Inspired by Circle of Pine’s #theyearinbooks and my new kindle …
This might be my year of reading life changing books!
So I came across this Ted talk through the rabbit hole that is the internet and then realised that I just had to read this speaker’s book.
Brene Brown is an academic story-teller who has been researching shame and vulnerability for over a decade. Sounds like a fun book – right? Anyway, after years of study she realised that all the “Wholehearted” people she had interviewed, those who lived full happy lives, had one thing in common. They were open to vulnerability, they were willing to open themselves up to uncertainty and be all in.
Daring Greatly, explores our fear of vulnerability, how we protect ourselves from it, the price we pay for not being vulnerable and how to own our vulnerability. It also looks at the opposite of vulnerability, shame, and how it differs from guilt.
For me the underlying message is not what would you do if you couldn’t fail, it is what would you do even if you might fail. A much more vulnerable idea but one that is certainly mind opening.
A second idea that struck me was that we live in a ‘culture of scarcity’. We are always worried if there is enough. At the societal level we ask if there are enough jobs, money, etc but on the individual level we (definitely myself included) have a constant voice saying I am not good / thin / talented enough. And I certainly say I don’t have enough time on a daily basis. For Dr Brown the opposite of scarcity is not abundance but enough, what she calls ‘wholeheartedness’ which at its core is vulnerability and worthiness.
I have to say I think I am open to trying things out and taking risks but only in some areas of my life (hey, you don’t just wake up one day and find yourself in Italy). But I know that it is not something I do with my dreams of making photography a bigger part of my life. There were some big aha moments all through this book and I definitely recommend it to everyone. This is one for the boys too as I think if we all worked some of this into our lives the world would honestly be a better place.
If you don’t have time for another book check out the ‘original’ Ted Talk and this is a great longer form talk especially for creatives on Chase Jarvis Live.
I might move onto reading some of her other books or perhaps some of the other authors she mentions. Oh so many options.
Have you read any life-changing books this year?