Long-time followers of my writing know that I consider relationships the key to life.
The next question is “What’s the key to relationships?” Author Brené Brown recently added to her string of books on vulnerability with the book we focus on today. Read on for the link to the book, and see how solid relationships require 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.”
– Quote from Theodore Roosevelt
Many people consider vulnerability to be a sign of weakness. As Teddy Roosevelt tells us in the quotation cited above, it’s anything but! In fact, making yourself vulnerable is perhaps the greatest indication of courage.
Certainly, vulnerability can be at the root of much heartache – fear, grief, disappointment, etc. However, it is also the source of love, belonging, joy, creativity, and other signs of a happy, well-grounded person. Brené Brown has written several books about vulnerability. Her latest is titled Daring Greatly.
Brown examines vulnerability as it relates to parenting, work relationships, and interactions among people on the street and in life. She comments that people often lament the sorry state of customer service. She laments the sorry state of customer behavior!
We’ve all seen the restaurant patron who violently berates a waitress because her steak was not cooked to her liking. Or the guy at the airline counter railing at the agent because he can’t get the seat he wants. And worse, all this is done with no eye contact.
Brown writes, “When we shut ourselves off from vulnerability, we distance ourselves from the experiences that bring purpose and meaning to our lives.” Watch a group of, usually young, people sitting in a social situation. More than half of them are likely on their phones, paying no attention whatever to the live friends sitting next to them. While I made this comment about young people, more mature people can certainly be guilty of this as well.
One of her great observations is that a sense of sufficiency, rather than abundance, is the antidote to a scarcity mindset. Even though we strive to improve and do more busness, we must see that where we are is enough for now.
So, if you want more joy and happiness in your life, and better relationships with everyone:
Read Brené Brown’s Daring Greatly!