I’ve been reading and listening to Dan Miller for over 5 years now. In short, this book is more greatness. I ended up taking very few notes for a few reasons. First, this book is full of things that I live every day, so I didn’t take great notes on those areas since I have a lot of experience with following passions, (trying to) learn from those with wisdom, etc. Secondly, it’s just engaging to read it. It’s not the typical business/career book with a lot of sound bytes. I’ve tried to pull a few together for your benefit below.
What I liked
- 10 steps to education and getting rich (not what you think!)-I’ve omitted the details here (get the book!), but you can find this list on page 66. These seem so innocuous, but imagine doing even a small handful of these actions every single year. Every. Year. In 10 years that’s over 100 books, 30 training events, 10 new skills, etc. It’s exponential growth! Crazy to imagine doing it all at once, but very doable when you look at reading just one book per month…
- Read 12 books this year
- Attend 3-4 seminar/training events this year
- Subscribe to 2 great magazines
- Listen to 3-4 podcasts and read 3-4 blogs per week
- Help someone else
- Get involved with a niche social networking community
- Learn a new skill this year
- Get comfy with your presentation skills
- Design your own health/fitness plan
- Plan two trips this year
- Building robots-I remember watching a video in college called 2 Million Minutes. It discusses the intense preparation and study that is common in Indian and Asian cultures for students. They posit that the US students are falling behind, and it’s true if that is the only measure of success. However, those students are being trained to be robots, not creative, innovative thinkers. There has to be a middle ground somewhere in there.
- The man who is too old to learn was probably always too old to learn. ~Henry Haskins It’s very easy to be too (old/young/fat/ugly/dumb/smart/poor/whatever) to learn. There’s always an excuse if you look hard enough.
- Africa, greatness, and handouts-Half the book is written by Dan’s son, Jared. Jared lives in Africa, and he spends a lot of time talking about how to get Africa out of the 3rd world reality. A profound comment that still makes me stop and think is when Jared mentions the fact that Africa’s greatness is not built on handouts or charity. It’s built on businesses. As long as people keep pouring money in without a viable business model to sustain it, there will never be a revolution of growth and prosperity. Worth a discussion; that’s for sure.
- The dreaded 5 year question-There are some hard hitting questions on page 115, but one still stops me in my tracks whenever I’m sitting and thinking. “If nothing changed in your life in the next 5 years, would that be okay?” My instant response is going to be “no!” I’m always learning and growing, but the hard part is knowing what I want things to look like 5 years down the road. Like I said, every time I have a few minutes of quiet time to ponder, this question creeps into my head. I’m not sure how I want to answer it, but I’m glad I didn’t just brush it off (which would have been very easy to do!).
If you are looking for a book that discusses generational differences in a way other books never could, the changing world of work, and finding the wisdom/passion that you have to offer the world, this one is a great one. I have a word of warning if you decide to get the book. You’re going to run into some uncomfortable topics on careers and life that might make you second guess your career choices and re-evaluate your work situation. Not that it’s a bad thing, but I want you to be prepared. :-)
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