Radha Ruparell’s new book Brave Now: Rise Through Struggle and Unlock Your Greatest Self is what I’d call the thinking person’s holistic guide. Ruparell’s profession as a cross-sector leader makes the book’s tonal abilities never shift into out-and-out spiritualism, retaining a sort of firm even-handedness even when it verges on the more transient ideals such as the importance of one practicing compassion or, as one chapter promotes, loving and living with abundance.
While the literary style is conversational, the actual tenets and ideologies present feel wholly left-brain. This is helped too by Ruparell being repeatedly referential to the book’s tonal relevance in a post-Covid landscape, where needless to say industry and those working within industry have been changed irreversibly and irrevocably. Despite the undertones of the book serving as something of a leadership advice guide, somewhat within the steps of published work a la Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead and Megyn Kelly’s Settle for More, Ruparell bait-and-switches such a genre’s typical approach to storytelling. Rather than leading by example, she uses personalized analogies to promote her credibility as an advisor exclusively for you – the hypothetical reader.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR/PROJECT: https://bravenowbook.com/
The result is the best of both worlds. The audience feels genuinely invested in the work because the literary spotlight is on them, never the other way around, and Ruparell never runs the risk of being out of touch or tonally not authentic to a specific individual’s perception of what she stands by. This only adds all the more visceral a punch to chapters like the book’s thirteenth, simply titled Take a pause. “Time is something we take for granted,” Ruparell writes. “We think we always have more of it until one day, we realize it’s finite…I started asking myself questions like: What really matters to me? And am I spending my time in line with my deepest intentions?” She goes on to clarify, “Many of us have had the conversation about ‘bucket lists’ or the things we would do if we found out we only had months left to live…the answer (for me) was never skydiving or traveling the world. It was much simpler: I would spend time with the people I care about. I wouldn’t be distracted while with them. I would give them my full attention. Connection was what mattered.”
By making herself a passenger rather than the literary driver of the piece, Ruparell is able to successfully put a human face on a genre often severely lacking in one. There’s never a feeling of promotion nor anything corporately egocentric within Brave Now’s pages. And in the passages where the book could, in lesser hands, teeter into the out-and-out maudlin, Ruparell never loses step with the overall focus she is so passionate about. Her ability to keep everything so measurable and synchronized elevates the book considerably, and makes it something I would highly recommend to anyone within professional circles looking to change their approach…