Book Review: “Disrupt!: Think Epic. Be Epic.” by Bill Jensen

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Scott Drotar Disrupt
In “Disrupt!” Bill Jensen shares the secrets to being successful in our chaotic, rapidly changing world.

It is once again time for me to present to you a tome of knowledge that you can use to improve your life. This week’s entry into the Scott Drotar Literary Review is a book designed to give you the skills to best navigate the fast-paced world we live in before it passes you by. The author, Bill Jensen, is a world renowned speaker and one of the foremost authorities on simplifying how work gets done and finding ways to work smarter, not harder. In “Disrupt!: Think Epic. Be Epic.” he has taken information he obtained from interviewing more than 100 individuals who have successfully been able to change and adapt to our ever changing world, and then examined these interviews looking for the most common skills and habits that led to their success. In the end, he came up with 25 tools that you can use to stay ahead of our rapidly changing society, which he has compiled together in this book.

Over the last 30 years or so, the world we live in has started changing at a faster and faster rate. While it used to be that major technological advances and life changes occurred over months or years, with the invention of the internet and cell phone, we now have our lives changed by new inventions or ideas almost daily. These now frequent disruptions in our lives are something that you must learn to use to your advantage, if you want to be successful and happy. Jensen compiled these 25 habits to teach you to successfully manage this constant barrage of chaos and change. He breaks the habits into three groups. First, he discusses how to go about being successful and creating your own change. If disruptions are going to happen whether you like it or not, and they are, you might as well be the one running the show. The best defense is a good offense. Second, Jensen gives some strategies for riding the wave of change when it does sneak up on you. These tools help you control the chaos. Third, he presents a handful of general principles for creating a mindset that will allow you to make the most of the disruptions in your life and be happy in this uncertain, ever-changing world. Many of these concepts are things I have discussed in previous posts, like resilience and following your passion, but he presents them from a different perspective that I found quite interesting.

The writing style of “Disrupt!” is different from most books on topics in psychology. Jensen uses a conversational, laidback style that I found refreshing and enjoyable, and he does this without sacrificing the quality of the content. He is not afraid to put things in terms everyone understands, and he pulls no punches which is evident right away with chapter titles like “Do Epic Shit” and “Don’t Fight Stupid.” Both of which are great advice, but few authors would be willing to put things quite so eloquently. There are lots of anecdotes and quotes taken from the more than 100 interviews he conducted in preparing this book that were insightful and entertaining. The only issue I have is that while he claims that the habits are designed to help with disruptions in every area of your life, the vast majority of the examples and stories are about the corporate world. This does not prevent the information from being useful, but by diversifying the examples a bit, he would have made things easier to understand and engaged a wider audience.

The information contained in “Disrupt!” is something that everyone needs to know if they want to be able to keep up with the rapidly changing world we live in. Jensen has shared the tools you need to be successful and happy as you are constantly being faced with disruptions to your daily life. This book is a joy to read, and you will have no problem grasping, remembering, and applying these habits to achieve success in your own situation. The refreshing writing style and the quality and quantity of incredible content that is presented in this handbook on success is what earns “Disrupt!” a 4 out of 5 on the Roll Models Review Scale.

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