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I've been the owner of a copy of this book for about two years now, and just had to finally leave a review.
This is one of the best life advice books I've ever read. Left it at my parents' house in China, and every time I visit them, I reread this book at least a couple of times.
It may be short, and takes only an hour and a half or so to read in its entirety, but there is a lifetime's worth of wisdom in here.
The writing style is great - lively, chatty, casual, and often humorous. Wheelan sure knows how to induce a few chuckles here and there.
What I find most amazing about this book is how applicable it is to my life. Sometimes the chapter will have a literal relevance to you, sometimes it's more symbolic, but either way, every time I read this book I gain new insights and find new ways to apply its advice to my life.
For example, in the very first chapter, he argues that the "time you spend in fraternity basements was well spent." If you are currently a frat boy or spend a lot of time in fraternities, this might have literal relevance to you. But to me, as a non-Greek, this book made me recognize and appreciate the relationships I have with other people and helped me prioritize things in my life.
Another example is his usage of the trip he and his wife made to the Himalayas as a symbol. In this trip, they took a hike that took several hours, only to not see anything at the top of the Himalayas because of the fog. Yet, they enjoyed themselves along the way. This example helped me remember that life is a journey, and does not necessarily have an ultimate end goal. Life isn't a game of "start to finish," and this chapter really helped me take pride and joy in the journey, even if the end result didn't come out as expected.
This is not to say don't work hard toward your goals. In another chapter, he writes about the "hit by a bus" rule. If you were to be hit by a bus and lose your life, would you be happy with what you are doing now? He also discusses the other side, i.e. if you don't get hit by a bus, are you working toward your goals? There are plenty of activities in life that you can enjoy in the moment that will also propel you further toward your career goals.
I've had the pleasure of meeting Charles Wheelan in real life when I was at the University of Chicago, and can honestly say that he is one of the most charismatic and charming writers I've met and read, and he is just as witty in person as he is on paper.
All in all, this is a great book. Read it, again and again, and find ways to apply each chapter to different areas of your life. Sometimes you can apply it literally, other times you may not be able to, such as when he advises the reader to travel. It is not feasible for everyone to hop on a plane and go to Indonesia or India or something, but you can look at travel more symbolically. I interpreted this advice to mean not just literally travel across the world, but maybe you can "travel" to a different part of your own city, interact with people you otherwise wouldn't have, etc. I fully recommend this book, and hope that you can find it as helpful in your life as it was for me.