Home Mindfulness and Happiness The Gifts of Imperfection

Learn the key ideas of the book by Brené Brown

The Gifts of Imperfection

Accepting imperfection and learning to live wholeheartedly

Imperfection, vulnerability, and shame: what if these human characteristics were gifts? In her book, The Gifts of Imperfection, Breneé Brown teaches us to be kind to ourselves and to others, to let go of who we think we should be and to embrace who we really are. This book is so much more than a manual: these words have the power to show us the way to a life lived wholeheartedly, full of authenticity and joy.

The Gifts of Imperfection
Read in 11 min.
Listen in 14 min.
IDEA CHIAVE 1/7

“Wholehearted” living is about engaging in our lives from a place of worthiness. It means cultivating the courage, compassion and connection to wake up in the morning and think, “No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough.”

We have all been able to push ourselves, at one time or another, to take just one more step when we are already absolutely worn out. This is possible for us because we are able to activate our hidden resources, that is, the abilities and strength that we keep secret. These are the inner resources that help us to get up at the crack of dawn, that give us the strength to get on one more plane, or to write another piece of work just when we thought we had nothing left to give. Ultimately, it is a question of literally dragging yourself to walk that last mile when you are exhausted, a level of inner drive that can be so costly in terms of physical and mental health, that it should only be reserved for when we really need it. Unfortunately this extra push that we need to give ourselves every now and then is in danger of becoming the norm when we live a jam-packed existence stacked to the brim with too many expectations and stimuli.

The right way to live wholeheartedly is not to give up these resources by refusing to use them, but to learn to react differently to the requests and demands on the precious, scarce resources of our time and energy: we must learn to be discerning and selective, to give ourselves a moment to think, and regain clarity, so that we can take stock of the situation and take the appropriate steps, because sometimes we force ourselves into a routine that pushes us over the edge, and we end up suffering from having taken too much on, instead of radically changing our approach.

It is always possible to act “wholeheartedly”. Let’s look at a common example: when we find ourselves wasting time scrolling on social media while we know perfectly well that we should be working, we tend to become self-critical and often feel guilty, yet we cannot find the strength to put the phone down! We can try to look at things from a different perspective by realising that in that moment, we choose to spend some time on social media, and set ourselves a time limit before switching off and doing something else. In this way, as well as reducing our sense of guilt, we also enjoy a relaxing break from our work and when we get back to it, we will work more effectively for having taken the time away from it.

  

The key ideas of "The Gifts of Imperfection"

01.
“Wholehearted” living is about engaging in our lives from a place of worthiness. It means cultivating the courage, compassion and connection to wake up in the morning and think, “No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough.”
02.
Practising courage, compassion and deep connection means turning on that mindset and working to develop it. A wholehearted life does not require grand gestures, but slow and steady consistency
03.
Being enough: the feeling of being worthy of love and belonging simply for who we are, and not for what we think we should be, is at the heart of a peaceful life
04.
Shame is an emotion that comes from believing that you are not worthy: of the situation, of love, of a person, of the respect of your work colleagues, or of passing an exam
05.
Creativity, rest and play are almost frowned upon in a productivity-oriented society, but they are key to good physical and mental health because they stimulate the brain and allow us to achieve and maintain a state of calm
06.
Quotes
07.
Take-home message
 
 
preview.img

Try 4books Premium for free!