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The Pathless Path: Imagining a New Story For Work and Life

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It takes a few wrong turns to find the right way.

Paul Millerd thought he was on his way. From small-town Connecticut kid to the most prestigious consulting firm in the world, brushing shoulders with CEOs and with the resume to match.

The Pathless Path is about finding yourself in the wrong life, and the real work of figuring out how to live. Through painstaking experiments, living in different countries and the goodwill of people from around the world, Paul Millerd pieces together a set of ideas and principles that guide him from unfulfilled and burned out to the good life and all of the existential crises in between.

This book is a personal journey of awakening and is an ideal companion for people considering leaving their jobs, embarking on a new path, dealing with the uncertainty of an unconventional path, or searching for better models for thinking about work in a fast-changing world.

Kindle Edition

First published January 18, 2022

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About the author

Paul Millerd

2 books86 followers
Paul Millerd is an independent writer, freelancer, coach, and digital creator. He has written online for many years and has built a growing audience of curious humans from around the world. He spent several years working in strategy consulting before deciding to walk away and embrace a pathless path. He is fascinated about how our relationship to work is shifting and how more people can live lives where they can thrive

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5 stars
677 (39%)
4 stars
594 (34%)
3 stars
358 (20%)
2 stars
69 (3%)
1 star
34 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 169 reviews
275 reviews
June 2, 2022
Didn't enjoy, gave up at 34% (on ebook).

Very mundane story about a guy's career path from corporate climber to self-employed.

Feels like he took a lot of millennials' paths these days (see: subsection of semi-ER within entire FIRE movement, entrepreneurs, self employed, etc.), thought he had discovered it himself, and just needed to share his story.

Worse, he took the boring "I became a blogger instead of corporate climber" route--common, but not super repeatable.

The bigger problem was (and the reason why I gave up continuing to read), I couldn't figure out why I'd care about this guy. Nothing about the writing or him personally was compelling or kept my interest.

Feels like it was an ego boost book written by an internet personality for his friends and family that he could market and sell to his blog followers.

Gave up one-third in figuring if I were still bored and hadn't learned anything, it was time to move on to something better. Hard pass.
Profile Image for Angie Wang.
1 review1 follower
February 12, 2022
This book gives me so much hope as a creator who wants to live an untraditional life!

Paul uses his own experiences to help readers understand how our personal experiences of work are influenced by the force of history. He then proposes how we can live a life based on freedom and success defined by ourselves, not by the norms of society.

This is not the type of book that gives you the cliches of quitting your job and hustle to get rich advice. Rather, it’s a sincere sharing about an independent creator’s journey and an invitation to navigate the unknown with hope and courage.
1 review
January 25, 2022
This book was quite the page turner. Picked it up one morning and had finished it within 24 hours.

I’m currently on my own “pathless path” journey and this book reflected back to me many of the emotions and feelings I had felt over the last months. It was honest, real, and inspirational.

What I appreciated most was that this wasn’t a “self-help” book. Too often, we read these kinds of books looking for “the answer” - that one nugget/insight/framework that will finally help us find bliss.

Instead, Paul tells his own story and connects that story back to some fundamental truths in the human experience. He calls out the elephants in the room around money, “success”, and shame, and encourages us all to re-think our default lives more creatively.

If you are at all interested in building a different life in a default world, give this a read!
Profile Image for Ahmad Qassab Bashi.
123 reviews24 followers
December 26, 2022
To make a long story short (If you don't want to follow a career path, you can work as a freelancer)
does it work for everyone? I don't think so.
Profile Image for Davis Whitehead.
66 reviews
August 31, 2022
I read this book after getting laid off from WHOOP and during a time in which I was reflecting on what to do next and considering various options. This book has challenged me to think about my priorities in life and has made it hard to ignore that finding another "default path" job may not make me happy. I'd highly recommend this to anyone who's interested in exploring a non-traditional career/life path.
15 reviews
December 28, 2022
Very boring life story, while I'm very interested in non conventional living and work this is just not useful.

Maybe the author's friends and followers find it interesting, but for anyone else it's a very mundane life story that could've been told in a short article, bloated to fill a crappy book that tries to be profound while being as deep as a puddle.

Ali Abdaal is recommending some crappy books lately.
Profile Image for Tanya.
7 reviews8 followers
March 15, 2022
Found this book extremely relatable as someone who left the corporate world a few years ago. I struggled to find the words to explain what it felt like taking that jump and how to adapt to a pathless path and Paul’s book did a really great job of summing it up, providing validation, and inspiration. Also a super easy read, felt like I was listening to a friend.
Profile Image for Meera Sundar.
12 reviews4 followers
August 7, 2022
Meh. Best to skip the book and read a summary online. I read only 1/3rd of it and gave up. Way too much fluff. And excessive explanation of jargon and history of work, leisure etc. Meandering read with the central premise always remaining vague.
14 reviews
March 13, 2022
This book was really interesting at the beginning but then struggled to keep me engaged in the last pages. The idea of having a pathless path is quite daunting and it is definitely not applicable to anyone, i.e A single mother or a caregiver, etc.
I found it a little bit too philosophic at some point. Nevertheless I appreciated the reflective process of the author.
Profile Image for Andrii.
4 reviews
July 27, 2022
"The pathless Path" has "useless use" for people who're already passionate about their career/profession and curious enough to approach it from different angles. Although its very helpful once in a while to reevaluate your global values and goals, but to spend time finding pathless path just for the sake of it is unnecessary
Profile Image for Shameem Kaypee.
21 reviews
April 23, 2022
This book taught me & my friend Ajnas Mohamed a lot about the modern society's relationship with work & How there's a lot wrong with the "default path"

And that's where the Pathless Path comes in, A path which allows you to be yourself rather than conform to the crowd, a path which gives you the freedom & time to be yourself!
I was expecting a "Here is 7 advice to be more successful in your career" kind of vibe, but surprisingly it turned out to be in the way that the author was explaining his life story to us, how he used to work at high paying high-status jobs, but was never fulfilled and how he gets out of it slowly, He explains his journey.

The only reason I've given it a 3-star rating is that it didn't match up to my expectations and as a teenager who is not working a full-time job, I wasn't able to quite relate to most of this book, but I still think reading this book earlier in life is gonna benefit me.
Profile Image for Carl.
41 reviews7 followers
April 9, 2023
I must be in the right frame of mind to read this because it hit me. Normally I'm a cynical and skeptical type, but my present situation had made me ready to hear the message of this book. I've already made one important decision, and this book confirmed it. Now to explore forward.
Profile Image for Khadi.
1 review1 follower
April 16, 2022
I was excited to read this as someone who has always been on ‘the pathless path’ (and now embarking along a new fork on said path). But while much of his experiences resonated with me, it offered little insight for those already navigating this path - especially for times when things become particularly unsteady and uncertain. This turned out to be more of a memoir focusing on the author’s professional life. It also doesn't sufficiently consider the role of privilege that some may have over others for achieving success on such a risky and uncertain path.

However, I see its usefulness for convincing persons who are now considering shaking up their life and taking this leap for the first time.
Profile Image for Varick Lim.
4 reviews2 followers
May 9, 2022
A great read for those considering a non-traditional career path. I found Paul's journey incredibly relatable and inspiring.
Profile Image for B+.
69 reviews
January 7, 2023
Ali Abdaal book recommendations have become almost useless at this point. This book should have subtitle: Read if you are young millionaire that’s bored with working.

Somehow this book manages to not saying anything truly concrete in 200+ pages.

I force myself to finish this book but it basically the same cookie cutter history of every millionaire under the age of 35 with the same advices, it’s beyond repetitive.

The author doesn’t claim to be a millionaire but after quitting his 200k job went to an trip to euro with no defined end to “Sit in Florencia while drinking wine” then go to a luxury hotel in Malasia and a café in a cliff in Bali.

Extremely disappointed.
Profile Image for Daksh Jindal.
125 reviews80 followers
March 15, 2022
Good book for people trying to follow an unconventional path in life. It inspires you and normalises that doing a job is not the only way to live your life. If you are thinking about starting a new career, read this.

If you are already in the middle of changing careers then this book is just a motivational book not a practical guide. I expected a bit from this.
Profile Image for Thao Tran.
4 reviews
March 22, 2023
Had some really interesting tidbits in the first third about how humans' relationship with work has evolved over time due to different historical movements and cultural differences. Then the author starts wanking himself for the rest of the book.
Profile Image for Ann-Marie  Ng.
38 reviews21 followers
March 5, 2023
Concise and thought provoking

What I like about this book is that it is thoughtful encouragement to different types of readers - you don't have to be a vlogger/online marketing guru wannabe to benefit from this book.

This made me seriously think about the assumptions I had unconsciously been making and challenged me to think about the choices I made so far and why I'm on my current path in life (and question if things could be different) If you're on the fence, I would get this, just to broaden your perspective - important in today's economy especially.

Who this is not for: People who want a concrete list of 10 steps that can tell them what to do right now - there are summaries, but overall the book encourages reflection through narratives because that is the point of the pathless path - it will differ for everyone and is totally opposite of what a top-down approach to thinking and acting entails
Profile Image for Xin Yuan.
1 review
March 4, 2023
Saw some reviews saying this book has overall very mundane story told but I wanted to say - an honest story doesn’t have to be impressive to stand out. I like this book because in simple yet truthful words the author talks to me, it doesn’t rush to make decisions for me or trying to talk me into something.
Among author’s own words, he also quoted a lot from other books or friends whoever inspired him along his pathless path, which for me is like listening to a friend who shares not only the great parts of his life but also the struggles, his insecurities, his inflections, just like every one else. That is what I feel I can relate to so learned most from.
Profile Image for Ron Sison.
25 reviews
March 2, 2022
If there was a book that explains what I’ve struggled with my whole life, this book is it. The Pathless Path is both a revelation and a gift because its message hits home. I was expecting this book to be a self-help book and for the most part it is until it isn’t. Paul Millerd’s account of his life experience was narrated very well, but most importantly it will resonate with a lot of people who are going through this life stuck on the default path. There were nuggets of wisdom in every chapter and the real life examples provided real life learning experience that readers can reflect on. I highly recommend this book to anyone and I will be gifting it as well because this book is meant to be shared. 5 solid stars for the pathless path!
1 review
February 20, 2022
This is exactly the book I needed to read! For anyone struggling with the decision to leave their “default career path”, this book invites you to ask prodding questions and design your life around experiments to find out what’s truly important. Paul shares his own story in an open, easy relatable way, interspersed with thought-provoking insights about how society’s views on work have been shaped over time.
42 reviews
June 14, 2022
If you're considering quitting your job and trying to make it work some other way, even a little bit, read this book.

This is a book about jumping *out* of the corporate life and exploring work in a different and sustainable way. Some similar broad ideas to pieces on finding work you're passionate / "the passion economy" but not a business book. It's 1 part memoir, 1 part practical advice, 1 part prompt to introspect, 1 part quotes (the quotes are very good).

And also, by the nature and type of choices Paul looks at, the book is not going to give you a silver bullet. But it might show you that you're not alone and what you're thinking about is possible.
Profile Image for Mitali.
104 reviews19 followers
July 21, 2022
what an inspiring book. managed to start reading this while i got COVID and it was such a quick read.
the first book where i actually bookmarked multiple pages that were eye-opening and worth flicking back to.
Profile Image for Caleb Kim.
27 reviews1 follower
May 17, 2023
“Here’s the truth you have to wrestle with: the reason that art (writing, engaging, leading, all of it) is valuable is precisely why I can’t tell you how to do it. If there were a map, there’d be no art, because art is the act of navigating without a map. Don’t you hate that? I love that there’s no map. – Seth Godin”
14 reviews
February 27, 2023
A lot of interesting ideas, quotes and life insights of Paul about a new way of working. I didn’t like the paragraph style of writing and the quotes are good but sometimes a bit too many.

I love that a person pursues his dreams despite the challenges and negativity around him. Paul describes that pretty well. I hope to see more people like him in the future. Maybe I can share some insights about my own life in the future, too?!
Profile Image for Benison Joseph.
37 reviews
February 27, 2022
Its for you, if the last few years made you reflect on your relationship with work and how its centered to your life, identity etc. Helped me to reflect in a more wider all fear-encompassing way, and to a rabit hole of more themes (notes). If you read this review and still intrigued, then happy to discuss it!
Profile Image for Tianhang Hu.
112 reviews1 follower
February 28, 2023
A very strong start, not quite what I’d expect at the end. Somewhat mundane after chapter 6. By no means this is terrible book. I love the idea, although partially disagrees with some of the messages conveyed.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 169 reviews

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