Are we more in love with the idea of changing the world than actually changing the world? That’s the core question of Eugene Cho’s first book Overrated.
It’s a great question. Sometimes the idea of changing the world is terribly seductive. It sounds so adventurous, so significant, so fulfilling. Cho asks us if those motivations are good enough. Even more importantly, he asks if we are really doing something to make a difference. Or are we just talking a good talk, clicking enough “likes”, retweeting enough posts, or, gulp, just writing blog posts?
We all want to change the world, but at some point we all realize it takes significant sacrifice. We need to change our behavior, our decisions, our priorities. Suddenly it’s not so adventurous or romantic; it is instead difficult, risky, and exhausting.
As a lifelong social entrepreneur who has started multiple organizations aimed at changing the world, the pitfalls Cho writes about are all too familiar. I’ve seen them in myself and in others. Take PathLight for instance. I’m the co-founder, President, and chief innovator. Even with my best efforts to rid myself of a “change the world” Messiah complex and keep things tangible instead of just talk and virtual responses, I still sometimes find the idea of changing the world more attractive than actually doing it.
Despite raising self awareness of my own flaws, I loved the book. Perhaps especially because Cho makes these issues evident but never beats us over the head about it. This is a positive book seeking to encourage us.
Cho and I have never met in person. His organization One Days Wages has helped my daughters organization, and my dear friend Brenda Salter-McNeil is on staff at his church. I hope to connect with him in person soon because he has impressed me with his insights in Overrated.
If you are in the business taking action to change the world, either vocationally or as a volunteer, read this book. You’ll be glad you did.