How to Fight a Hydra by Josh Kaufman
This book was recommended to me by an Instagram follower.
I was a bit behind on my reading and was looking for short books to help me catch up and stay on my one-book-per-week schedule.
“How to Fight a Hydra” is definitely a quick read that you can easily complete in one session. Not only is the page count only 125 pages, but the dimensions of the book are also small.
What’s the book about?
The book is a medieval fable about a man who is trying to fight a hydra.
A hydra is a mythical dragon-like creature that has multiple heads. Each time one head is severed, two grow back to replace it. Making a hydra an extremely difficult creature to slay.
In the book, the hydra represents your large projects and big tasks, and the book tries to show you how you can achieve those tasks and slay your own personal business hydra, via an entertaining story.
Okay, so my description of the book probably didn’t do it justice.
Here’s an extract from the author’s note to give you more of a flavor for what it’s all about:
“Somewhere in the depths of your mind, a monster of a project is lurking. It’s big enough to scare you and moving forward requires significant risk. Success is not guaranteed and you’re not confident that you have what it takes to make it work. “How To Fight A Hydra” is a story about summoning the courage to face the beast, fight the good fight, and persist long enough in your efforts to secure a lasting victory. May this book be a light in dark places when the future is uncertain and all seems lost.”
What did I think?
Overall, I think this is a lovely little book.
I love the analogies and metaphors that the author uses along with the way that the book is written. It gives off the knight-in-shining-armor fairytale vibe making potentially onerous tasks seem as though they are a quest and you are on an adventure trying to achieve something great.
Reminds me of…
This book is very reminiscent of another book I recently reviewed, which was “Do The Work” by Steven Pressfield.
Both books cover the same topic, which is how to complete a big project. Both books are very small, both can be read in one sitting, and they both give you roughly the same information.
However, if I was to pick one of the two books, my choice would be “How To Fight A Hydra,” simply because the story makes it feel as though you are going on an adventure and makes your overwhelming task feel exciting. The other book is written rather negatively and focuses on the ‘resistance’ that you will face along the way which can put you on the back foot before you’ve even left the starting gate.
How to prepare for an adventure
At the back of the book is a section all about preparing for an adventure, where the author takes the lessons that he’s taught you in the fable and puts them into a list.
That means you’re not going to miss out on any of the information that the book covers, which can sometimes happen when reading fables; it’s very easy to miss some of the more subtle messages.
So, overall, I think this is a great read with lots of useful takeaways and lessons.
A special little book that anyone will be able to read and get value from.
Have you read “How to Fight a Hydra”?
As always, these reviews are simply my own personal opinion.
If you’ve read this book, let me know what you thought of it in the comments box below, and don’t forget to score the book yourself by using the Reader Rating bar above.