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From the Publisher
"Enhanced with motivational stories, expert advice, and hands-on exercises, this courage guidebook will help you turn apprehension into action to reap the many benefits of living your life with confidence."
—New Thought Magazine
"This is an excellent pick me up book. Feeling down? Need a little push to help you get your life started in the direction you’d like to go? What Would You Do If You Knew You Could Not Fail?"
"Don’t wait another minute—this book could change your life."
"The authors share personal stories, expert advice, exercises and more in this delicious little book as way to teach us how to live every day of our lives with confidence."
—My So-Called Sensory Life
"Enhanced with motivational stories, expert advice, and hands-on exercises, this courage guidebook helps readers turn apprehension into action to reap the many benefits of living your life with confidence."
"This book is jam-packed full of great information, inspiration, and key steps to take if you need a huge dose of courage to move forward."
—Over 50 Feeling 40
"The stories of courage within the book really touched me and only proved that nothing is impossible."
"Whether you know it or not, you are a brave person.
You may not feel like it, but the fact is, you've used courage throughout your life to survive tough times. If you lacked the ability to be brave, you would never have survived to be where you are now.
What's more, your existence today was made possible by a long line of brave people who came before you and surround you now—your ancestors, your teachers; the people who built the community where you live, and those who have protected it and made it a place worth living in. Your courage, in other words, isn't yours alone. It's part of a long tradition, handed down through generations: A quality that sustains not just you, but the people who will come after you as well.
In this book, Nina Lesowitz and Mary Beth Sammons recount the stories of some of these people, men and women whose courage has kept them going, gotten them to new places, and made a difference for others. In these pages, you'll meet everyday heroes who have suffered loss, grief, and unexpected life changes, and you'll read about how each of them dug down deep, found the courage within themselves, and brought it to the surface of their lives where it could shine.
I've written about my own journey toward fearlessness in my memoir, Smile at Strangers, and Other Lessons in the Art of Living Fearlessly, and in my online column at McSweeney's Internet Tendency. Many of the lessons I've learned through my training as a self defense instructor and martial artist are echoed in Nina and Mary Beth's book: Do your homework. Master a skill. Explore. Leave your comfort zone. Change the way you think. Surround yourself with supportive people. Find role models. Focus on the present. But above all, do something—take charge of your fear and control your own destiny.
The advice you'll find in this book is practical, and simple—though it's not always easy. But I can bear witness to the fact that it transforms lives. Every time I teach a karate class or a self defense workshop, I see people learning these same truths: Believe in yourself. Don't give up. Fight for what you believe in. I've watched men and women work through bad experiences they've had in the past, and find ways to take charge of their future. I've come to realize that human beings are brave every day; it comes naturally to us, when we let it—when we believe it's possible.
So perhaps the most important message the stories in this book have to impart is this: Courage is within reach for all of us. It's a quality we can cultivate and nurture. We can study it and analyze it, and we can practice it, step by step, along all the paths in our life. In these pages you'll hear how men and women just like you and me have taken the small, repeated steps that add up to a courageous life. Nina and Mary Beth have given us a map so we may follow in their footsteps."
Susan Schorn, author of McSweeney's Columnist
"Thank you to Nina Lesowitz and Mary Beth Sammons for putting this wonderful literary project together which is sure to have a long-lasting positive impact upon many."
Alexis Moore, Sacramento Abusive Relationships Examiner
"Features stories of ordinary people who have found extraordinary ways to tap into the fortitude within."
My Breast Cancer Blog
"The people and the stories are uplifting, inspirational reminders that life can be lived richly."
Rita Watson, National Love and Relationships Examiner
"Lesowitz and Sammons illustrate to their readers that the potential for courage is not only applicable to fictional heroes."
"As the book progresses, you will find yourself overwhelmed with positive feelings." — Evan Karp, San Francisco Literary Culture Examiner for Examiner.com, for Living Life as a Thank You
“What Would You Do If You Knew You Could Not Fail?" is a book I intend to keep by my bedside when I need to be reminded of all the people in the world who have exhibited extraordinary acts of bravery when faced with the every day trial of life. It's impossible to feel alone when you read this book—you cannot help but be inspired.”
— Lee Woodruff, author of Perfectly Imperfect: A Life in Progress, and life and family contributor for “Good Morning America” on ABC-TV
"A marvelous book of inspiration and instruction, with stories of real-life people living lives of courage, as well as a variety of tips, tools, and reminders on 'how to life live with true power.'" — BJ Gallagher, Huffpost Books
"This book is very uplifting not only because you can read about how real people persevere, but it also makes you quite grateful for the blessings you have in your life." — Cake Mom
"Lesowitz and Sammons demonstrate through life stories, quotes, and tool kits that gratitude can be the key to kicking an addiction, healing the planet, or just staying sane in a traffic jam. A particularly poignant chapter discusses how to find grace and wisdom in good-byes. This compelling book goes beyond Random Acts of Kindness but inspires the same hope and motivation for good. Buy two copies: one for the library and another for yourself." — From a starred review of Living Life as a Thank You in Library Journal
"I thoroughly enjoyed this book, its honesty gave me the courage and the strength that I needed to get through some tough times. It helps you see the light when you're feeling lost or discouraged about something."
"By sharing stories of extraordinary people who felt fear, but took action anyway, Lesowitz and Sammons have provided a guide for all of us to navigate our own path to living courageously—to face and transform our fears so that we can relax and reach deep within to find hope and opportunity in life's challenges"
—Susannah Kent, Vitality Magazine
"For those who think they cannot change their lives, these stories will provide encouragement and hope"
—Monica Carter, forwardreviews.com
"A handy, compact book whose size belies the big impact its many stories hold within"
—Portland Book Review