Were you ever part of a team where everyone got an award? I was. I got an award for “always being on time and never complaining.” That wasn’t exactly how it was phrased but it was something along those lines.
I thought it was crap. I knew I wasn’t very good and I thought it was BS that I got an award just for showing up.
After reading Dr. Daniel Crosby’s new book You’re Not That Great I was happy to see my childhood instinct confirmed as true:
“Our obsession with widespread specialness doesn’t predict much, but surely it’s not damaging right? Wrong. Our wish, no, need to be special has at least three negative sequelae – it leads us to give up easily, act unethically and mistreat others.”
This quote is followed by research and anecdotes that illustrate these concepts in a fun and easy to read way. Having been a former student of psychology, I can tell you Dr. Crosby does a nice job of explaining and tying this research back to our everyday lives.
Finally, each chapter ends with a section titled Learned Living. This section encourages you to go outside your comfort zone and build on the themes discussed in the chapter. Examples include seeking out people from groups you disagree with and focusing on the unsexy risks you are taking in your life (bad diet, bad driving, etc;) instead of obsessing over a terrorist attack.
Each chapter in the book challenges conventional wisdom and encourages you to realize there is a lot more to living a successful life then you previously thought. Chapter topics include:
- You’re not that great
- You are not that special
- You’re kind of crazy
- A lot of what you believe is wrong
- You’re not as safe as you think
- Your ideas aren’t all that original (my favorite part of this chapter is titled “Everything is a remix” it’s so true!)
- You’re chasing the wrong dream
- The time will never be right
In the introduction Dr. Crosby cautions that this book is a punch in the face, it is more then a punch in the face. It is a call to challenge the dearly held, irrational beliefs that hold us back. In an easy and quick-to-read 127 pages Dr. Crosby does an excellent job challenging us and showing us how we can succeed to live a better life.
Buy the book here.
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