A laugh-out-loud, kick-in-the-pants self-help narrative for anyone who ever felt like they didn’t fit in or couldn’t catch a break—comedian and cult hero Chris Gethard shows us how to get over our fear of failure and start living life on our own terms.
Let’s face it: we all want a seat at the cool table, a great job, and loads of money. But most of us won’t be able to achieve this widely accepted, black-or-white, definition of winning, which makes us feel like failures, that we’re destined to a life of loserdom. That’s the conventional wisdom. It’s also crap, according to comedian and cult hero Chris Gethard, who knows a thing of two about losing. Failing is an art form, he argues; in fact, it’s the only the way we’re ever going to discover who we are, what we really want, and how to live the kind of life we only dreamed about.
Setting flame to vision boards and tossing out the “seven simple steps” to achieving anything, the host of the eponymous Trutv talk show and the wildly popular podcast Beautiful Stories from Anonymous Peopleillustrates his personal and professional manifesto with hilarious and ultimately empowering stories about his own set-backs, missteps, and public failures, from the cancellation of his Comedy Central sitcom after seven episodes to rediscovering his comedic voice and life’s purpose on a public access channel.
With his trademark wit and inspiring storytelling—a cross between David Sedaris and Jenny Lawson—Gethard teaches us how to power through our own hero’s journey, whether we’re a fifteen-year-old starting a punk band or a fifty-year-old mother of three launching an Etsy page. In the process, he shows us how to fail with grace, laugh on the way down, and as we dust ourselves off, how to transform inevitable failures into endless opportunities. It might get a little messy, but that’s exactly the point. Because the first step in living on your own terms is learning how to lose well, and more often than not, the revolutionary act of failing lets us witness firsthand what awaits us on the other side.
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