Who am I?
I’ve learned a lot since being born, but it wasn’t easy! There is a lot of information I wish people had explained to me sooner or more clearly. I want to share what I’ve learned and what I think with you, the readers. That way, you’ll be a little bit better prepared for the real world than I was.
I’m a twenty-seven year old author. I grew up in the United States and worked professionally as a software engineer. I moved across the country after college for work.
I wrote this book in 2016 and 2017. However, I started thinking about writing this book even earlier. For years I dreamed of writing a book like this. This is my first book, but hopefully not my last.
What is in this book?
This book contains several chapters, each about a different topic. The topics cover a wide variety of subjects. I’ve written about happiness, dealing with depression, education, work, politics, technology and design, religion, health, dating, and science. I think these topics are interesting and important.
My writing is a combination of my advice, beliefs, ideas, and questions. It’s what is meaningful to me and what I wish I knew sooner. It’s what I want to share with people of all ages alive today and pass on to future generations.
Generally, I write about ideas that I would’ve benefitted from hearing at some point in my life. Each section could almost be a little letter addressed to my past self — at age seventeen or age twenty-two or even as recently as last week.
These subjects are very complicated. Sometimes I am only “scratching the surface” by writing about them here. There is much more that could be written about each of these topics. What I’ve written covers only parts of what I’ve thought about them.
These lessons are the ones that I think are most worth sharing. A concept is included if I think lots of people will find it helpful or if I think some people will find it very helpful.
Am I qualified to write this book?
I am not an expert on these subjects and I don’t pretend to be. However, I am knowledgeable about these topics and I have spent time thinking about or studying them. I’m hoping I won’t offend or upset any experts by writing this book. I love experts. I hope experts give me feedback on how I can improve the book. I hope that my writing avoids inaccuracies or misleading statements.
You don’t have to be an expert to help people learn. The world has lots of opportunities to teach even if you’re not an expert.
My writing is based on my own experiences and what I’ve learned from other sources. My learning experiences include graduating college, working several jobs, battling depression, my dating experiences, lots of reading, and more.
Beginning in college, I started reading as much nonfiction as I could. So some of my ideas come from other things I’ve read. I give credit to those sources.
Finally, there might be some value in hearing from me, someone who is a non-expert. A young person may be able to better connect with my stories about me and my friends because I am also a young person. Reading what I think might be interesting, exciting, or inspiring.
I remember imagining, before I started writing this book, that I would write a book when I’m really old and wise. But I realized I couldn’t wait and I would be much happier if I wrote a book now while I’m still young.
You have chosen so many topics that I doubt there is an expert on all of them.
Who is this book for?
The main audience is young people such as high school students, college students, and recent graduates. They will learn the most.
But I think adults of all ages will also enjoy reading the book and learn something. The less you’ve studied these topics, the more likely it is that reading this book will cause you to think about something new. This book is really for anyone who wants to learn more about these topics.
Why should you read this book?
One of the goals of this book is to help teach others. You should read this book because you want to learn more about one or more of these topics. Hopefully you’ll find the content helpful.
Many of the ideas in this book are things I wish I knew sooner. I was well-educated and school taught me a lot of academic material, but there was still a lot of useful material that it didn’t cover. I’m constantly learning new things and I want to help other people learn new things as well.
You will learn how to be happier, how to be a better student, how to be a better manager, how to be a better employee, how to understand user-experience, how to better understand politics, how to be more attractive on dates, how to get better at self-development, etc.
You will learn what I think about these topics. You might find it interesting to hear how I feel and what I have to say. You might even disagree with me. I may even be wrong at times. It’s valuable to understand what other people think.
Finally, I hope you get enjoyment out of reading this book! It is fun and entertaining to read about these topics.
Why did I write this book?
Writing this nonfiction book is a thrilling experience! For years I’ve been having thoughts that I wanted to express and teach. But until now, I haven’t expressed myself much. I love learning and teaching. I love when what I teach helps others live better or happier lives.
One of my goals is to spend time making the world a better place to live. I want to empower others. Writing an educational nonfiction book is one way I can achieve that goal.
I wanted to create a book that many different readers appreciate. If you find a chapter or section that you love, I hope you share it or talk about it with your friends and family.
Writing also forced me to learn and become smarter. I explored my ideas in greater depth. For some topics, I learned a lot while doing research for the chapter. I also learn when people read my writing and give me feedback.
One of the unexpected side effects of writing this book was that I grew a lot. In addition to getting smarter, I think I got more mature.
Another reason I wrote this book is that I think my life will be better off for having written it. This book might open up new opportunities for me or introduce me to new people.
Finally, I hope my writing inspires other people to write educational nonfiction, too. Maybe this book will inspire someone else to create a really great new book, article, or blog post.
Writing this book means a lot to me. It is probably the most exciting thing I’ve done in my life so far! It didn’t even feel like a choice because I couldn’t imagine my life without writing the book. It’s a project that I will be be proud of for the rest of my life.
Goals for this book:
- Share my knowledge and empower readers
- Express my opinions
- Learn from research while writing
- Create a book that readers love and want to share
- Learn from reader feedback
- Create new opportunities for myself
- Inspire others to write, create, and share
- Create a book that I am proud of
How is this book formatted?
Each chapter covers a different topic. The chapters can be read in any order. Each chapter is divided into many different small sections.
Each reader will have their own favorite chapters and sections. At different points in your life, different sections might be more valuable to you.
What if I change my opinion? What if I am wrong about something?
I am expressing what I think and feel right now. I’m only twenty-seven years old. It’s likely that I will change my mind or be proven wrong on some of the ideas in this book. This is completely OK. I am comfortable expressing what I think even though it could be wrong. Expressing myself helps me learn because people can respond to what I am thinking. I can always release an updated version of this book with corrections and changes.
This book is not about giving authoritative answers. In addition to sharing my beliefs, I also make hypotheses and propose ideas or theories. I try to cite other authors when I can. I sometimes mention that I am not confident about an idea. I try to acknowledge when what I say is controversial. I have MANY questions still. Every day I am presented with things I don’t know. The more I learn, the more I find things I don’t know.
What we think and feel is not permanent or even consistent. It can change at any time. I consider myself to be a “work in progress”. I’m sure my ideas and beliefs will change as I get older and get more experience. Like a good scientist, I am willing to change my opinions as I get new evidence and as I grow.
What if you disagree with something I write? What if you aren’t convinced?
Generally, people don’t like (or hate) being told what to do or what to think. This is a big problem for an advice book.
If I try to share with you an idea or piece of advice that you disagree with, you might resist it rather than changing your mind. I’m sure everyone can think of a time where you tried to influence another person but only ended up frustrated at how they didn’t change.
When I criticize someone or advise someone, it might have the desired effect or it might backfire. Telling them what is correct and why can actually make the other person disagree more! And they might even get mad at me.
What is the best way for me to convince you of something you don’t agree with? By empowering you to make your own conclusions. Trying to convince you that my answer correct isn’t very effective. Instead, I should treat controversial ideas as a problem we are both trying to solve together.
So for any advice I share, read it as if I was just bouncing the idea off of you. I want to be respectful of your opinions and experiences. You should feel like we’re a team of detectives trying to work together to answer questions about the various topics in this book.
What if I write something that you already know?
Please do not worry if I write something you already know. Don’t be offended or insulted if I write something that seems obvious to you.
For one thing, it’s not going to harm you to read something you already know. Secondly, there’s a chance that someone reading this book won’t already know it. I will try not to write things that are extremely obvious.
Also, sometimes I will write something cliche. Some readers find cliches to be very annoying, so I want to offer my apologies to those readers. (In fact, sometimes I might write something cliche without even recognizing it is a cliche!)
What if there is something that has already been written about?
There are many other books and writings available by many other authors. I’m not worried that some of my ideas or opinions have been written about elsewhere. The purpose of this book is NOT to write information that you can’t find anywhere else.
Instead, this book’s value comes from its unique organization and expression of that information. I try to write things in a way that are easy to understand. I write about the things that I think are most important.
What is the best advice I can give you?
I get asked this question a lot when I tell people that I’m writing a book of advice.
In the chapter on Happiness and Depression I discuss ways to examine your thinking. Your negative thinking can make a situation much more frustrating than it needs to be. You might have fears or beliefs that aren’t true that are making you feel worse. So the best advice I can give is to examine your unhappy thoughts.
My favorite chapter, however, is the chapter on Technology, Product Design, and User Experience. I love talking about how things could be designed better.
Why write a single book that covers a variety of topics?
I found the idea of writing a book that covers many topics more inspiring than the idea of writing a bunch of separate pieces. I like that so many of my thoughts are packaged together in one place.
To me, all areas of my life are connected. When one area improves, it makes it easier to improve the other areas.
There are disadvantages to writing a book that covers an ambitious number of topics. This book takes a lot of effort to write and edit because it tries to cover so many different ideas. Also, writing many short pieces may be more appealing to readers. They could more easily find a single piece that they love in its entirety.
Is this book finished?
I’m still adding new sections and content to try to make the book better. I want to add more personal stories for examples and more good lessons. I think I could add more to make the book even better.
Why isn’t this book funnier?
I purposely didn’t include many jokes while writing this book. The reason is that I wanted this book to be concise, informative, and easy to read.
I might go back and add more humor throughout the book.
Request for discussion and feedback
I want to hear your opinions on what I write in this book. I want to learn from you as well as share things with you. I know other people will have different opinions, points of view, and feelings. What lessons, ideas, and advice would you want to share about these topics?
Don’t be afraid to challenge what I have to say or think critically about this book. You might even have a great idea for something I should add to this book. I can publish a new version or edition of this book with changes based on the feedback I get.
Please do not attack me in your feedback. It’s not pleasant or helpful.
In addition to direct feedback, express your own ideas in other ways too. Don’t be afraid to write your own books or articles. Talk to people about the things you feel are important. You’ll almost always be glad you spoke up.
Contact the author
You can send me an email at WhatIThinkSoFar@gmail.com
You can also send in anonymous feedback using this form: https://goo.gl/forms/OmT94SqLLg6MS0Ts1
There is also an official website for the book: www.WhatIThinkSoFar.com