Life, on the Line
This, my friends, is an incredible book.
It's a book you'll want to read in a day, but there are times you'll want (or should, or maybe even need) to put the book down for a bit because some of the moments in it are so big. And, I think some of the turning points deserve a pause before moving on.
I could spend paragraph upon paragraph on the stories in and nuances of this book, but to sum it up neatly: it should be required reading upon one's 18th birthday, or any point thereafter. Why? Because, ultimately, this is a book about knowing what you're good at, and then making the decisions that enable you to pursue the opportunities you know in your gut are right.
There's a natural, almost-seamless back-and-forth in the narrative between Grant's story and Nick's story and the writing is strong. Both their stories share the commonality of being confident in who you are as an individual and building a life around your sense of self.
In life, each of us can be described with a variety of labels. Husband. Wife. Boyfriend. Girlfriend. Parent. Son. Daughter. Workaholic. Free spirit. Democrat. Republican. Sick. Healthy. And with every one of those labels comes a set of rules or expectations that you or other people measure against, or in some cases, we use as excuses to not pursue the things we're supposed to. Because, if we're being honest with ourselves, sometimes we're afraid to really be who we are.
Reading Life, on the Line felt like I was reading about two men who eschew living a life constrained by the expectations that come with labels. Instead, they set only their own own expectations and goals, and as a result continue to build pretty fantastic lives without compromising who they are or what they believe.
So, here's my challenge to you:
If you stripped away all the labels you place on yourself or that others place on you... if you laid the groundwork to be able to blow past every roadblock and obstacle (because you can, you know)... if you lived your life in the pursuit of "chasing greatness" (as the book's subtitle suggests)...
In the comments below, tell me:
Here is who I am, and what I want to do.
And, I'm not talking about a "bucket list," or that "life list" nonsense...
You know deep down inside what you're good at. So, with nothing stopping you, what is your big, hairy, audacious goal? Are you "chasing greatness"?
If you're not, why? And when will you?
I've got two copies of Life, on the Line to give away. I'll choose two winners next week.
Comments close Monday night at 11 p.m. ET.
p.s. Check out the Life, on the Line website with excerpts from the book, a slideshow, and some really great video interviews with Grant and Nick. My favorite video clip is where Grant confesses to having called out "Duuude!" when he unexpectedly ran into Thomas Keller at an awards ceremony.