What Should I Do with My Life?: The True Story of People Who Answered the Ultimate Question

What Should I Do with My Life?: The True Story of People Who Answered the Ultimate Question

by Po Bronson

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What Should I Do with My Life? 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 55 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I looked so forward to reading this highly-recommended book, especially finding myself now in a position where, after 25 years, I do not have a choice as to whether or not to make a career change: The choice has already been made for me. What I was hoping for was some sort of blueprint to follow as I find myself facing so many difficult decisions. What I found instead was story after story of somebody simply stumbling upon his perfect match or dream job, rather than a guide as to how someone might find it with deliberation and planning. There seemed to be no starting point from which one might begin his search for the 'ultimate answer,' and I had no more insight as to 'Where do I go from here?' after reading the book than I did before. Definitely disappointing.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As I read this book, I began to realize who this work was meant to appeal to. The majority of individuals whose stories were documented happened to be those who have made loads and loads of money, enough to feel comfortable with a major life decision or career change. Doctors, lawyers, Wall Street execs and the like. Most had advanced degrees and experienced things most Americans would never dream of but somehow still felt their lives were missing something. It seemed like the author himself came from privledge and chose to interview individuals who came from similar backgrounds. There may have been one story I could relate to in the entire 300 plus page work. Being a 29 year old, college educated individual attempting to return to business school I had hoped the book would tell at least a few stories of middle income individuals like myself. Unfortunately, there are not. I would not recommend this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Would you give up a salary of $300,000 a year to find yourself? Po Bronson seems to think that after reading his latest book, What Should I Do With My Life?, you will feel compelled to do just that. He seems to think he has the power to influence the masses. To be fair: events surrounding the publication of Bronson¿s last book, The Nudist On The Late Shift, would seem to back him up. Published just before the dot-com industry collapsed, the book ¿ an enticing account of all things great within that industry inspired many of its readers to jump on the dot-com boat. When the industry sank these poor suckers went down with it. Bronson felt so guilty he published an apology in The New York Times Magazine. Because of these events the author emphasizes that this book, is meant only to help people find what¿s best for them. In other words, reader beware ¿ he¿s done apologizing. He doesn¿t have to worry. What Should I Do With My Life? simply isn¿t that convincing. Most of us twenty and thirty-something BA wielding working saps aren¿t making $300,000 a year. Though we¿re the ones most likely to be intrigued by such a title, we shouldn¿t be fooled: This book isn¿t about us. The author¿s passion is most ignited when he¿s detailing the stories of people who were financially successful and who, for their own reasons, turned away from that success. He seems so intrigued by these stories that he fails to realize they are essentially one story -- retold forty times. In the introduction to What Should I Do With My Life, Bronson claims to have interviewed some 900 people for this book. Supposedly, one of his goals is to show that his question is one with which people of all classes struggle. Yet of the 50 people whose stories make it into the book, all but about 10 began as highly paid professionals who found themselves asking this question in spite of their six digit incomes. Where are the high school drop outs, housewives, editorial assistants, bar tenders and others who have struggled with this question? Bronson begins the book with the story of a spiritualist who finds peace only after he leaves the monastery. He later profiles a blue collar worker who goes off to college and starts his own business and a self-proclaimed loser who invents golf equipment. But his treatment of these stories feels forced ¿ as if he is aware of the need for diversity among his subjects but isn¿t all that interested in creating it. This is unfortunate, as these are the stories that could turn this dull, repetitive book into an engaging read. If you¿re confused, frustrated and lacking direction you may feel inclined, after reading this book, toward a little late night soul searching. Just don¿t lay awake waiting for any revelations ¿ What Should I Do With My Life isn¿t likely to help you identify or live your dreams.
NCS More than 1 year ago
Po Bronson has written quite the inspirational book. It's not like traditional self-help books (which I believe is the section I found it). It doesn't necessarily give you a set of rules or procedures. It tells the story of everyday people and how they found a sense of balance in their lives by trying to do something meaningful while also facing their everyday responsibilities. I found it motivating because it wasn't necessarily about living your dream. It was about people who had dreams, but for one reason or another have been unable to fulfill them in the traditional sense. But while on the journey to their dreams they found other things that were satisfying. It was about living and when you put your whole self into living fully you will lead an incredible life, even if you do not realize your dreams.
Guest More than 1 year ago
While this book may have a somewhat narrow audience, as mentioned in the above reviews, I found it to be very good at getting right to the core of what holds us back. This book does not spoon feed the reader answers to the question posed by the title. But it does give one many things to think about some of which may be questions the reader is has avoided.
Fraucopter on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I bought this one when I was at a point in my life in which I was asking the question posed in the title, read it, found it unremarkable and cheesy, then ended up selling it to a used book store. I think the appeal of this book hinges on what you're looking to get out of it. It's essentially a book of inspirational stories that will bring a smile to your face, but aren't too intellectually stimulating. If you're looking for a better collection of stories based around people talking about their jobs, try Gig: Americans Talk About Their Jobs by Bowe et al or Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do by Studs Terkel. Both Terkel and Bowe do a fantastic job of letting the interviewees stories shine for themselves instead of trying a little too hard to reach for a sappy sweet moral like Bronson does. However, you might like this title if you're looking for some feel good inspiration al la the Chicken Soup series. Nothing wrong with those books or What Should I do With My Life for that matter, but they're just not to my taste
ntempest on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I know a lot of people were frustrated this because it's not really an answer book. But I loved it, found it inspiring. I'm the kind of reader who enjoys walking in another person's shoes a bit, even if I wouldn't want to live in them permanently, and this is that type of opportunity. And ultimately, no one can tell you what to do. This book just shows how other people set out to answer the question for themselves. Revelatory.
rachelv on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A fun book. Won't help you figure out what you want to do with your life, but will probably inspire you to give it some serious thought. Written as lots of short antecdotes, so it's great for reading on the train or subway.
javabird More than 1 year ago
This book tells biographical sketches of other people who found their passion in life. What the book does not do is provide any useful guidelines for how to figure it out yourself. The book mostly seemed to be the author's answer to what to do with his own life. I found it lacking in insight or encouragement. Skip this one.  
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is filled with inspirational stories and is a great read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The idea of the book is good,but disappointed after reading a few chapters.definitely not what I expected  ,is one story after story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Keep going for part 9. Next page i think
Lorene More than 1 year ago
The idea for the book was good, but the stories chosen were dull.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
When I first glanced at this book, I thought it would be any normal self-help book. I thought there would be a little quiz here and there, places to journal, and a few predominant questions to answer for yourself. I was pleasantly surprised that the focus of this novel was more based on the examples of other people, rather than most books, which tend to be solely about you. I appreciated his creativity and originality while I read. I am a high school senior and I believed that by reading this I could finally answer life¿s toughest question we must all ask ourselves. Unfortunately, I have not answered that question after reading. I am somewhat disappointed because I was depending on the book to tell me what my future held. The stories taught me that no one else could decide for you, you must be strong enough to figure it out on your own. It was refreshing that real people just like me have been successful with their lives and happy with where they are. I loved that Po Bronson told stories of people through out all walks of life. It gave me reassurance because I realized that I don¿t need to be so urgent and anxious for my future. The major themes of this book are to over come fear and confusion to find a larger truth in their lives. This truth differs from person to person but moving past your animosities will help to find out how to live your life. Read this book with no expectations and no dependence, and then it will be enjoyable.