Life Lessons from a Total Failure by M.J. Dougherty
M.J. Dougherty has certainly had his share of ups and downs. He’s not afraid to open up and tell us about them in his new memoir, Life Lessons from a Total Failure.
I can relate to feeling like a failure. I think we all can. We might not have had experiences similar to Dougherty but we can still learn from him nonetheless. Each chapter starts with subtitles such as “It’s OK to keep things simple” , “Embrace change” , and “It can happen to anyone.”
Dougherty doesn’t hit us over the head with lessons. Instead, he simply tells his story and hopes that we get the message through the shared experience. In the final pages of the book, he sums everything up with “M.J.’s Top Ten Lessons from a Total Failure.” Each lesson is one paragraph long and gets straight to the point.
I like to write spoiler-free reviews, so if you don’t want to read this book without knowing any particulars stop reading now.
It feels strange giving a spoiler alert for a memoir, but here we are.
I wanted to talk about my surprise of people’s expectations and how they can they can do a lot of harm. This happened to Dougherty shortly after he decided to get married. People had known that he was gay prior to this, but after his wedding, the public began to perceive his bar as being a “gay bar” even though it wasn’t. Ultimately, people stopped going there because of this perception and the business failed. I almost couldn’t believe that something like that could actually happen. Perception is powerful.
It’s interesting to see how some opportunities just presented themselves to the author as well. He was in the right place at the right time and was able to capitalize on them. Perhaps he needed to experience those failures and go through some low periods in life to ultimately find himself. Maybe we all do.
My List of 2016 Reads – just about done my reading log for the year.