Gretchen Rubin

A short, brilliantly fun book about how to be happy and successful at work.

I just finished Daniel Pink’s new book, The Adventures of Johnny Bunko. It’s a career guide written in the form of a comic book.

It’s brilliant.

Ever since I read Scott McCloud’s mind-blowing book, Understanding Comics, I’ve been intrigued with comics as an approach to convey lots of complex information in an elegant, accessible way. I never read comics myself, but McCloud convinced me that this format had extraordinary possibilities.

I’ve always been interested in how people process information. Each of my books – Power Money Fame Sex, Forty Ways to Look at Winston Churchill, and the others -- has used unconventional ways to make my arguments. But I never thought to try using comics, even after reading McCloud.

Well, Daniel Pink’s book does this, and with huge success. In a short, fun read, he sets forth his guide to how to be happy and successful at work. Writing the book in a more conventional style would have taken far more words, been less interesting, and less memorable.

Reading this career guide in comic-book form made it ridiculously easy to remember the main points:

1. There is no plan.
2. Think strengths, not weaknesses.
3. It's not about you.
4. Persistence trumps talent.
5. Make excellent mistakes.
6. Leave an imprint.

This is great advice for life in general, not just making career choices. In fact, several of Pink's points play a big part in my Happiness Project -- "Enjoy the fun of failure," "Be Gretchen," why I left law for writing, etc.

Even if – like me – you don’t read comics, The Adventures of Johnny Bunko is a terrific book. And apart from the sound advice it offers, it’s fascinating to see comics used as a teaching device.

*
I love getting the chance to meet people from blogland in person. Yes, they really exist! In human form! Yesterday I had coffee with Jonathan Fields, who has the great blog, Awake at the Wheel. I was keeping my resolution to "Show up," and as always, I was glad I did.

*
New to the Happiness Project? Consider subscribing to my RSS feed: Subscribe to this blog's feed. Or sign up to get email updates in the box at the top righthand corner.
If you're starting your own happiness project, please join the Happiness Project Group on Facebook to swap ideas. It's easy; it's free.

icon emailNewsletterLight

Get monthly newsletter updates from Gretchen.

icon schooled

Find out if you’re an Upholder, Obliger, Questioner, or a Rebel.

The Four Tendencies explain why we act and why we don’t actOur Tendency shapes every aspect of our behavior, so understanding your Tendency lets us make better decisions, meet deadlines, suffer less stress and burnout, and engage more effectively.

Take the quiz

Get My Monthly Newsletter

Sign up to get my free monthly newsletter. It highlights the best material from here, my Facebook Page, and new original work.