★★★★★ Tom Franciskovich’s Great Hunger takes its name from the Bushmen of Kalahari, who describe all of us as having two hungers inside, both of which must be satisfied. The first, the Little Hunger, refers to various everyday needs like food and shelter. The Great Hunger, however, refers to something else—a search for meaning and purpose in a world that isn’t designed to offer either of those things unless, as Franciskovich argues, you’re actively working towards them. Combining optimism with pragmatism, Great Hunger starts as an appeal, asking readers to examine whether they truly feel their Great Hunger is being satisfied. From there, it expands into a framework that will help the hardworking among us find spiritual and professional fulfillment.
Great Hunger is a self-help book written for the social media age. It addresses topics like the “discovery myth,” in which people are taught to believe that talent will eventually be recognized by some outside source, like a baseball scout or a record executive. This is an especially pernicious belief for today’s workforce, which sees similar fairy tales play out on Instagram and YouTube, where people tend to post only the most favorable and unattainable aspects of their lives; it leads people to assume that everyone else is doing something they’re not, and that their own lives would be that much easier if they could get discovered, too.
But as Franciskovich writes, people are failing now just as much as they did fifty or one hundred years ago. If you’re unhappy doing what you do—whatever it is—the best way to beat the social media malaise is to take your interactions offline and ask industry professionals to meet for coffee. There are numerous ways we can work to shore up lack of experience or gaps in employment, but none of them will come to you if you just wait for them to appear. Franciskovich puts it best: “Never forget that the harder you work, the luckier you will get.”