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What I Wish I Knew When I Was 20: A Crash Course on Making Your Place in the World Hardcover – April 14, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
“It’s almost impossible to read the first line of Tina Seelig’s book and not grab pen and paper to jot down a river of pent-up ideas and possibilities . . . A galvanizing document, [it] gives us -- more than anything else -- permission to develop our dreams.” -- Santa Cruz Sentinel
“Forget 20--This is the kind of stuff I wish I knew now... Tina is doing us all a big favor by giving us a roadmap to life!” -- Guy Kawasaki, co-founder of Alltop and author of Reality Check
“Wise, witty and packed with stories of those who are making a difference and some who are making a fortune...The only trouble is that you will need two dozen copies to give to everyone.” -- Patricia Ryan Madson, author of Improv Wisdom: Don't Prepare, Just Show Up
“Few people have done as much to champion innovative thinking as Tina Seelig. The principles in her book will surely spark new ideas. It is a must-read for the next generation of entrepreneurs and seasoned veterans alike.” -- David Kelley, Founder IDEO
“Tina is the most inspirational creativity voice I know. Her book is much better than a whack on the side of your head. It’s a whack on the side of your soul!” -- Geoffrey Moore, Author, Crossing the Chasm, Dealing with Darwin
“Seelig is a sharp observer and a gentle and thoughtful writer. Recollections of her own circuitous career path, along with observations of behavior of friends, family, students and colleagues are fertile ground for her. -- Miami Herald
“Tina Seelig is one of the most creative and inspiring teachers at Stanford. Her book ought to be required reading. I wish I had read it when I was 20... and again at 50.” -- Robert Sutton, Stanford University Professor and author The No-Asshole Rule
“Anybody who wants to live an entrepreneurial life filled with purpose and passion needs to read this book. It’s chockfull of practical tools and tips to bring out the best in each of us.” -- Steve Case, Chairman of Revolution and The Case Foundation, and co-founder of AOL
“True, it’s written by a woman (a Stanford University professor, no less), but this ‘crash course in making your way in the world’ is full of realistic tips that help put things into perspective.” -- Sacramento Bee
- Publisher : HarperOne; 0 edition (April 14, 2009)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 208 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0061735191
- ISBN-13 : 978-0061735196
- Item Weight : 10.9 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.5 x 0.77 x 8.25 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #201,130 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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me: No kindle tonight before bed, it's too late.
dd: But I'm reading this really interesting book.
me: What book?
dd: It's about this Stanford professor who does these really interesting things with her students. Makes them think about problems differently.
me: What's the name of it?
dd: What I wish I knew when I was 20. Can I keep reading?
(I have multiple kindles and so when I downloaded it, it got pushed to her kindle so she started reading it.)
“Modern” school teaches to a test and doesn’t really prepare 20-somethings to engage in the real modern world. The lessons and stories are a challenge to the “leaders” to help break your “staff” out of the rut. As the “staff”— expect from your leaders a safe/survivable place to fail and learn. If they don’t, give yourself permission (a lesson in the book) to create one!
There are so many stories my teams have collected... their versions of lemonade into helicopters (a story about how being kind in grocery store by helping a foreign-born person make frozen lemonade leads to a helicopter tour of their home country).
This book is a collection of lessons, if adopted (or encouraged) early in a career are truly difference makers to a life well lived and to an organization. The biggest lesson is iterative, survivable failure is the path to success. So few students these days experience failure. So much pressure to conform and avoid failure and rejection that they are not really able to innovate and constructively disagree.
This book is good for those starting out and for those leaders who want to create an open, questioning atmosphere where the focus is on what is right, rather than who is right.
My other recommendations in this theme (getting people to get the right stuff done by seeing the real problem) are “Adapt” by Tim Hartford (similar issue from an economists point of view) and “A Message to Garcia” by Elbert Hubbard.
The stories were very insightful and had resonated so much about my failures and successes in life.
My top 3 takeaways:
I have learned that uncertainty offers boundless possibilities.
I have learned that 1% effort each day has compounding effect.
I have learned that success is transient.
If you're curious, you can find Dr. Seelig's own presentation on the STVP podcast, in which she discusses some of the top lessons she took away from writing this book. Check that out, and then do yourself a favor and pick up this book. Definitely a great gift as well.
Top reviews from other countries
It could help you to reboot your brain.
I recommend it to anyone who wants to have their thoughts provoked in a pleasant, elegant way.