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'Book of Mistakes' incorporates life lessons into story

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By Jin Yu-young
'Book of Mistakes'
'Book of Mistakes'

Skip Prichard, CEO of a global nonprofit organization and listed as one of the top 100 leadership speakers by Inc. magazine, has made his name in the corporate world as a successful and effective leader. He is a regular keynote speaker on leadership and has received widespread acclaim for his management style. In his first publication "The Book of Mistakes," translated by Kim Eun-kyung, Prichard disguises a self-help book with a captivating fictional plotline.

The story revolves around David, a man who has recently made the transition into adulthood by landing his first corporate job and moving into his first apartment. Despite having an ideal setup, one that is deemed "successful" by society's standards, David's anxiety level rises by the day: he feels an overwhelming amount of stress about his work performance, career choices and future. After one day mysteriously meeting a man who claims to have the solutions to his growing concerns, David meets nine individuals who share the critical mistakes that prevent people from reaching sustainable success.

Each of the nine has a different profession and lesson to teach. For example, a playwright teaches David not to live someone else's dream and to "determine who you want to be, not what you want to do." In another instance, a personal trainer tells David not to accept excuses but rather to "shift the energy and creativity from creating excuses to achieving goals." In a third example, an entrepreneur warns him of the dangers of letting temporary setbacks become permanent failures.

With concrete examples such as these to outline several common but destructive mistakes people make in their careers and everyday lives, Prichard effectively incorporates these life-lessons into an approachable story, one that many can resonate with regardless of their stage in life.

Apart from the nine mistakes highlighted in the book, Prichard also outlines three important traits to have when striving for success. These are desire which propels one forward, gratitude which allows someone to perceive failures as blessings, and belief which opens up limitless possibilities. By introducing these characteristics into the story, Prichard tells readers not only which mistakes to avoid, but also which traits to gravitate towards.

The author does not define success as a financial status or materialistic achievement, but rather emphasizes that it is up to the individual to interpret success to their own standards. Due to its creative and relatable narrative, "The Book of Mistakes" is a perfect read for those anxious about work, the future and other endeavors.

Jin Yu-young is a Korea Times intern.


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