It’s Not About You: A Brief Guide to a Meaningful Life Summary
This is a very short book, but is packed with the wisdom. The author Tom Rath shares his insights from his life and realization what is the most important to him after his diagnosis at sixteen of a rare genetic mutation with a 20-year expiration date.
I have noticed when the life has the expiration date announced to us, the focus of the life will be forever changed, most of people will invest the time and attention wisely, because they are the most precious resources in our life. We will appreciate a single bit of our life more than ever. No wonder an expression described “Live Today as if it is the Last Day of your Life”. We should always try to pack as much life and contribution into those years as humanly possible.
The following are the takeaways I learn from the book:
- Life is about what we put back into the world, not what we take out of it. Look through the lens of what will outlive us, and we’ll quickly see past self. Plant a few seeds today that could grow for years to come. The defining features of a meaning life are “connecting and contributing to something beyond the self.”
- Let go of what’s beyond our control
- We always have a choice of how to respond. Start by assuming the other person has positive intent
- Focus our daily life on nurturing relationships and spending quality time with the person who matter most. What would matter more is the time we spend with our friends and family. Our greatest contributions are what we put into our closest relationships
- So often, people take on roles they don’t want and stay in jobs that don’t excite them, never exploring a wider set of possibilities about the types of contributions they could be making
- When we see a rare opportunity. take it. Life is too brief for living with regrets
- Tell someone how they have contributed to our life, while they are still around to hear it. When we think about getting over ourselves and doing more for others, the author encourage us to learn from those who shaped our story. Take a few moments now to think about some of the people who have had the greatest influence on our life. What can we learn from them? How can we let them know what a difference they made, before it is too late to tell them
- We have to find work that know in our heart is making a positive contribution, Simply put, our strengths and efforts must be focused on specific contributions we can make to other people’s lives
- We can’t be anything we want to be, but we can be a whole lot more of who we already are. Knowing who we are and we are not is essential. But it is only a starting point. All the talent, motivation, and hard work in the world will not be valued or remembered if it does not help another human being, Real growth is the product of following our contributions more than our passions. Simply asking, “What can I contribute?” leads to a better path and result than starting with ourselves. This applies far beyond the realm of careers.
- We do not need to be defined by a family background or chronic condition. Most people agree life is not about focusing on self-oriented or monetary ambitions. It is about what we create that improves lives. It is about investing in the development of other people. And it is about participating in efforts that will continue to grow when we are gone. In the end, we won’t get to stay around forever, but our contributions will
- Next, start asking what the world around us needs today. The author knows from his own experience that we may not have tomorrow to do what matters most. Tomorrow turns into the next day, but we always have today.
I read other people’s review, they think his bragging, and only want to advertise himself and his books, because he is a wealthy man, that’s why he has all the freedom to spend time with his family and friends without working.
I totally disagree with those readers. If you have a positive mind, I think you will appreciate not only the author’s personal stories, but also the points and messages he delivered through this book.
A quick read I recommend to all!