- Paperback: 160 pages
- Publisher: Hazelden Publishing; 1 edition (August 27, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 159285849X
- ISBN-13: 978-1592858491
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (3,432 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #92 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are Paperback – August 27, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
Brown, author or I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn't), again urges us to expose and expel our insecurities in order to have the most fulfilling life possible. Her latest is a guidebook for pilgrims on the journey to wholehearted living, which she defines as containing courage, compassion, deliberate boundaries, and connection. She has defined 10 guideposts for personal introspection, which involve cultivating some positive quality, whether it be authenticity, self-compassion, or a resilient spirit, intuition, meaningful work, or laughter. Each guidepost is the focus of a chapter that contains illustrative stories, primarily from her own life; definitions, including the difference between shame and guilt; quotes from such diverse sources as Diane Ackerman and E.E. Cummings; and brief suggestions of activities that she pursues with the assumption that they might help her audience. Although these activities are highlighted in her introduction to the book, they are in short supply and the book functions more as a chatty meditation on the guideposts. Despite occasional moments of insight, this book's primary value may be in spurring thought and providing references to other authors that will provide further inspiration for those seeking a more meaningful life. (Oct.)
Human-behavior researcher and author of I Thought It Was Just Me (2007), Brown has made a career out of studying difficult emotions such as fear and shame. In this latest book, she emphasizes that above all other ingredients of living an emotionally healthy life is the importance of loving ourselves. In the grips of what she took to be a breakdown, or midlife crisis, Brown came to understand she was experiencing a “spiritual awakening” and worked to explore its significance and the interaction of knowing and understanding yourself and loving yourself. She intersperses her own personal journey with research and clinical observations of others of the work of living a “wholehearted” life, or “engaging in our lives from a place of worthiness.” The point is to embrace life and oneself with all the imperfections, releasing the stress of overdoing and overworking. Brown offers exercises for readers to plumb their own emotions and begin to develop the kind of resilience needed to stand up to unrealistic expectations of others and ourselves. --Vanessa Bush
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Top customer reviews
Changing my mind on reading this was undoubtedly one of the best decisions I have ever made and I am a much better person for it. I don't guarantee very much, due to my skeptical nature; but, I think I can guarantee that something in this book will profoundly change you. Perhaps this was done by Dr. Brown's approach of confronting the 'things that stand in our way' of leading a 'wholehearted life'. This is important because thoughtful people need to confront these things in order to overcome them and develop not just a positive mindset; but, a *realistic* one that doesn't ignore the potentially negative cognitions that arise.
Some of my PROs and CONs follow. But, allow me to be clear: if you have just been dumped, divorced, or experienced a break-up, then I think this is a great book for you. Some other titles like to do half-baked analysis of what happened between you two. Some of those books are like your own, highly-biased pep talker ("she was all wrong for you", "you're better off, now", etc.). While well-meaning, this can weaken you going forward. They sacrifice truth and accuracy for 'feel-good' support.
Much has already been said about this book, so I've avoided a super thorough review.
-well-organized content. topics overlap somewhat (of course), but they are introduced in the form of very manageable daily 'guideposts'.
-content is qualitative research-based. I think this is the right approach, since qualitative research is well-suited to derive meaning from the experiences of people.
-writing style is down-to-earth, clear, and very humorous at times.
-the book is relatively inexpensive.
-the approach of tackling 'obstacles' of thinking that prevent wholehearted living.
-realistic expectations of the results of reading this book.
-comprehensive treatment of the elements of wholehearted living.
-the persuasiveness of pretty much every guidepost.
-for the uninitiated (read: myself), I thought that guidepost 8 wasn't as clear in defining the concept of stillness.
-umm.. I'll have to get back to you on this one.
I would like to conclude with a few things that convince me that something in this book has made profound changes. First, I grew-up with a very domineering father and reading this book has made me truly comfortable with him for the first time in my life. Second, I NEVER danced at a bar without having some 'liquid courage' to prime me. After reading, I danced several songs (badly, of course ;-) ) and truly enjoyed myself. Third, because of my balding, etc. I always felt a little too self-conscious to dare flirting with some very beautiful ladies that I've met. Not any more.
These are just a few thoughts, but I hope that they speak to someone out there.
Wholehearted living is not a onetime choice. It is a process. In fact, I believe it’s the journey of a lifetime. My goal is to bring awareness and clarity to the constellation of choices that lead to Wholeheartedness and to share what I’ve learned from many, many people who have dedicated themselves to living and loving with their whole hearts.
Before embarking on any journey, including this one, it’s important to talk about what we need to bring along. What does it take to live and love from a place of worthiness? How do we embrace imperfection? How do we cultivate what we need and let go of the things that are holding us back? The answers to all of these questions are courage, compassion, and connection—the tools we need to work our way through our journey.”
~ Brené Brown from The Gifts of Imperfection
Reading Brené Brown’s books makes you feel safe.
Well, actually, they make you feel a little freaked out (laughing) as you look into some areas you may not like to look—like vulnerability and shame—but, ultimately, they make you feel more of the three qualities she advocates (and models) so powerfully: courage, compassion, and connection. And, in the process, like you’ve come home to yourself.
And that’s awesome. :)
Her work as a shame and vulnerability researcher led her to discover people who had figured out the keys to shame resilience and what she calls Wholehearted living. (Think: half-hearted kindasorta going thru the motions vs. WHOLEhearted, all-in joyful living!)
This book walks us through the ten “guideposts” of Wholehearted living in. It’s a quick-reading, fun, inspiring and wise little book that I highly recommend.
Let’s explore some of the Big Ideas:
1. Dos and Don’ts - Of Wholehearted living.
2. Guideposts - Ten of them.
3. Practicing - Is where it’s at.
4. Ordinary Courage - Requires vulnerability.
5. A Deep Sense of Love - And belonging is required.
Here’s to doing the little things (diligently, patiently, persistently and playfully) as we cultivate courage, compassion, and connection that help us live Wholeheartedly and put our soul in a wonderfully good mood!
More goodness— including PhilosophersNotes on 300+ books in our *OPTIMIZE* membership program. Find out more at brianjohnson . me.