In this transparent, compelling memoir, a young, highly-successful black man reflects on the life he built for himself over the years, only to reach the middle of his life and realize it wasn’t a life he wanted. All his life, he’d followed the rules, excelled at all he touched, made historical strides in school and career, and gave every bit of himself to please others and be seen as “perfect.” It was a pressure-filled life that left little room for error or enjoyment. He succeeded in manufacturing a you-niverse, of which him being perfect was the center. In his mind, everything revolved around him being perfect, and without him being seen as perfect, the world would fall apart.
Carrying the weight of this responsibility on his shoulders was something he did with pride – that is, until he finally began to crumble under the weight of it. After a lifetime of painstakingly building his you-niverse, it seemingly imploded in an instant, forcing him into a period of profound self-reflection and a critical re-evaluation of what mattered most in life.
Written specifically as a letter to his own son and universally to every young person and aspiring leader, this memoir is a compilation of thoughts, lessons, entertaining stories, cautionary tales, and warnings about how to build a life centered on passion, purpose, and authenticity – a you-niverse to relish rather than one to regret.
S. DALLAS DANCE, PH.D. is an internationally renowned educator, speaker, entrepreneur, executive coach, and leadership development/strategy consultant. Numerous national awards and board appointments – from institutions including the White House and Microsoft – recognize his impact on organizational culture, vibrant leadership pathways, leveraging technology and dynamic community engagement. Dr. Dance serves as the President and Chief Executive Officer of The DDance Group, Inc., a professional services consulting practice committed to assisting clients in all industries with accomplishing their biggest goals, solving their toughest challenges, and achieving their ambitious outcomes. He is the proud father of one son, Myles Dallas Dance.