Saturday, August 31, 2013

Daring Greatly by Brene Brown

Shame researcher Brene Brown's most recent book is called Daring Greatly. I fell hard for this one. The first thing that Brown shares about herself is that she hates being vulnerable. Me too. Unfortunately for us, vulnerability is the birthplace of creativity, innovation and trust. Brown also discovered through her research that the willingness to be vulnerable emerged as the single most important factor in living wholeheartedly.

"Wholehearted living is about engaging in our lives from a place of worthiness. It means cultivating the courage, compassion, and connection to wake up in the morning and think, No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough. It's going to bed at night thinking, Yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid, but that doesn't change the truth that I am also brave and worthy of love and belonging."

"We're hard-wired for connection -- it's what gives purpose and meaning to our lives. The absence of love, belonging and connection always leads to suffering. [...] Those who feel lovable, who love, and who experience belonging simply believe they are worthy of love and belonging. They don't have better or easier lives, they don't have fewer struggles with addiction or depression, and they haven't survived fewer traumas or bankruptcies or divorces, but in the midst of all these struggles, they have developed practices that enable them to hold on to the belief that they are worthy of love, belonging, and even joy."

I listened to three quarters of the audiobook read by Karen White [Blackstone Audio: 8.5 hr] but then switched to the paper book because of technical difficulties. Both formats are easy to digest. The text is somewhat repetitive, with lots of real-life examples to drive home the main points.

If you haven't already seen it, start with Brown's TED talk, online here. We can all benefit from a pep talk about living wholeheartedly.

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