Review of the fantastic book, Juggle: Rethink Work, Reclaim Your Life

Juggle: Rethink Work, Reclaim Your Life by Ian Sanders

Juggle: Rethink Work, Reclaim Your Life by Ian Sanders

I have recently had the opportunity to read an inspiring book on lifestyle design and the future of work called, Juggle: Rethink Work, Reclaim Your Life. Author Ian Sanders has some great ideas about the some of the biggest career and lifestyle design issues we are all facing. The book is loaded practical examples about how to live a “portfolio lifestyle” including quotes and interviews with Gary Vaynerchuk and Saatchi & Saatchi CEO, Kevin Roberts.

“You can choose to become a Juggler, to throw the rules out of the window, to create a life where you mix stuff you do for love and stuff you do for money. A life where you re-define success not by a salary package alone buy by freedom, enjoyment, flexibility and lifestyle. Where work is an extension of You, reflecting your personality, your talents and desires; where you juggle different projects to be stimulated as well as to earn a living.”

Think PassionS NOT Passion

Many of us are looking for our true calling in life. If only we could find that one thing that we are so excited about, work would be become joy. With endless career options available, it is hard to narrow it down to one single choice. Ian Sanders has a better way to look at it. We all have a plurality of interests and goals, rather than shutting off different parts of our lives we can really have it all. Ian provides many examples, including his own, of people with multiple callings. Not only is it possible to pursue several interests simultaneously, it may also make financial sense:

“That plurality is not just driven by our tastes and passions. There are also good economic reasons to have broad talents. A business with multiple products generating multiple revenue streams or an executive with strengths in more than one area have the potential to be more recession proof.”

“Forget Work/Life Balance, it’s more Work/Play Integration”

We are all seeking some type of balance in our lives. Family is everything but we also need to earn a living and our careers can be a great outlet for personal development and growth if we choose wisely. Ian Sanders argues that balance is not the answer; a more effective approach is work/life integration.

“There’s no neat divide between home and work. When you’re working, you still think of personal stuff, and when you’re not at work – in the shower, in the car, doing the shopping – that’s when you’ll have clarity for problem solving or thoughts for topping up your to-do list.”

“Whether it’s the shower, the run or having a coffee- that’s when we have ideas, sparks of inspiration, consistently and effectively. And that’s how -for me – work and play are interlinked, not neatly separated.”

“Work is not a place you go, it’s what you do, it’s part of your DNA.”

A lot of us seem to be hung up defining work by where it is done; you can work in a cubicle, work at home, work as a nomad, work from abroad. Why should work be defined by place? Here are some great quotes:

“Work is no longer somewhere we clock in and out of; it’s a mindset that we dip in and out of.”

“It’s not where you did it, or what hours you worked. It’s just about results.”

“We are nomadic, working from airplanes, trains, wherever. There are no rules and no walls to where and how we work.”

Are you Real?

Another key point in Juggling is about celebrating who we really are. Authenticity is everything. It is okay to be an accountant by day and play in a punk rock band at night. If those are your passions, than why not do both? When anyone can go a quick Google search and find out everything about us, it is no longer possible to segment or hide the different parts of our lives. We are everything we do.

“Juggling is having the confidence to carve out your own areas and proclaim ‘this is who I am’ regardless of perception and conforming to convention.”

The Juggler’s Manifesto

(From the end of the book. Included with permission.)

1. FORGET SPECIALISM, discover the value of being across more than one discipline. Sticking to just one thing limits your potential; place no limits on what you do and become more fulfilled.
2. BE PASSIONATE about all you do; let your passions and desires inform and shape your work life.
3. BE ADEPT AT GEAR-SHIFTING, from segueing from the huge to the tiny, from work to play.
4. MAKE TIME FOR PLAY. Being a successful Juggler is about working hard but also mixing up work and play, and using playtime as your inspiration and stimulation.
5. BE A CHAMELEON, FLEXIBLE AND ADAPTABLE. Rethink all you do, be happy to change the rules again and again. Don’t stay entrenched in rigid ideas of how things should be done.
6. THE BEST PLAN IS A NON-PLAN. Success in the knowledge economy is about making it up as you go along.
7. USE YOUR INSTINCT (every time) in making decisions, in deciding what to do and what not to do.
8. RE-DEFINE PERSONAL SUCCESS not by a salary package alone but by more important currency such as, did you get to see your kids’s sports day, do you work with a decent bunch of people, did you take enough holiday this year?
9. GO BEYOND A JOB TITLE and carve out a unique You-role. Do it your way, be authentic. Take control.
10. DEVELOP A PERSONAL BRAND to unite and communicate your strengths.
11. WORK HARD BUT WORK SMART. Whilst success relies on you working hard it’s also about doing what you love; and when you do what you love, it doesn’t feel so much like work.
12. HAVE LOTS OF SELF-BELIEVE AND SELF-CONFIDENCE. Have a positive outlook, be an optimist. Don’t whinge!
13. BE A PIONEER, with no fear of the unknown. Be happy to learn new stuff, embrace new ideas.
14. HAVE PURPOSE IN ALL YOU DO. Focus on making a difference and leaving a legacy.

I highly recommend this book to anyone struggling to find meaning in their work and seeking a more fulfilling life. Ian Sanders shows how we can have a plurality of rewarding careers AND a great family life at the same time.

Juggle Summary on
Ian Sanders’ Books
Ian Sanders Blog
Follow Ian on Twitter

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My name is John Bardos. My wife and I gave up our business, house and possessions in Japan to search for more meaning and fulfillment in our lives. We've discovered that a satisfying life is about rich experiences, quality relationships and meaningful contribution, NOT consumption.

7 Responses to Review of the fantastic book, Juggle: Rethink Work, Reclaim Your Life

  1. Hey John, looks like I have to make an order from amazon soon! Thanks for the great review.
    .-= Oscar – freestyle mind´s last blog ..How to Be Successful =-.

  2. Nate says:

    This looks like a book I can definitely get into. I’ll plan on buying this in the near future. Thanks for such a great and in-depth review John! Hope all is well with you.

  3. John says:

    @Oscar and @Nate

    It is a great book. Ian Sanders also has interesting blog posts. I recommend you check his site.

    There is also a good PDF summary here.

  4. Brian says:

    I really like Sanders’ perspective on work. Sounds like I need to pick up the book. It’s refreshing to see someone describe that type of work mentality in a well-thought-out manner.

    For most people, the answer to the “What do you do?” question is one thing: accountant, doctor, lawyer, programmer, teacher, etc. I get really odd looks when I reply with “I’m a Web consultant, QA specialist and beer writer.” However, I love the idea of cultivating several micro-careers and revenue streams into one whole that you can support yourself with. In the long run, it seems much safer to me than putting all my revenue eggs in one basket.

    My struggle has been in communicating that to other people because it is such a foreign concept to most. I typically pick one role depending on the setting and who I am interacting with. If I ever mention “beer” in conjunction with anything else, people always go back to beer. (Perhaps I should take the hint…)

    I don’t want to miss possible opportunities or interesting conversations by pigeonholing myself off the bat, but if I go too broad people get lost. Anyone else have that issue?
    .-= Brian´s last blog ..RateBeer blog launch date changed to Monday, November 16 =-.

    • John says:

      Hi Brian,

      Long time no talk! How is the beer career going?

      Juggle really is a great book. Ian Sanders has some great perspectives on the evolving nature of work. There was a good quote by Gary Vaynerchuk in the book,

      ” I think that every person is multi-dimensional and has enormous things they are good at and many different interests and I think that the best way to communicate in this new social era is to talk about all of them, don’t hide anything… I think people will always embrace ‘real’ and ‘authenticity’ and I think the more things you talk about that you are passionate about, I think the more people are going to get to know who you are. So please don’t fear being multi-dimensional. Expand what you are talking about.”

  5. Janet says:

    I really appreciate your comments on the Juggler’s Manifesto. Understand this can be an important way to strenghthen your life.

  6. […] more work to pay for our excesses. More purchases are not making us happier so more people are juggling multiple roles, as author Ian Sanders describes, to bring satisfaction to our lives. Much of what […]

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