Finding your calling
One of the side-effects of the two years in Adelaide as I planned would be to understand myself better and find my calling.
The HBS Working Knowledge reviews a new book called "Nobodies to Somebodies: How 100 Great Careers Got Their Start" by Peter Han.
In this book Han examines the careers of one hundred achievers from business, government, science, the literary world, the nonprofit sector, and the arts.
Nobodies to Somebodies is written as a narrative and is organized into fourteen lessons within three sections. The first section, "Basics: Finding One's Calling," provides some useful insight from these high achievers on self-assessment and describes the various approaches they used to decide which way to go.
The second section, "Keys: Chasing the Dream," describes tactical career moves and how the achievers dealt with unexpected surprises that might have diverted their paths.
The third section, "End Game: Using A Little Magic," discusses mentoring, work-life balance, and the importance of drive and passion.
Another book which I read called "What Should I do with my life?" by Po Bronson was a fantastic book.
Let Po tell us about his book:
You can make decisions to pad your wallet. You can make decisions to maintain proper appearances. You can make decisions because they're safe or predictable. You can make decisions because it'll keep your parents off your back. You can make decisions simply to delay making harder decisions. I began this book because I was drawn, artistically, to those who've made decisions to serve none of those ends. I was interested in people who resisted those pressures and made a decision simply because it was good, or right, or true to their nature - and were willing to be challenged by the consequences.
As I wrote in the introduction, "Nothing seemed more brave to me than facing up to one's own identity, and filtering out the chatter that tells us to be someone we're not."
I found that it's not what you do that defines you nearly as much as what you overcame to get there that shapes you. This is a journey of infinite variety that we all share.
My hope is that by reading these people's stories, you will find yourself contemplating the decisions you've made in your life.
These are stories of maturation; of gaining understanding through being forced to look at life a different way. In the end, having the benefit of perspective contributed to their satisfaction as much as the new lifestyle.
You can also check out the NPR piece or a chapter excerpt.
This book is wonderful. It made me look at life with a different view. One of the differences that I have found with this book and "Nobodies to Somebodies" is that Nobodies....starts with the assumption of what success is and Po just started a journey to find out how people made brave decisions and then the story of the book followed.
PO is right. He does not provide startegies or anything else in the book but a good narrative set of stories. Peter Han in 'Nobodies...' decides what is success and then finds the people and the carriers to decide what is the strategy.
I found Po's book highly engaging. If you can read his book. And if anybody does read "Nobodies to Somebodies" do let me know what you think about it.