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.
What Should I Do with My Life?: The True Story of People Who Answered the Ultimate Question Mass Market Paperback – November 29, 2005
|New from||Used from|
The 30 Best Self Help Books
This list reflects books that have saved lives and have sold millions of copies. Learn more on AbeBooks.com
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
In What Should I Do with My Life? Po Bronson manages to create a career book that is a page-turner. His 50 vivid profiles of people searching for "their soft spot--their true calling" will engage readers because Bronson is asking himself the same question. He explores his premise, that "nothing is braver than people facing up to their own identity," as an anthropologist and autobiographer. He tackles thorny, nuanced issues about self-determination. Among them: paradoxes of money and meaning, authorship and destiny, brain candy and novelty versus soul food. Bronsons stories, limited to professional people and complete with photos, are gems. They include a Los Angeles lawyer who became a priest, a Harvard MBA catfish farmer turned biotech executive, and a Silicon Valley real estate agent who opened a leather crafts factory in Costa Rica.
Bronson is a gifted intuitive writer, the bestselling author of The Nudist on the Late Shift, whose thoughtful, vulnerable voice emerges as the books greatest strength and challenge. He describes his subjects lives along with the ways they annoy, puzzle, and worry him. He frets about meddling with his questions, yet once, memorably and appropriately, he offers a talented man a top post in his publishing company. While this creates the juiciness of his portraits, it also can make Bronson the books most memorable character and the only one whose story is not resolved. Even so, this remarkable career chronicle sets the gold standard for the worth of the examined life. --Barbara Mackoff --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
In this elevated career guide, Bronson (Bombardiers; The Nudist on the Late Shift) poses the titular question to an eclectic mix of "real people in the real world," compiling their experiences and insights about callings, self-acceptance, moral guilt, greed and ambition, and emotional rejuvenation. Bronson crisscrosses the country seeking out remarkable examples of successful and not-so-successful people confronting tough issues, such as differentiating between a curiosity and a passion and deciding whether or not to make money first in order to fund one's dream. Bronson frames the edited responses with witty, down-to-earth commentaries, such as those of John, an engineer whose dream of building an electric car crumbled under his personal weaknesses; and Ashley, a do-gooder burdened by the unlikely combination of self-hatred and a love for humanity. Bronson wants to understand what makes these people-among them a timid college career counselor trapped in his job, a farmer bullish on risk-taking, a financial expert grabbing an opportunity to rebuild her brokerage firm devastated by the World Trade Center tragedy and a scientist who rethinks his lifelong work and becomes a lawyer-tick. He occasionally digresses, musing on his own life too much, and frequently hammers points home longer than necessary, but neither of these drawbacks undercuts the book's potency. The "ultimate question" is a topic always in season, worthy of Bronson's skillful probing and careful anecdote selection. Brimming with stories of sacrifice, courage, commitment and, sometimes, failure, the book will support anyone pondering a major life choice or risk without force-feeding them pat solutions. Photos.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top Customer Reviews
If you are fully realized in life, or you don’t believe people have the luxury of questioning “what should I do with my life,” then don’t read this book. It'll be a waste of your time. If you are looking for a literal answer to this question; unfortunately, this book will not meet your needs either. If you have ever wondered whether other people ask this question, and how they approach it, then stop reading the reviews and buy the book today.
In statistical terms, Bronson commits the dual sin of convenience sampling (e-mailing his friends and gathering people from his circles of journalism and finance) and self-reporting bias (some people approached him based on how badly they wanted to tell their story). He also demonstrates a willingness to involve himself with his subjects, which he grapples with as a moral hurdle a few times and which has a direct effect on some stories. It feels more like Bronson drags the story along at times: by asking the questions he does and expressing the opinions to his subjects, he acknowledges his own views on the topic rather than properly reflecting the views of others.
That all being said, it made the book interesting to read.
While the book could drag at times, there should be at least one story for everyone out there job hunting. If you can put aside the fact that many of these people never had to worry about money as much as they had to worry about what they would do in the course of a day, then you can find a lesson that Bronson attempts to extract from the circumstances. He's a capable and interesting writer, if not an objective reporter.
last 6- 8 years before retiring. Started a second career writing children's books, and love it. But it's more hobby, than cuit... well, career right now.
To those who say he did not tell the whole story, for instance, in the surgeon who quit -- well that meeting happened , those doubts were expressed. Success once or twice in a literary field does not make a sure thing new career. If spending all the time, money , emotion and heartache to become a surgeon, then finding it wasn't going to be your future, you could not do it -- if that wasn't forthcoming or interesting enough for some ! I guess they have never been close to that experience, good on them.
Here's what I got out of this book:
A feeling t people , all sorts of people, successful, not successful , were asking this same question I was.
That many were taking , or avoiding the high risks involved with a change of career
That sometimes the risk is worth it, sometimes not-- you could find yourself in a worse spot... that's life!
For me it was amazingly interesting to see how some people were asking and handing the question for themselves
Really, if you are not happy or satisfied, if there is more you want to do , experience... how can you not ASK THE TITLE QUESTION - even if you don't ask it aloud.
For me, with family dependent on me, the economy shaky , the job market scarce, -- I will keep the day job , to fund the life and the dream (writing).
Loved this book, loved Po's sit down with me for coffee and let's talk of these exciting , but difficult things... life career, choices, dreams, chances and decisions. I liked this book, and feel it's time now, 12 years later, to revisit the question of a fulfilled life, this time with us baby-boomers as examples.
This book "What should I do with my life" is now available for a song here on Amazon. Under $7 including shipping -- best $$ ever spent. I found it far more honest, interesting and helpful than any pat chicken soup for books...and having mentioned it to friends, I bought two more copies to share out!
For those upset there aren't more answers or a better "ending" -- I was grateful for more questions, and a bit of direction, as well as a community of people also involved with this adventure. Okay, his book won't be for everyone, but make you own decision -- If you are looking for your "thing" the work, job, career , creation... that will make you come alive, Po's book may help you in asking the right questions, and not feeling so alone in the search.
His book contains the spirit of the quote by Nelson Mandela, I used for my subject line.
Thanks Po, great book, call or tweet, me if you want to start the baby-boomer edition. I am many of my friends are still asking this question , and we didn't start yesterday!