HOW do you gauge success? Not by how many dollars in the bank or your star rating, according to 11 people featured in the new People Like You book.
Published by Blue Mountains-based Deep Hill Fine Art Media, the book is a collection of 11 true stories about everyday people who have overcome adversity.
Author Ellen Hill said: ``It’s not a celebration of celebrity. We were only interested in people who had achieved things that were realistic to average people. Fame and great fortune is unattainable to most people. The eleven people in this book themselves prove that wealth really isn’t the key to happiness and success.’’
Each person’s overall story is not unique.
"They have overcome problems and challenges common to many in every community,’’ Ellen said. ``It’s how they have overcome them and what they have learned along the way that makes them an inspiration to others. They haven’t allowed their trauma, hardship, disadvantage or disability to define their character. They haven’t blamed anyone else for their hurt. They haven’t used circumstance as an excuse.
"These people have taken responsibility for their lives and aren’t afraid to live them. We can all learn from them.’’
Renowned psychologist Anthony Gunn, who penned the foreward to People Like You, specialises in treating anxiety and phobias and has written several books on the subject.
"Even though each interviewee’s story is different to the others, they all share a common thread of success…the human spirit’s ability to face and overcome adversity, often against insurmountable odds. No matter what the situation, successful people respond in the same way to life’s often tragic and demoralising setbacks - they never give up hope.
"Regardless of your background or your life goals, this book offers thought-provoking advice which may help you be the most successful person you can, yet in a way you never thought possible.’’
"People Like You" took more than a year to compile and features black and white photography to highlight the point that life has many subtleties.
Photojournalist David Hill said: "Life is black, it’s white and it’s every shade of grey in between. Sometimes a decision or an action is wrong, sometimes it’s right, sometimes it just is.’’
Ellen said: "Everyone has a story to tell, and I love discovering 'what makes them tick' and how they are influenced by circumstance and environment. I especially enjoy a yarn where someone has been through the wringer and managed to come out the other side a better, wiser being. Not only is there a positive ending to the story, but the person has something to share with others.’’
The couple hopes People Like You will encourage readers to take a second look at others and wonder why they are the way they are, consider how their actions affect others and then try to make a difference in the world in which they live.
"We also hope they take inspiration and hope from these eleven people,’’ Ellen said. "After all, they are people you pass unnoticed in the street, your friends and neighbours, local business people. They are People Like You.’’
• People Like You (RRP$49.95) is available through www.deephill.com.au. Visit the website to read a book extract, introduction and synopsis.
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Ellen and David Hill are available for interviews any day except Sundays.
People Like You
People Like You is a collection of true stories about everyday people who have overcome adversity. Topics include mental health, grief, anxiety, depression, abuse, learning and speech difficulties, homeless and poverty. Each emotive story ends positively
Deep Hill Fine Art Media is the Blue Mountains-based boutique book publisher of the new coffee table book People Like You.