Friday, March 2, 2012

BOOK REVIEW: "The Nerdist Way" by Chris Hardwick

I, AM A NERD! I say it proudly and confidently. I have much evidence to support my nerdiness such as: I wear glasses, I collect comic books, I go to comic conventions, I enjoy cartoons and anime, I play video games, even MMORPGs such as World of Warcraft, I own Star Wars and Star Trek memorabilia...and there's NOTHING wrong with that! I also consider myself fairly well educated, (Although I am definitely not as smart as the nerds on The Big Bang Theory, but they are just actors!) but I admit that I have not been as successful in life as I'd like to be. I realize as I get older that my nerdy lifestyle may not be conducive to a long and healthy life, and when a very good friend of mine gave me a great book, it changed the way I think about my life!
The book is The Nerdist Way: How To Reach The Next Level (In Real Life) by Chris Hardwick. Now, I would usually be the first to mock some pretentious self-help book (don't get me started on Chicken Soup for the Soul!), but this is NOT one of those. If you are not aware of Chris Hardwick, than you obviously don't have Cable TV or an Internet connection (for that matter how are you even reading this blog?). Mr. Hardwick is: (along with many things) a stand-up comedian, Cable TV personality, podcaster and a writer. He is currently the host of G4's Web Soup, AMC's Talking Dead and The Nerdist on BBC America. The main thing you need to know about Chris is that he is also a NERD! As Mythbusters Adam Savage said: "Chris Hardwick is a Nerd's Nerd's Nerd. The third nerd denotes his understanding of Nerddom on a metalevel."
Being a nerd, Chris realizes there are many things that may not come easy to nerds, life being one of them, and in his new book: The Nerdist Way, he presents his readers with essentially a nerdy guide to life which shows us how to focus our mind, body and time in an attempt to reach our nerdy goals thereby attaining success and happiness, and maybe even get laid (no, not really)! In his book, Chris admits that he "is NOT A LIFE COACH...motivational speaker or a self-help guru." That being said, his experiences and career opportunities reflect many of the choices he has made in his life, some he admits were "several years of laziness" and while he worked for MTV as the host of MTV's "Singled Out" during the 90's and would later become an overweight alcoholic before he decided to devote his life to self-improvement, hence: the creation of this book.
Chris Hardwick: Before & After Nerdist
The book is divided into three parts addressing topics on Mind, Body and Time. In the first part he recommends that nerdy life should be treated like a role-playing game (i.e. Dungeons & Dragons) in "RPG Your Life" he suggests structuring your life like a game, thinking of yourself as a game designer and creating a Character Tome for yourself. In it you can create your own personal character page and figure out your attributes and alignment (D&D Online Alignment Test, Go ahead, give it a try...I did and surprisingly I am Lawful Neutral, who would of thought!) Among the other nerdy accouterments to this book, you earn experience points (XP) in life when you succeed in your goals and even earn more XP for every section you finish reading in his book. (You just earned 50 XP for reading this review!)
Also in the Mind section he addresses matters such as choice, anxiety, addiction and what he likes to call "Sucstress" - when success causes stress. In the Body section of his book he focuses on health and fitness. Chris literally turned his life around, even to the point of finding his own personal trainer, Trainer Tom. This section features some helpful hints from him and demonstrates several workout and exercise techniques with full illustrations. In the third and final section of his book Chris addresses how to manage your time. This includes everything from managing your email account, scheduling, credit, finances and work. It also includes my personal favorite part: "Become An Evil Genius"!
The Nerdist Way appeals to all nerds, not just the stereotypical taped-up glasses kind, it encompasses all aspects of nerdiness in which we ALL have some if not many examples of. The whole book is a fun and entertaining experience with lots of helpful information, relevant examples and some hilariously funny moments. Chris will often segue (or Segway? Nerd!) into rants which often include moments of excitement in which he WRITES IN ALL CAPS TO MAKE A POINT! The main thing Chris wants his readers to get from this amazing book is as a nerd "use your obsessively Nerdy brain to focus on things like looking for opportunities, dissecting your failures for lessons, and committing yourself to emotional rewards and happiness..." So, on behalf of all nerds out there...Thank You Chris "The Nerdist" Hardwick! This book has opened my eyes and I will Enjoy MY Burrito!
Be sure to visit Chris Hardwick's website , and NerdistWay and follow him on Twitter @Nerdist and @NerdMelt also check out The Official Chris Hardwick Facebook Fan Cluster!