Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “How to Fight a Hydra: Face Your Fears, Pursue Your Ambitions, and Become the Hero You Are Destined to Be” as Want to Read:
How to Fight a Hydra: Face Your Fears, Pursue Your Ambitions, and Become the Hero You Are Destined to Be
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

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

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  1,392 ratings  ·  164 reviews
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
Kindle Edition, 127 pages
Published October 23rd 2018 by Worldly Wisdom Ventures LLC
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about How to Fight a Hydra, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about How to Fight a Hydra

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.10  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,392 ratings  ·  164 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of How to Fight a Hydra: Face Your Fears, Pursue Your Ambitions, and Become the Hero You Are Destined to Be
Nov 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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.
Sep 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Nice and easily digestible.
My first thought upon seeing the title was that procrastination is the Hydra, but it wasn't just that.
A Hydra is what you'd have if you start thinking about ambitious, uncertain, and speculative projects as some kind of being instead of just an abstract challenge.
It strangely makes sense, and of course, it does. We, humans, understand things better in metaphors, just imagine living your life literally, it becomes unbearable. So taking the challenges we face outside of
Sandy Maguire
Nov 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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. ...more
Dec 13, 2021 rated it really liked it
“The warrior and the artist live by the same code of necessity, which dictates that the battle must be fought anew every day...”
~ Steven Pressfield, author of The War of Art, veteran slayer of Hydras

How to Fight a Hydra was an decent short read.

Josh Kaufman is the bestselling author of books on business, entrepreneurship, skill acquisition, productivity, creativity, applied psychology, and practical wisdom. He opens the book with the quote above.

Josh Kaufman:

I wasn't sure what to make of
Mar 10, 2019 rated it did not like it
I don't understand why this has high ratings on Goodreads. The author successfully made a metaphor, but the writing quality is low. At the end of the 1st grade in elementary school, I wrote a very short book about killing a dragon. I still have it in storage. It's not good. I think if I had rewritten it in middle school, it would be of similar quality with this book. I'm not trying to be mean. I don't think the author is even interested in writing good fiction. He easily could have joined a writ ...more
Kair Käsper
Jul 25, 2021 rated it it was ok
This book is the equivalent of a motivational keynote speech at a conference - quite interesting at the time, but ultimately useless and forgotten.
Jan 10, 2022 rated it really liked it
"No matter who you are, what you do, or the resources you have at your disposal, you have to learn to live with uncertainty, complexity, ambiguity, and fear of the unknown."

This was a 30 minutes read and well, it was totally worth the time.

The author uses a fantasy tale of a warrior who tries to tackle down hydra and takes us reader on the same adventure. This adventure is used to teach us all not just about essence of adventuring but the essence of life. How fearful it might be to see hurdles f
Feb 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
An excellent little book full of gems! The author takes our fear of the unknown, uncertainty, ambiguity, and resistance and embodies them into the form of a hydra and us as an adventurer. I enjoyed the metaphor and found myself highlighting little pieces of wisdom throughout the book.
Scott Wozniak
Jul 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
This very short book is fun to read, with deep thoughts buried in it. The story was much better than I expected. And there isn't a ton of explaining the big ideas embedded in the story. You get them pretty clearly from the story so he doesn't repeat them. It's not very tactical, it's just motivational. But it's good at being motivational. ...more
Sandhya Chandramohan
Jun 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Procrastination and anxiety are eternal human adversaries, that countless self-help/productivity books have been written on. Josh Kaufman gives physical form and names our greatest enemy as the hydra in this fable about conquering your fears and fulfilling your potential. Uncertainty, complexity, variability and ambiguity are hydras that every hero has to face in life. Every adventurer feels afraid, every adventurer needs to explore, every adventurer wants to quit at some point. But perseverance ...more
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 ...more
Harish Sankar
Dec 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant 30 minute Read!

A beautiful metaphor for the complexities we face in real life, and the inner battles that we must win , to make progress!
Excellent! Highlighted more than half the book!
Pranjal Kumar Nandi
It was a great 1 hour reading. So many ideas are in such a small book. And they are expressed by a fantasy story. The story is used as a metaphor for delivering the ideas. It not that it's a different type of approach. Many authors use metaphor frequently for expressing ideas. But it's nicely oriented and neatly represented. I would prefer to call it a kind of book that gives you courage rather than motivation. Really a thought provoking one. ...more
Jul 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What was particularly admirable was that the prodigy made calculated decisions everytime and knew when to bow out and prioritise as opposed the common notion of a hero acting at the spur of the moment and take up every opportunity to fight for valor and fame. The metaphors fit in perfectly and made it more than just another didactic book
Tony Guerra
Nov 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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. ...more
Helge Reikerås
Jan 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
This a great and inspiring story for anyone trying to tackle anything that seems incredible hard or impossible. It's not always a good thing when authors want to read their own books imho, but in the case of Josh his voice is just great and is accompanied by sound effects and a background ambiance that makes this book a must for listening to as an audiobook. ...more
Amanda Butler
A beautifully crafted metaphor for tackling real life projects. I highly recommend this.
Jan 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
A refreshing perspective on journeying through life, it reminds us of the struggles that accompanies journeying.
Ananda Nadya
May 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A great book about facing your fear told in very engaging story. A must read!
Bon Tom
Aug 09, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Nice little metaphor about life and work. Audio version has excellent soundtrack, which pretty much sounds like it's pulled straight out of Warcraft 3 campaign. ...more
Sep 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is a very short book, with strong echoes of The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. It was entertaining and mildly inspiring.
Nov 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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
Edirin Edewor
Feb 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant read!

A friend recommended this book to me and told me that the writing style reminded him of Paulo Coelho's The Alchemist and I couldn't agree more. It was so engaging, I read it in one sitting and the lessons shared are very relevant today. I enjoyed the storytelling and the after-notes, and I look forward to reading more of Josh's works.
Alex & Books
Jan 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
Have you ever wanted to pursue an ambitious project? 🙇‍♂️

Doing something new can feel overwhelming, uncomfortable, and impossible, much like trying to defeat a Hydra. 🐉

“How To Fight A Hydra” is a short book that tells the tale of a young man on a quest to defeat a deadly monster (hydra is a metaphor for a difficult task). As soon as you cut one head off (solve a problem) two more appear! ⚔️

This book is short (~100 pages), but has a deep message. It shares advice on facing your fears and pursuing
Aditya Modi
Mar 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant book. Its especially a good read if read at an appropriate time in ones career. I could relate with the book which made it an absolute pleasure read.
This entire book is a metaphor, and I love it!
ricardo is reading
Personal growth is a topic that has been in my mind for a good while now. (Essentially ever since I stepped deeper into full-blown adulthood by turning 30 about year ago and also watching every Queer Eye episode at least ten times.) And naturally books on the subject have turned out to be something of an interest, and I've been keeping an eye out for them.

The only problem is that I find most of these types of books — so called "self-help" books — to be mostly insufferable. I'm not very big on ge
Jul 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fighting The Hydra
I listened to the Audible version of this book. The book appealed to me because of its intent (the figurative one), the novel concept of an allegorical approach to personal development and motivation, and the fact that it was relatively short in length (about 1.5hrs). Sometimes it’s difficult to wade through self-help books that are five, six hours or more in listening time and still absorb and retain it all, so I appreciated that this book was able to convey it’s wisdom and in
Oct 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: special
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
Boni Aditya
Feb 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book stands as a testimonial to Josh kaufman s abilities and illustrates why he remains the best selling author time and again. The work is unique, in that it could be adopted to multiple disciples without any loss of clarity or relevance. Research, innovation, exploration, war, business, entrepreneurship, movie making... Anything could be metaphorically relevant to this context. Having seen the Ted talk given by the author about the first 20 hours as opposed the 10,000 hours required to ge ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (and When to Stick)
  • Courage Is Calling: Fortune Favors the Brave
  • The Great Mental Models: General Thinking Concepts
  • The Almanack of Naval Ravikant: A Guide to Wealth and Happiness
  • Digital Zettelkasten: Principles, Methods, & Examples
  • The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking
  • Anything You Want
  • The Great Mental Models, Volume 2: Physics, Chemistry and Biology
  • Wanting: The Power of Mimetic Desire in Everyday Life
  • F*cking History: 111 Lessons You Should Have Learned in School
  • The Science of Self-Learning: How to Teach Yourself Anything, Learn More in Less Time, and Direct Your Own Education
  • slide:ology: The Art and Science of Creating Great Presentations
  • Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals
  • Backyard Dungeon 2 (Backyard Dungeon, #2)
  • An Elegant Puzzle: Systems of Engineering Management
  • Backyard Dungeon 3 (Backyard Dungeon, #3)
  • Backyard Dungeon 4 (Backyard Dungeon, #4)
  • Lucky or Smart?: Secrets to an Entrepreneurial Life
See similar books…
See top shelves…
Josh Kaufman is an independent business teacher, education activist, and author of The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business.

Josh's unique, multidisciplinary approach to business education has helped hundreds of thousands of readers around the world master foundational business concepts on their own terms, and his work has been featured in BusinessWeek, Fortune, and Fast Company, as well as by

News & Interviews

Need another excuse to treat yourself to a new book this week? We've got you covered with the buzziest new releases of the day. To create our...
24 likes · 2 comments
“Ending a chapter of your life on your own terms is a feat worthy of respect and admiration.” 5 likes
“Fear of the unknown will always be with you, no matter what you do. That’s comforting in a way: if there’s nothing you can do to change it, there’s no reason to let it stop you.” 4 likes
More quotes…