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Summary

A thought-provoking essay that teaches us that confidence is not a gift from the gods, but a skill that can be learned. 

We spend vast amounts of time acquiring confidence in narrow technical fields: quadratic equations or bioengineering; economics or pole vaulting. But we overlook the primordial need to acquire a more free-ranging variety of confidence - one that can serve us across a range of tasks: speaking to strangers at parties, asking someone to marry us, suggesting a fellow passenger turn down their music, changing the world. 

This is a guidebook to confidence, why we lack it and how we can acquire more of it in our lives. On Confidence walks us gently and wryly around the key issues that stop us from making more of our potential.

©2020 The School of Life (P)2020 The School of Life

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  • Graceny Jimenez
  • 15-08-20

Poignant and timeless

The School of Life and Alain de Botton can be the best friends we never had during these trying times (review written August 2020). This book is only an hour long, but a great listen to and from long commutes. If you're familiar with their YouTube films it can feel bit redundant. But if like me, you tend to forget things quickly, the familiarity the content is part of its charm.

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  • Bonnie L
  • 23-10-20

It heals

Like other books and videos produced by the School of Life, it heals. The perspectives of the author made me realise the wounds I carried since childhood. And with this new self-understanding, it shed lights upon many challenges I face as an adult. They aren’t as grim and as hopeless as I thought. With the right effort, we can start to make them well. And this is a huge relief. Alain de Botton, as always, presents the ideas with the most passionate, comforting and reassuring voice.