1-Sentence-Summary: Brave will help you have the relationships, career, and everything else in life that you’ve always wanted but have been afraid to go for by teaching you how to become more courageous.
Read in: 4 minutes
Favorite quote from the author:
In August of 2011, I was sitting in a meeting when the most beautiful women I’ve ever met walked into the room. Instantly I felt butterflies in my stomach. Although there was an empty seat next to where she sat, I didn’t take the opportunity to sit by her.
Later that night I saw her again and began feeling nervous about talking to her again. This time, however, I let my bravery win and spoke with her. Now we’ve been married for seven years and have two beautiful children and another on the way!
If I hadn’t been courageous, I wouldn’t have met this amazing woman or had the guts to date and marry her. I wonder what life would have been like if I had let my fear get the best of me. Thinking small gets you nowhere, but it’s hard to be bold enough to go for what you really want in life.
That’s why I love Margie Warrell’s Brave: 50 Everyday Acts of Courage to Thrive in Work, Love and Life. This book gives some awesome tips that will have you living the life you always wanted in no time!
Here are the 3 most helpful lessons this book gave me about courage:
- Doing things you’re afraid of will make you a stronger person.
- The best way to go when you’re unsure what to do is to make an informed decision and stand by it until you have more information.
- Asking for help is not a sign of weakness, it’s what smart and courageous people do.
Ready to go skydiving? After this, you might have the courage to go for it!
Lesson 1: If you want to improve yourself and your life, do what you’re afraid of.
When her son Ben was turning 13, Margie asked him what he’d like to do for his birthday. He excitedly exclaimed “skyjumping!” This was a little scary for both of them, especially when it was time to get into the airplane!
But Ben did make the jump and Warrell noticed that it had a clear impact on his personal development. This young man became a better person because he faced his fears, and you will too. Don’t resist the things that scare you because they are important exercises for your courage muscles.
You don’t have to hop out of a plane or dive with sharks, though. Sometimes even the smallest actions of bravery can change your life dramatically. Just like working up the courage to talk to that pretty girl in college did for me!
Let’s say you’re wanting to get better at cooking and also improve your social skills. You might invite some friends over for dinner, as a start. If you’re too afraid to cook then eat out. Or if the fear of making new friends is too much, try cooking for your closest friends.
Another fear-busting tip is to notice when fear is paralyzing your ability to act. If you write it down this becomes even easier so you can improve little by little. You’ll only grow the courage to do the big scary things if you start with the small ones first.
Lesson 2: Make a decision and confidently stand by it when you’re not sure what to do and you’ll soon find the best way forward.
Where’s the best place for you to live? What should you do for work? Who do you want to spend your time with? Making decisions is a never-ending struggle.
For example, in recent years we’ve gone from most people changing jobs only a few times to most people doing so about six times!
We can’t accurately predict what is going to happen to us on any route we’re considering. And changes don’t usually happen a little at a time. It’s often a lot at once and then nothing for a while. Some jobs today didn’t even exist ten years ago, for example!
The best thing to do in these cases is to weigh your options and choose the best option with the information you have at the moment.
There’s a story of some firefighters who were on a mountain that had to make a decision about where to go. The problem was they didn’t have radio reception where they were at the moment.
After deliberating, they opted to not make any decision and stay put. Unfortunately, they later learned that if they had just moved a little bit forward from their position, they would have gotten service and learned where to go.
Usually, the best decision is having the courage to make any decision and trust that you’ll know what’s best as you move forward.
Lesson 3: Smart and courageous people ask for help, even though they’re scared to.
Warrell has a friend named Mona who learned a lot about the power of asking for help when she got cancer. She discovered that when you need support it’s vital that you open up to others to request it.
It was hard to believe in this in the beginning, though. Mona was independent and strong and believed, like most people do, that getting help is a sign of weakness. It took a little getting used to for her to let others in when she was usually the one offering aid.
This also shows another important component of the need to ask. We must see it as evidence of people’s strength, instead of looking at it as a flaw.
The people who have real courage and bravery are the ones that get help when they need it, and we as a society need to have this outlook. The vulnerability that it takes to admit you can’t do it all on your own is what truly strong people do.
After all, each of us is only human. We don’t get anywhere by denying that we need others to thrive.
What an inspiring book! I love doing things I’m afraid of, most of the time but Brave opened up many new aspects of courage that I’m excited to try out. These days we need world peace, and I think one of the best ways to get there is more people having the bravery to stand up for what’s right.
Who would I recommend the Brave summary to?
The 62-year-old who has just been diagnosed with cancer and wants to be strong, the 29-year-old who thinks they might be due for a career change but is afraid of change, and anyone who could use a little encouragement to get outside of their comfort zone to improve their lives and the world.