's personal life and the lessons he learned along the way. They will also discover new perspectives on topics they might already think they knew.

Surf the Seesaw is not one of those books you only read once and forget; rather it is an inspiring guide you should reread often. I liked how Scott A. Davis wrote it by drawing on his own experiences, giving an original and unique perspective on the topics he describes, which offers readers a realistic starting point that makes it easier and more enjoyable for us to follow his reasoning. Many of the concepts are mindblowing and deeply surprising, especially the chapter about our species' superpower which completely changed my point of view. Reading Surf the Seesaw has been an invaluable and inspiring journey and I am sure many other readers will be curious to discover and read this incredible book.

Maria Victoria Beltran

Surf the Seesaw by Scott A. Davis is a personal memoir and a field guide in cultivating a more meaningful life. Davis, a prominent young executive, steps down from his corporate position one day. He then spends several years traveling and living in many cities and on many islands. This memoir recounts his experiences as he discovers a new approach to living. Jumping from the exciting to the mundane with unexpected twists, each chapter not only immerses you in the author's life but also encourages you to learn and practice his concepts in real-world situations. Surf the Seesaw explores a plethora of topics such as psychology, parenting, relationships, optimism, realism, heroism, sociology, neuroscience, philosophy, and history. With this, Davis's memoir is a powerful account of his personal experiences that help provide an outline of how to live a more fulfilling and meaningful life.

Surf the Seesaw by Scott A. Davis is a compelling memoir that also serves as a unique blueprint for a fulfilled life, making it a part memoir and part self-help book. On the memoir side, Davis's personal experiences and adventures throughout his years provide an immersive and empathic view of living a non-materialistic life. Surf the Seesaw provides a refreshing insight into the many aspects that we practice in our daily lives. We are given a glimpse into a system and its many different parts that run from human nature, social relationships, and religion to introspective and non-tangible aspects such as philosophy, meditation, and the balance of life. At each end of the chapter, he provides prompts to adapt to and contemplate the ideas covered. Overall, I think this book is a helpful guide for those who wish to grasp a deeper understanding of life and its many nuances and enjoy a more meaningful existence in this world. An excellent book worth recommending.

K.C. Finn

Surf the Seesaw: Unconventional Essays on Balance, Beauty, and Meaning in Life by Scott A. Davis is a memoir that offers self-help guidance for adults. In this enlightening work, he helps readers rediscover balance and the true meaning of happiness while sharing his journey of self-rediscovery. After finding success traditionally as most people expected him to, Davis defies expectation and searches the world, and his soul, for something more profound. What results is an incredible work that’s part memoir and part guidebook to set you back on the right path.

Scott A. Davis makes balance a keystone of his work, and it’s wonderful to see the hyped-up connotations of words like success, contentment, and happiness traded in for something more humble and harmonious. I enjoyed reading about Davis’s life experiences. The narration is heartfelt and considerate, developed in such a style that it feels as though a wise and trusted friend is speaking frankly to you about the many lessons they’ve learned. This is followed up with practical guidance and ideas that can be adapted to people from many different walks of life. Davis’s advice is easy to apply to universal issues of how we look at the world and how we look at ourselves and how shifting those perceptions can help us find joy in much simpler ways if we allow it to happen. Overall, I recommend Surf the Seesaw as much for its narrative quality as its self-help advice: a thoroughly enjoyable book all round.

Susan van der Walt

Surf the Seesaw is a collection of essays by Scott A. Davis. He reflects on various topics such as human nature, relationships, decision-making, parents and children, and the meaning of life. In writing these essays, he draws from his experiences as a corporate executive, parent, and sailor traveling the world. Davis believes that our world is a system driven by principles and conveys his understanding of the various principles applied to the topics covered. Ultimately, these principles should lead to a life that balances the many dynamic forces we encounter in our world.

An important insight that I gained is that most of the monsters we fear don't exist. Instead, it is fear that creates the monsters. I love Scott A. Davis' parenting model and his two reasons why parents should never use the phrase 'because I said so' with their children. But also how he shows that admitting and apologizing for your mistakes will let people trust you more. Although relatively short, it provides much food for thought. To benefit most from Surf the Seesaw's wisdom, it is best to read a chapter at a time and then reflect on the exercises at the end of each section. It is especially beneficial to take the time to find practical ways to implement these principles in your life. Considering that your life is but a small part of eternity, by applying the principles, you can ensure that your life counts!

Courtnee Turner Hoyle

Surf the Seesaw by Scott A. Davis is a compilation of essays based on the author’s experience. At the end of each chapter, Davis asks relevant questions about the subject covered and encourages readers to catalog their responses. The author applies real-world examples to reasonable theories for certain feelings or behaviors resulting in an explanation. The essays are relatable and written in easily digestible segments that keep the reader invested in the material.

Scott A. Davis has a keen perspective and his ability to clarify his observations gives his words credibility. The author’s flow is seamless, leading the reader effortlessly from one topic to the next. Written in a conversational tone, it covers many important topics from theology and great men to successful child-rearing and living a meaningful life. It is not a comprehensive guide, but it is a valuable resource for those who need a gentle push toward categorizing one's beliefs about certain topics with space at the end of each section for readers to draw their own conclusions based on their feelings and personal experiences.

The lessons Davis relates are drawn from a well-seasoned life and the suggestions and advice he imparts are nothing short of wisdom. No matter where readers are in their lives, one or more of Davis’s essays will apply. Surf the Seesaw will make a great gift for young people on graduation or as they prepare for their adult life.