Fred 2.0, by Mark Sanborn, releases today. This is the book following the New York Times Bestseller The Fred Factor. I was one of the lucky few who received a copy of the book prior to release. Maybe it is because I am a Fred or maybe it is because I write thorough book review. Likely the latter is the case.
I finished the book this morning and found myself with mixed reviews.
We all need inspiration. We all need reminders to be the best versions of ourselves. That is what Fred it all about. To paraphrase Hedwig, “[Fred] is an idiom working in America and Canada.”
Fred has become a philosophy to live better and to be better. Fred guides us to be the best versions of ourselves. 2.0 reminds us not to live life to the fullest but live it to the best. So many philosophical life guides direct our focus to the big picture, to not get lost in the minutia. Fred says to focus on the minutia. Make each moment count because it it the little moments that add up to make the big picture good.
This is not particularly different than most self help philosophies. However, differentiating from the mantra of every other life coach, Fred is a symptom of happiness not the cause of it. Living the life in the Fred philosophy will not make you happy, being happy will make you Fred.
When people are happy they are more likely to go out of their way to help other people, to be polite, to go the extra mile. They are more likely to whistle while they work. 2.0 tells us not to fake it until we make it but to do our best until we are our best. Then you don’t have to fake it.
What makes a Fred is more than just doing a good job and being nice to people. It is about extending a sense of pride in being more into everything you do, and then helping others to do the same.
Is Fred 2.0 revolutionary? No. The Fred Factor was revolutionary in the sense that it brought people to an ethos of personal betterment for the sake of being better. It said that the end result is not the goal, it is the process. It is not the thank you of opening a door for someone, or the praise for giving everyone on your mail route a turkey at the holidays. It is the act of opening the door, regardless of the appreciation, or giving the turkey whether or not the person even knows it was from you. The act is what elevates the soul, not the result. If you are looking to have the action make you happy you are looking exterior to yourself to find happiness. Fred 2.0 reminds us to look to ourselves. If we are happy then we don’t need the external praise to validate us. Ironically, the book is filled with stories of Fred, but that is more spreading the Fred than spreading the praise.
Critically, the book was not revolutionary. It was a good reminder of a philosophy of which I was already aware. Was it inspirational? Not for me. Realistically it was more motivational. It reminded me to live the passion I have for my own work.
By the middle of the book I was pretty tired of reading the word Fred. By the 3rd paragraph of this review, I was tired of writing the word Fred. That aside, the book was a nice read and a reminder to:
- Live your passion
- Bring the extraordinary to the mundane
- Be process driven and results oriented
- and to be happy because we are better people when we are happy.
If Fred is a symptom of happiness then I welcome it.
Go to www.fredfactor.com to read more about the Fred philosophy and to buy Fred 2.0.
I’d like to thank Mark Sanborn for sending me a copy of Fred 2.0 to review.