Book: Absinthe and Flamethrowers


I picked up a book today called Absinthe & Flamethrowers: Projects and Ruminations on the Art of Living Dangerously. It’s an exploration of a single, important question: Are people who take risks happier than those who do not? Bill says they are. I agree.

What did not resonate. Bill Gurstelle is a fellow Minnesotan, but a solely different kind of “adventurer”. His book is ostensibly about him blowing things up with gun powder, which isn’t really my style. Not that I’m against detonating inanimate objects, it’s just not a tangible adventure. It’s more impactful (to me) to reflect on climbing Mount Everest, than to ruminate on an exploded grapefruit.

What did resonate. The graph above resonated. Bill coins the “Golden Third” of people as happier because they take risks. He says we live in an age where disruptive ides are critical to our future. Children and adults should have the “license” to invent and to adventure beyond the safety of the envelope, just like the first caveman who overcame the fear of fire.

Published by Neal Mueller