Book Recommendation for early retirement aspirants (F.I.R.E) - Throwing the Elephant, Zen and the Art of Managing Up

Motivations for FIRE aspirants may differ. Some may just want to do the Financial Independence part as a safety net, for others it may be to escape the daily grind of a workplace. One key motivator or demotivator for our sanity at the workplace is our boss. Or as the book I recently completed calls them as - an elephant.


Throwing the Elephant: Zen and the Art of Managing Up


I would recommend this to all FIRE aspirees. The journey to financial independence is a long one for most of us, instead of huffing and puffing while we get there, I firmly believe that we should enjoy the journey. It is hard to stick to a decade(s) long commitment towards FIRE if you can't enjoy the journey.


What makes the FIRE journey more tolerable is if you learn to work with your line manager effectively. This book interprets the ancient wisdom of zen masters for a more business setting in an extremely humorous way.  

So if you are dissatisfied with the way your elephant(your boss) handles things, This book is for you. At its core it is business humour and i had a good laugh as i read through this book. The author Stanley Bing makes you take a step back and makes you realize that you can't take things personally. The way your elephant handles things is the way of life for it. All you can do is manage your elephant till you get a next new elephant. Hopefully for FIRE aspirees, not too many elephants and not for long.


I have always evaluated books on their efficacy if I can take away atleast 1 idea from it. The core message I took away is that you can't really control your elephant. Just manage it for the time you have inherited it and don't take what it does personally. This is a useful life skill for everyone and especially FIRE aspirees who have a long road ahead.


If you have read this book, let me know your views.