Po Bronson's What Should I Do with My Life? is a difficult to describe book. Calling it a book about careers would be an oversimplification. But yet it's partly that. Calling it a life-coaching book also oversimplifies, but it's partly that too.
It's unlike anything I've ever read, and yet it inspired me and--encouraged me--like few books ever have.
Bronson, who traveled all over the country seeking out subjects for this book, builds his story around several dozen people who struggle with "the question." There's almost every sort of person here: old, young, smart, dumb, confident, insecure, emotional, analytical, rich, poor, failures, successes. Bronson paints by anecdote, choosing everyday people, and the result is an insightful and textured portrait of how people go about figuring out what to do with their lives.
Some of Bronson's subjects can't figure out their passions. Some of them know exactly what their passions are, but they feel too fearful or too undeserving to reach for them. And some were absolutely certain of their passions--until they pursued them and found out their passions weren't what they thought they'd be. Bronson is unflinching, candid and honest about each person's path, and when you read these various short tales of how people grapple with their lives, you'll learn the right questions to ask to help you grapple with your own life.
Finally, the most inspiring and encouraging thing about What Should I Do With My Life? is the book's fundamental truth: You are not alone in struggling with this critically important question. Almost everyone finds that the answer isn't always what we think it is.
Highly, highly recommended.
Reading List for What Should I Do with My Life?
NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman
Bombardiers by Po Bronson
The First $20 Million is Always the Hardest by Po Bronson
The Nudist on the Late Shift: And Other True Tales of Silicon Valley by Po Bronson
The End of History and the Last Man by Francis Fukuyama