Book Summary: The Courage Map: 13 Principles to Living Boldly

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“The more your practice, the more courageous you become.” — Franziska Iseli

Is there a way to live life without regrets?

The Courage Map: 13 Principles to Living Boldy, by Franziska Iseli, is a guide to help you live boldly by tapping your inner courage and charting a course to a better future.

It’s not a book about avoiding the struggles and challenges in your life.

It’s about embracing them and turning your trials into triumphs.

Even better, The Courage Map is a book that shows you how you can practice and build your courage muscle.

Your life is the sum of your stories, and your real stories are where you face your challenges and grow as a person.

Richard Branson on the Courage Map

Sir Richard Branson wrote beautiful words in the foreword of The Courage Map:

“Every day I see people doing great things in the world.  What do they have in common? The courage to go after their dreams and make a positive impact. 

Franziaka’s book shows you how that message can support you in running your life and business based on courage, love, and kindness instead of fear.”

Courage is the Instigator of Life’s Greatest Experiences

Courage is the extra something that helps us transcend from an ordinary life into an extraordinary life– a life well-lived, on our terms.

Iseli writes:

“Courage is the source of meaningful and fulfilling human existence.  Courage is the instigator of life’s greatest experiences, those memorable moments that have the ability to change the course of your life for the better. 

Courage is your best ally in helping you live your life fully.  Courage supports you as you face meaningful challenge sin life, make better decisions, and stay true to yourself when you’re tempted to give in.”

Courage is a Skill

Anyone can learn the skill of courage.  Make a conscious effort to expand your courage boundaries.

Iseli writes:

“Best of all, courage is a skill that anyone can learn.  This book will show you how to make courage your superpower no matter where you’re at, and regardless of how the past has shaped your life.”

“Courage is a skill.  No matter how little or how much courage you have now, you can always find more.  You can make a conscious effort to expand your courage boundaries.”

Courage Allows You to Stay True to Yourself

If you want to lead a better life, you need to stay true to you.

Iseli writes:

“Courage is one of the most powerful forces you can use to shape your life.  It allows you to stay true to yourself, lead by example, make a positive impact, and live without regrets. 

Courage is the underlying force that allows you to make small and big changes, both personally and professionally.”

Courage is the Key to Your Exceptional Life

Some dream it.  Some do it.

Courage is the skill that helps you go for your dreams with gusto.

Iseli writes:

“Everyone has plenty of ideas and dreams to live an exceptional life.  What some of us lack is the courage to turn those ideas into reality and pursue our dreams with gusto.”

4 Things Courageous People Do

According to Iseli, there are 4 things that courageous people consistently do:

  1. Stay true to yourself
  2. Take more risks
  3. Face difficulties head on
  4. Lead by example

Actively Choose the Way You Live

Iseli uses one question to guide the actions in her life:

“Would I be happy with my life if I died right now?”

If the answer is yes, then she keeps doing what she’s doing.  if the answer is no, then she course corrects and takes new actions in the direction of her fulfillment.

Iseli writes that this is how she learned to actively choose the way she lives instead of being ruled by fear.

The 13 Principles

Iseli divides her book into 13 principles to help you develop your courage and expand your boundaries.  Each principle can help you make bolder decisions and, as Iseli puts it, “live a life you can look back on without regrets”.

Here are the 13 principles:

  1. Stories
  2. Truth
  3. Intentions
  4. Trust
  5. Intuition
  6. Love
  7. Kindness
  8. Imperfections
  9. Non-attachment
  10. Flow
  11. Playfulness
  12. Evolution
  13. Commitment

Principle 1.  Stories

The meaning of your life is the meaning you give your stories.

You can change your stories by observing your thoughts, rewriting your stories, and taking consistent action.

Iseli writes:

“The stories you tell yourself and others create a lens which you see the world, and this perspective will determine whether you act of fear or courage. 

Your stories determine how courageously you will live. And because you are the author of your own stories, you can rewrite the ones that don’t serve you.”

Principle 2.  Truth

Don’t be afraid to step up, stand out, and live your truth.

Iseli writes:

“Your values are what make your heart happy.  They are the internal codes that guide you to behave in a certain way that rings true for you. 

When you understand your values and act in accordance with them, you honor yourself and feel at peace with who you are where you are headed.”

Principle 3. Intentions

Set your intentions.  Think of your life as a road trip and choose your adventure.

Iseli writes:

“Intentions are thoughts that guide your actions and support you on your journey to live boldly.  Intentions are thoughts with direction. 

The desire to live more courageously starts with an intention followed by action. 

Be intentional about living boldly–you get to choose your adventure.”

Principle 4. Trust

Use trust as a platform to make bolder decisions and take more courageous actions.  Know and trust your strengths to live your truth, and learn how and when to trust others to go further than you can go alone.

Iseli writes:

“When it comes to living boldly, we are looking at three types of trust: trust in yourself, trust in others, and trust in the process, or ‘universe’ as I like to call it.  ‘I trust that the universe has my back’ is one of my biggest beliefs.  It allows me to face challenges with courage instead of fear.”

Principle 5. Intuition

Intuition can help you live more effortlessly and courageously by creating a feeling of certainty even with the presence of fear.

To embrace your intuition, tune in, connect with your heart, and practice mindfulness.

Iseli writes:

“Trusting in your gut also ensures that you are not trapped by what others want you to do or be.  Instead, you rely on yourself and your inner wisdom to choose how you live your life courageously.”

Principle 6. Love

Learn to keep your heart open by coming from courage, versus reacting out of fear.

Iseli writes:

“Keeping your heart open allows you to make brave decisions and live a full life without regrets. 

It takes courage to live with an open heart and it takes even more courage to keep it open.

It’s a lot easier to close your heart, especially when there is a possibility that you might get hurt. 

When you act from fear, you are more likely to close your heart to protect it. 

When you come from courage, you can choose to keep it open no matter what.”

Principle 7. Kindness

Don’t make kindness something you only do out of convenience.  Make kindness the default way you do things, no matter the circumstances.

Kindness comes in different flavors.  Choose between unconditional kindness, presence, and playfulness.

Iseli writes:

“Acting with kindness and courage creates a positive, self-perpetuating cycle.  The two elevate one another.  Practice kindness in every area of your life and you will see the whole world just a little bit more colorful.”

Principle 8. Imperfection

Break perfection down into tiny moments.  Could things be better? Probably.  But for right now, find perfection in the tiny moments, or “momentary perfection” and practice perfection in the process, not the outcome.

Iseli writes:

“Get comfortable with the potential of messing up and making mistakes. 

Whether you are saying no to an opportunity or yes to an adventure, there is always the possibility you will make a mistake. 

What if there is no wrong decision?  What if there is only perfectly imperfect?”

Principle 9. Non-Attachment

When you detach yourself from desire, you will be able to make decisions based on courage.

Iseli writes:

“When you master non-attachment, your decisions and actions will no longer be tied to a certain outcome.

As you stop worrying about the outcome and start focusing on the present moment, you bill be guided by courage instead of fear.  Letting go of a desired outcome is so powerful because it leaves very little room for fear to emerge.”

Principle 10.  Flow

Learn to dance with your flow.

Iseli writes:

“Flow with life gracefully and let its currents carry you to the most magical, mystical and mysterious places.  Trust the flow of life instead of resisting it and you will live from a place of courage.”

Principle 11. Playfulness

Don’t forget how to play as you take on more of life’s responsibilities.  When your play gets shut down or lost from fear or stress, remind yourself to do the things that light you up.

Iseli writes:

“An attitude of playfulness enables you to bring a level of lightheartedness to even the most difficult situations.  This lightheartedness takes the edge off circumstances or decisions that might otherwise scare you.  It invites courage to play.  Whenever faced with a challenge, instead of having a drink to take the edge off, try a shot of playfulness.”

“Playfulness brings light to the darkness and opens the door to courage.”

Principle 12.  Evolution

Evolve your mindset to expand your courage boundaries.

Practice evolving in 5 main levels: mental, emotional, physical, intellectual, and spiritual.

Iseli writes:

“As you embrace evolution, your courage boundaries will change.  if you consciously choose to keep evolving, you will be more likely to keep pushing your courage boundaries, rather than letting them shrink.

What once felt unsafe might start to feel safe, and your boundaries will continuously expand.  Practice making courageous decisions and you will see that they become less scary.

What may be frightening now will become normal!”

“Make your mind your best ally in expanding your courage boundaries.”

Principle 13. Commitment

Commit to courage.

Iseli writes:

“A great way to check if you are dreaming courageously or staying safe is to see how you feel when you think about your dreams.  Are you feeling butterflies in your stomach or any other sensation that reminds you of fear?
Do you feel a deep sense of purpose?  Do your dreams energize you?  If so, perfect!  And then maybe even go a little bigger. 

Go big enough so that you are stretching your courage boundaries and feeling a little bit uncomfortable, but no so big that you don’t believe you can achieve those dreams.”

Key Takeaways

  1. Courage is a skill you can practice and evolve in all areas of your life.
  2. Courage is the key to living a life you don’t regret.
  3. Choose your adventures in life to create the stories and experiences that light you up.

Get the Book

The Courage Map is available on Amazon:

The Courage Map: 13 Principles to Living Boldy, by Franziska Iseli

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