Navigating the Impossible by Jason Caldwell

Jason Caldwell has pushed his body and the boundaries of human endurance in ways that may seem crazy to the average person. Traversing the Atlantic Ocean – twice – with a winning rowing team, hiking across an inhospitable desert; telling Jason Caldwell there’s something he can’t do is likely one of the surest ways to provoke him into proving you monumentally wrong. His book Navigating the Impossible: Build Extraordinary Teams and Shatter Expectations serves as an inspiring and always forthright guidepost for how individuals can incorporate the same attitude into their own lives and those around them. It has a reach extending far beyond the professional realm alone – adopting his philosophy and attitude in your personal life will likely produce the same positive results it has for Caldwell’s athletic and professional career. This, simply put, is a handbook aimed towards self-realization of the highest order.

Relating his personal experiences as Caldwell does is essential for this book’s credibility. If it was just a collection of Caldwell’s pronouncements about what he believes constitutes effective leadership and team work, Navigating the Impossible might come off as a work of unlikely bluster that you could either take at face value or disregard. Caldwell’s athletic credentials and his unabashed honesty relating to readers the details of his successes make his ideas all the more unimpeachable for me. He writes with more than just remarkable insight into his own psyche; Caldwell has a sharp sense of what makes other people tick born from his experiences and intelligence. It is a quality present on each page of Navigating the Impossible.

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The way he builds the book adds a lot to its success as well. The chapters are structured in brief sections dealing with a variety of sub-topics relevant to that portion of the text and conclude with “Gathering Points” where Caldwell summaries what the section has discussed. He does not waste reader’s time with sideshows or set pieces. The book is succinct and the individual chapters are free from any sort of self-indulgent back slapping that you might find in other books from excellent athletes. Caldwell writes about his achievements and how he got there in an eloquent yet matter of fact manner.

His vulnerability is another key. Caldwell isn’t afraid to concede that he too has been plagued with moments of doubt or fear and he portrays those points in an unabashed fashion that ingratiates himself with readers. Reading the book and watching him work, even surge, past each of those insistences is a bracing and inspiring experience.

Such occasions are also opportunities for him to depict how the principles he espouses throughout the book prove pivotal to pushing through such obstacles. He concludes the book with the conclusion of his team’s second journey across the Atlantic and it’s an exultant way to close the main body of the book. Navigating the Impossible: Build Extraordinary Teams and Shatter Expectations thrilled and inspired me and I think many readers will feel the same during and after reading the book. Jason Caldwell has contributed a valuable addition to the library of motivational literature with this work.

Clay Burton