Yesterday was a beautifully sunny day, and I sat on the balcony of my friends Jesper and Mia’s apartment, reading The Adventures of Johnny Bunko by Daniel Pink. What a great read.
Written, or rather drawn in manga, Japanese-style print cartoons (very much like the Kita Koga series in the back of my favourite magazine Monocle), Pink conveys six career/life lessons. It is short and sweet, and the book is fun and enlightening.
While I do not agree fully with all of the points made in the book, I think that they make for a very good perspective. Here is a short bite of what I took note of:
Lesson number one that Johnny Bunko is taught is that there is no plan. I could not agree more. I have a strong preference for not planning (so I keep telling myself), both concerning small things (not packing in due time for vacation), but also in the grander scheme of life (not knowing where I want to end up). “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans” (John Lennon).
What I also feel important about not planning too much for life, is that it is difficult to actually know what will be useful for you later in life. How can you possibly? And we need not go further than to our own house-philosopher here in Denmark, Søren Kierkegaard: “Life is understood backwards, but must be lived forwards (Livet forstås baglæns – men må leves forlæns).”
Building on that, Johnny learns that you can make choices for basically two reasons — instrumental and fundamental. Doing something for instrumental reasons is to do something for another desired and expected outcome, whereas doing something for fundamental reasons is to do it because you are inherently interested in it and not necessarily know what it will lead to.
There are many more goodies to go for in the book. Regardless of how you feel with what you are currently up to (doing your dream job — or — thinking seriously about doing something else) this is a fun and insightful read.