“In order to find our way again, we have to turn down the noise. We have to voluntarily choose less in order to refocus our time and energy on the things that really matter. Many are calling for a minimalist revolution. Are you ready?”
Mike’s hope with this book is to bring to your attention how noise in it’s many forms distracts us from what we really value. In the book he states examples of how noise can infect our lives, even while sitting silently all alone in an empty room. It’s the thoughts and to-do lists you keep in your head that are creating a barrier, things like wondering if there’s something new on facebook, whether @soandso tweeted you back and hey, did my mom email me that meatloaf recipe yet?
All of these silent distractions along with the audibly noisy distractions like TV and radio are what keep us from focusing on living the life we truly desire.
The book looks at many forms of noise in your life. Internet, advertising, clutter, commitments and choices are all forms of noise that bombard us throughout the day. Rise Above the Noise offers a topical overview of what’s really going on in the noisy parts of our lives. There were a few times while reading that I wished the book would delve deeper into some of the issues and offer practical remedies for change.
The issues Mike brings up did resonate with me. There were a few times while intent on reading the book I was interrupted by people or by my own thoughts wandering off and I’d start thinking about things like what to eat for lunch. It’s not an indication that his writing is not engaging, but rather facing the cold hard truth that internal and external noise exists.
The book is not an end all, be all solution filled manual on how to eliminate the excess noise in your life. There are some pointers here and there addressing how making positive changes will limit much of the excess noise around you. I was already aware of most of the ideas and concepts he writes about, but in reading his personal experiences with “Time Theft” I found resemblances to my own life. It was enough to make me stop reading a couple times and think about what I could do differently.
If you’re interested in facing the facts of how you spend your time and what you can really accomplish with your life this will be a satisfying read.
There are also three guest essays in the book. Colin Wright addresses the creative process, Tyler Tervooren writes about obsession and at the end of the book Tammy Strobel shares 5 things to love about car-free living. Each of the three essays is interesting but I don’t understand how Tammy’s essay is applicable to the book’s subject matter.
If you’re on the fence about purchasing this book, go ahead and take the leap knowing that the money you spend will be paid forward to a charity and you are essentially getting a free book.
UPDATE: Now that the first week has passed, the profits from the sale of the book stay with the author.