- Hardcover: 288 pages
- Publisher: Avery (September 6, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1592409490
- ISBN-13: 978-1592409495
- Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1 x 9.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 238 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,164 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Emotional Agility: Get Unstuck, Embrace Change, and Thrive in Work and Life Hardcover – September 6, 2016
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“A powerful book on embracing your core values, being more decisive, and committing to meaningful change.”
“Harvard’s Susan David—a psychologist, coach, and consultant—presents evidence that people need to understand and work with their negative emotions while not letting old patterns dominate their lives.”
“Emotional Agility is filled with advice on how to live in the moment, cultivate a healthy awareness of your emotions, learn to identify what those emotions are telling you, respond to your feelings in ways that will serve you, and recognize your inherent values and goals — not only in your personal life, but also in relationships, in the workplace, and as a parent.”
“Emotional agility is a science-based approach that allows one to navigate life’s twists and turns, stresses and setbacks with self-acceptance, clear-sightedness, and an open mind.”
“It’s one thing to feel an emotion—it’s another to gain control over it. Susan David acknowledges the benefits of sadness, anger, guilt, and fear, and then shows us how to make sure they don’t take over our lives. This is a self-help book that might actually help.”
—Adam Grant, New York Times-bestselling author of Originals
“Susan David teaches us to understand—and to communicate in—the unspoken language of emotion to better align how we feel with what we do. Essential reading.”
—Susan Cain, New York Times-bestselling author of Quiet
“In her well-researched and cutting-edge book, Susan David shows us the virtue of being both adaptive and decisive, of learning both to navigate and stay the course. At its core, her work is a powerful and persuasive call to embrace change in our everyday lives, along with the very practical roadmap to make it happen. Emotional Agility is basically the fast-track to fulfillment.”
—Claire Shipman, New York Times-bestselling coauthor of The Confidence Code
“Susan David is a leading authority on how our thoughts, emotions, and motives can empower or derail us. Her work combines compelling research, an engaging style, and practical wisdom to show people how to create meaningful change in their lives in order to thrive.”
—Peter Salovey, president, Yale University
“One of the keys to a happy life is knowing yourself. In Emotional Agility, Susan David offers us a groundbreaking way to recognize our feelings and gives us the tools we need to avoid the emotional ruts that keep us from reaching our bigger goals. This book is a revelation for anyone looking to make lasting change in their life.”
—Gretchen Rubin, New York Times-bestselling author of The Happiness Project
“The wisdom of the author’s innovative insights is only made more impressive by its practicality. Her deep understanding of psychology is matched with clear, real-world steps to more effective leadership.”
—Helen Clark, 37th Prime Minister of New Zealand
“David proves here that no one trait is more indicative of success than the ability to collaborate gracefully with your own emotions. Learning how is the difference between a fight and a dance!”
—Marshall Goldsmith, New York Times-bestselling author of Triggers
“A compelling, inspirational, and original book about how to bring out the best in ourselves. Combining robust science, practical advice, and encouraging wisdom, Emotional Agility is a must-read.”
—Pat Mitchell, Board Chair, Sundance Institute and Editorial Director, TEDWomen
“An accessible, reader-friendly voyage. Emotional Agility can be helpful to anyone.”
—Daniel Goleman, New York Times-bestselling author of Emotional Intelligence
“At a time when it’s more difficult than ever to silence the unending noise that surrounds us, along comes Emotional Agility, a practical, science-backed guide to looking inward and living intentionally. By urging us to work with – not against – our own emotions, Susan David gives us the tools we need to be more adaptable and more resilient, so that we may not only succeed but truly thrive.”
—Arianna Huffington, New York Times-bestselling author of The Sleep Revolution
“Susan David's Emotional Agility provides fresh strategies in harnessing creativity, teamwork and growth. These components can be key in making any organization a great place to work!”
–Tony Hsieh, New York Times bestselling author of Delivering Happiness and CEO of Zappos.com, Inc.
About the Author
Susan David, Ph.D., is a psychologist on the faculty of Harvard Medical School; cofounder and codirector of the Institute of Coaching at McLean Hospital; and CEO of Evidence Based Psychology, a boutique business consultancy. An in-demand speaker and advisor, David has worked with the senior leadership of hundreds of major organizations, including the United Nations, Ernst & Young, and the World Economic Forum. Her work has been featured in numerous publications, including Harvard Business Review, Time, Fast Company, and The Wall Street Journal. Originally from South Africa, she lives outside Boston with her family.
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An issue I personally have is knowing what my values are...I just simply don't know them. It would have been nice if this book gave a bit more detail as to how one might be able to figure out their values, besides trial and error and listening to their emotional feedback. I value things but don't act on them, and I'm not sure if those are still things I actually value. Maybe they're just things I'd like to value, but it'd take a super big change in character for me to act on those values and I'm not sure how to do that (this book didn't help with that). Since I'm focused on those as my values, I'm ignoring whatever the hell my real values are. But without those values in place, I don't know what I'm left with. Maybe I'm a terrible person who doesn't value much? Who knows, I don't.
Labeling emotions was a helpful exercise that I took away from this book; it's good to not place blame or judgment with how you feel and let things just *be* what they are without trying to force them into something else. That said, I read this book because I know changes need to happen in my life and while I'm not going to try to force those changes, I'm still not 100% sure how to solidly guide myself into those changes. I'm well-versed with mindfulness and I know that a big element of suffering is our human tendency to attach expectations to things, and letting go of those expectations is important. Emotional Agility touches upon this, but I felt the author could again go further in explaining how one can let go. There can be a lot of emotional trauma and history that leads one to hold onto something for dear life, even if it's hurting them to do so and they're aware of that (such as a past love that has no chance of being mended back into a relationship). But just being able to let go doesn't magically happen when you know that you should do it and why you should it (but oh, how I wish that were all it took).
If a workbook based on this book was released, that would probably be extremely helpful for people, such as myself, who are still feeling stuck. I know the actions to take but I'm still weary on how to take those actions. Even if I know what step one is, I might not know how to get to step one or act upon my motivation to get myself there. There's a missing link, a disconnect, between where I'm currently at and how to start with what I want to change and embrace to ease my daily suffering with things. This is most likely my fault, not the author's fault, but if the author was willing to put together a workbook to expand on this book, I would surely purchase it. Something to get the ball rolling and help me build up the momentum of being able to get unstuck.
This book has great ideas in it, it makes sense, it just didn't get me in a position where I could do something with that information. Still a good read, and I recommend it for anywhere looking for a place to start if they're feeling like the world is against them and they can't keep their head above water.
How does that history relate to Dr. David’s outstanding book “Emotional Agility?” Too often people would ask if this approach was just “positive thinking.” Or, they would say “… but I’ll never be a positive thinker!”
I immediately fell in love with “Emotional Agility” when in the first chapter I read quotes from Dr. Victor Frankl’s “Man’s Search for Meaning” and then on page 10, “Those that tout positive thinking are particularly off base.” Developing “emotional agility,” overcoming problems, and more importantly living a rich and fulfilling life is NOT about positive thinking but more about realistic, healthy thinking. Unlike many books, Dr. David offers specific and straightforward steps to build emotional agility based on “showing up, stepping out, walking your why, moving on, and thriving.”
Another positive “hook” for me was her encouragement for people to accept and learn from ALL emotions including “bad” emotions such as anger. Being open to such emotions can not only help us learn from them but perhaps more importantly can give direction to move from these to other emotions that can have more positive impact. She also emphasizes that there is a “right amount of stress” (p. 180) since too often people think “I shouldn’t be feeling this way …” rather than recognizing that certain “negative emotions” can in fact help reach optimal performance.
Throughout her book there are boxes with important additional information and helpful tips (e.g., page 93 offers suggestions writing and emotional processing) that make this book even more valuable.
Even though I have taught undergraduate and graduate courses on similar content, have written a self-help book related to the role of thinking, have practiced cognitive-behavior therapy for over 25 years, and more, I found this book to be personally extremely beneficial and provided me with new insights and steps to help me be emotionally agile! For me, that is the strongest endorsement of a book.
Ed Nottingham, PhD, PCC
Consulting & Clinical Psychologist
Author, It's Not As Bad As It Seems
We all have inaccurate, negative self-talk that we habitually hang onto and so strongly believe; that it limits us from honestly, and clearly seeing and experiencing ourselves, others (more often the people closest to us)and events everyday. I refer to portions of this book almost daily, to remind me how to better act and react to people and life. My wife also read it. The result of both of us having read the book is that we are now able to have better discussions, rather than reactive arguments, like we would have in the past. The first two chapters of the book are what "hooked" me, I could relate to what Susan David brought to light. In fact I will re-read those two chapters for a quick reset - because the negative self talk doesn't completely go away. It is a reset, because I am so much more in-tune with myself, that with the quick reminder I able to self-correct and get on a more productive mental track.