The thing that stands out about Brené Brown’s book The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are (longest book title ever?) is that she is not just following a hunch on how she expects life to be. This isn’t a self-help book based on her musings or guesses. Her book is based on the research of interviews with thousands of subjects over the course of a decade. These interviews don’t guarantee that everything she writes 100% true or the final word on the matter, but you certainly know that her approach is well-informed. After all, lots of people can be wrong, but Brown deftly finds the themes in her many interviews and draws powerful connections.
I particularly liked how Brown related the struggle in reconciling her opinions with what her research was showing her.
Everything about this research project has pushed me in ways that I never imagined. This is especially true when it comes to topics like faith, intuition, and spirituality. When the importance of intuition and faith first emerged as key patterns in Wholehearted living, I winced a bit. Once again, I felt like my good friends — logic and reason — were under attack.
Brown asserts that we should desire to live a Wholehearted life, which is a life of self-awareness, joy, and meaning. Along the way, she supplies definitions of exactly what these grand ideals that we take for granted should look like. Take, for instance, this definition of “connection.”
I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and value; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.
When reading, I like to record notes in Evernote for quotes and ideas I find especially relevant or helpful to my life, and I feel like I copied half of this book into note form. The Gifts of Imperfection really is that good.