Po Bronson takes a very unique approach to the question that many of us have asked when contemplating: What we should do with our lives? He conducted a very interesting and insightful experiment to find out how everyday people think about this question and what process or techniques they use to answer it. The result is this fascinating book about people from a broad spectrum of ages, professions and circumstances. Bronson heard more than nine hundred stories and came to know about seventy people personally to explore with them how they changed their lives in pursuit of their passion. Included in the book are fifty of these stories. Some people discovered that a new career or lifestyle was exactly what they needed to make them happy and others realized that they had already found their bliss. Some people achieved success and some did not, while others are still in transition.
Bronson also shares his own story in the book. He like many of the individuals that he encountered had pursued a number of different professions. He talks about his desire to become a writer and the struggles he overcame to achieve that goal. As I read the book I found myself thinking about my own life and could identify with many of the stories that were shared. One of the intents of the book was to stimulate reflection by the reader and I can honestly say it did just that for me. Some people seem to know early in their lives what they want to do; what will be a fulfilling path to pursue. Others sometime stumble into it. Bronson found that it was the hard times that often motivated people to change the course of their life; in good times they frequently only talked about change.
What the book does not do is provide the reader with a magic bullet or formula for determining your passion or life calling. This might be disappointing for someone who is looking for more of a definitive roadmap or guide for finding life or career fulfillment. Instead, it is a book that will hopefully inspire the reader to use the lessons from the experiences of others to help improve their own life.