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What Would You Do If You Weren't…

What Would You Do If You Weren't Afraid?: Discover a Life Filled with… (vuoden 2021 painos)

– tekijä: Michal Oshman (Tekijä)

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioKeskustelut
632,181,312 (4.67)-
Teoksen nimi:What Would You Do If You Weren't Afraid?: Discover a Life Filled with Purpose and Joy Through the Secrets of Jewish Wisdom
Kirjailijat:Michal Oshman (Tekijä)
Info:DK (2021), 256 pages
Kokoelmat:Oma kirjasto
Arvio (tähdet):*****

Teoksen tarkat tiedot

What Would You Do If You Weren't Afraid?: Inspiring Jewish ideas that will change your life (tekijä: Michal Oshman)


Kirjaudu LibraryThingiin, niin näet, pidätkö tästä kirjasta vai et.

Ei tämänhetkisiä Keskustelu-viestiketjuja tästä kirjasta.

näyttää 3/3
Please see my review on Amazon.com under C. Wong. Thank you. ( )
  Carolee888 | Jul 25, 2021 |
Thank you in advance to the Amazon Vine Program for providing a complimentary copy of the book. A positive review was definitely not required or requested in any way; all words are my own.

I originally saw this book on BookishFirst and passed on using my points to get it. After all, I don’t really do the self-help books. But, when I saw it on the Vine program, I decided to grab it. So many of the BookishFirst books have ended up on the Vine in the past few weeks.

The cover isn’t one that grabs you. It isn’t flashy. It’s simple – it’s the author, looking confident yet in some ways concerned, worried, assertive, with the title and related information. And, it is a rather short book. Most of the “text” is 224 pages. So, this isn’t a long read at all.

I was drawn in by the first page, roughly finishing it within a 24-hour period.

Oshman isn’t one of those “self-help” gurus, she isn’t a psychologist, she isn’t even a therapist. This is in fact, her first book, and at one point she admits it wasn’t her idea to write a book. What she is, is a person who has an impressive life-story:

** Three (3) years in the Israeli Army (as required)
** Worked for Danone (Dannon)
** Worked for eBay
** Worked for Facebook
** Currently employed by TikTok

Having been born in Israel, she was culturally Jewish but not practicing.

But, she’s also had anxiety since she was a child. Honestly, if I had grown up in Israel with everything she had seen – I likely would too. Her father’s occupation as the top forensic pathologist in Israel also didn’t help matters. Her anxiety was also a result of grandparents who survived the Holocaust. In fact, her grandmother jumped off a train and broke both her legs. She felt something was wrong and had to get off the train, even risking injury and death. She later learned it was heading for Auschwitz. Her parents and sister were murdered by the Nazis. In later years, she had nightmares thinking the Nazis were coming back, even instilling in young Michal that “it” could happen again.

This anxiety robbed the author of simple joys – enjoying what life had to offer and bring her. While she still functioned, it wasn’t at what some might say an enjoyable level.

While most would suggest therapy, Oshman did just that. But, she found it lacking. While not bashing therapist or their techniques, she relates her experiences with it. It was, and often is, a never-ending cycle of digging up the past. In stead of getting better, her problems were getting worse. She wasn’t moving on. Therapy, in and of itself, is unyielding in its own beliefs.

One thing that struck her was “purpose”. What is her purpose here? What is the purpose each of us have? We have origins of “self” in the bible.

What Oshman has done, is researched Jewish wisdom, and well-researched it is. She refers back to the book of Exodus and the famous leaving Egypt. In short, we will all have our versions of Egypt. We get out of it, but can’t get it out of us. The key component of Jewish wisdom, well one of them, is we will always have struggles. It is a part of life.

It is up to us to change. If you change nothing, nothing will change – another pearl of Jewish wisdom.

While the principles come from the Jewish faith, they’re not stuck to that religion per se. Even Christians or almost anyone can apply these principles in life – work, family, and even in their own “self”.

Throughout the short book, Oshman leads the reader – without preaching – through the principles. She uses real-life examples. There are quotes from famous people in this book – from Kamala Harris, Anne Frank, even Rabbis.

Some of the key highlights reference making mistakes, where we are in life, what are we needed for, accepting things might not “be”, not being afraid to fail, not comparing our lives, real conversations (even if it might be hard), being present.

Oshman’s presentation is more of a conversation with a friend than being preached to or at. She keeps it real with personal experiences and anecdotes in a vivid and detailed manner. Some of her experiences were down-right horrific. Some of the “best” advice given to her when she moved to the UK were to “straighten” her hair because men didn’t take women with curly or wavy hair seriously.

Mind you, some of this happened in the 2000’s! Other key factors – her nose (yes, a co-worker mentioned her nose and assumed she was Jewish); even her emotions (yes “feeling”) and talking with her hands cost her a promotion and a raise at a bank. The “excuse”? “This isn’t done in the UK” and a reference to her culture was made. So, there was some prejudice even then towards Jewish people. She remarks, like so many of us, we can’t be us and succeed. She however, decided to leave the job. Kudos to her!

Oshman also has advice for raising children and goals for “being”. I also learned that a mensch is a good thing, or rather a decent person. Quite simply, the principles teach us about thinking “I value …”, “I thank …”, “I appreciate …”, “I love…”.

There is a LOT of wisdom in this tiny book. And, just as she points out about Judaism being a journey – so too is this book and the wisdom.

One won’t feel enlightened overnight, but there is some enlightenment that will follow in reading it – better ways to communicate, acceptance of ourselves, and learning to be a mensch.

I am definitely glad I was able to read this book. I highly recommend it! As one of the nuggets of wisdom goes – life is not a challenge to solve, but an experience to be lived. ( )
  medwards429 | Jul 21, 2021 |
I enjoyed the conversational style of this inspiring book. The author shared her own life experiences as a corporate leader, wife, daughter, and parent throughout the book as she both revealed how she learned about the ancient wisdom and how she applied it to her own life and relationships.

Readers definitely don't need to be Jewish to appreciate the advice the author gives her readers about how to change their thinking about the world and their purpose in it. Everyone has purpose and the key to happiness is finding your purpose in life. Purpose gives us hope and something to live for. She provides thought questions at the end of each chapter for readers to consider because self reflection is the key to growth. Failing at something is only possible if you face your fears and try crossing the bridge to your life calling.

The one quote that stuck with me and gave me that "ah-ha" moment was on page 21: "I realized that the story of the Israelites' escape from Egypt isn't just a historical story about liberation from slavery. It's a story that is lived every single day. It's the human story of liberating ourselves from narrowness, from our own personal restrictions, our own self-slavery." The author asks her readers to think about what is making them fearful, causing anxiety, stopping them from finding their joy.

Overall, this is a quick and insightful book that has helped me think about my own chains as well as change the way I think about being afraid. This is not a quick fix idea, but one that is a life pursuit and will take work every day. ( )
  DanielleHammelef | May 4, 2021 |
näyttää 3/3
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