Almost all motivation books contain some story about a person struggling and rising from the ashes to the top of their field.
We are lead to believe that the only way to lead a motivational life is to hit rock bottom. I get the feeling that some motivation speakers feel the need to invent horrible life stories just to have a story that resonates with what people expect of them.
Having this thought I was surprised when I picked up an amazing audiobook called Average 70kg Dickhead: Motivational Lessons from an Ex-Army Special Forces Doctor by Dan Pronk.
The book is short (audiobook of about 3.5 hours narrated by Dan with extra comments that aren’t included in the book) and tells Dan’s story from a middle class, average upbringing, failing as a triathlete and making it into medical school with average grades, getting through medical school and making it into the special forces as a doctor and then his life after the army as a successful entrepreneur.
What stood out for me most is that Dan’s upbringing was just as average as mine! The book resonated with me more than any story of an “alcoholic turned elite athlete” ever could because Dan’s start in life felt so eerily similar to mine and so many other average middle class Australian people with big dreams.
Dan’s resolve to live life to its full potential, setting goals and constantly levelling up in small chunks day by day really resonated. He also talks in refreshing terms about the difficulty of the daily grind to achieve a hard goal and how that doesn’t fit with the instagrammed, snap-shot world we live in.
The book also has some really down to earth leadership tips about leading as a conduit for your team and helping teach and enable those around you, all of which resonated with the way I run my own business.
I’ll finish this post with a paraphrased quote from the book that I loved:
The only competition is with the person you were yesterday