10 Guideposts for Wholehearted Living

“Maybe stories are just data with a soul”


Being a super-cool-critical European intellectual, I must admit I have some issues with the work of Brené Brown. One part of me want to label her work on “how to love your own imperfect self, while you are daring greatly in a wholehearted way” as some kind typical American Positivism designed for already successful people, while another part of me finds her research really convincing, ground-breaking, and brave!
So; following dr. Brown’s advise on thinking twice before deciding (or as Kahneman would have put it: contacting system 2) , I end up siding with my own second thoughts: Brené Brown’s work is well worth studying!
Brown is talking a lot about Wholeheartedness, but what exactly does it mean to be wholehearted? Here is how she defines it:

The capacity to engage in our lives with authenticity, cultivate courage and compassion, and embrace — not in that self-help-book, motivational-seminar way, but really, deeply, profoundly embrace — the imperfections of who we really are.

10 Guideposts for Wholehearted Living

  1. Cultivating Authenticity: Letting Go of What People Think
  2. Cultivating Self‐Compassion: Letting Go of Perfectionism
  3. Cultivating a Resilient Spirit: Letting Go of Numbing and Powerlessness
  4. Cultivating Gratitude and Joy: Letting Go of Scarcity and Fear of the Dark
  5. Cultivating Intuition and Trusting Faith: Letting Go of the Need for Certainty
  6. Cultivating Creativity: Letting Go of Comparison
  7. Cultivating Play and Rest: Letting Go of Exhaustion as a Status Symboland Productivity as Self‐Worth
  8. Cultivating Calm and Stillness: Letting Go of Anxiety as a Lifestyle
  9. Cultivating Meaningful Work: Letting Go of Self‐Doubtand “SupposedTo”
  10. Cultivating Laughter, Song, and Dance: Letting Go of Being Cool and “Always in Control”


“Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change”




9 Comments Add yours

  1. Rio says:

    Well, not having read or heard her I should probably not comment, but, given that I never let ignorance stop me from voicing an opinion…vulnerability is the birthplace of a lot of good things but it can also be dangerous and hard to survive. It is why it is wonderful to be able to provide a safe place for it when possible. It is also important to acknowledge the results of creativity and foster an appreciation for the sometimes less than obviously practical. That will go a long way in promoting the sort of peaceful agendas that will allow vulnerability.

    1. Sigrun says:

      Brown is discussing – in detail – how many kids stop being creative. Teachers, she says, quite often introduce shame to kids by ridiculing (rashly) their art-work. When asked, very many adults remember embarrassing episodes in art classes, episodes which have led them to believe that they are incapable of being creative.

      1. Rio says:

        That is terrible. When I did the lunch time art program for my kids school we had art shows and it really was important. So much art ended up in a crumpled mess in the bottom of their back packs that I wanted the kids to learn to value their work. When it was displayed nicely and presented in a show it was impressive and helped legitimize the work to their peer, parents, teachers and themselves.

      2. So true…I saw this in my daughter’s kinder class, so we actually moved to a different school that takes a more positive, creative approach. I will do whatever it takes to not let this happen to her!!

  2. I love this list, and will print it off so I can see it … a constant reminder!

  3. sv says:

    Reblogged this on E'n'M.

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