The Lemonade Life Book Summary - The Lemonade Life Book explained in key points
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The Lemonade Life summary

Zack Friedman

How to Fuel Success, Create Happiness, and Conquer Anything

4.5 (544 ratings)
27 mins

Brief summary

"The Lemonade Life" by Zack Friedman is a guide to living life on your own terms by embracing positivity, taking risks, and finding happiness in everyday moments. It provides practical tips and inspiring stories to help readers create their own lemonade life.

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    The Lemonade Life
    Summary of 5 key ideas

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    Key idea 1 of 5

    Changing your mindset is the first step to success.

    Imagine you have a switchboard inside of you that consists of five light switches. These switches can be turned on and off. But some of us don’t even know they’re there – never mind how to turn them on! In this Blink, you’re going to learn all about these five switches: perspective, risk, independence, self-awareness, and motion. Together, they spell PRISM. But more important than knowing what they are is knowing how to turn them on – and how to apply their wisdom in your life. 

    So, let’s begin with the very first one: changing your perspective. This is also one of the most important switches you can make. Without a good outlook on the world, you can do all the self-help exercises you want – but you’ll still be stuck. In order to change your perspective, you first need to identify the beliefs that are limiting you right now.

    There are three key types of mindsets that will keep you stuck in the Lemon Life – a life of limitation and frustration. Friedman calls them the Eternal Excusers, Steady Settlers, and Change Chasers. In the descriptions that follow, see if you identify with any of them. 

    Let’s start with the Eternal Excuser. As the name suggests, the excuser constantly blames their life circumstances on external factors. If he’s not successful as an investor, he’ll moan about the fact that the stock market is bad. If his children are misbehaving, he’ll blame their teacher for not stimulating them enough. And if he doesn’t get a job he wants, he’ll argue that it’s because he never went to a prestigious school. You get the picture. For the Eternal Excuser, there’s always a reason he can’t succeed. And that reason never has anything to do with him. Funnily enough, the excuser is also one of the sharpest critics. He loves nothing more than weighing in from the sideline, telling everybody else how to play. But he totally misses the fact that he’s not in the game at all. 

    The second kind of Lemon Lifer you’ll meet is called the Steady Settler. A Steady Settler may appear to be very successful from the outside. She’s probably stayed in the same job for years, working her way up the corporate ladder. Her Instagram posts gleam with pictures of her family at their holiday house in the Hamptons or skiing in Aspen. The problem with this picture of contentment? It’s not real. Inside, Steady Settlers are desperately unhappy. They hate their jobs but feel trapped and unable to move. That’s because they hate change. And they’re so invested in the happy image they project to the outside world that they’re scared to disrupt it by going for what they really want. So the Steady Settler stays stuck in the illusion of success. 

    The third character you’ll meet is called the Change Chaser. This type appears to be very different from the other two. Change chasers seem to be dynamic and innovative because they’re constantly going after new opportunities. But, in fact, they’re just as compliant as Steady Settlers. They keep chasing the Next Big Thing, following the herd instead of doing thorough independent research. They’re motivated by the fear of missing out and often make rash and impulsive decisions. They call themselves entrepreneurs and like to pretend they’re independent, but their hurried investments often land them in hot water and cause them to borrow more. They have no staying power because they don’t have time to build on their success – they’re already going after the next thing. 

    These three characters are all very different, but they have one thing in common: their perspectives keep them stuck in a Lemon Life. Their future looks the same as their past because they keep repeating the same old mistakes. 

    The good news is that these mindsets aren’t fixed. Human beings are dynamic. Once you have the knowledge and motivation, you can choose to make a change. You can flip the switch and adopt a new perspective – one that equips you to lead a Lemonade Life. 

    So, what exactly is this new perspective?

    The best mindset for living a Lemonade Life is called the Daring Disruptor. Like the team who turned the lemon into lemonade, Daring Disruptors think unconventionally. They’re bold and aren’t afraid to go with their intuition. They make decisions based on calculated risk. They’re also extremely curious and never assume they have all the answers. Instead, they’re passionate about learning. 

    That all sounds nice, you may be thinking, but How on earth do I apply that perspective in my own life?

    If you’ve been an Eternal Excuser for the last 30 years, it may seem impossible to make the switch to thinking like a Daring Disruptor. But you can. And the first step is to do some honest accounting. 

    Think about what you’ve gotten out of being an Eternal Excuser. After all, there must be a payoff – otherwise you wouldn’t have embraced that way of thinking. Perhaps it provided you with a sense of security because you didn’t need to take risks. Maybe it allowed you to avoid feeling vulnerable because you never had to examine your own shortcomings. Then think about how much this perspective has cost you in your life. Making excuses is comfortable, but it also takes away your power. 

    Once you’ve done your accounting, make a commitment to dropping that mindset and opening yourself up to something new. You won’t learn to be a Daring Disruptor in a day. But you can begin right now! The best time to start practicing your perspective switch is the first thing in the morning. There’s no one way to get a Daring Disruptor mindset. After all, the whole point is to be nonconformist and follow your own path. But by checking in with yourself every morning, you can set the stage for your day. Because the truth is, you have 365 chances every year to begin again, start applying fresh tools, and learn new ways of thinking. 

    So, when you wake up tomorrow, ask yourself a question that Steve Jobs always asked himself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I be happy doing what I’m doing?” If the answer is no, you need to start making a change – immediately. 

    But how do I do that, you might be wondering. Well, there’s no change that comes without risk. Luckily, the next switch you’re going to learn how to flip is about risks! 

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    What is The Lemonade Life about?

    The Lemonade Life (2019) is a hands-on guide to living life by design. It argues that most people settle for drudgery in their work, and make excuses for why things aren’t going to plan. But, in the end, the only person who can turn things around is you. If you’re willing to be authentic and bold in pursuit of your goals, you can live a life of fulfillment and adventure. The Lemonade Life demonstrates how to take practical steps to turn your dreams into reality.

    The Lemonade Life Review

    The Lemonade Life (2019) by Zack Friedman is a refreshing book that explores how to create a life filled with success, happiness, and fulfillment. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • It offers practical strategies and actionable advice to help readers transform their lives and achieve their goals.
    • By combining inspiring stories from real people, expert insights, and scientific research, the book provides a well-rounded perspective on creating a meaningful life.
    • With its engaging storytelling and relatable examples, the book keeps readers hooked, ensuring that it is far from boring.

    Who should read The Lemonade Life?

    • Entrepreneurs itching for new tools to achieve their dreams
    • Anyone who hates their job and wants to make a change but doesn’t know how
    • Lifelong learners interested in new strategies for improving their lives

    About the Author

    Zack Friedman is the founder and CEO of the online personal finance company Make Lemonade. He’s also a sought-after public speaker, and has inspired millions of readers through his contributions to publications like Forbes Magazine. Friedman holds degrees from Harvard, Columbia, Wharton and Johns Hopkins.

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    The Lemonade Life FAQs 

    What is the main message of The Lemonade Life?

    The main message of The Lemonade Life is to live a fulfilling and meaningful life by embracing change and finding opportunities in adversity.

    How long does it take to read The Lemonade Life?

    The reading time for The Lemonade Life varies, but it typically takes several hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is The Lemonade Life a good book? Is it worth reading?

    The Lemonade Life is worth reading for its inspiring stories and practical advice, offering a fresh perspective on success and personal growth.

    Who is the author of The Lemonade Life?

    The author of The Lemonade Life is Zack Friedman.

    What to read after The Lemonade Life?

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