The Adventures of Binder-Man By Don Kuhl
It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s … Binder-Man?
The Adventures of Binder-Man and How He Changed His World (Kind Of) is a fascinating look into the life lessons learned by author Don Kuhl. In order to save his company, Kuhl invented a superhero called Binder-Man who motivated and inspired his staff as well as added a little joy to the banality of filling three-ring binders. However, the importance of Binder-Man doesn’t stop there. In this book, Kuhl’s superhero alter-ego becomes a springboard for change in his creator’s own life as well as a catalyst for meaning and lasting transformation in the lives of readers.
Each chapter of The Adventures of Binder-Man focuses on behavioral and mental changes that can bring happiness and meaning into one’s life. In this book, Kuhl shares his own personal stories of growth and understanding alongside tales of childhood heroes and even the shameless act of indulging in a daily bubble bath. In “Vern,” Kuhl reminisces about the lack of a truly connected relationship with his father, which asks readers to ponder the importance of loving and lasting relationships. “Apples” tells the story of Kuhl’s resident garage frog and the joy the hopping amphibian brings to his home, which only shows that even animals of the smallest kind can positively affect a person’s life. The chapter titled “Shut Up” acknowledges the power of truly listening instead of waiting for a chance to hurl advice at friends and family. These chapters are fueled by real life experiences and Kuhl’s witty, insightful writing keeps readers thoroughly engaged.
In addition to Kuhl’s brilliantly executed story-telling, The Adventures of Binder-Man can undeniably be considered a work of art. Vibrant colors, personal photos and beautiful—and sometimes wacky—creative photographs and floating quotes from each story fill the pages of this book. As eye-catching as it is entertaining, The Adventures of Binder-Man is certainly an adventure with every turn of the page.
Interestingly, Kuhl features some of his own journal entries in his book. Some are truly incredible, such as the tale of an old lady helping a temperamental pitbull extricate himself from the chains he has gotten twisted in. Some are serious and inspirational, like the story that begins with the quote “This craziness must end. No more clinking vodka bottles under the car seat.” Just like real life, some of the stories that Kuhl shares are not all goofy or happily-ever-after lessons learned. Some of the st
ories are painful, even tear-jerking and sometimes Kuhl asks readers, “Did I do the right thing?” This honest and straight-forward approach to many of life’s conundrums is meant to help readers identify situations within their own lives that can be changed for the better. The Adventures of Binder-Man teaches readers that learning to change one’s behavior and one’s thoughts are the keys to finding joy and living a fulfilling life.
The Adventures of Binder-Man is a book for all occasions, for all people, for all atmospheres. It is as much a coffee-table casual read as a book one could sit and mull over at the park or at the airport. It speaks to the counselor, the addict, the young, the old, the animal lover and even the “teenagers with fluorescent hair and facial piercings.” The major message that Kuhl wants readers to take away from his book is a universal one: “Live your life to the fullest, finish your responsibilities, and continue to love until the end.”
Kuhl’s company The Change Companies focuses, like this book, on behavior change. It began over twenty-four years ago with the goal of “putting the research of behavior change into the hands of the end user” and continues to spread its message of growth and positive life changes today. The Change Companies’ Interactive Journals serves about forty thousand agencies and corporations worldwide, helping over 20 million people. The purpose of The Adventures of Binder-Man is to provide even more people with useful examples of evidence-based solutions for living fuller and happier lives. More of Don Kuhl’s stories can be found on his blog called Mindful Midweek. To subscribe, visit www.changecompanies.net/subscribe.