I'm so grateful for everyone who got a copy of Ikigai, and especially for the reviews. My share goes to charity - the reviews are what I get a big selfish kick out of.
Veronica Sicoe's is my favorite so far. I like it because Veronica isn't a long-term reader of the site. Long-term readers often write about how great it is to have a nice compilation which I super-appreciate, but these don't as much brief someone with "fresh eyes" for the work. Enter, Veronica -
"Grab life by the balls"
by Veronica S.
"Who am I? I'm a little crazy, to tell you the truth. You kind of have to be to get anything done in the world."
This is how Sebastian describes himself in Ikigai, and it's basically what drew me toward him and this book. I like people who get things done, who move things, who shift views and change perspectives, and Sebastian Marshall is very much this type of person. Sure, he talks much, but he's got much to say.
Ikigai is a smart compilation of blog posts and articles that captures the essence of Sebastian's drive and vision in a simple, straightforward manner. It's a "stream of consciousness" type of book, more like a personal diary than a blog, and most definitely not a literary piece of work---but who the hell cares, it's the message that matters. If you're unwilling to grasp the useful ideas in this book because it doesn't shove big words and fancy formatting down your throat, it's your loss dude. And shame on you.
There's a lot of information in here about how to optimize your entire existence, from your daily schedule and habits to your effectiveness, your career and your passions, your relationships and your ultimate goals. It's not warm and fuzzy, and you need to have done some previous hard thinking about yourself to even understand how brilliant Sebastian's tips are. But if you're already actively pursuing ways to improve your life and gain more control over the outcome of your hard labor, then this book is definitely for you.
My favorite quote?
Embarrassment and errors are part of doing meaningful things. It's not such a big deal, really. Keep in mind you're going to die. It puts things into perspective. Mild discomfort? Who cares, you're going to f***ing DIE at some point. DO SOME COOL STUFF BEFORE THAT HAPPENS.
So, are you still scrolling through the reviews? Buy the book, it's worth its money. Besides, Sebastian's share goes to charity. How cool is that?
Thanks, Veronica. Wow.
(And please leave a review. Seriously, like, it'll be pretty easy to twist my arm into picking up the check if we're ever at dinner together if you leave a review, so it's a great use of five minutes from a selfish perspective too. Just click on the stars at Amazon. So yeah, review, review, review please.)
Any chance this book would be available in paperback?
Following the question about the paperbook format, are there any plans for an AppStore or PDF version at some point in the future? Would love to get my hands on the book but do not own a kindle.
It's not a huge priority -- other projects going on.
However, you can read Kindle books on CloudReader in your browser at read.amazon.com -- that's what I do.
Your blog is a very refreshing read to me -- it's insightful and "personal", and some posts give me the feeling that I've just taken a sneak peek into your mind and stolen a good idea. Love that!
Ikigai has been a very interesting read. I remember landing on your blog because of the Open Letter to Simon & Schuster and I liked your direct and cutting honesty and your "voice" so much, I didn't leave the site before reading about 30 of your posts. I was an instant supporter.
Ikigai is a good way to add a great deal more open-minded people to the long-time blog readers & subscribers. FFS, that book + website + marketing were put together in ONE week! Kudos to that!
When I think of the maaaany talented writers who sit on good manuscripts for years because they're too chicken or lazy to publish themselves, it makes me want to kick something. I hope you inspire a couple of them to kick themselves a step further. I know I'm not giving up on trying to motivate them.
Great work, Sebastian. Really great work. :)
I'm Sebastian, and I've been called a lot of things recently - ranging from 'a literary hero' to crazy. Why? Because I gave up 2/3rds of a $65,000 advance on a nonfiction book from Simon and Schuster by writing an Open Letter to the CEO saying that they don't treat people well enough.
Most people don't understand the decision. Why do that? Why screw up my author's career? Isn't that a lot of money? Isn't it a huge risk?
And the answers are - principles, integrity is more important than money, maybe not, and no.
I'm taking a bit of stand. I'm just one guy, but I think the publishing houses mistreat a lot of people, and it's even hurting their own business. Go talk to editors in the publishing world. They're all buried under paperwork and bureaucracy. The work conditions range from okay to unpleasant. I think people in publishing don't even realize how bad things are, because they've never seen a very healthy hyper-engaged industry.
I'd like things to get better, so I'm taking a stand. Okay, I'm losing out on about $50,000 after I already had a book that was basically done. But what's the point of money? I think it's some mix of doing what's important to you in the world, and being happy and engaged.
I bought Sebastian Marshall's book, Ikigai, when it first came out. His is one of very few blogs that I read regularly, so I had high expectations for the book. And, hey... even if it's not great, I like supporting people I respect.
As soon as I bought the book, I read the first chapter. It was the blog post that I mentioned in the isolation post. Oh, I thought, I guess this book is just a bunch of blog posts that I've already read. I stopped reading.
That was six months ago. These days I read about 2-3 books per week, which means that I have a really tough time keeping my reading list full. Last week I was searching through my Kindle to see if I had any half-finished books I'd forgotten about, and I decided to give Sebastian's book another shot.
Man, am I glad I did. I'm not sure I've ever read a book with lessons that can be applied so quickly for such immediate results. Ikigai is one of the top few books I've read in 2012.
The focus of the book is rational and efficient productivity. Or at least that's what I got most out of it. If you're into that sort of thing, definitely read it.
I bought Sebastian Marshall's book, Ikigai, when it first came out. His is one of very few blogs that I read regularly, so I had high expectations for the book. And, hey... even if it's not great, I like supporting people I respect. As soon as I bought the book, I read the first chapter. It was the blog post that I mentioned in the isolation post. Oh, I thought, I guess this book is just a bunch of blog posts that I've already read. I stopped reading. That was six months ago. These days I read about 2-3 books per week, which means that I have a really tough time keeping my reading list full. Last week I was searching through my Kindle to see if I had any half-finished books I'd forgotten about, and I decided to give Sebastian's book another shot. Man, am I glad I did. I'm not sure I've ever read a book with lessons that can be applied so quickly for such immediate results. Ikigai is one of the top few books I've read in 2012. The focus of the book is rational and efficient productivity. Or at least that's what I got most out of it. If you're into that sort of thing, definitely read it. I now plan my day every morning. Sebastian shares his daily planning routine, which I used as a rough template for my own. Every morning I record the time I went to bed the night before, the time I woke up, the time I brushed my teeth, the time I finish planning, and the time I finished writing a blog post (I'm writing one every single day, but not posting them all). Recording the time you finish these things is a bit of subtle genius from Sebastian. When you record the time you finish something, you tend to do it earlier. Today I woke up and had two immediate phone calls that had to be made, which pushed my whole schedule back. As soon as I saw the time, I started doing my few morning things, including writing this post. Morning used to be my least productive time of day, but now I jump right in and start producing. The rest of day planning consists of making a todo list for yourself. You're supposed to create a list that you believe can be completed to 70%, but I've completed 90-100% every day, despite trying to make the list harder each time. It's amazing how much you can get done when you have a plan and start early. I use the tasks feature of Google Calendar for my todo list. It's not amazing, but it's good enough and keeps me looking at my calendar, which makes me more likely to schedule things and see when they're happening. At the end of the day, I do a quick five minute summary, as prescribed by Sebastian. I record whether or not I flossed, reflected on the possibility of death, and played my violin. I write down my key accomplishments for the day, my top life goals, a quick analysis of the day, and my top priority for the following day. Last, I record how many minutes I wasted, how many minutes I worked on SETT, and how many minutes I spent writing. RescueTime helps me come up with a rough estimate of these things. There's a lot more than planning your day in Ikigai, but that was the big value that I got from it. He also spends a lot of time covering the same sort of strategy and philosophies that I'm a big fan of and write about here. ### The great Alaska trip starts next Saturday. A few friends and I will be riding our motorcycles to Alaska for no real reason at all.