The 21 Project is a Self-Help / Exploration book that I wrote while I was 21.
The journey began with a piece of paper and two questions:
- How do I improve my performance?
- How do I enhance my experience?
Who do I admire?
The next step was looking to a few role models. I searched for people who seem to be making the most of life. What traits lead to an extraordinary life? I wanted to take life to the next level.
I then wrote out 21 skills that would be useful to me. The book has seven sections – each three chapters deep. Each chapter has three parts;
a.) why question is worth answering
b.) a role model / someone worth learning from
c.) a challenge to implement the skill
These are the key categories that were covered in the book.
- Personal Discovery: The knowledge that can lead to a life full of passion and purpose.
- Goal Setting: The skills to turn your dreams into reality.
- Time & Energy: Tactical approach to managing what goes on in life. Energy and Effort.
- Leverage and Learning: How to approach, impress, and work with interesting people. The skills to be resourceful and proactive with your environment and education.
- Social Skills: The section about social skills is designed to help you understand the basics (and not so basics) of interaction and make positive impressions, build rapport, and become a great conversationalist.
- Personal Branding: Control the impression you give to others.
- Miscellaneous: Health, Money and the Wonder in the world.
I never published.
I had trouble doing so. I didn’t feel ready. I felt that I am not expert… rather a guide and explorer trying to implement these lessons into my own life. Frankly, I struggled to be an example of what was talked about in the book.
I didn’t want to publish while operating in that state.
Throughout the journey, there were two mentors who shared key pieces of advice that impacted the choices made.
- Write it for yourself. Focus on the journey, not the outcome. Let it make no difference whether anyone ever reads it. Just do it for you!
- Build a piece, see who comes.
Now, walking away from this project, I would never call myself an expert, but a peer who’s done some looking into role models from a few different industries and tried to identify the common grounds. I still try my best to lead a life in line with this book.
If you’d like to take a look into the book, you can click here.
Here are the Questions from the book.
1/7: Discover who I am.
- How can I take a step back and look at my perception or understanding of the world?
- What do I stand for, or what are my largest motivations?
- If there were a statement that defined my path in life, what would it say?
2/7: Understand strategies behind setting and achieving goals
- I hear success all the time, but how will I know when I have made it?
- When it comes to goals, what do I need to think about? What are the important areas?
- Now that I have goals, how do I succeed with them?
3/7: Manage my time and maximize my efforts. (be careful not to overwhelm yourself)
- How can I form and break habits to make the most of my energy?
- If time is the only thing I cannot get back, how do I make sure I am making the most of it?
- How can I learn from the past, live in the moment, and be well prepared for the future?
4/7: Identify and leverage important parts of my environment.
- How do I take advantage of what is available to me? How can I become resourceful?
- How can I identify who I need as teachers? How do I work with mentors?
- What is the fastest way to learn and most effective way to remember a new task?
5/7: Social Skills
- When it comes to meeting new people, how can I make a great impression/build rapport?
- How can I become an excellent communicator? What are the keys to conversation?
- How can I build deeper bonds with those who I care about the most?
6/7: Personal Brand
- How can I carry myself with class?
- What are the keys to understanding and intentionally using body language?
- How can I make anyone do what I want? How to sell an idea to anyone.
- How can I vitalize body and mind?
- What are the keys to financial success?
- How can I keep up the child-like wonder and exploration throughout life?