Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ Free Shipping
A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: How I Learned to Live a Better Story Paperback – March 7, 2011
|New from||Used from|
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
From Publishers Weekly
Miller, the accidental memoirist who struck gold with the likable ramble Blue Like Jazz, writes about the challenges inherent in getting unstuck creatively and spiritually. After Jazz sold more than a million copies but his other books didn't follow suit, he had a classic case of writer's block. Two movie producers contacted him about creating a film out of his life, but Miller's initial enthusiasm was dampened when they concluded that his real life needed doctoring lest it be too directionless for the screen. Real stories, he learned, require characters who suffer and overcome. In desultory fashion, Miller sets out to change his own life—to be the kind of guy who seeks out his father, chases the girl and undertakes a quest. Along the way, he comes to understand God as a master storyteller who doesn't quite control where his characters are going. An unexpected bonus of this book is Miller's insights into the writing process. Readers who loved Blue Like Jazz will find here a somewhat more mature Miller, still funny as hell but more concerned about making a difference in the world than in merely commenting on it. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Donald Miller has helped more than 3,000 businesses clarify their marketing messages so their companies grow. He's the CEO of StoryBrand and the author of several books, including the bestsellers Blue Like Jazz and A Million Miles in a Thousand Years. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with his wife, Betsy, and their chocolate lab, Lucy.
If you buy a new print edition of this book (or purchased one in the past), you can buy the Kindle edition for only $2.99 (Save 70%). Print edition purchase must be sold by Amazon. Learn more.
For thousands of qualifying books, your past, present, and future print-edition purchases now lets you buy the Kindle edition for $2.99 or less. (Textbooks available for $9.99 or less.)
Browse award-winning titles. See more
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top Customer Reviews
"No girl who plays the role of a hero dates a guy who uses her."
"But the want wasn't enough. The desire to live a better story didn't motivate me to do anything."
"People love to have lived a great story, but few people like the work it takes to make it happen."
"A general rule in creating stories is that characters don't want to change. They must be forced to change. Nobody wakes up and starts chasing a bad guy or dismantling a bomb unless something forces them to do so."
"Humans are designed to seek comfort and order, and so if they have comfort and order, they tend to plant themselves, even if their comfort isn't all that comfortable. And even if they secretly want for something better."
"They have to get fired from their job or be forced to sign up for a marathon. A ring has to be purchased. A home has to be sold. The character has to jump into the story, into the discomfort and the fear, otherwise the story will never happen."
"James Scott Bell says an inciting incident is a doorway through which the protagonist cannot return."
"...progress, no matter how slow, is all that matters."
"It's true that while ambition creates fear, it also creates the story. But it's a good trade, because as soon as you point toward a horizon, life no longer feels meaningless. And suddenly there is risk in your story and a question about whether you'll make it."
Regarding Star Wars: "...if I paused the DVD on any frame, I could point toward any major character and say exactly what that person wanted. No character had a vague ambition. It made me wonder if the reasons our lives seem so muddled is because we keep walking into scenes in which we, along with the people around us, have no clear idea what we want."
"Once an ambition has been decided, a positive turn is an event that moves the protagonist closer to the ambition, and a negative turn moves the protagonist away from his ambition. All stories have both. If a story doesn't have negative turns, it's not an interesting story. A protagonist who understands this idea lives a better story. He doesn't give up when he encounters a setback, because he knows that every story has both positive and negative turns."
"Neither (a husband and wife) needed the other to make everything okay. They were simply content to have good company through life's conflicts."
"...when I began thinking about story as a guide for life, I took a lot of comfort in that principle. It wasn't necessary to win for the story to be great, it was only necessary to sacrifice everything."
"A good movie has memorable scenes, and so does a good life."
A good story has a character who is pushed to overcome obstacles in order to achieve something and in the process is transformed into a better character.
As the fictional Donald is given a better story to live, the real Donald begins comparing his own life to the story he is working on- Life begins and ends, just like a story. Can the elements that make a story good, make a life good too?- he ponders.
In his quest to make his life a better story, he literally gets off his couch and goes after goals like hiking the Inca trail and biking across America, learning important life lessons along the way.
I found hope in the idea that I am permitted to write my own story, fill my life with passionate people and help them write better stories themselves. I've mostly been someone who has just made the best of whatever I'm dealt, instead of taking risks, chasing my dreams. This book is all about living a life of intention, actively seeking a better story for ourselves and leaving the end, the climax to God, Destiny, whatever you choose to call the higher authority. Even though I'm not a christian, I enjoyed the references made to bible in the book. Most religions preach similar lessons, don't they?
He reminds me a little of Leo Buscaglia, the love doctor from the seventies, who was always encouraging us in his lectures to reach out to others, to open our eyes, and to see the world. He believed that too many of us were on automatic, blind to our fellow man and to the beauties of the world.
Donald Miller takes us on the trips he undertakes--hiking, biking, and canoeing--and shows us the people he meets who donate to the charities he espouses. Living your best life might mean being a mentor in the mentoring program Miller heads up. He shows us how sometimes living your best life is helping a dying family member feel surrounded by love as she makes the trip from this world to the next. It can be rearing children--he speaks of watching a woman nurture her infant and feeling in awe of the mother-child relationship. It can be going to visit your father after a long estrangement, which Miller does, and listen to his apology, and offer your forgiveness.
Miller happens to be a Christian, but he is not the type of Christian that all people admire. I had to smile when he said that he "likes Jesus." "Likes," not "loves"? He isn't a flagrant Christian, Bible in hand, telling us that all will be right if we just accept Jesus. He believes that Jesus makes things better, but not that Jesus makes everything right, at least not now, but that everything will be right and perfect once we are in heaven with our Savior. I'd been warned--some people consider such talk unchristianlike. But I didn't see anything shocking here. He spoke of the book of Job in the Bible where Job's life is sadness personified and he just keeps going on.
Miller writes of suffering in his life, particularly a heartrending breakup with his fiancee. This book really did prove to me that my tear ducts are all in order. I know that I particularly cried at the dying woman's bedside and just because Miller was getting me out of my box and making me think about how the times we reach out and help others or unite with others for a common goal are the times when we're truly living our best lives. He said that sometimes we just have to be like Miller's dog who joyfully reaches out to the other dogs at the park and splashes in the water and simply revels in life itself. Dogs love life and he believes that we should too. Basically he's advocating that we unplug more often and see what we can do to make our lives stand out.
Just one warning--much of the first half of the book is about some of the logistics of making a movie. How can they make it a story that will excite people? He doesn't get to the meat of his story until the second half when he shows how he starts to change his life and join with people who are making the most of their lives. You could be left wondering "Where is this going?" But if you stick around, you will probably be happy with the way Miller shows us how we need people to make this world go around.