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How to Fight a Hydra: Face Your Fears, Pursue Your Ambitions, and Become the Hero You Are Destined to Be

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A survival manual for ambitious artists entrepreneurs ADVENTURERS You have a Hydra: a grand, ambitious project you’ve always wanted to tackle. It feels overwhelming, unconquerable. Chop off one of a Hydra’s heads, and two more grow in its place. How will you ever defeat such a terrifying monstrosity – and live to tell the tale?   In this illuminating fable, productivity ex A survival manual for ambitious artists entrepreneurs ADVENTURERS You have a Hydra: a grand, ambitious project you’ve always wanted to tackle. It feels overwhelming, unconquerable. Chop off one of a Hydra’s heads, and two more grow in its place. How will you ever defeat such a terrifying monstrosity – and live to tell the tale?   In this illuminating fable, productivity expert Josh Kaufman explores the uncertainty and fear inherent in facing down any ambitious challenge, from starting a new business to completing a work of art. The risks involved can never be eliminated, but they can be understood, anticipated, and mitigated. Armed with an adventurer's insights into tackling unknown and fearsome challenges, you can tame a project of epic proportions. How to Fight a Hydra is an essential handbook for artists, creative professionals, and entrepreneurs tired of ignoring the call to adventure.  So prepare for battle, brave soul. Draw your sword. Light your torch.  In the darkness ahead, your Hydra awaits.


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A survival manual for ambitious artists entrepreneurs ADVENTURERS You have a Hydra: a grand, ambitious project you’ve always wanted to tackle. It feels overwhelming, unconquerable. Chop off one of a Hydra’s heads, and two more grow in its place. How will you ever defeat such a terrifying monstrosity – and live to tell the tale?   In this illuminating fable, productivity ex A survival manual for ambitious artists entrepreneurs ADVENTURERS You have a Hydra: a grand, ambitious project you’ve always wanted to tackle. It feels overwhelming, unconquerable. Chop off one of a Hydra’s heads, and two more grow in its place. How will you ever defeat such a terrifying monstrosity – and live to tell the tale?   In this illuminating fable, productivity expert Josh Kaufman explores the uncertainty and fear inherent in facing down any ambitious challenge, from starting a new business to completing a work of art. The risks involved can never be eliminated, but they can be understood, anticipated, and mitigated. Armed with an adventurer's insights into tackling unknown and fearsome challenges, you can tame a project of epic proportions. How to Fight a Hydra is an essential handbook for artists, creative professionals, and entrepreneurs tired of ignoring the call to adventure.  So prepare for battle, brave soul. Draw your sword. Light your torch.  In the darkness ahead, your Hydra awaits.

30 review for How to Fight a Hydra: Face Your Fears, Pursue Your Ambitions, and Become the Hero You Are Destined to Be

  1. 4 out of 5

    Santino Maguire

    A short and sweet book about the adventurer's lifestyle---about facing your fears and accomplishing great things. I read it in about half an hour, and it lands at exactly the right length. Invaluable advice for taking risks and achieving greatness.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Paulius

    The real hydras are Josh Kaufman's books. Every time you finish reading one of his books, he tasks you with reading a bunch of other great books. I'm still fighting "Personal MBA" hydra (97 book recommendations), "How to Fight a Hydra" gives another 7. If I read one more book from Josh Kaufman, I'll have to get a bigger apartment just for my books.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Tony Guerra

    It was such a well written book with divisions that made it easy to pick up and continue. It only took about an hour to read, but I was bookmarking throughout. I felt the lessons came fast and the story was authentic. While it's allegorical fiction, it's so well done that you lose yourself in the story. I highly recommend it.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Venkat

    Interesting Read While reading I felt the philosophy of Bhagavad Gita in some places, in the end author mentioned it. It's a wake up call for those who are afraid of performing their duty, thinking about result even before starting

  5. 5 out of 5

    Kyle

    Short and sweet. I have the Kindle copy but listened to the whole thing on Audible (around 1 hour and 30 minutes) during several commutes in one day. What it's about The core part of the story is the main character's pursuit of the hydra. (The audiobook narrated that part in roughly 1 hour. The sound effects and silences added to the atmosphere of the performance.) The story did a great job in turning the amorphous fear of a big undertaking into something as concrete as hunting a hydra. How it work Short and sweet. I have the Kindle copy but listened to the whole thing on Audible (around 1 hour and 30 minutes) during several commutes in one day. What it's about The core part of the story is the main character's pursuit of the hydra. (The audiobook narrated that part in roughly 1 hour. The sound effects and silences added to the atmosphere of the performance.) The story did a great job in turning the amorphous fear of a big undertaking into something as concrete as hunting a hydra. How it works During crisis and hardship, a list of insights and to-dos in a non-fiction essay is easy to forget. However, because the insights (on facing our fears & pursuing our ambitions) are bundled with a concrete story, it feels almost like lived experience. In our own moments of doubt, we can remember the adventurer's decisions. In our own moments of fear, we can remember the adventurer's determination. The author got insights from behavioral psychology, military doctrine, and other fields to substantiate the adventurer's insights. After my second reading, I realize how deep and effective these insights are. In the Author's Commentary, he explains the sources of these insights. Applying what was learned As I face the big writing project I will undertake during NaNoWriMo, my fears are no longer nameless and limitless. With the image of the hydra, I know that even though there are 9 or more heads, this freaking hydra will eventually run out of them. By changing the metaphor, I can suddenly use strategies and tactics from battle. Rather than acting like a deer staring at the headlights of nameless fear, I can face this daunting task like a warrior facing a hydra for the nth time.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Angela Magic Art

    What an AMAZING book to complete my reading challenge with! This book is Phenomenal!! I have never in my life, felt more understood. This book just hit Sooooooo close to home for me because I am one of the "Adventurers", Entrepreneurs, and dream chasers this book is modeled after. I have read Josh Kaufman's other book; "The Personal MBA" and really really enjoyed that, I found it so helpful and supportive. So when I got an email that he had a new book out, I jumped on it! This book is a beautifu What an AMAZING book to complete my reading challenge with! This book is Phenomenal!! I have never in my life, felt more understood. This book just hit Sooooooo close to home for me because I am one of the "Adventurers", Entrepreneurs, and dream chasers this book is modeled after. I have read Josh Kaufman's other book; "The Personal MBA" and really really enjoyed that, I found it so helpful and supportive. So when I got an email that he had a new book out, I jumped on it! This book is a beautifully short, but extremely powerful fable about a young man going after his dreams despite what the people close to him say, and despite all the judgement and doubt of others. He goes on an epic fantasy journey to slay a Hydra, and we see through his eyes all the lessons and wisdom he learns and gives to the reader through beautifully written metaphors. This book speaks to your soul, through a high stakes fantasy story. Having all that wisdom and advice wrapped up in a fantasy story was everything I could ever want as a lover of fantasy books, and an avid reader of business and self-help books. I often feel that no one around me really understands my out of the box direction in life, and there were times that I actually teared up a bit, (which never happens to me), because of how much I related to the things that were happening and being talked about. Everyone should read this book!! Even if you aren't strictly an entrepreneur/adventurer type. It's perfect for anyone who has fears in the back of their heads, and feels like they are unsure about what they are doing. All I can say is this book is great, super entertaining, and meaningful. I wish I could have written it. <3

  7. 5 out of 5

    Maya Gopalakrishnan

    Fighting the hydra! I like Josh Kaufman's writing and approach so was expecting a good read, however two things are slightly disappointing.First the length of the book- it could have easily made a full length book on tackling complex and uncertain tasks. Having said that this book has pearls of wisdom densely packed. Second is I'm not sure if the fiction part is really a great idea as the author thinks though the point about metaphors in well taken. Maybe a second read will resolve some ambivalen Fighting the hydra! I like Josh Kaufman's writing and approach so was expecting a good read, however two things are slightly disappointing.First the length of the book- it could have easily made a full length book on tackling complex and uncertain tasks. Having said that this book has pearls of wisdom densely packed. Second is I'm not sure if the fiction part is really a great idea as the author thinks though the point about metaphors in well taken. Maybe a second read will resolve some ambivalence. Recommended.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Christian Jespersen

    Imagine if your science teachers could teach you about gravity, magnetism and sound waves, never mention typical sciance words. I am sure, you would enjoy the classes more and learn more. And that is exactly what Josh Kaufman does with his latest book. He takes something abstract as pursuing a great goal and turn I to some I can see raki g place in my mind. The book is very quick to read, but leaves your mind in a mode of wanting to continue your pursuit and quit leave your thoughts of surrender.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Karen L. Wolfenden

    Great metaphor on many levels Overall a great metaphor for the adventures of life and business! Also enjoyed the discussions of Lakoff's book...he and the book were the bases for one of my most fascinating Berkeley courses. Language is nicely crafted, lofty without being overdone. Thank you!

  10. 4 out of 5

    David Martin

    Original and enjoyable This was original. A very short and easy read, but one worth perusing again and contemplating. Kaufman is right: metaphor is powerful and helpful in addressing challenges in life and work. Bravo!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Tyrone V. Miller

    A quick boost of motivation!! This tiny book packs a big powerful punch that would surely knock the biggest of hydra on its (their?) butt. A must read for anyone struggling to take that big plunge.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Eperdu

    Life as a hydra I enjoyed reading this and felt it was a very apt way to look at the problems we face. It was a fast read but full of meaning. The bibliography was also an excellent reading list.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Cristobal

    A short but a gem of a book. Right up there with other inspirational classics such as "As a Man Thinketh" or "The Richest Man in Babylon." It may seem as a simple book at first glance, but there is a lot to absorb and does warrant many rereads.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Ben

    Great Read Don’t be fooled by this quick read. The book is full of useful advice to overcome doubt, fear, and hesitation.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Asu

    A new take on the perils, hardship and struggles of the business world encapsulated in a fantastical journey . A great read .

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jacob Bovard

    An interesting tale that shows how to handle an objective in your life especially if there is to be hardship involved from the perspective of an adventurer.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Bastian Jerichow

    Great reflections for when change or learning gets hard. Highly recommended motivational story. You can finish the book over a cup of coffee.

  18. 5 out of 5

    George Andrews III

    Enjoyable read. Short but inspirational reminders. Easy to read in an hour, but would be better consumed in bites daily. Good adventuring.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Eric C Cassidy

    this was a good little story. meaningful to me. dig the cover. metaphorically describes a lot that i endured over the times since my surgery.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Eric Barnes

    It’s a short book that I read in about an hour but the premise was fantastic. I love having the setting as a medieval warrior going to battle that teaches you about entrepreneurship.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Valentin Cristea

    That was fun :)

  22. 5 out of 5

    Misael

    Pretty good book I would recomen this book if you are looking for I spy. Try the audio book, it’s way better. M

  23. 5 out of 5

    Priya

    It is a short book but I think it's the exact right length. It kept my interest throughout and gave me some inspiration to finally start a project I have been preparing for *wink wink* for ages.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Benjamin Adekunle-Raji

    DOPE A dope, insightful read. The analogy was right on the money and put the fear and struggle of entrepreneurship and the like into perspective.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Brandon Cole

    A fun little read about doing things in life that are scary and the practice and learning that they take to accomplish.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Duke DeLaet

    Badass A light hero story turned productivity manual. Excellent. Hydra are formidable, and heroes are to act, even in the face of risk.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Rafael O

  28. 5 out of 5

    Chelbea Razvan

  29. 4 out of 5

    Anja

  30. 4 out of 5

    Tate Nicholson

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