What Should I Do With My Life?
By Po Bronson
*A Book Review*
by Michael C. Gray
© 2019 by Michael C. Gray
As human beings, we struggle with the question of how to live rewarding lives.
We don't arrive with an instruction book that says, "Here's what you should do with your life."
Very seldom do we hear a voice that tells us what we should do. We wonder if a person who hears such a voice is mentally OK.
Instead of "human beings," we can think of ourselves as "humans becoming." We stumble through life trying to find a direction that we find satisfying and hopefully contributes something positive to our world.
A classic book on this search is Viktor Frankl's Man's Search For Meaning. Frankl seems to conclude that we give our lives meaning by the choices that we make, and if we can do this, we will probably live much longer, because we have a reason continue our lives.
In What Should I Do With My Life?, Po Bronson has assembled short biographies of people who have wrestled with this question and are doing something about it. Most of them haven't "arrived" at "the answer," but view their lives as works in process in the direction of being meaningful for them.
One of the stories that Po Bronson weaves in with the others is his own story. He was a highly-paid bond trader, but decided to leave that career to become a writer. His first wife couldn't support that decision. She was highly driven in her own career. His first marriage ended in divorce, which was a very hard experience for Po, and from which he suffered a lot of guilt. He has since remarried a woman who is very supportive of his writing career and who provides valuable feedback to him for the books that he writes. Rewards of writing this book were making many friends who shared their life stories with him and providing encouragement to them in their personal mission quests.
Some people try the path of working in a highly-paid field to build a nest egg, believing they will pursue something they love doing later. Po says he has never seen this approach work. It can be very difficult to leave a high-paying career. People tend to spend what they make, and leaving an affluent lifestyle for a Spartan one is very difficult. A very challenging constraint is time. Many years may pass before you believe you are "ready" to pursue your passion, and suddenly you discover you have little time left to enjoy it.
Sometimes people have a "day job" that pays the bills and they find satisfaction in their family life or volunteer work.
Reading What Should I Do With My Life? won't give you "the answer." It may open your mind to possibilities. It may comfort to know that you are in good company of others who are struggling with the same question.
Buy it on Amazon: What Should I Do with My Life?: The True Story of People Who Answered the Ultimate Question.
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