Customer Reviews for

What Should I Do with My Life?: The True Story of People Who Answered the Ultimate Question

Average Rating 3.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

Inspiring book about finding yourself...

Po Bronson has written quite the inspirational book. It's not like traditional self-help books (which I believe is the section I found it). It doesn't necessarily give you a set of rules or procedures. It tells the story of everyday people and how they found a sense ...
Po Bronson has written quite the inspirational book. It's not like traditional self-help books (which I believe is the section I found it). It doesn't necessarily give you a set of rules or procedures. It tells the story of everyday people and how they found a sense of balance in their lives by trying to do something meaningful while also facing their everyday responsibilities. I found it motivating because it wasn't necessarily about living your dream. It was about people who had dreams, but for one reason or another have been unable to fulfill them in the traditional sense. But while on the journey to their dreams they found other things that were satisfying. It was about living and when you put your whole self into living fully you will lead an incredible life, even if you do not realize your dreams.

posted by NCS on April 13, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

Great book for the wealthy entrepreneur, doesn't include many stories of the middle income searching for the answer to the 'ultimate question'

As I read this book, I began to realize who this work was meant to appeal to. The majority of individuals whose stories were documented happened to be those who have made loads and loads of money, enough to feel comfortable with a major life decision or career change. ...
As I read this book, I began to realize who this work was meant to appeal to. The majority of individuals whose stories were documented happened to be those who have made loads and loads of money, enough to feel comfortable with a major life decision or career change. Doctors, lawyers, Wall Street execs and the like. Most had advanced degrees and experienced things most Americans would never dream of but somehow still felt their lives were missing something. It seemed like the author himself came from privledge and chose to interview individuals who came from similar backgrounds. There may have been one story I could relate to in the entire 300 plus page work. Being a 29 year old, college educated individual attempting to return to business school I had hoped the book would tell at least a few stories of middle income individuals like myself. Unfortunately, there are not. I would not recommend this book.

posted by Anonymous on July 9, 2003

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 5, 2005

    No Inspiration Here

    I looked so forward to reading this highly-recommended book, especially finding myself now in a position where, after 25 years, I do not have a choice as to whether or not to make a career change: The choice has already been made for me. What I was hoping for was some sort of blueprint to follow as I find myself facing so many difficult decisions. What I found instead was story after story of somebody simply stumbling upon his perfect match or dream job, rather than a guide as to how someone might find it with deliberation and planning. There seemed to be no starting point from which one might begin his search for the 'ultimate answer,' and I had no more insight as to 'Where do I go from here?' after reading the book than I did before. Definitely disappointing.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2003

    Great book for the wealthy entrepreneur, doesn't include many stories of the middle income searching for the answer to the 'ultimate question'

    As I read this book, I began to realize who this work was meant to appeal to. The majority of individuals whose stories were documented happened to be those who have made loads and loads of money, enough to feel comfortable with a major life decision or career change. Doctors, lawyers, Wall Street execs and the like. Most had advanced degrees and experienced things most Americans would never dream of but somehow still felt their lives were missing something. It seemed like the author himself came from privledge and chose to interview individuals who came from similar backgrounds. There may have been one story I could relate to in the entire 300 plus page work. Being a 29 year old, college educated individual attempting to return to business school I had hoped the book would tell at least a few stories of middle income individuals like myself. Unfortunately, there are not. I would not recommend this book.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 5, 2004

    So Uh¿ What Should The Rest Of Us Do With Our Lives?

    Would you give up a salary of $300,000 a year to find yourself? Po Bronson seems to think that after reading his latest book, What Should I Do With My Life?, you will feel compelled to do just that. He seems to think he has the power to influence the masses. To be fair: events surrounding the publication of Bronson¿s last book, The Nudist On The Late Shift, would seem to back him up. Published just before the dot-com industry collapsed, the book ¿ an enticing account of all things great within that industry inspired many of its readers to jump on the dot-com boat. When the industry sank these poor suckers went down with it. Bronson felt so guilty he published an apology in The New York Times Magazine. Because of these events the author emphasizes that this book, is meant only to help people find what¿s best for them. In other words, reader beware ¿ he¿s done apologizing. He doesn¿t have to worry. What Should I Do With My Life? simply isn¿t that convincing. Most of us twenty and thirty-something BA wielding working saps aren¿t making $300,000 a year. Though we¿re the ones most likely to be intrigued by such a title, we shouldn¿t be fooled: This book isn¿t about us. The author¿s passion is most ignited when he¿s detailing the stories of people who were financially successful and who, for their own reasons, turned away from that success. He seems so intrigued by these stories that he fails to realize they are essentially one story -- retold forty times. In the introduction to What Should I Do With My Life, Bronson claims to have interviewed some 900 people for this book. Supposedly, one of his goals is to show that his question is one with which people of all classes struggle. Yet of the 50 people whose stories make it into the book, all but about 10 began as highly paid professionals who found themselves asking this question in spite of their six digit incomes. Where are the high school drop outs, housewives, editorial assistants, bar tenders and others who have struggled with this question? Bronson begins the book with the story of a spiritualist who finds peace only after he leaves the monastery. He later profiles a blue collar worker who goes off to college and starts his own business and a self-proclaimed loser who invents golf equipment. But his treatment of these stories feels forced ¿ as if he is aware of the need for diversity among his subjects but isn¿t all that interested in creating it. This is unfortunate, as these are the stories that could turn this dull, repetitive book into an engaging read. If you¿re confused, frustrated and lacking direction you may feel inclined, after reading this book, toward a little late night soul searching. Just don¿t lay awake waiting for any revelations ¿ What Should I Do With My Life isn¿t likely to help you identify or live your dreams.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 18, 2014

    This book tells biographical sketches of other people who found

    This book tells biographical sketches of other people who found their passion in life. What the book does not do is provide any useful guidelines for how to figure it out yourself. The book mostly seemed to be the author's answer to what to do with his own life. I found it lacking in insight or encouragement. Skip this one.
     

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  • Posted March 1, 2013

    The idea for the book was good, but the stories chosen were dull

    The idea for the book was good, but the stories chosen were dull.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 26, 2003

    Bait and Switch!

    The title really captures your attention as well as the subect and the hope that you might get something meaningful out of this read. It was really boring and not well written. I would have put it down but I thought that there must be SOMETHING I am missing .... NOT! Don't waste your time or money on this drab stab at life's important question.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2003

    It didn't work for me.

    If you have an amiable or expressive social learning style this book would interest you. I have an analytical driver style so after the first chapter I was bored. I thought the book would be more like 'What Color is Your Parachute' or 'Whistle While You Work'. I expected some interesting means/methods to discover what I want to be when I grow up. If you find yourself lacking self-esteem or seek the comfort how others finds themselves, try this book. There was too much emphasis on the Generation 'Why' crowd in the interviews. Maybe the author feels more comfortable interviewing his generation.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2003

    not as good as the hype

    This book isn't bringing anything new to the table. I was un-impressed with any of the stories. A better cultural selection would have been appreciated as well. The author failed miserably in this aspect.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2003

    Nap Time

    A more appropriate title would be 'What ELSE Should I do With My Life?' Although some of the stories are about people who have tried and failed or may have been destitute, most are about people who REALLY should have had no complaints. For the most part, they had pretty good lives and with most of them, I could not associate. Bronson does get caught up in his own commentary (or liked to read his own writing)and could have stopped a few paragraphs short at times. Also, I'm surprised his editors didn't catch some of his grammatical faults which I found obvious. To be fair, I read it all the way but expected more enlightenment than information about his glorious (and fun) two year sabbatical.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 8, 2003

    Stop after the first half

    This book obviously appeals to so many people who have pondered the same question for themselves. I think people are drawn to the idea of the book more than the actual content. I liked that reading it provided time for my own soul searching. Initially, I was able to apply the stories from the book to my own life, helping to guide my thoughts. However, finishing this book after the first 150 pages was a painful experience. It is horribly boring without much direction or structure. The stories just ramble and offer no insight. Further distracting is the poor writing, with many grammatical errors. I wasn't able to read more than a few pages at a time for the boredom. I didn't want to miss a grande finale but one never occurred. It wasn't worth sticking it out.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 3, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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