Teresa's Reviews > The Nerdist Way: How to Reach the Next Level

The Nerdist Way by Chris Hardwick
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's review
Nov 19, 2011

really liked it

Chris Hardwick is like the geeky big brother I never had, showing me where I'm headed in ten years if I keep thinking like I do. Not that I expect to be famous like him, but I hope to get to the point where I am consistently creating and publishing rather than just consuming geeky media. His advice was great reassurance that I'm on the right track, and his anecdotes made me feel better knowing that what I see as a personal burnout phase could have been so much worse.

The book is broken into three sections on taming your busy mind, taking care of your body, and time management. That technically makes it a self help book, but it is written by a standup comic/TV host so it doesn't sound like a self help book while you're reading it. Have you ever read a self help book that speculated as to whether the Doctor is of Chaotic Good or Neutral Good alignment? This is probably the first one to use the language of my generation's popular geek culture, and I'm glad I downloaded the Kindle version so I could digitally highlight and bookmark all the good bits into a browsable list.

The Mind section of the book explains how Hardwick thinks of his life like one long D&D game, complete with character tome to track his progress. Accountability and success tracking was something I've had trouble with, so his idea of making a table top roleplaying character sheet and hand drawn progress bars for your own real life To Do "quests" was a welcome piece of advice. I now keep a digital character tome on my iPad in an app called SketchpadHD that lets me both type and doodle notes.

I can't comment much on the Body section of the book as I have some personal health issues that make working out a more complicated issue than it is for most people. Hardwick presents some advice from his personal trainer plus descriptions of exercises from which Your Milage May Vary. I thought it was the weakest section of the book, but it DID inspire me to return to my yoga routine. And he makes a good point that consistency with a fitness habit is more important than how hard your workout is. Just stretching is better than no physical activity at all.

The Time [and money] Management section is not terribly new if you already read self help books, but it's all good advice and I thought Hardwick's story of how he got out of credit card debt was inspiring. And actually, the section about super villainy WAS new. I won't spoil it for you, but super villains are actually good role models in the right context.

I highly recommend this book to anyone geeky, anyone who likes to laugh, anyone burnt out on self help books, or anyone who has ever hated themselves even a little for just a moment. You need this book like you need a hug from the geeky big brother you never had.
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