I have two books on my bedside cabinet. The first one is The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday. I started reading this book in 2020. The book has 366 short passages, with the intention being that the reader works their way through in order, one day at a time. I'm back at the start and I'm re-reading each passage in 2021 as I'm sure I'll pick up new information that didn't resonate with me first time round.
The new addition to the bedside cabinet is The Anti Blueprint Project by Jonathan Weaver. I'll be completely transparent with you. I feature in the book, but that's not why it's on my bedside cabinet (honestly, it doesn't just fall open at my chapter!). It's taken up residence because just like The Daily Stoic, it's a book that can be dipped into one day at a time.
I first met Jonathan when I worked as a technical advisor for Nike and Jonathan was the Global Brand Manager for Men's Training (he was a big boss!). During Lockdown I (the OG) he called up to see if I would like to be part of a project he was pulling together. We all had a lot of spare time on our hands so I said yes!
Little did I know he was going to create an absolute stonker of a book.
I love the book.
I probably bore my daughter to tears when I show her chapters from inspirational people that prove you don't have to have your life all mapped out at 16!
It's a thing of beauty (you can tell Jonathan is what I would call, a creative) and more importantly it's packed full of real world wisdom.
Read on to see what lead Jonathan to create this masterpiece.
"What do you want to be when you grow up?"
When we're young people ask us this on repeat. The way teachers, parents and careers advisors ask this question you'd think there is a simple route to navigate the world. I suppose there is an ordinary route. Go to school, study hard, go to the best university you can, get in debt, get a job, work to pay off that debt and then make your way in the world. However, that route is just that - ordinary.
I mean who wants to be ordinary?
I've long been intrigued by the paths that many successful people have taken in their careers and lives, and how many are somewhat unconventional. Whether that's creators, writers and explorers, or plant based Olympians, Oscar winning film makers and Michelin Star accredited chefs, "making it" means something completely different to each of us.
This fascination started out with a blog post, which became a LinkedIn post, which then pushed me to have conversations, catch up with friends and friends of friends to ask questions through the 2020 Coronavirus lockdown and uncover the stories behind their journey.
What I discovered was the very real journey we're all on. That the narrative we're fed about needing life mapped out is so harmful to our own creativity and passion that we likely suppress so much of our own potential along the way. Most of us are still figuring it out anyways. There isn't really a blueprint for any of this.
In the midst of the conversations I quickly realised that there were so many overlapping themes that needed to be pulled together as guideposts for anyone reading this book. These chapters are nothing to do with what to study or where to work. They are how things work, why we need to set goals, look for our passion, understand money, be nice to each other and the need to look after ourselves, stop worrying what other people are doing, focus on what makes us happy and go after that.
Thank you for reading.
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