Book Freak 136: How to Live Boldly

Four pieces of advice from Luvvie Ajayi Jones' "Professional Troublemaker"

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Book Freak is a newsletter with mental tools you can use to improve the quality of your life and the lives of others. In this issue: four pieces of advice from Professional Troublemaker by Luvvie Ajayi Jones.

Recognize the difference between niceness and kindness

“People have niceness and kindness mixed up. Niceness might mean saying positive things. But kindness is doing positive things: being thoughtful and considerate, prioritizing people’s humanity over everything else.”

How to deliver a difficult message

I ask myself three questions before I say something that might shake the table. Do you mean it? Is this thing something I actually believe? Can you defend it? Being the challenger, I also have to be okay with being questioned and prodded. My ideas need to be explored deeper. Can I stand in it and justify it? Do I have receipts? Can you say it thoughtfully or with love? Is my intention good here? I might think I am righteous in my indignation or in my questioning, but am I saying it thoughtfully or with love? No matter how righteous it feels, no matter how true it might feel, if I say this thing in a way that’s hateful or that makes people feel demeaned or less than, the message will not land.”

See through the darkness of fear to the other side

“I am not fearless. But I’ve learned to start pushing past fear because oftentimes, the fear itself is scarier than whatever is on the other side. It’s like being afraid to walk through a dark hallway. If you close your eyes and run through it, you’ll be okay. And you’ll look back and say, ‘That wasn’t that bad.’”

Ask for more

“Do not force yourself to want less to appease other people. Do not dumb down your needs so you won’t want to ask for more. You want what you want. Ask for it. A NO will not kill you. Ask for more, because if the fear of disappointment stops you from going for what you want, then you are choosing failure in advance. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. If we don’t think that we should ask for the thing we want, whether it’s a promotion from our boss, or more acts of service from our partner, or more attention from our friends, then we are opting for the NO, instead of trying for a YES. If we get the NO, we are still in the same place we are, losing nothing. But what if we got the YES, which would lead us closer to where we want to be?”


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