As the author of several novels myself, as well as myriad works of non fiction, I know the struggle to write a tome worthy of the audience’s limited physical and mental shelf space. Luckily for me, the company I work at handed out Dan Ariely’s book with the strong recommendation to read and contemplate the ideas within. I can’t thank Kristy enough for lending me her copy. Months later, the man himself was on site for a few sessions where we conducted brainstorms around various business strategies and heard his input. These were insightful, not necessarily for the ideas he shared but the questions he asked. Fascinating stuff.
I’m in the ideas business. For years, I earned a living sharing my ideas, the proof of their worth and packaging them up under a label that encouraged the purchase by the target audience. Writing is no different. It might be fiction, fact or somewhere in between, but the core, root of a book is an idea. Does it spread? Does it grow? Does it spark your imagination to do better, bigger, more profound things which yield more satisfaction? Not every book should provoke you to do bigger, better more profound things. Some books are pure enjoyment, like an excellently prepared meal. Or an afternoon sailing lesson, despite the practicality of the learning, the only real goal to spend time with somebody you love.
Despite my successes in life, I realized a few years ago what I really want to do is inspire people, to motivate them and myself to dream a better future. Dan’s the kind of author that helped me see that, along with Malcom Gladwell, Scott Johnston, Seth Godin and others. Monetarily speaking in my profession, I can win any virtual pissing contest on a number of dimensions. Growing up finally I realize that money in and of itself, is meaningless. Influence, vision and ultimately trust…those are the currencies of the present and future.