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on 23 March 2011
MacLeod writes down the lessons he learned, the hard way and through friends' experiences, about how to create and follow an Evil Plan, a way to unify what you work on with what you love.

According to Sigmund Freud, "in order to be truly happy in life, a human being needed to acquire two things: the capacity to work and the capacity to love". At one point in his life, the author wanted to jump off the treadmill he was living in, and started working on what he loves and make a living out of it. Some of his advice is:
keep things simple
focus on global microbranding
practice a little bit, but every day
tell a good story
focus on undersupply
use your instinct when taking business decisions
too much insider knowledge is not good

MacLeod concludes that the Evil Plan is about unifying work and love, and this will happen only when (and if) we decide to love what we work on.

The book is divided in short, easy-to-read chapters. Each chapter ends with sketches drawn by the author himself. One might say that the book is a blog, and the chapters are blog posts.

Rating: FOUR STARS

- Easy to read: short and to the point.
- Easy to find your way through it when needed at a later time.
- The advice given is meaningful and explained with true examples.
- Some of the stories are hard to forget.
- Not 5 stars because I have read other blogs and books (Seth Godin, Tim Ferriss, 37signals, etc.) that overlap with this book's topic.
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on 15 September 2011
I loved Hugh's first book "Ignore Everybody" and I love this one too. Having been an admirer of his drawings and blog for a while, I greatly appreciate the courage he has had in following his dream. He is humorous and philosophical, a rare combination. He is a great advocate of escaping the rat race and doing what one loves. There is a new breed of books supporting this idea. If you are looking for a change in your life and work, buy this book, read it, pass it on and live the life you were born to live.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 17 February 2011
"Evil" was the word the Anglo-Saxons used where we would use bad, cruel, unskillful, defective (adj.), or harm, crime, misfortune, and disease. Of course, this is not the meaning of evil that Hugh MacLeod had in mind when he formulated his concept of a plan so forget about the word and focus on the valuable insights that his counterintuitive mind offers. As he explains, people need a plan guided and informed by "that crazy, out-there idea that allows them to actually start doing something they love, doing something that matters. Everybody needs an Evil Plan that gets them the hell out of the rat race, away from the lousy bosses, away from boring, dead-end jobs that they hate. Life is short."

MacLeod speaks from extensive personal experience as he discusses his struggles years ago the lessons he learned from them. He has paid a hefty "tuition" to obtain the real-world knowledge he gained and now shares, as he did in an earlier book, Ignore Everybody. In that book and in this one, he provides an abundance of his brilliant illustrations. Some are hilarious. Some have the impact of an ice pick stuck in the ear. All are precious gifts. They remind me that, long ago, Oscar Wilde offered this admonition: "Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken." MacLeod presumably agrees but, I suspect, would cite another admonition from the Gnostic Gospels, part of the New Testament apocrypha: "If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you."

In other words, MacLeod is affirming the importance of having personal authenticity while making and then sustaining a full commitment to doing whatever we love most. It took him years to develop what Ernest Hemingway once characterized as a "shock-proof, built-in crap detector." It takes courage to acknowledge one's own crap and then eliminate it. Life is short and our most precious resource is time. So, MacLeod insists, feed the hunger that, paradoxically, "will cost you your life" in order to save it from the forces that feel threatened by anyone who has "crazy, out-there ideas" and evil plans to make them a reality.

Consider this brief passage in The Book in which Alan Watts observes, "We need a new experience -- a new feeling of what it is to be 'I.' The lowdown (which is, of course, the secret and profound view) on life is that our normal sensation of self is a hoax, or, at best, a temporary role that we are playing, or have been conned into playing -- with our own tacit consent, just as every hypnotized person is basically willing to be hypnotized. The most strongly enforced of all known taboos is the taboo against knowing who or what you really are behind the mask of your apparently separate, independent, and isolated ego." Evil plans eliminate all masks. That is one reason why they terrify those who wear them.

MacLeod believes that "evil plans are not products; they are gifts" and that is what this book is, a gift from him to each reader and offered with love. He acknowledges, "I'm not the world's most talented person at what I do. Neither are you. That doesn't make the gifts we have any less valid. Giving the gift is an act of love. And love is the only thing that matters. That's why we have an Evil Plan...Because it matters. Because love matters. What else is there to say?..."

Hopefully, Hugh MacLeod will respond to that question in his next book.

In other words, MacLeod is affirming the importance of having personal authenticity while making and then sustaining a full commitment to doing whatever we love most. It took him years to develop what Ernest Hemingway once characterized as a "shock-proof, built-in crap detector." It takes courage to acknowledge one's own crap and then eliminate it. Life is short and our most precious resource is time. So, MacLeod insists, feed the hunger that, paradoxically, "will cost you your life" in order to save it from the forces that feel threatened by anyone who has "crazy, out-there ideas" and evil plans to make them a reality.

Consider this brief passage in The Book in which Alan Watts observes, "We need a new experience -- a new feeling of what it is to be 'I.' The lowdown (which is, of course, the secret and profound view) on life is that our normal sensation of self is a hoax, or, at best, a temporary role that we are playing, or have been conned into playing -- with our own tacit consent, just as every hypnotized person is basically willing to be hypnotized. The most strongly enforced of all known taboos is the taboo against knowing who or what you really are behind the mask of your apparently separate, independent, and isolated ego." Evil plans eliminate all masks. That is one reason why they terrify those who wear them.

MacLeod believes that "evil plans are not products; they are gifts" and that is what this book is, a gift from him to each reader and offered with love. He acknowledges, "I'm not the world's most talented person at what I do. Neither are you. That doesn't make the gifts we have any less valid. Giving the gift is an act of love. And love is the only thing that matters. That's why we have an Evil Plan...Because it matters. Because love matters. What else is there to say?..."

Hopefully, Hugh MacLeod will respond to that question in his next book.
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on 13 August 2012
The premise of the book is OK. Do something you love. Right. Good. I want to do that. But once I read the book of course I realised ..... most of the things I love wot pay me enough to live on. Its a great book for escapism and believing that some things are possible. I'd still say I enjoyed it, but for me, it wasn't inspirational of life changing. Just a nice read with a few nice ideas.
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on 9 May 2013
There are a lot of books at the moment that give a vibrant twist to the traditional Carnegie, Hill, Robbins, Jeffers et-al messages of be nice, work well, deal with the fear of risk and failure, this is another and it's great!

Ultimately MacLeod delivers the same messages we have heard before, but the main difference is that he writes for today, our global environment and new technologies, and our new ways working and living. This makes the book a great read, refreshing and from an `in-the-present-day' perspective.

Personally I don't like the word Evil - Dastardly might be a better word - but that just could be my British sensitivity.
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on 4 October 2011
Changing your life for the better and doing something you love doesn't have to be that difficult. Overall this was a very easy read - it can be read cover to cover in pretty much one session - but some of the insights can really give you a Eureka! moment. Anyway, can't hang about writing a long review, I've got my Evil Plan to get on with!!!
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on 19 February 2013
Recommended for anyone who wants to take stock of their life and give an alternative perspective on how to create the fertile mix of enjoyment AND high income from their job/ career. Easily readable and very enjoyable.
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on 9 August 2013
Genuine writer full of wits and one of my favorite authors the book touch very important business and life topics with so much ease you immediately know you need to devise your Evil Plans

Good Book
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on 7 April 2014
Love this book, love the way Hugh writes, it really inspired me to think about what I want to do with the rest of my life..... By the end of the book I was hatching my evil plan!
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on 17 June 2012
I found this book very interesting and easy to read. Not verbose or full of jargon, this book is a great insight into one mans realisation of a dream. Very inspiring
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