Bravery and Perspective

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Half of bravery is perspective. The first time I did this, it was one of the hardest things I had ever done. Now, preparing to jump off a moving train is nothing, because I have done more difficult things in the past few weeks than most people will in a lifetime. And yet none of it compares to what I am about to do in the Dauntless compound. If I survive, I will undoubtedly go on to do far more difficult things than even that, like live without a faction, something I never imagined possible.”

Divergent (Divergent Series) by Veronica Roth

Giggle Book Award: Conflict Is Fun

The Giggle Book Award goes to Baron Von Baddie and the Ice Ray Incident!

Most children’s books focus on conflict from the perspective of reducing (or eliminating) the competition or personality war that is being waged between two people. When peace is established, relationships flourish. Sometimes this an accurate scenario, and sometimes it is not.

Question Boy meets Little Miss Know-It-All by Peter Catalanotto explores the opposite perspective by illustrating the way verbal combat can start a friendship. Baron Von Baddie takes it a step further, by examining a friendship and a lifestyle built entirely around conflict.

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The story is told from the perspective of Baron Von Baddie, who is a classic evil-scientist bad guy. His nemesis is Captain Kapow, who is a standard-issue flying superhero with super-strength and a cape. The Baron accidentally captures Captain Kapow and spends about three weeks living life free from conflict and interruption. At first he loves it….and then he gets bored. Really. Bored. And stops building the robots he loves so much. So, the Baron releases Captain Kapow, which reignites his ability to design and build new robots, and gets life back to normal. In the end, both the Baron and the Captain are clearly happy with their lives.

Around my house, this book is frequently requested because of the exciting capture, the impressive number of donuts the Baron eats (until he gets sick of them), the fact that he gets board and the equally impressive way that he escapes jail (every time). So, in many ways it’s a standard super hero story.

However, it also inspires the occasional discussion about boredom and the reasons why the Baron and the Captain keep doing what they do.

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“The Baron had a stunning revelation. He missed Captain Kapow! What was the point of creating chaos if no one was trying to stop you?”

Baron Von Baddie and the Ice Ray Incident by George McClements

Labels and Human Relations

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“ If you label a woman, you then relate to her as if her identity is defined only by these names. A label reduces a person to one description whether or not she is acting that way in the moment. This makes it difficult for you or anyone else to step out of the stereotype and try on new behaviors.

Wander Woman: How High-Achieving Women Find Contentment and Direction by Marcia Reynolds

Change and Self-Concept

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“If you want to change how you relate to others and run your life, you have to first transform your concept of self. If you try to change your behavior without first transforming who you think you are, the changes will last a few days until you quit thinking about them.

Before you can control the world around you, you must first master your thoughts and behaviors. Mastery starts with clarifying and expanding your self-concept.

Wander Woman: How High-Achieving Women Find Contentment and Direction by Marcia Reynolds

Know and Protect Thyself

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“I learned one of my greatest life lessons—if you don’t know who you are, you will never be content with what you can do…

I choose my work based on what I have defined as my purpose and say “no” to everything else. When I am buried under a to-do list, I prioritize and let some things go with no guilt. My exercise and fun time can’t be compromised. These are the good days.

When your need to be regarded as the star keeps you from setting stringent boundaries, you give yourself away too easily. In the end, you burn yourself out or hold resentment for the people who took you up on your offers.

Wander Woman: How High-Achieving Women Find Contentment and Direction by Marcia Reynolds

Strong Women

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“The results demonstrate that women aren’t becoming more like men. They are becoming stronger as women.

Wander Woman: How High-Achieving Women Find Contentment and Direction by Marcia Reynolds

The Problem with Perfection

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“Being ordinary was not an option. Yet being extraordinary is an elusive goal: there is always one more thing we can do before claiming the label. For every mountain we climb, there’s another one on the horizon that must be conquered.

Wander Woman: How High-Achieving Women Find Contentment and Direction by Marcia Reynolds

Learning from Mistakes

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“Kick me down, I’ll bounce back up. But that will never happen again.

Wander Woman: How High-Achieving Women Find Contentment and Direction by Marcia Reynolds

It’s About the Challenge

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“Give me a stick and I’ll build you a bridge, unless I’ve already done that, so give me a bigger challenge or I’ll move on to something else.

Don’t do me any favors; just applaud me when I’m done.

Wander Woman: How High-Achieving Women Find Contentment and Direction by Marcia Reynolds