Saturday, 22 March 2008

Book Review - One Red Paperclip (or how an ordinary man achieved his dream with the help of a simple office supply)

I know that probably most of you heard this story while it was occuring, but for me - it is new. I hardly ever watch tv, and though I am a fan of George Stroumboulopoulos (even if I don't always agree with him) I missed that episode (and also the other one) of The Hour. So, Kyle is a pretty freaking amazing guy who is perpetually positive, and constantly an example for any one of us who have a dream. He truly is a person who realizes their funtential (see what I did there?) For those of you who don't know the story, I will try to sum it up. Kyle was a pretty average guy who struggled to pay the rent, and was between jobs whilst his girlfriend Dom worked as a Dietitian to keep a roof over their head and food on their table. One day, Kyle remembered about a game he played as a kid (which I also remember playing except the best I ever got out of it was a smelly old refrigerator) called "Bigger and Better". It's a game where you take a small item (such as a paperclip), and trade it for say a pen and so forth until you get something really cool in the end. So, Kyle was remembering this game with fondness, and a crazy idea formed in his head. Theoretically, there's nothing that can stop a person from trading all the way up to a house if they put their mind to it. So, Kyle - with a lot of support from Dom and his family and friends decided to put his effort into it. Through a series of 14 trades in a period of a year which started with an advertisement on "Craig's list", Kyle realized his dream, and now lives in the paperclip house at 503 Main Street in Kipling, Saskatchewan. What I love about this story is that it really isn't about what Kyle could get out of trading. It's about his journey; and WHAT a journey it is. It's tonnes of fun to read about his experiences as he goes where people usually only dream about. (I won't give away the details if you don't know them) I also love that Kyle didn't sell out his dream. When he started to get famous for his experiment, he got lots of offers from companies wanting to give him a house just to capitalize on his popularity. (he had over 3 million hits on his website, and now it's almost 8 million, with more hitting every day - people like me, the late comers) Kyle didn't sell out, and he made it about the journey. What a great guy, and what a great example of what someone can do if they put their mind to it. It kind of reminds me of the parable of the talents. The guy who was given 3 and the guy who was given 6 doubled their talents while the one who buried his one talent that the master gave him received nothing. Kyle portrays that lesson very well. He took something simple and turned it into a movement which is bigger than a house any day of the week. Seriously - you have to read the book. It's so entertaining at the very least, not to mention inspirational.

Kyle and George Stroumboulopoulos in Yahk, BC promoting Yahktivism

Kyle and Dom in their new house at 503 Main Street - Kipling, Saskatchewan

No comments: