What I Wish I Knew When I Was 20: A Crash Course on Making Your Place in the World tells you to follow your passion from Stanford or wherever into a career where you will work hard, work smart, think different, connect, innovate, and disrupt while proactively overcoming internal and external obstacles to your creativity and cheerfully treating each failure as a step towards success.
It’s every graduation-day, carpe-diem, Silicon Valley start-up cliche ever, and more cherry-picked inspiring anecdotes than two decades of Sunday sermons.
Change the world or go home! Heaven help you if you’re an introvert, or cautious and meticulous rather than bold and decisive, or if you have the slightest fondness for rules, hierarchies, or specific, well-defined goals. You’ll have to buy someone else’s crash course on making (or just finding) your place in the world. Like maybe Susan Cain’s.
Speaking of rules… Tina Seelig’s title breaks one. It should say “What I Wish I Had Known When I Was 20″. I thought maybe the error was the result of a decision made by the publisher for the sake of brevity; many people probably wouldn’t notice the error, but might be turned off by the clunkiness of a past perfect verb. However, the author (a Stanford University professor) uses the same phrasing at least twice in the acknowledgments, so I have to assume the wording is hers.
I can accept that the author’s specialty isn’t the nit-picky details of writing but some big-picture entrepreneurial stuff. Still, the publisher should have had a sensible copyeditor involved somewhere along the way. I’d like to think any copyeditor would have noticed. A good copyeditor would also have fixed the handful of typos I noticed. It’s a really short book. There shouldn’t be any.
Ah, well. Clearly I’m missing the point.
When and Why I Read What I Wish I Knew When I Was 20
… how to use past perfect verbs.
Genre: non-fiction (self-improvement, entrepreneurship)
Date started / date finished: 29-Jun-17 to 30-Jun-17
Length: 190 pages
Originally published in: 2009
Amazon link: What I Wish I Knew When I Was 20