Unfollow Your Passion: How to Create a Life That Matters to You

Terri Trespicio. Atria, $27 (288p) ISBN 978-1-982169-24-4

Viral TEDx speaker and “brand adviser” Trespicio urges readers—especially women—to free themselves from “the tyranny of dopey ideas” that set “contradictory” goals toward a life well lived, and instead discover what they truly “want and need.” With a light touch, Trespicio dismantles hoary admonitions such as to “get out of your comfort zone.” There’s no need to climb Mt. Everest, she suggests, when volunteering for new work roles or trying out a fresh skill can be challenging enough. Trespicio breezily covers such topics as choosing one’s own agenda, dumping the expectations of a “bucket list,” not overpacking the (emotional) baggage, and ignoring that “inner critic, the unbearable Karen of [the] brain.” Journaling and other exercises reinforce her lessons on how to transform a comfort zone into a “greenhouse... where living things thrive.” For example, she suggests pasting up a “skill cloud” of Post-It notes as an effective method to visualize how many abilities one already possesses. Stories of successes and failures from Trespicio’s own life (from playing the sax in grade school to getting laid off from a job) blend with anecdotes from others on how to face adversity: as Trespicio recalls, “luggage was lost and life went on.” It’s a rare book that can effectively mix words from Viktor Frankl and Dilbert, but this one pulls it off. Trespicio dishes pragmatic advice with finesse. (Dec.)