How To Read This Book
A powerful way to read this book
In reading a new book, some of us are jaded from the start,
essentially saying, “Why should this book be any different? I probably
already know this. It can’t possibly make a big difference for me.”
In reading a new book, others are “gullibility waiting to happen,”
essentially saying, “This man has all the answers! I’ll believe
anything he says.”
Instead of either of the above approaches, I invite you to bring
five basic attitudes to your reading of this book: curiosity,
inventiveness, selectivity, critical thinking, and testing it out.
What might I discover just around the next sentence?
What insight might I get from this next essay that could change
What new and powerful way of looking at things might I discover
What surprises or miracles might occur in my life out of reading
What is the central idea here? How might I apply it in different
areas of my life?
Is there a way to use this idea different from that suggested?
What other potentially valuable insights does this idea suggest
What elements of this idea can I accept and use immediately to
add to my life?
What elements of this idea seem unworkable in my life and
must I reject, at least for now?
Is this thinking sound?
What evidence do I have to support this line of thinking?
What evidence do I have to contradict this line of thinking?
What circumstances exist that might be exceptions to the point
being made here?
In what ways is this idea either an over-generalization or undergeneralization?
What fears do I have; what about my own way of looking at
things might be preventing me from discovering something
of value here?
Testing it out
How might I test this idea easily and quickly and notice what
results I get?
Am I clear enough about the idea so that I can give it a valid
If I get some desirable results from my first tests, how might I
put some structures in place to expand upon and continue
with the “testing” process?
What shall I read first?
You can choose from at least three different “orders” in which
to read this book (listed below). Whichever way you choose to read
(or reread) it, though, I strongly recommend that certain portions
be read first to provide an adequate foundation for the rest of the
These are the sections that I consider to be either essential or at
least very important as a foundation for the rest of this book:
How to Read this Book (this section)
Courage Definition, (found on the first page)—Read and study,
as a minimum, this definition/distinction of courage; the essays
in the section, “Courage: The Views from Many Windows,” starting
on page 34, also provide important sub-distinctions of courage.
Introduction (page 18)
Glossary (page 7)—Not only does the glossary put a new face
on several common terms, it also introduces some terms that have
been coined for this book.
Ways to Embrace Your Fear and Make it Your Friend (page 131)—
This section provides four specific and complementary techniques to
implement the first of the three cornerstones of courage.
Honoring Yourself for Choosing Courage (page 158)—This
section provides examples and methods of how to honor yourself
for choosing courage, the second cornerstone of courage.
Journal (page 587)—I recommend you read most of the
essays in this book before moving on to this section. You will
then have the best context in which to understand the viewpoints
and actions expressed throughout the journal.
You can read this book in at least three different “orders,”
depending upon your purpose and/or your state of mind.
From front to back—Reading this book in sequential order has
a lot of advantages:
(1) You will ensure that the foundational
material and distinctions are digested first, thereby making the
later material more clearly relevant and understandable.
will not miss any important parts of the book, making it easy to
keep track of what you’ve read and haven’t read.
On an as-needed or an as-interested basis: Once you’ve read
the foundational material, then you can select a specific poetic
essay or other section of the book either by
(1) flipping through the
pages and seeing what strikes your interest or
(2) scanning the
Table of Contents on page 673.
The “random method”—Just flip a coin to choose a topic, or
turn to a page randomly and start reading. Wherever you turn, you
will very likely find something relevant to your life right now.
At the end of some essays and sections there are one or more
lines for note taking. Jot down your own ideas to stimulate the
deepest and most profound understanding of your own life and
behaviors. Challenge yourself to discover access points for courage
in each and every moment and issue of your life. Also, mark this
book up. Put notes in the margins. Underline. Insert exclamation
points and question marks. Use this book.
Recite the poetic essays
The essays have been formatted to facilitate ease of reading and
understanding, providing for the possibility of a more immediate
impact on the quality and direction of your life. You will probably
find that reading the essays out loud, with some drama and flair,
will add to both your comprehension and the ability of the essays to
make an immediate difference in your life and behaviors.
Agree to disagree
You will probably discover that you disagree with some ideas
in this book. That’s great. Please don’t get stopped by this. Use the
ideas in this book more as stimulations for your empowerment
and growth rather than to validate or invalidate what you already
believe or think you know.
Also, especially in the journal portion of this book, you will get
some candid insights into my day-to-day life. Be careful not to
dismiss the power and value of the principles in this book because
of the particular ways that I may apply (or misapply) them to my
More than you bargained for
At various points throughout this book you will find a sublink
to my web site (www.GoldWinde.com). These links will take
you to over 200 pages of additional materials that would not fit
into this 700-page “tome.” These links are strategically placed so
that the material linked relates most directly to the material you’ve
just finished reading. Don’t worry. The printed form of this book is
whole and complete by itself. This additional material is provided
only for those whose appetite and curiosity leads them further.
SPECIAL NOTE: when keying the web address links, key them
EXACTLY, paying special attention to UPPER and lower case.
If you’d like to simplify your web access (and minimize your
Internet connect time), go to www.GoldWinde.com/Cbook/More.
Download each of the links there and use the “Save As” command
(e.g., with MS Internet Explorer) under the “File” menu so that all
these additional materials are later available to you without an
Sprinkled throughout this book are quotations (as below) from
other authors. You will notice that a few of these quotations appear
in more than one place. This is intentional.