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Fit, Fifty and Fired Up

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Are you slogging your guts out at a job you don't particularly like to buy things you don't particularly need? Would you like to spend more time with your family and less time at work? Do you ever wonder what it'd be like to really love what you do? Ten years on from Fat, Forty and Fired, Nigel Marsh steps off the hamster wheel (again) to grapple with these and other less Are you slogging your guts out at a job you don't particularly like to buy things you don't particularly need? Would you like to spend more time with your family and less time at work? Do you ever wonder what it'd be like to really love what you do? Ten years on from Fat, Forty and Fired, Nigel Marsh steps off the hamster wheel (again) to grapple with these and other less weighty questions, like: Where the hell has my wife left the cordless phone? and How do I dress my daughter as a bridge for school in ten minutes? Written with Nigel's customary humour and honesty, Fit, Fifty and Fired Up is a must-read for anyone who's ever dreamt of taking a risk to live a life they feel passionate about...


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Are you slogging your guts out at a job you don't particularly like to buy things you don't particularly need? Would you like to spend more time with your family and less time at work? Do you ever wonder what it'd be like to really love what you do? Ten years on from Fat, Forty and Fired, Nigel Marsh steps off the hamster wheel (again) to grapple with these and other less Are you slogging your guts out at a job you don't particularly like to buy things you don't particularly need? Would you like to spend more time with your family and less time at work? Do you ever wonder what it'd be like to really love what you do? Ten years on from Fat, Forty and Fired, Nigel Marsh steps off the hamster wheel (again) to grapple with these and other less weighty questions, like: Where the hell has my wife left the cordless phone? and How do I dress my daughter as a bridge for school in ten minutes? Written with Nigel's customary humour and honesty, Fit, Fifty and Fired Up is a must-read for anyone who's ever dreamt of taking a risk to live a life they feel passionate about...

30 review for Fit, Fifty and Fired Up

  1. 5 out of 5

    Magdalena

    I was first introduced to Nigel Marsh's books by a friend who told me that Fat, Forty and Fired had changed his life. s soon as he told me the premise: a guy who decides, in the wake of a redundancy, to leave the corporate world, giving up his status and paycheck to spend more time with his family, I knew I had to read it. After all it was the very theme of the novel I was working on which later became Black Cow. I enjoyed the book so much, that I went on to read his next book Overworked and I was first introduced to Nigel Marsh's books by a friend who told me that Fat, Forty and Fired had changed his life. s soon as he told me the premise: a guy who decides, in the wake of a redundancy, to leave the corporate world, giving up his status and paycheck to spend more time with his family, I knew I had to read it. After all it was the very theme of the novel I was working on which later became Black Cow. I enjoyed the book so much, that I went on to read his next book Overworked and Underlaid. So when Marsh’s new book, Fit, Fifty and Fired Up came out, not too far away from my own impending fiftieth (and very close to my husband’s), it found its way to the top of my reading stack faster than you can say self-actualisation. Like the two books that preceded it, Fit, Fifty and Fired Up is deceptively easy. The prose is smooth and often very funny, tracking Marsh’s ongoing progress in making his life meaningful as he once again takes a year off work to renew his sense of self and connect with his family. The simplicity of style makes the medicine easy to take. This is no how-to, point-by-point primer for self-help, though there are twelve summary lessons at the back. Instead, without any hint of didacticism, Marsh’s book makes it very clear that modern priorities are often hideously skewed, focusing on the accumulation of things and ever increasing degrees of slavery in order to live someone’s else’s dream. Of course there is a lot that is different in this book, and for readers of the other two books, it’s interesting to check-in on the progress that Marsh has made in his decade long transition from a fat, fired forty year old (not to mention overworked and underlaid) to a fit, fired-up fifty year old. For one thing, Marsh is a relatively fit teetotaller, doing annual rough water ocean races (and as someone who occasionally swims in the ocean, I know this is no small achievement) with a reasonably steady lecture circuit (including the moniker of Australia's most watched TED talk), and two successful books under his belt. As far as progress goes, Marsh’s earlier changes appear to be pretty close to permanent and that alone is interesting for those who have been following his progress through the nonfiction keyhole. Nevertheless, there are still things he wants to change. For one, he wants to learn to cook, both to ease the pressure on his rather deliciously cynical wife Kate, and to fill what feels to him as a significant capability gap. He also wants to lose a little more weight, bump his fitness up a bit more, re-connect with his family, and of course re-ignite his sense of purpose and passion in what he does – something that is difficult to do when mired in a busy work life or tilting at the corporate ladder. There’s nothing pompous in this book. Instead Marsh just shares his experiences and what he’s learned in his journey in a very down-to-earth, accessible way, as one might do in a conversation with a friend. We share his frustrations in losing weight, his attempts to connect with his Dad who has Parkinson and Dementia, his sports, the funny experiences he has with his family. The one overriding quality of this, and all of Marsh’s books is how familiar it all is. I suspect that anyone from age thirty onwards will recognise aspects of themselves in his journey. While the book will certainly resonate with women, it is perhaps the case that women are less likely to get themselves so thoroughly stuck in the workforce, partly because of maternity leave and the physical changes that having children creates. Still, the parenting stories of soccer games and birthday parties will all hit home and leave any reader at this stage of their lives with multiple children laughing knowingly. For men though, Marsh’s tale is not only salutary, it’s perfectly pitched, couching some serious life lessons and pointers in witty story. I’m just hoping that if I leave it somewhere obvious (like the bedside nightstand) some of the twelve lessons that the book contains might actually have an impact. That so many men (and some women) live lives of servitude and never stop to think about who they are or what they might want to really achieve in the short space that we have is a modern tragedy. Marsh gently and humorously makes this obvious, and in the changes he’s created in his own life, sets a trend that others can easily follow.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Steve lovell

    I have a friend called Peter. More specifically he is the hubby of one of my best mates, Claire, but a good friend nonetheless he is. Successful in small business, he recently decided to change the shape of his life, to downshift a few gears in some respects – so he went to work for someone else while he still had time on his side. The author of the above tome has done this more than once. Nigel Marsh is about a decade younger than Peter, but they both possess admirable similarities. Both have I have a friend called Peter. More specifically he is the hubby of one of my best mates, Claire, but a good friend nonetheless he is. Successful in small business, he recently decided to change the shape of his life, to downshift a few gears in some respects – so he went to work for someone else while he still had time on his side. The author of the above tome has done this more than once. Nigel Marsh is about a decade younger than Peter, but they both possess admirable similarities. Both have wonderfully supportive long term partners, but in Nigel’s case she is loyally very long suffering. Both have four glorious offspring to whom they are devoted and justly proud. The author of the two writes with palpable pride of their achievements, as well as their foibles. For Peter his pride in his is written on his heart. The greatest similarity between the two, though, is that they both set themselves goals for betterment and work doggedly to achieve them. With Peter it has been to climb African mountains, trek Nepalese tracks and to give as much as possible back to his community. For Nigel it is to……….Well that would be too much of a spoiler. It would be better to simply read the book to see if he has as much success as my remarkable friend. Nigel Marsh first came to prominence with ‘Fat, Fifty and Fired’ which, like this sequel, could be loosely described as a non-preachy self-help book. It struck a chord for the author did what many of us would love to – and that is to jump off the ‘hamster wheel’ for a while. Although he sets himself up to be ‘everyman’, and writes beguilingly as such, he isn’t really. Such are his renaissance talents that a firing, or a self-imposed sabbatical, could be replaced with another source of income – writing (admittedly always risky). He hit the jackpot immediately on the back of the first ‘F, F and F’. As well, his proven business acumen in advertising meant he could be reasonably certain his cachet was high enough to warrant another office with harbour views – so ‘everyman’ he is not. I could have only wished to do likewise. But in his scribblings about it all Marsh is instantly likeable as we get a ‘warts and all’ approach. He knows he is far from perfect – that’s just what he is aiming at! He takes us on a journey in both books, into his life, his philosophies about how to live it, and he’s up front about his failures as well. Australians approve of his type of self-depreciating honesty, and in the mix is humour and a number of cautionary tales, so much so that he does weave a spell on his readers. And his prose is coming along, as well, too – the second ‘F, F and F’ seemed to flow better than the first, although Warner Bros is reported to be sniffing around the freshman work. I would imagine the real hero in this book in many minds would be Kate. She must be a saint to live with him, especially as he is not backward in sharing with us all her idiosyncrasies that irritate him to the nth degree. He really ‘disses’ out on her, yet she is staunch in her support, if not exactly approving of him constantly placing the family under financial duress. You feel that here the marital bonds are strong, and she is, after all, quite a ‘catch’ as the included image attests. As an aside I wonder, given his background and obvious people skills, why ‘The Gruen’ hasn’t snapped him up???? To the best of my knowledge, he’s never appeared. I enjoyed this book immensely and, although I am more than happy to potter and coast through life now that I’m retired, it did give me much to ponder on. I hope he writes more, and I trust I am still around when ‘Sixty, Slim and Sated’ comes out

  3. 4 out of 5

    Olwen

    I had intended to save this book for an aeroplane trip, but I'm glad I didn't. The book had me chuckling, guffawing, and laughing out loud! The author's narrative is a great blend of philosophical insight and a down-to-earth perspective on the silliness of everyday life and relationships. You could call him the thinking person's alpha male. Great read. But maybe not in public places.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Peter Greenwell

    More a series of related anecdotes than a cohesive book, though that takes nothing away from what's contained within. I enjoyed it, though it's all very slight and chatty.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Annette

    Fit, Fifty and Fired Up by Nigel Marsh was bought by my husband, a very unusual book and unlike the heavy political and war books that he likes to read. I am taking a year away from the routines of work next year...it was self affirming to read that others have managed to change their lifestyles completely and still survive. I am hoping to take myself away from the normal routines however I believe that to take a year off successfully it would be pertinent to establish other routines of your own Fit, Fifty and Fired Up by Nigel Marsh was bought by my husband, a very unusual book and unlike the heavy political and war books that he likes to read. I am taking a year away from the routines of work next year...it was self affirming to read that others have managed to change their lifestyles completely and still survive. I am hoping to take myself away from the normal routines however I believe that to take a year off successfully it would be pertinent to establish other routines of your own choosing. One thought that struck me and has remained with me after reading Nigel's take on life...creativity. Try painting, drawing or any pursuit that you believe you are hopeless at and you might be surprised. It is always interesting that as children we fear nothing and have a go at everything, the self awareness kicks in and you lose your innocence and confidence.until you reach the age where you just don't care what others think...aka old age. A fun and very light dip into someone else's musings.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kirsten

    Nice musings from a pretty admirable guy (check out his TED talk on work life balance). This book had me laugh out loud on the bus (especially story of dealing with toddler at swimming pool), and inspired me to start running of all things, without any cheesy self help smugness. I'll be digging out his other book "Fat, forty and fired" for some other inspiration on how to deal with the chips life throws at me.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Vodic

    Once again, another great book from Nigel Marsh. His point - "it's incumbent on us to take personal responsibility for the type of life we'd like to lead" - is exactly what I take away from his musings. I find his reflections insightful and helpful with trying to do just this! His hilarious stories are just a bonus :)

  8. 5 out of 5

    Sputnik Sputnik

    i absolutely love nigel and his books. and this one is no exception. slightly more random than 'fat forty and fired' it's more a collection of short stories on a theme... but super entertaining and brilliantly thought provoking as well.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jackie Allen

    I was expecting a motivational book by a man reaching 50 who decides to get fit and fired up. What I read was a series of anecdotes about his life and his family. Amusing enough, just not what I was really wanted to read...

  10. 4 out of 5

    Yuana

    I had no idea who Nigel Marsh was but decided to read this book because of the catchy title. Absolutely loved it! The language he uses is simple, stories are inspiring, funny and sad. I can't wait to read Fat Forty and Fired!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Alana

    Brilliant! Laugh-out-loud funny!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Trena Kennedy

    Another entertaining book from Nigel. Love this mans humor

  13. 4 out of 5

    Penny

    Just as enjoyable and real as Fat, Forty,Fired. Nigel has the knack for telling it how it is - frank, honest and inspiring.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Teena

    Laugh out loud stuff, but it made me think about my own attitude to work and life.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Joh

    Funny & self-deprecatory, a recommended read for anyone who does not take himself/herself too seriously.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Amanda Markham

    Witty and wise. This is a book that you will underline passages in, laugh out loud at, and want to read again.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Keira

    IMHO this is a take it or leave it book - I decided to leave it, as I have lots of other things I wanted to read.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Gail

  19. 4 out of 5

    Roanna

  20. 5 out of 5

    Roslyn Mannix

  21. 5 out of 5

    Fiona

  22. 4 out of 5

    Marguerite

  23. 4 out of 5

    Grace Crowley

  24. 5 out of 5

    Alexia Elson

  25. 4 out of 5

    Dan Makovec

  26. 4 out of 5

    Daniel

  27. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Herrett

  28. 4 out of 5

    Ellen Pilch

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jayne

  30. 4 out of 5

    Megan

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