Book: Do / Fly

Do Fly

Back when I was in Leeds, I stumbled across an amazing little book shop called Village Books. It was full of really rare magazines on very niche subjects, and as I moved around the small shop I wanted to find something to buy, to support such a unique shop. Every corner I turned, I was amazing at the items on sale but none of them spoke out to me enough to actually buy them.

As I turned to exit, I came across a display of Do books. They run events with sort of Ted talks on different subjects, but then also have a wide range of books that teach, inspire and encourage.

The Do Fly spoke out to me as soon as I’d seen it, so I eventually was able to support that lovely little shop.

Gavin Strange is a lovely (I would imagine from his content) chap who works at Aardman animation. He’s a self-starter, and seems to be highly motivated.

Do Fly offers words of encouragement and practical steps for people who are on the cusp of starting something big. Surrounded by amazing quotes (more on that in a mo), Gavin talks us through things like making plans, finding the time around a full time job, and how to deal with setbacks.

Here are some of my favourite quotes:

“The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one”

“You’re a ghost driving a meat-covered skeleton made from stardust”

“The reason we struggle with insecurity is that we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel”

One particular part of the book that resonated with me was the section about being a polymath – a person who is knowledgeable about a range of different things. He lists some famous ones, including Noam Chomsky. I studied him at uni from a linguistic point of view but then years later I was surprised to see that he was seen to be a thoughtleader in so many other areas too. This is a polymath.

Before I read the book, I got a bit frustrated because I feel I do too many things. I want to be known for many things:

Someone who knows how to help young people into work

Someone who helps adults do things like interviews and CVs

Someone who knows about food in Cambridge

Someone who isn’t skinny but still wears nice clothes

I used to think that I had to pick one and stick to it otherwise I’ll be all over the place. But if Noam can know loads about different things, why can’t I be a thought leader in both young people and also food?

I really liked this book. It’s easy to read, very visually pleasing, and a filled with humour and great advice. I think where I am at personally in my journey, it wasn’t the most helpful since I’ve already set off on my projects (the book, my blog, my career etc) but for someone who is stood at the cliff edge figuring out how to jump into their next project, then this is absolutely for them.

Have you read Do? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

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