Inspirational books are written to help make people feel good emotionally, mentally, and physically. With the many inspirational books in the world, there are many different types of advice from many different writers for many different types of people. One audience who may struggle in finding inspiration is the audience who categorize themselves as nerds or geeks. Due to clichés and stereotypes, many members of this audience may believe they are not as beautiful as society deems people should be and may believe it to be difficult to become what society wants. This, however, is most certainly not the case. Those who are considered “nerds” and “geeks” are perhaps the most beautiful people one will ever meet. Why is this? Because they are proud of who they are and wear their labels as badges of honor, as they should. Rather than listening to how conceded society can be, they listen to the messages found within popular culture: about discovering who one is, about being a hero to others, and many other messages conveyed in various popular culture series.
One such nerd, Steve Kamb, was not happy where he was in his life and decided to improve his life by using the lessons he learned from popular culture and living his life as if life itself were one giant video game. He took action and founded the popular Nerd Fitness website. After finding success by helping others through his Nerd Fitness program, Kamb wrote an inspirational book that offers help to fellow nerds and geeks to level up their lives to live the lives they have always dreamt of in his book, Level Up Your Life. Of the many inspirational books published around the world, what makes Kamb’s stand out more than others?
For starters, Kamb is well aware that people respond more positively to advice that is recommended, but not required. Kamb sets up his book in a way where he shares tips and tricks that have and continue to help him level up his life and shares success stories from other Nerd Fitness “Rebels” who have their own methods of leveling up their lives. Along with sharing these stories, he offers advice to encourage others to discover their own strategies to level up their lives. By reading so many different stories of how other nerds and geeks have improved their lives, it makes it intriguing for it expresses how there is not one set way to improve one’s life and that each person will find what works for them.
Of course, the many references to popular culture Kamb uses throughout his book will most certainly appeal to readers. Similar to Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One, readers will love the broad spectrum of references while also finding references to each individual’s “nerdy” passion. Kamb’s references are ones that inspire and usually focus around Joseph Cambell’s template of “the hero’s journey” as a focal point. This will speak loudly to readers by encouraging them to embark on their own hero’s journey while playing the game of life. Alongside the references to pop culture, Kamb’s writing style is one to be commended. His optimism rings loud and clear through his words and has a way of making the reader feel good about themselves, thus further encouraging them to live their lives like a game.
It is difficult and unfair to judge an inspirational book, for every reader will interpret these particular books differently depending on where he or she is at in life or what he or she is looking for as far as aid or inspiration goes. While the popular culture references Kamb uses to inspire will be well-received by its intended audience, Level Up Your Life is one that can most certainly be enjoyed by a broader audience. This is not a book that tells readers what they need to do in life. This is not a book that tells readers how best to fit into society and be a part of the so-called “beautiful” crowd. This is a book written by an incredibly positive man who wanted to change his life and chose to do so in the best way he knew how: to live his life like the video games he loved while growing up. Viewing life as a game gives a new outlook on life many may not have even imagined. When playing a game, characters have quests. Upon completion of a quest, the characters level up and become that much stronger and more accomplished to face the next quest. Kamb encourages any reader to develop a list of quests they wish to accomplish to level up in their lives and even share them with others on his website. Every person can be the best person he or she can be by taking life one level at a time.