Lessons from Tom Clancy

by James Tang (7394 views)
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Estimated reading time: 1.5 minutes

There are many great authors out there in the world and Thomas Leo Clancy Jr. or Tom Clancy was one of them. His eye for detail and superb writing skills when it came to espionage and military-esque books propelled him to fame during the 1980s and his career as a novelist took off after that. So famous was Clancy that ghostwriters would use his name in movie scripts and books concerning military subjects or even video games. But Tom Clancy was never always a novelist like some of the other writers out there such as J.K Rowling. Instead, Clancy started out working as an insurance broker back in the days.


Clancy had always had a love for lifelong military technology and was a literature student back in college. Despite joining the Army Reserve Officers Training Corps after college, Clancy could not serve due to his near-sightedness. Unfortunately, he settled for a job of an insurance agent after that and spent his free time writing novels. Much like Albert Einstein, it was during his free time at the office that he came up with his first novel, one that was highly acclaimed — The Hunt for Red October. The book was so sophisticated in nature, that even President Ronald Reagan openly praised it. So realistic was the novel that the United States military mandated some of his books as a pre-reading in the academies. After his first book, Clancy was subsequently invited to dine with admirals, generals and even presidents. Access to ships, submarines and aircrafts were given to Clancy and Pentagon officials even provided materials to Clancy for his upcoming novels.


Throughout Clancy’s lifetime, he sold more than 50 million copies of his books and even had 10 of them earn the number 1 ranking on The New York Time’s best seller. Of course, Clancy didn’t just stick to the books but ventured into other areas of entertainment. For one, he partnered with a company to create his first computer game “Politika” and even tried purchasing a football club, “The Minnesota Vikings”. Although the deal didn’t go through, it shows just how much Clancy’s zest for life was, always moving on from one venture to another, never slowing down.


Unfortunately, in October 2013, Tom Clancy passed away due to an undisclosed illness, with his co-author John Gresham attributing his death to heart problems. It wasn’t an easy life for Tom Clancy and it probably wouldn’t be one for you, so it is imperative that you must strive for something in life. Clancy found his calling with his fascination for military combined with his knowledge and skills in literature. Turning it into a career wasn’t even a conscious decision for him as he was merely doing it for his own enjoyment during his free time. If you realise that you aren’t enjoying what you are doing now, take a moment and examine your life. Perhaps there is joy in an aspect of work that you enjoy, and you should take advantage of it. Live life to its fullest and at the end of the day, don’t stress out over the things you can’t control!

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