In the letter Chris Guillebeau sent with my “uncorrected proof” copy of Born for This: How to Find the Work You were Meant to Do, he added this in a P.S. “As a special ‘pre-order bonus,’ the advance copy that you’re receiving includes several typos and poorly phrased sentences at no extra charge.”
That fun approach carries through the book itself, making it an enjoyable read despite the serious topic of showing you ways to escape from, or redesign, a “soul-crushing job that steals your joy.”
Early in the book, he introduces his Joy – Money – Flow model for understanding your priorities in life. There’s a questionnaire for quantifying and ranking yours. Crucially (for me), he’s subtitled the questionnaire “A Moment in Time.”
When I filled mine out last month, my priorities sorted out as Flow – Joy – Money, which felt right to me. But I was relieved to find this advice at the end of the exercise:
Remember, all three components are important in you life, but their relative importance might change at different points in your life. Therefore, you may want to repeat this brief analysis on a regular basis, perhaps a couple of times a year.
I’ll be following that advice and for this self-analytic tool alone I’d say: go buy the book.
Back yet? Okay, great. Or, if you need more reasons to go grab your own copy, here are some more nibbles to whet your appetite.
Quoting Richard Branson, Chris explains why you don’t need to be held back by missed opportunities in the past, or current attempts at reinvention that don’t work out:
Business opportunities are like buses. There’s always another one coming.
In the chapter “Life Coaching from Jay-Z,” he encourages us to find and build on our own unique strengths, including this from the music mogul about his choices as a teenager between selling drugs and the much harder work path into the music business:
Of course luck plays a part, but every human being has genius-level talent. There are no chosen ones. You have to find what you’re great at and tap into it.
And toward the end of the book, Chris drives home what I take away as the central message:
Finding your dream job doesn’t mean it’s for life. It’s your dream at that particular time and it may change over time as you change. The key is to keep pace with your dreams and that always starts by being attuned to your intuition and the stirrings of your heart.
(Quoting Samantha, age 40, entrepreneur and coach.)
Chris provides several tools and approaches to “keep pace with your dreams” including,
- four different models for living a “multipod” life
- serial resetting
- redefining (or re-committing to) a “five-year mission” for yourself every five years
- putting yourself through a “life detox” program
So once again I say: go buy the book. Even if you’re enjoying life in your dream career right now, remember Samantha’s caution and build your toolkit so you can continue thriving if/when you change over time.
Oh, and note to Chris: I did see the typo on the title page in the proof, but since I’m pretty sure the words “UNCORRETED PROOF” won’t be in the final version anyway, I’m guessing this was a test and hoping I passed.