About three years ago, I started to notice and research challenges, as alternatives to goal-setting or habit loops or optimization. I wanted to write a different kind of personal development book. Not one that prescribes routines and mastery, but instead emphasizes risk, adventure, discovery, and self-expression.
The Challenge Mindset will help you adopt a new outlook on life: a willingness to experiment, in order to break out of ruts, to learn new skills, to do something remarkable, or to give something cool to the world. This book is a mix of unlikely origin stories, unique passion projects, and recent research, and my own personal experience as someone who’s had over 100 jobs and even more interests.
In this book, you’ll learn about what constitutes a challenge, the four types of challenges, the five qualities of a challenge mindset, and how to put them to use in your personal and professional lives, and how they show up in the workplace among great teams and organizations. You’ll hear stories like:
And many other challenges that led their creators down roads and paths they never imagined. If you want inspiring stories, empowering wisdom, and practical frameworks for your own life and work, you will enjoy this book and possibly challenge a friend to read it with you.
The Challenge Mindset is a nonfiction book that speaks to both seasoned professionals and those just starting out in their career, looking to develop the skills to reinvent, or just invent themselves, one project at a time.
The book is written in three main parts, with a fourth section appendix of practical guides, similar to a workbook.
Part 1 : What are challenges and how do they work?
Contains the introduction + chapters 1-3, which examine what constitutes a challenges, why they are transformative, and how they work, practically and scientifically.
Part 2 : The 5 qualities of a challenge mindset
Contains chapters 4-8, which dig deeper into each of the five qualities of a challenge mindset: curiosity, openness, immersive action, journeyism, and compassionate perspective. Each chapter is devoted to one of these qualities with interweaving stories of challenges, research, findings, and thoughtful digressions.
Part 3: How to use challenges to pursue your personal interests, skills, and goals
Contains chapters 9-12, which provide guides and frameworks for designing personal challenges, the difference between adaptability and optimization, and advice for teams and organizations, plus an epilogue.
Contains a collection of guides, tools, resources, and endnotes.