I bought this book because I love Tom Asacker's "The Business of Belief." Great news - "I Am Keats" is written with the same intellectual rigor, the same page-turning vignette style, the same breathtaking scale of context. Better yet - it's a wholly different book! Suffused with a self-revealing honesty that combines the virtues of philosophical inquiry with the insight of personal transformation, this book blows the lid off our well-worn story myths. The easy stories, the predictable and ultimately stifling ones we cling to for dear life. It's a clarion call for the spirit of Keats - the celebration of the not yet planned, the seductions of the present moment, the will to notice and explore. Feel a little stuck in your life? A little more Keats may be what you're looking for, and Tom Asacker's wondrous book will show you the way. A scintillating joy to read!
"Success is a journey to a place you already are; the experience of living fully and passionately, right here, right now." So writes Tom Asacker in this slim gem which packs a weighty punch.
This is a book for those who suspect they may be "stuck." Stuck in their heads, stuck in their habits, stuck on the "right path" doing all the "right things" in all the "right ways" in spite of that nagging feeling in your gut that something...seems...wrong. The nagging feeling that the "right" way may not be YOUR way.
This is a book about giving yourself permission to be yourself. As Joseph Campbell memorably said, "there is no purpose in life; there is only a purpose in YOUR life." I Am Keats reminds all of us to let that purpose breathe and blossom.
I think the most influential lesson of the book is to surrender expectations - to do what's worth doing even though we may be uncertain of the outcome. The journey really is its own reward.
This book is hardly "indescribable," as Seth Godin wrote. But it may well be beyond description. If you're looking for five simple steps this book is not for you. Not surprisingly, life does not reveal its magic in a five-step solution.
If happiness is success then Tom advises you to "drop your self-important identity, give up the chase for certainty and comfort, and let go of the need to figure everything out." It starts with I Am Keats.
I've been living my life struggling to plan for my future, always planning for my future while missing out on the enjoyment of the here and now in my day-to-day life. I want more out of life then working and planning for a future that I might not even be here for. "I Am Keats" has opened my eyes, it has opened my mind to the potential and concept of doing and enjoying what I want now vs doing what has been programmed in my head to do my entire life.
I love the way Tom Asacker explains the Keats vs. Coleridge parts of our mind. I love the Spontaneity vs structure, the Day to day enjoyment vs day to day preprogrammed planning.
Listening to one of the podcasts Tom Asacker did for "I Am Keats", he talks about a question his writing partner Shannon McCarthy Minuti asked him. "Why does success have to equal happiness, why can't happiness equal success?" What a powerful thought-provoking question. It's brilliant, why not.
It's a short read, but a heavy read that I found I not only needed to, but wanted to reread to help myself try and integrate these concepts into my life.
If you find yourself having these same struggles and thoughts, I highly recommend this book.
This may very well be a self help book, however if it is, it is not one with a traditional step by step plan the reader can follow to better themselves. Instead, the self help here involves changing your approach. It's all mental and is really very simple. I am Keats asks us to accept that the reality we are living is based off the stories that others tell us and the stories we tell ourselves. Empowering yourself to tell your own story can unlock the ties that bind. We all have different voices in our heads and this book primarily focuses on two of these voices: Keats (the dreamer) and Coleridge (the logical planner). While life is certainly all about balance, Asacker makes his point clear: if you are stuck and unable to find purpose in life, the answer is to allow Keats to start steering the ship. Be Keats!
Waayyyyy less accessible than the Business of Belief. I admire Tom for taking on this topic, but it is nothing like his previous book. You've got to be in a place where you're willing to take an good hard look at your own life and think outside of yourself. Unfortunately, as good as this book is, I'd expect that very few can truly distill the value out of the text on their first read. I've got three runs through it and I'm still not in love with the book. There are other and more accessible titles when it comes to introflection. To keep things on the positive side, I cannot say enough good things about Tom's other book, The Business of Belief. It's amazing and absolutely accurate. More than a must read, it unlocks the quirks of human behavior in an easily understood manner and unfolds the origami of the universe in a very straightforward way.
I have always been more of a Coleridge guy, but I never thought about it until I read Tom's book and saw my life through the lens of spirit and inspiration (a la Keats). There's a lot here, made easy and enjoyable to read by Tom's own personal journey and deep professional experiences, but it really helped me better understand the dynamic (or tension, or misunderstanding) between what makes "rational" sense, and what makes "emotional" sense...especially when it came to taking action. Do yourself a favor and read this book, and then go read some Keats for good measure (and don't totally skip Coleridge, who isn't as bad as Tom thinks he is!).