Dare To Be You Challenges You to Live the Best Version of Your Life [Book Review]

“Is this really the best possible version of your life?” is the question that greets you when you read the blurb for Shahzad Malik’s “Dare To Be You”.

The self-proclaimed “first English self-development book in Pakistan” is a quick read at just under 120 pages. Written in a conversational manner, it weaves together anecdotes from Malik’s life, his experiences, and a range of hypothetical questions and situations to illustrate what it means to live a more authentic life and the benefits of doing so.

Split into 8 snappy chapters, each of which deal with a single core idea, it talks about the power of positivity, what it means to be happy, how to conquer our innate fears, finding your passion and purpose in life, and much more.

While the book is chockful of Malik’s personal experiences ranging from career hiccups to divorce, he also imparts a layer of authority by taking from the self-development work done across the world.

There are learnings from Stoics on how to control emotions instead of our emotions controlling us, lessons of tenacity from Edison’s 10,000 attempts to build a light bulb, the Japanese concept of Ikigai, and the teachings from the Dalai Lama.

Perhaps the central tenet of the book is the power we have as individuals to shape our lives. Malik talks about how the energy we put out in the universe is reflected back, how gratitude is the actual way to get over heartbreak, and how happiness is an innate quality that we always revert to no matter what happens in our lives.

Over the pages, Malik paints a snapshot of his life and how the very lessons he shares have helped him cope with loss and finding purpose in life. His struggles mirror those of every human being, helping to add context and an immediate applicability to the ideas being discussed.

We like the fact that this discussion doesn’t take place in a vacuum; instead, there are plenty of examples of successful people who have used the very same ideas to write award winning novels and invent things that have changed the world. Malik has done his research and tried to distill the intangibles that drive the success of some of the smartest people in the world.

The lessons are often intuitive but quite a few times far deeper.

If you’re new to the self-development movement, “Dare To Be You” is an approachable and snappy book that provides an excellent introduction. It forces you to question your life, what you stand for, what you want to stand for, what makes you you, and what you could be if you dared to truly be yourself.

You can order the book at its site for Rs. 495. The collector’s box costs Rs. 3000.

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