How to Fight a Hydra | Face Your Fears and Become the Hero | Josh Kaufman | Book Summary


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How to Fight a Hydra: Face Your Fears, Pursue Your Ambitions, and Become the Hero You Are Destined to Be by Josh Kaufman


A survival manual for ambitious artists entrepreneurs ADVENTURERS

You have a Hydra: a grand, ambitious project you’ve always wanted to tackle. It feels overwhelming, unconquerable. Chop off one of a Hydra’s heads, and two more grow in its place.

How will you ever defeat such a terrifying monstrosity – and live to tell the tale?

In this illuminating fable, productivity expert Josh Kaufman explores the uncertainty and fear inherent in facing down any ambitious challenge, from starting a new business to completing a work of art.

The risks involved can never be eliminated, but they can be understood, anticipated, and mitigated. Armed with an adventurer’s insights into tackling unknown and fearsome challenges, you can tame a project of epic proportions.

How to Fight a Hydra is an essential handbook for artists, creative professionals, and entrepreneurs tired of ignoring the call to adventure.

So prepare for battle, brave soul. Draw your sword. Light your torch.

In the darkness ahead, your Hydra awaits.


Down the road, there is a big project you have to finish. You are aware it is essential for your career, and so you must get hands-on and conclude it. But it seems like a giant multi-headed hydra lurking at the woods, waiting to rip you apart, you feel intimidated by the size and the many situations you must confront. Where to start? How to deal with this challenge?

In “How to Fight a Hydra,” the author gives you many tips on how to deal with this problem by extrapolating the lessons learned from a medieval hero’s journey to hunt, fight and kill a giant hydra. The similitudes presented through a series of challenges the main character faces give excellent examples of how you can use them to work on that big project you have at hand.

In this book, you’ll find that from the circumstances driving you towards, all the knowledge you must acquire, or the struggles in your way to the finish. To your weapons, strategies, and the way to finish victorious, the examples and metaphors will help you to conclude your quest successfully.

Ten Lessons Learned

1.- The Quest.

We all have a Project so big that looks like a monster giant Hydra, Will you have what it needs to conquer? Your family and friend will try to convince you not to fight, and also, there is no reason to do it. Without their support, you decide to go to battle. Gathering your tools, you decide and attack this humongous task, but first, make an inventory of your devices and skills. Get in shape physically and mentally. Confronting your fear, you’ll decide to start.

2.- The Journey.

Maybe your daily work and responsibilities keep you from working full time, and it makes you wonder. Am I doing the right thing? Do I keep trying, or should I give up? You know the decision is all yours; your goals seem impossible. But you decide to fight your limiting beliefs and trust in your skills and abilities. And even when the goal is far ahead, you trust in your plan, knowing that there is no victory without a fight and effort.

3.- The Struggle.

You keep yourself focused and follow the plan, but many times you find yourself distracted, procrastinating, doing other things deviating from your goal. So, you decide there will be no more excuses. Every small step takes you closer to the end. Now you are wondering if this project is larger than you, but realize that being small allows you to move faster. By this time, you know the complications and how to master them. All the knowledge gained makes you more confident, and you move closer to the finish line. Now you allow yourself to make mistakes and learn from them. You know that every great task takes time. And step by step, you’re victorious and finish the project.

4.- The Outcome.

Now you’ve finished your project. You’ve killed your Hydra. And then you find that the reward is not what you expected, and you start to wonder if all the effort was worth it. And maybe your family and friends were right, and you were a fool to go on this journey. Remember, no matter what the outcome, the victory relays on the fact that you reached your goal. Examine your surroundings and look for another approach you can give to the results.

In most cases, you’ll find that your effort was not in vain; you can use it to your benefit. Make the necessary adjustments and market your project somewhere else. Remember, now you are fearless, you don’t need validation you gained all the experience from the struggle, go back to the blackboard and start a new quest now you know the way.

5.- The Insight.

After your quest, there are several things you must remember:

– Every project worthwhile is never easy.

– For every achiever, there are thousands defeated by their mind.

– Look for the opportunities only a few dare to pursue.

– Always sharpen your skills and tools.

– Being afraid only means you’re not insane.

– Only a few dare to do thigs now, not later or tomorrow.

– Your mind invents problems beyond reality, but action helps you seize them.

– Bad days are frequent, and you will have doubts. You’re only human.

– Always try to anticipate the obstacles.

– Everybody makes mistakes.

– Anticipate some setbacks; being prepared makes the journey easier.

– Victory might make you cautious; for now, you have something to lose.

– Never fight more than one Hydra at a time.

– Only take advice from achievers.

– Remember, you’re not invincible, never forget the lessons learned.

– There are no certainties and no guarantees. Move forward, expecting the best.

– There are quests you should avoid, choose well.

6.- The Decision.

After you have succeeded in your projects and acquire some wealth and fame, there will be many people eager to invite you to new adventures. Always wisely evaluate what you’ve gained against the opportunity presented, and if you find more important what you have against the challenge, don’t be afraid to decline the offer.

7.- Preparing for Your Adventure.

Always remember that every journey contains some uncertainties, be prepared, and hope for the best. Your family and friends might not support you, that’s ok, don’t let them dissuade you. It is normal to be afraid at the beginning. You will need time to be prepared, make a plan, and sharpen your tools. There will always be struggles; be ready to accept them and learn.

8.- During Your Adventure.

Expect some obstacles, but be prepared. Always keep moving towards your goal. Keep your tools sharp and try to learn new skills to help your quest. Take care of your body and your mind. Learn from your mistakes and experiment with new approaches. Trust your experience and beware of any danger ahead. Don’t be distracted; don’t postpone or procrastinate. Always move forward no matter how far or how fast, just keep going.

9.- At the End of Your Adventure.

Accept the fact that you might not get the reward you expected. Be prepared to look for other possibilities and opportunities. Weight your next adventure and decide your next experience based on what you value most.

10.- Always be Thankful.

Remember every night to be thankful and keep a journal with everything that you have learned. As they say, success is not a destination is a journey, and the only impossible one is the one you never begin, and all of them start with a single step. Plan your adventure, and learn from your mistakes, enjoy life, and GO FIGHT A HYDRA.


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