The Courage Quotient

How Science Can Make You Braver
by Robert Biswas-Diener | 208 pages

Robert Biswas-Diener is known as the “Indiana Jones of positive psychology.” As per his bio, “his research has taken him to such far-flung places as Greenland, India, Kenya and Israel.” And, important note: “He is afraid of quicksand and snakes.” :) Robert is also the son of one of the leading positive psychology researchers: Ed Diener. We covered a book they wrote together called Happiness. This is basically the ONLY book on science of courage. It's fantastic. Big Ideas we explore include defining the numerator and denominator of our Courage Quotient (hint: Increase your "willingness to act" and "ability to control fear"), courage's two flavors (general + personal), courage blindness (and how to heal it), the power of playing our roles well (choose a courageous one!), being willing to fail and playing to win.


“Being able to take courageous action is one of the most important, useful, and exciting aspects of being human. Of all our basic virtues, courage is the one that helps us to live exactly the way we want and provides the psychological fuel we need to create, take risks, help others, and face hard times. I am not overstating the case when I say that courageous action is humanity at its finest. This notion is as old as Socrates, who argued that a person is courageous ‘whose spirit retains in pleasure and in pain the commands of reason about what he ought or ought not to fear.’ Embedded in this ancient wisdom is the idea that individuals can live up to their full potential and experience a full life only if they are masters of themselves and not victims of their emotional whims, particularly fear.

~ Robert Biswas-Diener from The Courage Quotient

Robert Biswas-Diener is known as the “Indiana Jones of positive psychology.”

As per his bio, “his research has taken him to such far-flung places as Greenland, India, Kenya and Israel.” And, important note: “He is afraid of quicksand and snakes.” :)

Robert is also the son of one of the leading positive psychology researchers: Ed Diener. We covered a book they wrote together called Happiness.

I got this book after reading Character Strengths Matter. Robert contributed some wisdom on the science of courage. I heard about this book and, of course, immediately got it. Read it. And, here we are.

This is basically the ONLY book on the science of courage. Although it’s out of print for some reason, I really enjoyed it. (Get the book here.)

It’s PACKED with Big Ideas and I’m excited to share some of my favorites we can use to boost our Courage Quotient TODAY, so let’s jump straight in!

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About the author

Authors

Robert Biswas-Diener

A leading authority on positive psychology