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20 Nov 2015
What Should I Do With My Life?
In the current climate most of us will know someone who is under the threat of redundancy or perhaps it has already happened, another that has dreamed of becoming self employed, those fed up with the rat race, the commute and so on.
Probably most of us at some points will feel dissatisfied with our lives and more likely our jobs, business or career.
If you are thinking about making a change or change is being forced upon you, then I would recommend you read a book called “What Should I Do With My Life” by Po Bronson. The book contains 50 short real-life stories of people that Po interviewed who were asking themselves what life is for, where their real gifts lie and what they really wanted to do with their lives. Even though there are only 50 stories in the book Po interviewed more than 900 people.
Po writes with a lot of sensitivity and puts their stories across with great insight and so rather than a typical self help book; you have a gritty look at the ups and downs of what each individual goes through. As you’d imagine some people come out on top and others are still struggling to find their niche and battle against expectations of friends, colleagues and loved ones. The book is not intended as a ‘how to’ guide, the point is to emphasise the compulsion that we all feel to do something important, meaningful and that fulfils us rather than something that we do just to pay the bills.
The people that Po interview live in the US although they are not all American but their thoughts, dreams and desires translate to any country and some of their career changes make for highly entertaining reading such as the investment banker who gives it all up to become a catfish farmer in Mississippi, or the chemical engineer from Walthamstow who decides to become a lawyer even though he is in his sixties.
You would not imagine that Po himself struggles with life purpose given he has written this book and more before and after, but the book is interspersed with anecdotes from his own life demonstrating his own struggle to find purpose.
The book is ideal for anyone who is disillusioned with life, there are few people that would not find the stories thought provoking and fill them with empathy, sometimes envy but most of all admiration.
Book image courtesy of Penguin Random House.