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TCK Publishing recently sent me a free e-book copy of The Courage Map by Franziska Iseli in exchange for a review. I was able to choose any book I wanted from their shop. I chose the Courage Map because courage is something I want to develop more of. This looked like the ideal guide!
Who is Franziska Iseli?
On her website, Franziska Iseli is described as ‘a maverick entrepreneur, leading strategist and mad adventurer’. Her adventurous side definitely shines through in this book! Franziska was awarded the Young Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2013. She is the co-founder of five businesses and has written several bestselling books. You can find out more about Franziska Iseli on her website.
What is The Courage Map about?
As the title suggests, this book is about courage! More specifically, Franziska shares 13 ‘Principles for Living Boldly’ that will help us to develop courage. She encourages us to form our own metaphorical ‘courage map’ to guide us on our journey to a fuller and more courageous life.
The book is divided into chapters for each of the 13 principles. To give examples, the first three principles are Stories, Truth and Intentions. At the end of each chapter, there are some suggested ‘affirmations’ or ‘positive beliefs’ related to the principle in question, to help us to integrate the principle into our lives. Following these are some courage-building challenges and exercises to try. Finally, each chapter ends with some journalling questions to help us clarify what we need to work on, and how we could apply the principle to our life.
There is an underlying theme of travel throughout this book. Franziska shares many personal stories, most of which are from an adventure she went on, riding her motorbike from Switzerland, along the Silk Road and into Asia. The book is full of travel-related metaphors, for example, the affirmations at the end of each chapter are titled ‘Travel Tunes’, the suggested courage-building activities are called ‘Pit Stops’ and the journalling questions are titled ‘Travel Journal’.
Although the travel theme was not strictly necessary, I liked it because it gave life to the book. The stories from Franziska’s travels were exciting and they demonstrated one example of what a courageous life could look like. As a side note, this book made me want to travel more – although my transport of choice would not be motorcycle!
What did I think of The Courage Map?
The focus of The Courage Map is on how to build courage. However, I would say that the book contains good advice for personal development in general. Each chapter is dedicated to developing a certain quality, and they can all be linked to courage but they are also good qualities to develop in their own right.
Most of the concepts in this book are things I have already heard of before. There was nothing groundbreaking for me, however, it was good to have a reminder of some positive values to incorporate into my life. My three favourite chapters were the ones about Kindness, Flow and Evolution.
As I went through the book, I didn’t journal or try out any of the suggested activities. However, I did pick up a few snippets and ideas that I plan to try out, and I answered some of the journalling questions in my mind.
One of my favourite things about this book was the fact that Franziska shares lots of personal stories from her own experiences and adventures. These were interesting and inspiring to read, and they brought the concepts to life. Besides the stories, the text was a little repetitive at times, although this is not necessarily a bad thing because repetition helps to cement ideas in your mind. However, I would have loved to have read even more personal stories from Franziska to demonstrate her points.
The author, Franziska Iseli seems like a fun person with an exciting life! Although she is very different from me in many ways, I liked her and I could relate to certain things about her. I would definitely look out for more books by Franziska.
Would I recommend The Courage Map?
I would recommend this book, especially if you have not read many personal development books before, and you want to build more courage and improve your character in general. It’s an enjoyable book to read because of the stories of the author’s adventures.
It’s up to the individual reader whether to answer the journalling questions and actually build a ‘courage map’, or just to read the book straight through and pick up a few ideas. Whichever way you choose to read it, this book contains some valuable lessons that we can all learn from.