Monday, March 10, 2008

Three short books by Paul Arden

Paul Arden spent 14 years as the Executive Creative Director at Saatchi & Saatchi. He was responsible for some of the UK's most successful advertising campaigns – British Airways, Silk Cut, Anchor Butter, InterCity and Fuji.

He has published three books. All of them have lots of pictures and not many words.

His first book was 'It's Not How Good You Are, It's How Good You Want To Be' (artfully subtitled 'The world's best-selling book by Paul Arden'). It is a compendium of Mr Arden's thoughts and suggestions based on his life-experience in the 'creative' world.

His thoughts are not always deep, but they are usually provoking. He starts off with 'Set your goals high and aim beyond what you believe you are capable of', moving on to 'Don't seek praise. Seek criticism', and possibly his most profound (and contentious) offering 'Give away everything you know, and more will come back to you'.

I can guarantee you won't like all of it, but am equally sure that it will challenge you to think more about how you approach your life.

'Whatever You Think, Think The Opposite' is an excellent 'rut-busting' book'. Not much of it is original, but it's worth it just or some of the examples of 'wrong' decisions that have ended up with right outcomes. Good toilet-reading.

'God Explained In A Taxi Ride' is an excellent example of how people should stick to what they do best. This mini-tome addresses some of the metaphysical questions that humans have asked since pre-history, especially our relationship to the 'divine'. His questions are good, but the conclusions are neither original or profound.

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