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Belong: Find Your People, Create Community, and Live a More Connected Life

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It’s the great paradox of the digital age, what Radha Agrawal calls “community confusion”—the internet connects us to hundreds, thousands, even millions of people, and yet we feel more isolated than ever, with 1 in 4 Americans saying they have zero friends to confide in. Where are our people? The answer is found in Belong , a highly energetic and beautifully illustrated It’s the great paradox of the digital age, what Radha Agrawal calls “community confusion”—the internet connects us to hundreds, thousands, even millions of people, and yet we feel more isolated than ever, with 1 in 4 Americans saying they have zero friends to confide in. Where are our people? The answer is found in Belong , a highly energetic and beautifully illustrated guide to discovering where and with whom you fit.             After suffering her own bout of community confusion, Agrawal embarked on a journey that ultimately resulted in cofounding Daybreaker, a transformative phenomenon where thousands of people get up at the crack of dawn, meet in event spaces in 22 cities around the world, and dance. Now she’s distilled her experience for finding meaningful connections into a two-step process. The first step is GOING IN.  This includes determining what we want in a friend and community and what we offer, becoming intentional about our relationships, gauging the type of energy we emit and respond to, and understanding how we do—or don’t—show up for others. Then comes GOING OUT—how to find a few special friends who feed our soul; or how to find a fully engaged group with similar business, artistic, and social aims; or both.             Connectedness is the most significant factor in human happiness— Belong is a creative blueprint for bringing this most important dimension back into our lives.


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It’s the great paradox of the digital age, what Radha Agrawal calls “community confusion”—the internet connects us to hundreds, thousands, even millions of people, and yet we feel more isolated than ever, with 1 in 4 Americans saying they have zero friends to confide in. Where are our people? The answer is found in Belong , a highly energetic and beautifully illustrated It’s the great paradox of the digital age, what Radha Agrawal calls “community confusion”—the internet connects us to hundreds, thousands, even millions of people, and yet we feel more isolated than ever, with 1 in 4 Americans saying they have zero friends to confide in. Where are our people? The answer is found in Belong , a highly energetic and beautifully illustrated guide to discovering where and with whom you fit.             After suffering her own bout of community confusion, Agrawal embarked on a journey that ultimately resulted in cofounding Daybreaker, a transformative phenomenon where thousands of people get up at the crack of dawn, meet in event spaces in 22 cities around the world, and dance. Now she’s distilled her experience for finding meaningful connections into a two-step process. The first step is GOING IN.  This includes determining what we want in a friend and community and what we offer, becoming intentional about our relationships, gauging the type of energy we emit and respond to, and understanding how we do—or don’t—show up for others. Then comes GOING OUT—how to find a few special friends who feed our soul; or how to find a fully engaged group with similar business, artistic, and social aims; or both.             Connectedness is the most significant factor in human happiness— Belong is a creative blueprint for bringing this most important dimension back into our lives.

30 review for Belong: Find Your People, Create Community, and Live a More Connected Life

  1. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    Radha offers some great tips on building a community that you want to be part of. Thinking this way about friendships seems revolutionary. First, you need to identify the kind of people you want to hang out with and think about how you can be better friend to those people. She also has some pro tips such as: when you hang out with someone you want to cultivate a friendship with, be sure to schedule your next meeting then and there. I also liked her chapter urging everyone to "show up." It's true Radha offers some great tips on building a community that you want to be part of. Thinking this way about friendships seems revolutionary. First, you need to identify the kind of people you want to hang out with and think about how you can be better friend to those people. She also has some pro tips such as: when you hang out with someone you want to cultivate a friendship with, be sure to schedule your next meeting then and there. I also liked her chapter urging everyone to "show up." It's true! If you want to feel like you are part of a community or a group of friends you need to keep meeting up with them and putting your energy into that group. I've noticed at this phase in my life, with a husband and children, that often don't have the time to allocate toward cultivating a great female friendship. This book is a great reminder that these relationships are important--even necessary--for a full life.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Helen

    2.5 stars In the spirit of this book, I am making acronyms for every point I want to make. So, TWC...This Was Crap. Written by a 30-something big city dwelling social media professional, it was not what I expected. Nor what applies to me (even the few pages on Master Citizens, which btw is a TUP...totally unneeded phrase. We are Senior Citizens...not thing wrong with that.) I think a lot of the problems we are facing today is that...no one is "facing" anyone. A community is defined as: a social gr 2.5 stars In the spirit of this book, I am making acronyms for every point I want to make. So, TWC...This Was Crap. Written by a 30-something big city dwelling social media professional, it was not what I expected. Nor what applies to me (even the few pages on Master Citizens, which btw is a TUP...totally unneeded phrase. We are Senior Citizens...not thing wrong with that.) I think a lot of the problems we are facing today is that...no one is "facing" anyone. A community is defined as: a social group of any size whose members reside in a specific locality, share government, and often have a common cultural and historical heritage. I was looking for this larger spirit of community...not a social network of like minded, same aged, similar experienced individuals...that can have dinner together occasionally. I found the book "This is Where You Belong" by Melody Warnick to be more what I was looking for...well researched and well written. This book is annoying in its format and in its description. I've now wasted way TMT on this.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    This book is not what I expected. I'm not sure what I expected, to be fair, but it wasn't this. I think I was expecting another "we live behind our screens and we're the most lonely generation" type book, with the added point of "it's hard to make new friends as adults because we're not in school anymore." This book was kind of that, but not really. The first chapter irritated me to the extent that I almost gave up. Every page had a different font, font size, color, shape of the text, etc., and i This book is not what I expected. I'm not sure what I expected, to be fair, but it wasn't this. I think I was expecting another "we live behind our screens and we're the most lonely generation" type book, with the added point of "it's hard to make new friends as adults because we're not in school anymore." This book was kind of that, but not really. The first chapter irritated me to the extent that I almost gave up. Every page had a different font, font size, color, shape of the text, etc., and it was too ADD for my taste. Then Agrawal decided to rewrite Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs (and name it after herself), which irked me. It was extremely off-putting and honestly made me think she's a giant egotist, especially given that the book continually talks about how successful she's been at launching a bunch of new ventures. I still think that at the end of the book, especially because the last page is "oh btw, I'm launching an online community" (which I'm sure costs money). The completely schizophrenic text issues died down a bit in later chapters, much to my relief. However, she continued to bug me. She gives gimmicky names to literally everything, that even though I read it in less than a week, by the end I couldn't remember what "FYF" or any of the other 43 cutesy names she gave to archetypes of people. It was way too "woo woo" in that way. Even putting the visual annoyances and weird acronyms aside, the content of this books was confusing. I don't think it knew what it was supposed to be. Some chapters really felt like they were more about friend circles, while others really only applied to someone wanting to create an organization. On top of that, none of the advice she gave was profound. It was legitimately just common sense. Overall, it was very shallow, as it didn't really delve into any of the three things the title mentions beyond a very superficial overview of anything you could find in a Medium article. I'm still giving it 2 stars, because I was able to finish it, and maybe it might be beneficial for someone who is less snarky and cynical than I am. But for me, this is a hard pass. Thank you to Netgalley for the eARC.

  4. 5 out of 5

    TeaAndBooks

    Such a true and beautiful book with raw facts and life experiences that offer a chance for the reader to discover way it truly means to belong. Full review to come!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Ryan

    So chipper. So positive. So many exclamation points. So much self promotion.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jess Lomas

    3-3.5 I can't quite decide. I don't usually write reviews for books I read on here however I picked this book up at Book Expo and figured a review was worth writing in exchange for the ARC. The first line of the blurb sucked me in: "It's the great paradox of the digital age - the internet connects us to countless numbers of people, and yet we feel more isolated than ever." What I liked about this book: Practical advice about how to seek out new people and communities, mostly stemming from identi 3-3.5 I can't quite decide. I don't usually write reviews for books I read on here however I picked this book up at Book Expo and figured a review was worth writing in exchange for the ARC. The first line of the blurb sucked me in: "It's the great paradox of the digital age - the internet connects us to countless numbers of people, and yet we feel more isolated than ever." What I liked about this book: Practical advice about how to seek out new people and communities, mostly stemming from identifying who you really are, what you enjoy doing etc and following these activities to meet people. It's not overly original but the way it's written makes you often feel as though you're just thinking of these things for the first time. Beautiful illustrations throughout to enhance the words, explain ideas further, make the book pretty! A thoughtful exploration of friendships, society and personal habits. There were a lot of moments in the book that set my mind off on a tangent, resulting in notes and Google searches being made. This is definitely a book to dip into time and again, I'm sure there's much more to unpack in these pages than the first read has given me. What I didn't like: For me, and it's purely my personal taste, there was too much talk of energies and watering things down to our energy or energies and how these connect or clash with other people's energies. I think there can be much more to it than that and by the end, constantly reading about energies felt a bit airy-fairy. I wanted some more in depth discussion or exploration of society, technology, social media etc. I find this area fascinating and obviously this wasn't the intention of the book - the book is much more accessible for a wider audience, a fairly quick read with illustrations throughout, but I wanted to sink my teeth in a bit. I also feel like it didn't specifically address a particular generation, this can be a positive i.e. mass appeal, yet I think some sections drilling down into social media/technology's impact on different ages could be worthwhile. All this is to say, at times I identified heavily with what I was reading then the book would drift off into generalities. Overall worthwhile reading!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kayla

    This book has several issues, too many acronyms and cutesy names for everything , it was confusing. Secondly I thought this book would be a kind of self help guide for social anxiety issues. Her remedy for this is exercise and getting up early, instead of you know maybe actual therapy and maybe medication. Most of this book is just her promoting Daybreakers, her morning dance/rave company 🙄. I’d rather hurl than dance at 5am with anyone.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Caiti S

    This was a disappointment, but at least it was a quick read. It ended up incredibly surface level, full of gimmicky acronyms/concepts (Red Ego/Green Ego, V.I.C, FYF, FSF, etc.) and page-count-bloating illustrations, while not actually diving into how to create community and connect with people in a more fulfilling way. It felt like her definition of community had more to do with shared activities than authentic connection. She also used her own company (Daybreaker) as an example of community-bui This was a disappointment, but at least it was a quick read. It ended up incredibly surface level, full of gimmicky acronyms/concepts (Red Ego/Green Ego, V.I.C, FYF, FSF, etc.) and page-count-bloating illustrations, while not actually diving into how to create community and connect with people in a more fulfilling way. It felt like her definition of community had more to do with shared activities than authentic connection. She also used her own company (Daybreaker) as an example of community-building over and over again, so it came across as a bit of a commercial (and she ends the book by saying she's starting a consulting business for community building, of course).

  9. 4 out of 5

    Tara Brabazon

    This book is as light and frothy as a bubble, but just as pretty and attractive. This book explores how to create communities with authenticity and meaning. Yes it is a simple. Supposedly, what you put out is what you receive... Good luck with that... But the desire to live an authentic life, with vulnerabilities and truth-telling, is powerful and important. This is not a scholarly or intellectual book. But it offers models and systems to build links, communities and communication.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Mrs. Europaea

    Did you know that one in four Americans report that they have zero friends to confide in and discuss important matters with. Or that having poor social connections is as bad as being an alcoholic and twice as bad as being obese. This is just the tip of what Agrawal addresses with her new release Belong: Find Your People, Create Community, and Live a More Connected Life. Belong is a resource guide for the masses. In an age where humans are more connected than ever, Agrawal confronts the isola Did you know that one in four Americans report that they have zero friends to confide in and discuss important matters with. Or that having poor social connections is as bad as being an alcoholic and twice as bad as being obese. This is just the tip of what Agrawal addresses with her new release Belong: Find Your People, Create Community, and Live a More Connected Life. Belong is a resource guide for the masses. In an age where humans are more connected than ever, Agrawal confronts the isolation epidemic that no one wants to talk about. The fun formatting and structure along with colorful graphics does a lot to lighten up a pretty serious problem without making it feel overwhelming and heavy. What Agrawal does well with Belong is that she lays the foundation to show people how to build a community in which they can thrive. She does this in a variety of ways. She has updated Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs by creating Agrawal's Hierarchy of Needs showing how community is a vital ingredient at every stage. Now a lot of you fundamentalists will probably scoff at this but it is a great modern take on an age-old problem. She also has writing prompts for you to reflect on and check in with yourself varying from things like emotional satisfaction to the energy you radiate. With Belong, you will get a blueprint to build and nurture your own community from scratch to achieve happiness, fulfillment and success and are able to customize this suit your individual needs and desires.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Kristen L

    This book was a fast read, although the author encourages you to take it slow and move through it like a workbook. I haven't ever felt compelled to actually write down my feelings/thoughts for self help or motivational books, but this one asked good questions that I wanted to ponder and reflect on. As I build my own community, I will remember this book. It's not comprehensive, but is a good start to evaluating where you are at, where you want to go, and ideas of how to get there. This book was a fast read, although the author encourages you to take it slow and move through it like a workbook. I haven't ever felt compelled to actually write down my feelings/thoughts for self help or motivational books, but this one asked good questions that I wanted to ponder and reflect on. As I build my own community, I will remember this book. It's not comprehensive, but is a good start to evaluating where you are at, where you want to go, and ideas of how to get there.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jason

    Stop hanging out with the wrong people doing things that don’t fulfill and energize you, and choose how you spend your time and who you spend it with. In BELONG, Radha Agrawal beautifully explains how she found her tribe and built a truly global dance party, Daybreaker, with and for the people she loved. (If you've ever been to one of her Daybreaker parties, held monthly in 24 cities around the world, you’ve felt the strong sense of community and a feeling of belonging that radiates through the Stop hanging out with the wrong people doing things that don’t fulfill and energize you, and choose how you spend your time and who you spend it with. In BELONG, Radha Agrawal beautifully explains how she found her tribe and built a truly global dance party, Daybreaker, with and for the people she loved. (If you've ever been to one of her Daybreaker parties, held monthly in 24 cities around the world, you’ve felt the strong sense of community and a feeling of belonging that radiates through the dance floor. It's a pulse that makes you simultaneously want to dance your face off and hug everyone!) The book navigates how she found and expanded a strong community of like-minded and like-spirited individuals. Radha sprinkles in interactive assignments that transform this easy listen into a productive, nourishing and introspective experience.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Craig Wiesner

    One of the most devastating results to come from a wellness survey I've been working on was to learn how epidemic loneliness is locally and across the country. Despite having hundreds or thousands of "friends" on social media, over half the people in our midst are suffering from incredible loneliness. What to do? How do you figure out where you might "belong?" This incredible book provides step by step guidance on how to figure out what really makes you tick and how to either find or create the One of the most devastating results to come from a wellness survey I've been working on was to learn how epidemic loneliness is locally and across the country. Despite having hundreds or thousands of "friends" on social media, over half the people in our midst are suffering from incredible loneliness. What to do? How do you figure out where you might "belong?" This incredible book provides step by step guidance on how to figure out what really makes you tick and how to either find or create the kind of community in which you can thrive. The book is beautifully laid out, easy and fun to engage with, and I totally resonate with the specific activities the author has put together to help people go from isolation to true community.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca Tiffany

    I love going inside the Agrawal mindset and seeing radically different thinking has led to a vibrant life. We're all craving community - but not just any kind of community - the kind that helps us become our highest, most thriving selves. Radha lays out the roadmap to building that community, starting from within. I love going inside the Agrawal mindset and seeing radically different thinking has led to a vibrant life. We're all craving community - but not just any kind of community - the kind that helps us become our highest, most thriving selves. Radha lays out the roadmap to building that community, starting from within.

  15. 4 out of 5

    theStorykeeper

    Newsflash, honey - there are plenty of people out there who don't like (or aren't able) to dance or exercise. For a book supposedly about finding "your" people, the author was awfully stuck on suggestions that matched HER values. Newsflash, honey - there are plenty of people out there who don't like (or aren't able) to dance or exercise. For a book supposedly about finding "your" people, the author was awfully stuck on suggestions that matched HER values.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Anna Vonderheide

    For any community builders out there- this is a must read!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Anne

    A group of activists with whom I volunteer has been working through this book collectively to strengthen our community. I think reading and doing it alone could be helpful but working through and discussing it with others really helps to know not only yourself, but those with whom you communicate with regularly. We're an online community with members around the country and we may never meet face,to face. But we have learned about each other through this book and it helps us to work better togeth A group of activists with whom I volunteer has been working through this book collectively to strengthen our community. I think reading and doing it alone could be helpful but working through and discussing it with others really helps to know not only yourself, but those with whom you communicate with regularly. We're an online community with members around the country and we may never meet face,to face. But we have learned about each other through this book and it helps us to work better together.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    This is an amazing workbook that details how to overcome loneliness by building your own community of friends who share common interests and goals. Too many of us fall into friendships or family relationships and we just talk about other people and not about interesting subjects. I’ve learned many of the techniques she discusses through therapy but I love the fact that you brainstorm and journal in this book so that the ideas solidify in your mind and you can easily access them in one journal.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    A lot of interesting and useful information, beautifully illustrated and published, and a good read. Would be better if she didn’t push the idea that you can never have or make or keep authentic friendships online, and that people only take anti depressants because they’re not taking good care of themselves. Both of which I hugely disagree with. I’ll keep my meds and online friends while also continuing to value and work on local friends and community engagement and belonging.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Karrie Miner

    A really useful thought exercise to think about how you can intentionally create a community and build meaningful relationships. A lot of it seems like common on sense, but with all of the technology we have, we forget about human interaction. Check this out if you feel something is missing for you and your relationships!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kasey

    This was a fun read with very constructive advice and exercises. If you are anxious about finding a new social community, I think there are solid steps for you to follow in this guide. Be warned: the use of acronyms is wildly out of control!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Ann T

    Thankyou Workman Publishing and Netgalley for an ARC of this book. Radha guides the reader, providing tools and ideas into how to make your place in a community. As someone who relocates regularly this was an enjoyable, useful book. Radha highlights the deep importance of having “your tribe” on our overall well being. This book is super useful for anyone with an impending move, or for anyone who is feeling surrounded but alone in their environment.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Lynn

    I connected and felt challenged to grow in the first part but the second half of the book fell flat to me.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Sophia

    I loved hearing Radha speak at the Boston Book Festival with her talking about her wake up call to build a better community and how she went about that, which inspired me to pick up her book. Unfortunately, I don't think this book has that much new ideas to offer, but I thought it was helpful about how we can set up our spaces and ask ourselves a few questions to facilitate rich conversations that deepen relationships. I loved hearing Radha speak at the Boston Book Festival with her talking about her wake up call to build a better community and how she went about that, which inspired me to pick up her book. Unfortunately, I don't think this book has that much new ideas to offer, but I thought it was helpful about how we can set up our spaces and ask ourselves a few questions to facilitate rich conversations that deepen relationships.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    I bought this book with both a professional lens and personal curiosity. I think it is incredibly important to feel like you belong. I don’t necessarily think I learned anything more about why this is important but she does offer tips and a pathway to creating more connection. And what is almost laughable at this point is that many of the suggestions aren’t advised now due to COVID. What’s a person to do now? As a professional life and leadership coach this book is helpful because someone could I bought this book with both a professional lens and personal curiosity. I think it is incredibly important to feel like you belong. I don’t necessarily think I learned anything more about why this is important but she does offer tips and a pathway to creating more connection. And what is almost laughable at this point is that many of the suggestions aren’t advised now due to COVID. What’s a person to do now? As a professional life and leadership coach this book is helpful because someone could really use this book as toolkit to creating more connection. I felt the author was able to articulate some of the most common friendship dynamics and things to consider when trying to find where you belong including exercises about values and interests. A key theme I found throughout was that friendships (and cultivating a sense of belonging) take work. There needs to be energy put into them and not only that, that energy needs to be mutual, although it doesn’t have to look the same all the time. I think this is the crux of why friendships lapse. The author also talks about the 80/20 rule. If the energy you feel around the friendship feels like a similar frequency to what you are on 80% of the time then it’s probably a friendship that is feeding you. I also appreciate the distinction she makes between digital friendships and in person friendships as well as the use of texting (a poor substitute). This book was easy to read and it went quick. I gave it three stars as it didn’t really turn out to be what I thought it was going to be. I may come back in and change that rating, perhaps lower? Overall my thoughts are that there are little nuggets of good information that made me think a little more deeply about true connection and belonging.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Lindsay

    I think I would have benefitted more from this if I'd read it in my early 20s...not that I had any wherewithal about what "community" really meant at that age. I operated much like Agrawal's own description of her 20s (sans the high-powered corporate job). As it stands now at 36, none of this came as news to me. I was hoping for a few new insights, but came up short. This is not to say that there isn't any merit here. Agrawal provides a lot of insight and great exercises to help readers explore I think I would have benefitted more from this if I'd read it in my early 20s...not that I had any wherewithal about what "community" really meant at that age. I operated much like Agrawal's own description of her 20s (sans the high-powered corporate job). As it stands now at 36, none of this came as news to me. I was hoping for a few new insights, but came up short. This is not to say that there isn't any merit here. Agrawal provides a lot of insight and great exercises to help readers explore their needs, and the illustrated format makes for a fun read. I also appreciate that Agrawal is very much trying to create her brand here as "Community Architect," though the amount of acronyms and catchphrases grew pretty tiring pretty quickly. I guess I realized I already have the tools I need to create community. Not too shabby. ******** Many thanks to Workman Publishing Company and NetGalley for this advanced copy.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Nicholas Brown

    “Life is a grand adventure, and you can’t go at it alone. Your community will give you wings to create fearlessly.” @love.radha

  28. 5 out of 5

    Ali

    Ever felt like you haven't quite found your community yet, the place where you can fully flourish as the best possible version of you? No need to wait anymore. In "Belong", Radha Agrawal shows you how you roll your own. Abraham Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs (1943) was pretty cool, but let's face it -- it could use an update for 2018. Radha does just that, putting belonging right at the bottom of the pyramid amongst humans' most basic needs. Especially in a world where most Americans live alone, hav Ever felt like you haven't quite found your community yet, the place where you can fully flourish as the best possible version of you? No need to wait anymore. In "Belong", Radha Agrawal shows you how you roll your own. Abraham Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs (1943) was pretty cool, but let's face it -- it could use an update for 2018. Radha does just that, putting belonging right at the bottom of the pyramid amongst humans' most basic needs. Especially in a world where most Americans live alone, have few to no confidants, and are disengaged from public service, connection is urgent medicine. As Jack Kornfield puts it, we are in the midst of a crisis of the heart. And the healing must come from us. To that end, Agrawal offers practical solutions for cultivating healthy relationships and creating communities of belonging. First, get to know yourself a little better and become aware of your Green Ego (kind) vs Red Ego (mean). Listen less to the Mean Girls of comparison, perfectionism and judgment; hang with the Soul Sisters of inspiration, gratitude and curiosity. Know your values, abilities, and interests. Cut out negative people from your life. Ban gossip. Show up. For me, the real gold of the book was in Agrawal's 6-step framework for intentional community building, followed by the CRAWL method. I have been attending Daybreaker events in 4 different cities since their inception 4 years ago, and they embody everything the book says. Core values, Ritual, Aesthetics, Why/What, Language: it works! I particularly appreciate Agrawal's sounding the alarm about how our supremely addictive devices are wrecking our relationships. Her antidote: be the F-Yeah Friend, the one who says "F-Yeah!" and shows up every time. This is an inspiring, honest, and practical manual for creating the kind of communities we all need and crave: ones that nurture our spirit. With heart and pragmatism born from deep experience, Radha gives us the roadmap. Read it and go make some new friends already. -- Ali Binazir, M.D., M.Phil., Happiness Engineer and author of The Tao of Dating: The Smart Woman's Guide to Being Absolutely Irresistible, the highest-rated dating book on Amazon for 4 years, and Should I Go to Medical School?: An Irreverent Guide to the Pros and Cons of a Career in Medicine

  29. 5 out of 5

    Summer Petersen

    This book gets right down to one of the biggest dilemmas of the modern age: how to find your community and real connection when we're playing out our lives on social media, and comparing ourselves and how we measure up to everyone else on a world-wide scale, via carefully curated news feeds. Sitting on the computer leaves us depressed and disaffected, while we are posing for 'grammable photos that look aspirational but in fact make us feel like Ingrid Goes West. We forget we need to go out and t This book gets right down to one of the biggest dilemmas of the modern age: how to find your community and real connection when we're playing out our lives on social media, and comparing ourselves and how we measure up to everyone else on a world-wide scale, via carefully curated news feeds. Sitting on the computer leaves us depressed and disaffected, while we are posing for 'grammable photos that look aspirational but in fact make us feel like Ingrid Goes West. We forget we need to go out and talk to other people. We forget how to have a casual conversation. We forget what we are doing with our lives to begin with, and how did we become so alienated and frustrated? This, humans, is a great way to dive in and remedy your deep existential crisis. Capitalism tells you to compete to be the best, but it forgot to tell you how to be a person among other people. This text is very fun and easy to dive into, the illustrations are engaging, and it is an extremely approachable guide with well-thought out exercises to work as a springboard to get you back into life, help you connect with others authentically, and give you a sense of fulfillment you know has been missing from your existence for as long as you can remember. I'm impressed that Agrawal can take such a profound subject matter and make it so accessible and obtainable. Readers who are miffed at her social/financial access are missing the point. The focus here is to emphasize your personal interests and values, and apply that to life to participate in a community where you feel good about your own value and can equally value others. Gratitude exercises frequently come up in self-help and this one is no exception. I really love this book, the concept, ideas, map, and overall execution are fantastic and I'm wholly impressed with how this addressed a lot of ???s I've had about how to approach other people in my own life. I advise this for anyone feeling disconnected from other people. It will teach you ideas that you can use for the rest of your life and I suspect I will be returning to it again at different stages of my life. Read it!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Lorena

    If you are either feeling like you don’t have enough friends or your friendships aren’t nourishing and supporting you the way you’d like, this book provides guidance on finding friends who will align with your values and interests, understand and accept you, and fill your emotional tank. If you’re interested in organizing a community, this book offers some practical steps to take and suggests some helpful questions to answer to help you design a sustainable community with a clear goal. The author If you are either feeling like you don’t have enough friends or your friendships aren’t nourishing and supporting you the way you’d like, this book provides guidance on finding friends who will align with your values and interests, understand and accept you, and fill your emotional tank. If you’re interested in organizing a community, this book offers some practical steps to take and suggests some helpful questions to answer to help you design a sustainable community with a clear goal. The author provides some amazing statistics and health claims. For example, she noted that a study found that “Having poor social connections is as bad as being an alcoholic and twice as bad as being obese.” Unfortunately, she did not provide a citation for that study, so I was unable to refer to the original source to learn more. I liked the idea of getting to know yourself better so you can be intentional about choosing compatible friends and community. I love the sections discussing personal and community core values, and how by defining the core values and constraints of a community, “you know if it’s your thing, and if it’s not.” I also liked the idea of selecting your friends and designing your community as an act of “thoughtful energy curation.” I appreciated the helpful reminder that “Expectations are resentments waiting to happen,” as well as the suggestion to turn judgment into curiosity. I was less fond of the author’s invention of multiple new acronyms, which I had trouble remembering. Also, I think the book will probably appeal more to energetic young extroverts than middle-aged introverts like me who cringe at the thought of saying “F*ck yeah” (a phrase the author is fond of). I was provided an ARC through NetGalley that I volunteered to review. Because I have not seen the final published version, I cannot comment on the final editing and formatting. However, the ARC had minimal proofreading errors, and the quirky formatting and graphics added charm and helped the book stand apart.

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