Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Wake Up and Live! by Dorthea Brande

Wake Up and Live!Wake Up and Live! by Dorthea Brande
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I picked this one up for a book club that I'm in, and I wasn't expecting what I found. First of all the turn of the century voice was a surprise. Second, the need to instruct the survivalist Depression-era generation to get disciplined was also a surprise. In my mind that is what defined them. Guess not. You learn something every day.

So for me, this was a good book, with good basic advice. The concept of the Will to Fail, at first felt heavy, but it is clear that we all have self-defeating habits and after some examination, we probably have many more than we realize. Brande promotes taking action, creating personal discipline and above all: acting as if you can not fail.

And that, I think, is what brings it all together for me. Written in 1936, failure was rampant, and the need to lift up your head and have faith in the future was huge. How we view that generation now is colored by the outcomes: we pulled together what resources we had and fought an awful war in the process. But they had to learn and find their way. And now it is our turn. I feel that if there was ever a generation that needs to learn the necessity of personal discipline, it is my generation. The theme of acting as if you cannot fail is not as important, since many of my peers feel entitled to a life of success and luxury, failures already come as a shock. Discipline would prompt hard work that might give energy to the can't fail concept. Without it, "acting like I can't fail" turns quickly into "who is going to bail me out now that I failed".