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

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  1,220 ratings  ·  142 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
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Average rating 4.13  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,220 ratings  ·  142 reviews

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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
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
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
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
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.
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
May 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
For adults that usually read non-fiction books and articles about productivity, project management, procrastination, etc...this is a FUN read. A fantasy tale, just as the title says, about how to fight a hydra.

The author has taken concepts from several different theories and interwoven them in a “how to apply” meets “going on a quest”. If you enjoy fantasy stories, you’ll view this as a fun short story. If you enjoy productivity books, you’ll stop and probably say “Oh! That’s totally a ____ appr
Ben Rogers
Feb 14, 2021 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: People who like metaphorical books
Josh writes an entire book (albeit short) solely about slaying a mythical beast.

Yes, it was okay, but no it was not just about the title.

It was actually a metaphor for getting work done.

I actually found it pretty cringey at times. I'm not a big fan of metaphorical books (although I did really enjoy What I Talk About When I Talk About Running).

Also, the education taught in this book was pretty basic.

I feel like I would have rather:
- read a book actually on hunting a hydra
- read a book on tac
Jan 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Halfway through the book, I admit that I was skeptical.

What the author does is craft an entertaining fantasy story about a man who sets out to slay a multi-headed Hydra (a metaphor for a really big undertaking you may be considering, but hesitant to start). Then he follows up the story with explanations and advice that make much more sense within the context of the fantasy story. The two together make up a relatively interesting read to give you attainable and independent thoughts on how you mig
Apr 29, 2021 rated it liked it
This book tells the story of a guy who wants to kill a hydra and all the hardships he has to face. A lot of those hardships do not come from killing the hydra, but from the environment who tells you it's an impossible task and that you shouldn't do it, and also from all your self-fears.

I liked the book and I would overall rate it a 4, BUT I'm giving it a 3 because this a veery short book, you can read it in 1hr and a half max, and I paid the regular price of a book. I don't usually look at the p
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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

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Believe it or not, we're halfway through 2021! As is our tradition, this is the time when the Goodreads editorial team burrows into our data to...
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“Ending a chapter of your life on your own terms is a feat worthy of respect and admiration.” 4 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.” 3 likes
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