QUICK HIT: Drawing extensively from her life as a young entrepreneur, Claire Diaz-Ortiz gives a quick look at how to life The Better Life. The Better Life, for me, was more a cheerleader reminding me that I CAN rather than a how-to primer. And that’s exactly what I needed.
Claire Diaz-Ortiz has lived an exciting life: Named one of Christianity Today’s “33 Under 33,” manager of social innovation at Twitter, international speaker on college campuses and business conferences, named one of the 100 Most Creative People in Business, degrees from Stanford and Oxford, etc., etc., etc. So when she writes a book on being more productive, embracing your dreams, and living life well, she has the practical experience to make one sit up and take notice.
The Better Life draws heavily on vignettes from Diaz-Ortiz’s personal life, which is a plus because you know she’s not asking you to do something she’s not done herself. Each vignette—37 in all—lasts just a few pages and can be easily read in the margins of life. But the applicational content of the book cannot remain in the margins.
I should note that I don’t agree will all of Diaz-Ortiz’s advice, though my disagreements are purely preferential and not anything serious. For instance, her first piece of advice is to be a morning person. Sorry, Claire, I’ve tried it and it doesn’t work for me. I understand your reasoning and agree with most of it and also agree that, for many people, it’s the best thing, but years of personal experience tells me that early mornings (for me) lead to wasted time. Give me a late night when I can wind down in front of my computer and write any day.
Other advice includes stuff like quit something every week (taken from Bob Goff’s strategy to do the same), read more, write now, give thanks, disconnect, and so on. None of it is really brand new information, but Diaz-Ortiz ties it together with her own like to make it readable and compelling.
Overall, I didn’t learn much from this book, but I was encouraged by it. The Better Life, for me, was more a cheerleader reminding me that I CAN rather than a how-to primer. And that’s exactly what I needed. Whether you read this in five minute chunks daily or speed through it in under two hours, there’s helpful advice in here for anyone at any walk of life.