I planned to like Dare, Dream, Do: Remarkable Things Happen When You Dare to Dream because I read about it on Gretchen Rubin’s blog, and several other people of note also wrote superlative cover blurbs. It’s a book about the unique challenges women face in identifying and achieving their dreams. Work life balance! And yet, every time I saw it lying in wait for me, I thought….
I’m kind of over it with books based on blogs, wherein the author cobbles together some old blog posts with a couple of sentences of filler in between. There are lots of limits to the blog post genre when it comes to deep thinking, and books made from blog posts tend to make that even more painfully clear. But this book takes it to another level by using posts not by the author, but by other people. And then the author sort of strung the posts together with asides and reiterations and strained use of Greek myth. (Example: “To make our dreams happen, we sometimes need an eagle, an eagle who has skills, connections, or knowledge that we need but currently don’t have.”)
I got into one of those Catch-22 situations where you’ve read so many pages of a book that you can’t decide to quit or not. One minute I’d think, “Gee, so many semi-famous people blurbed this book and called the writing important and whatnot, surely I’ll get to the good stuff soon.” Then the next minute I’d think, “I am wasting my life.” I do read a lot, but I try to make it worthwhile, just on principle.
Finally I decided to press ahead just in case and I did actually glean a good insight from one of the final essays. The writer noted that in life we have a tendency to adopt other people’s scripts for our identities, like falling into the “frazzled mother of four” persona when really we can kind of handle a lot, or trying to be Supermom when actually we’re so tired we can barely spit. If we wanted to spit, if that was good manners, which it isn’t. The actual essay didn’t mention Supermom or spit, that was just my personal application. But you get the drift.
I also gained some insight from an essay that advised taking note when you feel defensive about a dream, because being so protective and afraid of failure probably indicates that if you took the risk and tried it, you’d be passionate about it enough to succeed. This encouraged the little sprite who sits on my shoulder and tells me to work on my novel rather than scanning Facebook.
While it wasn’t a total loss, and I really did want to like it, I have to tell y’all that I can’t really recommend this book. It wasn’t deep enough or ground breaking enough or helpful enough to make it worth the time. However, if you do want a kickstart in getting to your dreams, or if you should happen to feel a pressing need for an eagle with skills, Dare, Dream, Do might be just the thing.
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