Saturday, October 19, 2013

"Daring Greatly" - Book Review

As my first book review, I am choosing Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent and Lead.  The amazing author is Brene Brown, who speaks on shame, vulnerability, courage and connection.

The book title comes from a quote by Theodore Roosevelt.  “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.  The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly… who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those who cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.” 

I love that quote.  It’s one of my all time favorites, definitely in the top five.  This book also ranks in my top five favorite books of all time – what I’d pick if I had to live the rest of my life on a deserted island (not that I could limit myself to only five books!  Perish the thought. Though I might pick "How To Build A Raft" first - thanks, Tumblr, for that bit of wisdom).


I first ran across this concept of ‘daring greatly’ while browsing online – Ms. Brown has a wonderful video up on her website link -  I am not exaggerating when I say that the concepts in this book and video changed my life in ways that I will be exploring deeper.

On page 2 of the book, she states “When we spend our lives waiting until we’re perfect or bulletproof before we walk into the arena, we ultimately sacrifice relationships and opportunities that may not be recoverable, we squander our precious time, and we turn our backs on our gifts, those unique contributions that only we can make.” 

She continues on. “Perfect and bulletproof are seductive, but they don’t exist in the human experience.  We must walk into the arena, whatever it may be – a new relationship, an important meeting, our creative process, or a difficult family conversation – with courage and the willingness to engage.  Rather than sitting on the sidelines and hurling judgment and advice, we must dare to show up and let ourselves be seen.  This is vulnerability.  This is daring greatly.”

These concepts line up remarkably well with the content of another book I am reading - If the Buddha Dated: Handbook for Finding Love on a Spiritual Path, by Charlotte Kasl, PhD.  It is all about integrity, being honest, honoring another person without needing to change or own them.  I love the synchronicity that continues to happen in my life lately.  As I am considering heading back out into the cruel world of dating, these things will be good to keep in mind, especially as I have not done this in ten years and am scared out of my mind at the very thought.  But I am NOT a "cold and timid" soul, and so fear will not stop me.

I invite you all to read Ms. Brown's amazing book.  It just might be the best $20 I'have ever spent.  It can be found online at

 I also have a link to her blog in my blogroll on the right side of my blog.  Happy reading!