- Paperback: 208 pages
- Publisher: Vittorio Media Inc.; 1 edition (January 1, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1892409011
- ISBN-13: 978-1892409010
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 30 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,858,297 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Courage to be Brilliant: How Five Acts of Improvement a Day Will Make You Shine 1st Edition
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The implied caste system no doubt has a certain appeal, provided one is not among the majority of human beings. One is only brilliant if one is stellar. One telling quote from the book seems to be highly representative of the author's view of people: "Since the largest group of people live in the mediocre or inferior levels of thought, the vast majority of the impressions we are exposed to are negative. Most people come across as weak, dull, or offensive."
Most people... Those who do not rise to breathe the rarified air of superiority are not average--they are "mediocre". Monahan's superior people are (from one of her own lists)wise, inspiring, and successful. The mediocre are imitative, self-serving, and stagnant. And woe indeed to "inferior" thinkers who can only be predatory, violent and evil. Ironically, one of the author's later statements was: "We are not attractive when we speak badly of someone." No kidding.
The overall gist of the book--strive to excell, pay attention to how you interact with the world, set goals--are the bread and butter of self-improvement guides. Hoewever, any book professing to be a pull yourself up by the bootstraps guide is seriously weakened when the author seems to be sneering at the average person whose boots came from Payless or WalMart.
In my view, self-improvement is not achieved by self-satisfaction or self-congratulation; it is achieved by blooming where you are planted. Monahan's bloom is a rare orchid--beautiful and coddled by ideal conditions. It is admired and fussed over by others. Far more common--and infinitely more accessible--are the wild profusions of flowers that spring up in rocky soil along the roadways. They are varied, hardy, spirited, joyous, a celebration of life in no uncertain terms. Alas, poor daisies--they are mediocre. Monahan's overall purpose with this book has merit. But I believe many in the great field of daisies, those hoping to improve themselves in some way, will detect, as I did, a not-so-subtle undertone of snobbery. Debasing the average only serves to widen the gap between the majority and the "superior".