On Becoming Fearless... In Love, Work, and Life
Arianna Huffington could be a role model for any modern woman. She's written ON BECOMING FEARLESS as an invitation to her daughters, Christina and Isabella, to live openly and bravely.
Huffington has never feared the consequences of her political convictions. "At the heart of my political transformation was my recognition that the task of overcoming poverty and social injustice is too monumental to be achieved without the power and scale that only government can provide. Along with this came the conviction that silence is not an option." Huffington has never allowed herself to be silenced. She addresses her adversaries with verve and mental acuity, and is known for her bulldog tenacity in facing conflict. It is no surprise to learn that she headed the debating society at Cambridge University.
In this book she lays out some gutsy principles to live by. Demystify money and don't let it rule your life. Don't be afraid of aging: "fifty really is the new thirty." Be fearless with the possibility of power; Arianna hasn't let men, like Arnold Schwarzenegger in the 2003 race for governor of California, hold her back with the suggestion that she "drink more decaf."
Huffington has run for high office, made herself a known and to-be-reckoned-with face on our television screens, and has done so without sacrificing her femininity. She would perhaps say that stalking the corridors of political power and making demands of the system is at the very heart of femininity. Citing examples from the world of corporate America, Huffington shows us many exemplars of decisive, assertive women, and concludes, "If you want to succeed big, there is no substitute for simply sticking your neck out."
In her fifties, the author launched a dynamic website, The Huffington Post, quoting research that indicates that "later in life more women than men are jumping in and starting new projects." She presents the example of Sherry Lansing, who "with sixty looming" began a new career in philanthropy, forming her own foundation devoted to cancer research. Throughout this nicely blended book (fact, opinion, humor and theory), Huffington generously gives praise to her friends and role models, particularly her mother, for whom fear was never an option.
Huffington treats without hesitation that most profound of all "what ifs" --- the fear of death --- and in doing so summarizes her philosophy of fearlessness. "Trusting that there is more to the world than what we can see and finding a way to connect to it can help us face our mortality with fearlessness and bring this fearlessness into everyday life."
Reviewed by Barbara Bamberger Scott on April 9, 2007