Thursday, October 6, 2011


I wanted to read a nonfiction book before the year ends. I usually like self-help books as long as they don't have a religious slant. So I put it to my twitter community, and Valerie Parv gave me this assignment:

I Could Do Anything If I Only Knew What It Was, by Barbara Sher and Barbara Smith. Thanks Valerie!

I got a chance to read the preface, introduction, and first chapter. Sher says the book grew from her experience as a career counselor. She gave her clients the motivation to go and do almost anything they wanted. But they kept telling her they didn't know what they wanted to do. So she and Smith wrote this book in 1994. There are exercises to help you decide what you are supposed to be doing. This is what your family, society, and peer group expect you to do. Then Sher gives directions- lifted from her therapeutic practice- for finding out what you were meant to do, and matching your external life to that ideal.

I relate to an idea in the first chapter. Sher says that if you tell your friends, family, or peer group what your wildest career goals are, they will immediately tell you to stop. But if you share some of these ideas with strangers, or folks you just met, they will usually encourage you. Some will even offer to help.

That has definitely been my experience as the Chick Lit Guy. Nearly everyone I reach out to on twitter is supportive. I look forward to reading the rest of Barbara's book; she takes a light, conversational tone as if you were in a room with her.

What about you? Are you doing what you're supposed to? What would you rather be doing?

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