Every generation has to define success and figure out the tricks for balancing career demands with a fulfilling personal life. This book is the Millennial Generation’s equivalent of 1980s pop career books like “What Color is Your Parachute?” or “Do What You Love and the Money Will Come.”

The author, Mike Iamele, attained a high-status job and active social life by the time he reached his mid-twenties. He had a complete physical break-down when the stress of his quest for success became too much to bear. The things he says in this book he learned by living through a difficult personal wake-up call from the universe. In his view, people in the Millennial Generation were pushed to the limit to strive for high-paying, top shelf jobs, a huge network of friends, a jolly party lifestyle, and successful relationships (unsure if that’s true – it seems like a blanket generalization, but this is what he says). Individuals with that set of expectations will be the ones most likely to need and read this book.

After the introduction and presentation of the thesis, Iamele offers chapters on related topics followed by a few mental exercises to help readers redefine life and success on their own terms. He addresses strengths and weaknesses and how these can be prompts for greater self-awareness and pushing past inner fears.

Chapter 7 focuses on conquering the evil beast of stress. The line between productive and non-productive stress is identified. This is followed by a chapter on being over-committed and how to lighten the load in sensible ways. Other topics are self-esteem, viewpoints and biases, taking time to savor moments of success, the pitfalls of people-pleasing, and changing personal beliefs that hinder growth and development in all areas of life.

This book contains material that’s similar to other career re-evaluation books that have been written over the years. It’s well-written and well-organized material, and offers a range of mental exercises that will prod readers’ minds out of ruts that are causing problems. It targets the up-and-coming generation of people in the workplace and states things in ways that will appeal to that age group. This book is a good starting point for readers in their 20s or 30s who are feeling the pinch of overwork and are dissatisfied with the way their adult lives are unfolding.

~review by Elizabeth Hazel

Author: Mike Iamele
Conari Press (Red Wheel/Weiser), 2015
164 pages, $14.95 pb