As far as Edward D. Hess is concerned, success begins with yourself. It begins with understanding where you fit in an advanced matrix of external and internal factors, and from that where you can go. Left, right, up or down. In the pages of his new book, Own Your Work Journey!: The Path to Meaningful Work and Happiness in the Age of Smart Technology & Radical Change!, Hess expertly lays out how to go about this process, but not how to do it. That is what I feel like, as a reader, is his personal stroke of genius.


 There’s no sense Hess is telling you what to do, in part because he respects how chameleonic things have become in the age of technology. What he does expertly is highlight how one must be prepared for this kind of age – and how certain, timeless lessons can be implemented in how one navigates this age, whilst preparing for situations where there is no precedent, and you’re essentially on your own. Hess describes this balance in relatable, simple terminologies – simply put, Learning Un-Learning and Re-Learning. In effect, using Hess’s words, ‘Hyper-Learning.’ From this, you’re able to have the ideological and methodological cake, and eat it too. That is the key to winning in the technological age.

 “The good news is we all can take steps to rewire ourselves to become a better learner,” Hess writes, in aforementioned vein. “That is one of the key purposes of this book. The rest of the Chapters in this book are designed to help you learn how to think, learn, listen, adapt, and collaborate in ways that will help you have meaningful work and happiness in this fast-paced technologically driven-world…You need to Take Ownership of YOU… Doing that will lead you to be a much better learner, thinker, listener, decision-maker, and collaborator. A much better person —one who can adapt better and continuously learn as technology changes the world. It will also enable you to be an explorer and have the courage to go into the unknown and figure things out.”

 Hess has this kind of big-brother, shoulder-clapping tonality that makes all of this feel palatable, and accessible. It doesn’t matter who you are. Even if you aren’t in the target demographic of who this book most likely applies to topically, you can get something out of his rhetoric, and from the material. Some things are universal, regardless of context. This is particularly evident in passages, such as the following. “To continually learn and adapt at the pace of change, we all need to overcome our ego and our fears,” Hess writes. “Developing a quiet ego is foundational to becoming your Best Self and bringing your Best Self to the world each day so you can have meaningful work, meaningful relationships, and happiness in a world characterized by fast-paced, continuous change and automation of jobs.”


These are universal facets. It’s something that defines the postmodernist workplace, but also defines the (postmodernist) life. The postmodernist workplace is a marriage of personal and professional values, constructs which exist both in and out of the office. So it adds an extra dimension to books like Hess’s, making them feel more wholesome, more inclusive, and more akin to containing lessons and beliefs that transcend their narrative focal points. 

Cyrus Rhodes