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Illogical summary

Emmanuel Acho

Saying Yes to a Life Without Limits

3.8 (223 ratings)
23 mins

Brief summary

Illogical by Emmanuel Acho is an insightful book that tackles difficult conversations about race and racism in America. With personal stories, research, and actionable advice, Acho encourages readers to be open-minded and engaged in the ongoing fight for racial justice.

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    Taking an illogical path allowed Acho to pursue a new and unexpected career.

    When Acho injured his thumb, it was as if the fears he’d harbored all his life were coming true. The success he’d fought tooth and nail to achieve was now at great risk of becoming undone. Acho stole traffic cones from a parking lot in Philadelphia and used them to do drills in the alley behind his apartment. He found empty fields to train in by himself.

    As you’ve already learned, it was at this point Acho realized he needed to make a choice between a logical and an illogical path. But what exactly is logic, as he defines it?

    For Acho, logic is conventional wisdom. And conventional wisdom is any principles or procedures that the majority of society agrees are sensible.

    But how sensible are they really? Take, for instance, beauty standards throughout history. For hundreds of years, women have faced societal pressure to conform to constantly-changing ideas about what’s considered attractive. During the Italian Renaissance, for example, a beautiful woman was one with pale skin, full hips, a full chest, a rounded body, and a high forehead. Think Mona Lisa. Today, on the other hand, these things are all strikes against you.

    “Conventional wisdom” doesn’t stand the test of time, nor do its standards seem to make much sense. And yet we allow these definitions of beauty –⁠ and many other things –⁠ to run our lives. We’re constantly longing for things that somebody else has decided we should value. 

    And that’s where illogical comes into play. Acting in a way that is illogical according to conventional standards, can often mean living a life that actually makes far more sense for you. In other words, it’s about not letting your value, your success, or your greatness be determined by other people. 

    When Acho made this decision to be illogical, he decided to believe there was something more to him than everyone around him ⁠ever expected. He needed to break his old patterns and find new ones. For him, the logical path would be to stick with football –⁠ this is what everyone expected him to do. The illogical path was pursuing a career in media, a career he’d never imagined was possible for someone like him, a career he had zero experience or background in.

    Two years after Acho had been released from the Eagles, he rejoined them to celebrate the Super Bowl. But not as a player – this time he joined⁠ as a television analyst. Then, in 2020, after the murder of George Floyd, Acho received a call from the Eagles’ general manager. He knew Acho had been using his platform to speak out against racism, and the manager wanted his advice on a statement the team could release.

    The path to this point was, by no means, straightforward. Everyone around Acho felt that playing in the NFL was the opportunity of his lifetime. And giving up on that belief was hard. In order to move on, he had to start thinking and acting against other people’s logic.

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    What is Illogical about?

    Illogical (2022) is the story of how Emmanuel Acho, former pro football player turned media star, decided to take the illogical path to fulfill his potential and his dreams. Instead of following society’s rules, expectations, and constraints, he decided to break all of them –⁠ and in doing so, he became what he is today. And guess what? You can do the same.

    Illogical Review

    Illogical (2021) by Emmanuel Acho tackles the difficult topic of race and racism with clarity and thoughtfulness. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • It presents detailed explanations and numerous case studies that help readers understand the complexities of systemic racism.
    • Acho skillfully combines empirical evidence, personal experiences, and historical context to create a comprehensive narrative that fosters empathy and critical thinking.
    • The book addresses sensitive topics with candor and sensitivity, ensuring that readers stay engaged and fostering a deeper understanding of racial issues.

    Who should read Illogical?

    • Dreamers looking for advice on how to achieve their goals
    • People who want to change careers but feel nervous about taking the next step
    • Anyone feeling a little lost in life

    About the Author

    Emmanuel Acho is a former NFL linebacker who was drafted to the Cleveland Browns and later played for the Philadelphia Eagles. He retired from the sport in 2015 to pursue a career in media. He currently works as an analyst for Fox Sports 1 and hosts the YouTube series Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man. His books Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man and Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Boy were both New York Times best sellers.

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    Illogical FAQs 

    What is the main message of Illogical?

    The main message of Illogical is to question commonly held beliefs and challenge illogical thinking.

    How long does it take to read Illogical?

    The reading time for Illogical varies depending on the reader's speed. However, the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Illogical a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Illogical is a thought-provoking book that challenges our assumptions. It's definitely worth a read.

    Who is the author of Illogical?

    The author of Illogical is Emmanuel Acho.

    What to read after Illogical?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Illogical, here are some recommendations we suggest:
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