Be More by Todd Putman is a narrative of stories and life challenges of people, encouraging each of us to find our own truth. It’s a book for anyone who struggles to answer the question: What do you want to be when you grow up? Because no matter how old, and regardless of life accomplishments, it’s a question we all need to be able to answer.
The central idea behind the book is simple really, be more. Almost everyone wants more out of life. But until we can articulate exactly what that means, it’s very difficult to get there. Be More provides practical direction in the form of the Skills, Values, Passion (SVP) exercise to help people better understand their innate gifts, and what matters most to them, as tools to articulate what they really want from life.
The book was inspired by the many career-centered conversations Putman has had through the years. He found that there are so many people who are incredibly smart and talented but aren’t able to articulate their dreams. They know they want more but can’t say what that means, and as a result have no clear path for success The result is a colossal waste of potential–potential for good, for innovation, for change, for value creation and more. That waste is what drove Putman to take action.
The book doesn’t fit into a traditional self-help book category. Though the fundamental concepts aren’t new, I found that Be More is practical and helpful guidance. It doesn’t stop at the broadest strokes and it doesn’t make grand pronouncements and then leave readers in the weeds. There are a lot of books out there that encourage people to follow their passions, but Be More challenges soul-searching that goes a step deeper. It offers straightforward direction to get to the answers and then explains what to do next to be more. The book is engaging and accessible while simultaneously in-your-face and ass-kicking.
My top six takeaways:
Be More is necessary for individual exploration. Understanding yourself and your life’s dreams is hard work. It’s deeply personal and sometimes it’s deeply painful. But the work is worth it. Get started, pick up a copy and read it.