08 May 2016

Level Up Your Life: How to Unlock Adventure and Happiness by Becoming the Hero of Your Own Story

Level Up Your Life: How to Unlock Adventure and Happiness by Becoming the Hero of Your Own Story24. Level Up Your Life: How to Unlock Adventure and Happiness by Becoming the Hero of Your Own Story by Steve Kamb

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I've been reading Steve Kamb's blog at Nerd Fitness for quite a while, so I was familiar with several of the stories he relates in the book. Level Up Your Life does include some workouts but isn't just about fitness. Ultimately, it's a book about how to become the type of person you want to be and how to have the experiences you want to have as you draw inspiration from your favorite characters in books and movies.

Though I'm not sure I'll create an alter ego for myself or assign points to tasks so I can keep score, I do like the idea of imagining what "Level 50" (the top level of the game of life) looks like for myself so I can break it down into steps to reach it.

I've read other books with gaming strategies including The Nerdist Way: How to Reach the Next Level and SuperBetter: A Revolutionary Approach to Getting Stronger, Happier, Braver and More Resilient -Powered by the Science of Games. I prefer Steve's positivity and inclusiveness to Hardwick's Nerdist Way.

SuperBetter has lots of great information and science-backed research, but the approach felt like lots of things to do and track that weren't necessarily directly related to the end goal. It's worked for lots of people and is definitely still worth a read, but didn't resonate the same way for me as Kamb's book.

So if I had to pick one to recommend to someone looking for a book on life change including game strategies and pop culture, Level Up Your Life would be it. It probably appeals to me more because movies and books are as much of it as D&D style character building.

Lots of good info on goal setting, whether it be for fitness, weight loss, travel, or learning new skills.

Shout out to Joanna Williams who did the book design. The physical book has cool apt designs that show attention to detail and make it more fun to read.

10 years ago on TTaT: Toms


  1. So what does level 50 look like for you? Inquiring minds want to know!

    1. I'm still working on it. My initial list is mostly physical feats which I find myself reluctant to post online because they will probably seem either lame or as though I'm not thinking big enough. E.g. be able to do 10 legit pullups and pushups.

      Better ones: be ambidextrous, sleep well, create at least 5 days/week.

      I still experience pushback when I broaden the scope. (Do I really want to do X? or go to Y if it involves Z?)

      How about you? What's your level 50? Have you been doing SuperBetter?

    2. Oh, somewhere around level 40 for me would be planche push-ups, and for level 50 is the ludicrous ability to go from standing, lean backwards into a bridge, then after holding it for a second kicking my feet up into a handstand, after which there is a handstand push-up or two followed by lowering the legs back down into a bridge, then back to standing. Insane, right? But "level 50" in most games is so far above the baseline character that might as well shoot for something legendary.

    3. Wow, that is legendary and awesome thinking, Vahid! I had to look up what planche push-ups are, those alone are an amazing feat of strength. Go for it! :)