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Recommended Reads – Week 6 2019

Daring Greatly.  How the Courage to be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent and Lead by Brene Brown

From thought leader Brené Brown, a transformative new vision for the way we lead, love, work, parent, and educate that teaches us the power of vulnerability.

“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 worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.”—Theodore Roosevelt

Every day we experience the uncertainty, risks, and emotional exposure that define what it means to be vulnerable or to dare greatly. Based on twelve years of pioneering research, Brené Brown PhD, LMSW, dispels the cultural myth that vulnerability is weakness and argues that it is, in truth, our most accurate measure of courage.

Brown explains how vulnerability is both the core of difficult emotions like fear, grief, and disappointment, and the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, empathy, innovation, and creativity. She writes: “When we shut ourselves off from vulnerability, we distance ourselves from the experiences that bring purpose and meaning to our lives.”

Daring Greatly is not about winning or losing. It’s about courage. In a world where “never enough” dominates and feeling afraid has become second nature, vulnerability is subversive.

ncomfortable. It’s even a little dangerous at times. And, without question, putting ourselves out there means there’s a far greater risk of getting criticized or feeling hurt. But when we step back and examine our lives, we will find that nothing is as uncomfortable, dangerous, and hurtful as standing on the outside of our lives looking in and wondering what it would be like if we had the courage to step into the arena—whether it’s a new relationship, an important meeting, the creative process, or a difficult family conversation. Daring Greatly is a practice and a powerful new vision for letting ourselves be seen.


Taking the Work out of Networking by Karen Wickre

The former Google executive, editorial director of Twitter and self-described introvert offers networking advice for anyone who has ever cancelled a coffee date due to social anxiety—about how to nurture a vibrant circle of reliable contacts without leaving your comfort zone.

Networking has garnered a reputation as a sort of necessary evil in the modern business world. Some do relish the opportunity to boldly work the room, introduce themselves to strangers, and find common career ground—but for many others, the experience is often awkward, or even terrifying.

The common networking advice for introverts are variations on the theme of overcoming or “fixing” their quiet tendencies. But Karen Wickre is a self-described introvert who has worked in Silicon Valley for 30 years. She shows you to embrace your true nature to create sustainable connections that can be called upon for you to get—and give—career assistance, advice, introductions, and lasting connections.

Karen’s “embrace your quiet side” approach is for anyone who finds themselves shying away from traditional networking activities, or for those who would rather be curled up with a good book on a Friday night than out at a party. For example, if you’re anxious about that big professional mixer full of people you don’t know, she advises you to consider skipping it (many of these are not productive), and instead set up an intimate, one-on-one coffee date. She shows how to truly make the most out of social media to sustain what she calls “the loose touch habit” to build your own brain trust to last a lifetime.

With compelling arguments and creative strategies, this new way to network is perfect not only for introverts, but for anyone who wants for a less conventional approach to get ahead in today’s job market.


Joyful.  The Surprising Power of Ordinary Things to Create Extraordinary Happiness by Ingrid Fetell Lee

Designer and TED star Ingrid Fetell Lee presents groundbreaking research to explain how making small changes to your surroundings can create extraordinary happiness in your life.

Have you ever wondered why we stop to watch the orange glow that arrives before sunset, or why we flock to see cherry blossoms bloom in spring? Is there a reason that people — regardless of gender, age, culture, or ethnicity — are mesmerized by baby animals, and can’t help but smile when they see a burst of confetti or a cluster of colorful balloons.

We are often made to feel that the physical world has little or no impact on our inner joy. Increasingly, experts urge us to find balance and calm by looking inward — through mindfulness or meditation — and muting the outside world. But what if the natural vibrancy of our surroundings is actually our most renewable and easily accessible source of joy?

In Joyful, designer Ingrid Fetell Lee explores how the seemingly mundane spaces and objects we interact with every day have surprising and powerful effects on our mood. Drawing on insights from neuroscience and psychology, she explains why one setting makes us feel anxious or competitive, while another fosters acceptance and delight — and, most importantly, she reveals how we can harness the power of our surroundings to live fuller, healthier, and truly joyful lives.


How to Live Forever.  The  Enduring  Power of Connecting the Generations by Marc Freedman

In How to Live Forever, Encore.org founder and CEO Marc Freedman tells the story of his thirty-year quest to answer some of contemporary life’s most urgent questions: With so many living so much longer, what is the meaning of the increasing years beyond 50? How can a society with more older people than younger ones thrive? How do we find happiness when we know life is long and time is short?

In a poignant book that defies categorization, Freedman finds insights by exploring purpose and generativity, digging into the drive for longevity and the perils of age segregation, and talking to social innovators across the globe bringing the generations together for mutual benefit. He finds wisdom in stories from young and old, featuring ordinary people and icons like jazz great Clark Terry and basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

But the answers also come from stories of Freedman’s own mentors-a sawmill worker turned surrogate grandparent, a university administrator who served as Einstein’s driver, a cabinet secretary who won the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and the gym teacher who was Freedman’s father.

How to Live Forever is a deeply personal call to find fulfillment and happiness in our longer lives by connecting with the next generation and forging a legacy of love that lives beyond us.

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