Daring Greatly, by Dr. Brene Brown

This quote by Theodore Roosevelt forms the basis for most of Brown’s book:


“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 errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly” -Theodore Roosevelt


She states that “courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.”


Brene Brown focuses on the concept of “scarcity.” This section from Lynne Twist’s The Soul of Money describes how this affects a lot of us:


“For me, and for many of us, our first waking thought of the day is ‘I didn’t get enough sleep.’ The next one is ‘I don’t have enough time.’ Whether true or not, that thought of not enough occurs to us automatically before we even think to question or examine it. We spend most of the hours and the days of our lives hearing, explaining, complaining, or worry about what we don’t have enough of…Before we even sit up in bed, before our feet touch the floor, we’re already inadequate, already behind, already losing, already lacking something. And by the time we go to bed at night, our minds are racing with a litany of what we didn’t get, or didn’t get done, that day. We go to sleep burdened by those thoughts and wake up to that reverie of lack…”


Make the journey from “What will people think?” to “I am enough.”


However there are often “shame tapes” — those tapes of self-doubt and self-criticism that play in our heads, inhibiting us from greatness, from everything.


Here are some moves she recommends to be more resilient to shame:


  1. “Practice courage and reach out! Yes, I want to hide, but the way to fight shame and to honor who we are is by sharing our experience with someone who has earned the right to hear it – someone who loves us, not despite our vulnerabilities, but because of them.”
  2. “Talk to myself the way I would talk to someone I really love and whom I’m trying to comfort in the midst of a meltdown: You’re okay. You’re human – we all make mistakes. I’ve got your back. Normally during a shame attack we talk to ourselves in ways we would NEVER talk to people we love and respect.”
  3. “Own the story! Don’t bury it and let it fester or define me. I often say this aloud: ‘If you own this story you get to write the ending.’ When we bury the story we forever stay the subject of the story. If we own the story we get to narrate the ending. As Carl Jung said, ‘I am not what has happened to me. I am what I choose to become.'”


She mentions research shows we tend to judge people in the same areas where we’re most vulnerable. For example, if she feels good about her parenting, she has no interest in judging other people’s choices.  Or, if she feels good about her body, she doesn’t make fun of other people’s weight.  This can be considered a survival mechanism, making ourselves feel better about our sensitive areas.


She talks about how damaging shame can be when perpetrated in an organization. “Shame can only rise so far in any system before people disengage to protect themselves. When we’re disengaged, we don’t show up, we don’t contribute, and we stop caring.”


In parenting, or any sort of leadership role, she explains how we shouldn’t expect to have it all “figured out”, that we are learning and exploring together as we go.


“Sometimes the bravest and most important thing you can do is just show up.”

Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness, by William Styron

I rated this book two stars. While it was therapeutic to read about William Styron’s (author of “Sophie’s Choice”) experience with depression, I would have wished for more on his recovery. Instead, the focus was on his illness and suicidal thoughts. Depression is dark enough. I think the reader could benefit from a more positive outlook with more description on overcoming it.

Hawaii Five-0 – Danny needs to think positively!

Hawaii Five-0

Ku I Ka Pili Koko S4 Ep19

In this episode of Hawaii Five-o, Danny admits his negative thinking blocks him from happiness. Steve listens and gives him a challenge…

Watch the episode here!

Steve: Fear is a state of mind, Danny, OK? You’ve got to fight through it.

Danny: I disagree. I think that fear is actually your friend. It tells you when you’re supposed to avoid a situation. But you never listen to it. That is why we’re here in the first place.

Steve: That would be a compelling argument my friend, if you weren’t afraid of absolutely everything. This morning, you had your mental breakdown cause your girlfriend met your kid. It doesn’t matter what the situation is for you, you gravitate to the worst possible outcome.

Danny: Once again I’m proven right. We never should have gone into this situation blind in the first place.

Steve: You alright?

Danny: No, I’m not alright.

Steve: Listen, I’m sorry OK, please relax.


Danny: It’s not in my DNA to be happy.

Steve: I didn’t mean that, it’s not what I meant.

Danny: No, I’m officially agreeing with you. There’s something wrong with the way that I’m built. I can’t just enjoy happiness like regular people, you know?

Steve: You don’t think you’re being a little hard on yourself?

Danny: No, I don’t. When I was a kid, my parents would go out to eat dinner. If they were late coming home I used to imagine they died in a car wreck just cause they were 15 minutes late. I used to talk to God and beg him, I’d say “Please take my dad, not my mom” cause I couldn’t live without my mom. I mean everytime something good happens in my life, I think of when it’s going to end. That’s all I can think about.

Steve: For real?

Danny: Yeah.

Steve: That’s not normal.

Danny: I know it’s not normal. Listen to this. My wedding day, I’m looking at Rachel, just about to say “I do”. All I can see is the day she’s going to serve the divorce papers. No joke. I don’t know, the only happiness I’ve felt in my life so far is Grace. And it’s just a matter of time before she turns 18 and she’s out the door and she marries some schmuck, I don’t know.

Steve: You gotta change, man. You can’t live like that.

Danny: I’d like very much to change but it’s not so simple.

Steve: You can, alright? Start small. Instead of pushing her away, like you always do – fixated on how she’s gonna break your heart, destroy your life – bring her in, bring her closer.

Danny: I’ll give it a shot.